Saturday, May 23, 2009

SPH: A "Better" World Through Chemistry??

(Clockwise from top left) Bath scrunchy, bubble wrap, plastic kitties, decorative bead drops.
(Click pictures to enlarge)

"There's so much plastic in this culture that vinyl leopard skin is becoming an endangered synthetic." ~ Lily Tomlin

Have you seen that commercial... I believe it was for Dupont... all the items containing plastic in your home, your car.... the plastic begins to melt away, dissolve and disappear? The remnant parts simply fall to the ground and scatter. It is amazing and a bit disconcerting to realize how much of our lives rely on plastic. Television cases, radio cases, parts of the iPod and cell phones... yep... plastic. We wrap our food with it or store our food in boxes made of it. Our children drink their formula from plastic bottles, sippy cups, unbreakable drinking glasses, fast food drive through large drinks; even outdoors enthusiasts and health nuts drink bottled water that is really served up in plastic bottles, or more environmentally conscious folks drink their water out of nalgene refillable plastic bottles. Now we find out that chemicals in plastic may leach out into the water.... see... glass was better all along.. and reusable!

"In the next century it will be the early mechanical bird which gets the first plastic worm out of the artificial grass." ~ William E Vaughan (American Writer, b.1915)

Is anyone out there old enough to remember when plastic flower arrangements were all the rage? Back before "silk plants" came into vogue? (Although I really question how much silk is really in silk plants.) When I was in sixth grade we had a large wood planter placed behind my mom's organ... no, not a keyboard, a real-honest-to-goodness-musical-piece-of-furniture, organ... in our living room. In some parsonages it was positioned across from the piano with the planter in between. Mom had an arrangement made... a plastic arrangement of greenery, green flowers, green leaves, green grape clusters.... all green. Well, apparently sometime between the school eye tests they used to give each year... between the fifth and sixth grade.. I went blind... not totally blind, just legally blind in one eye... 20/200; very nearsighted. There is nothing like having to get glasses with plastic frames when you are almost ready to go into junior high. I remember that first day... the day I got my glasses... it was so surreal... the things I could see. I could see street signs and the colors seemed brighter and then, when we got home and walked into the living room, my mouth dropped open and all I could say was....."Look! That plastic planter has grapes! When were the grapes put in?" I had never been able to see well enough to distinguish the different parts of the arrangement... it was just a plastic blur! I wonder what ever happen to that planter and the arrangement.... no, I really DON'T want to know.

Plastic "Smiley Face" travel coffee mug. Posted by Picasa

Poor Harvey Ball who neglected to patent this iconic face...a happy face. But was this his invention...or, as depicted in Forrest Gump... simply an imprint of his mud-coated face on a white T-shirt? Who cares? I personally like him in a square setting rather than his typical round shape. So, in the spirit of this bright and friendly fellow, I leave you with one last quote and a cheery....."Have a nice day!!"

"Don't assume you're always going to be understood. I wrote in a column that one should put a cup of liquid in the cavity of a turkey when roasting it. Someone wrote me that 'the turkey tasted great, but the plastic cup melted.'" ~ Heloise

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