Wanda Real Estate and the Chinese Takeover of AMC

A while back when I was foolishly* dating a Chinese woman I had the opportunity to chauffer around a Mr. Ba, who to my understanding is a high ranking official for Wanda real estate (possibly the president of their real estate in Dongying).  I had earlier met this individual in Dongying and from various discussions with a one time friend was told that he was a multimillionaire who operated a real estate business in China.  As many of you know (or should know) one of the basic tenants of communism as prescribed by Marx is the outlawing of private property ownership (likewise a tenant in UN agenda 21).  Thus, in actuality all properties are more or less leased in the vassal slave state.  I also believe that is why everything is so dirty and people don’t bother to maintain the property they live on over there.

As I further my digression it just so happens that I had the opportunity to walk past one of the gem communities built by Ba**.  It was a gated community where houses were isolated by a canal system (prevalent in Dongying) with entry through a large bridge that was supposed to look like a medieval entrance to a castle (this will ultimately lead to more digression of my part).***  In any event, I was told that houses in this division sold for 1 million or more US dollars.  Thinking back to the high quality workmanship of Chinese builders (yes this is sarcasm)*** and the overall filthiness of the surroundings I thought to myself who in their right mind would spend so much money to live there?  My one time friend, also a supposed friend of Mr. Ba told me that Ba was an idiot for designing the community in such an arrangement.  It was retarded not only due to the stink that the canal no doubt would bring but as I realized immediately one way in, one way out is a death trap.  Of course this leads to yet another digression in that the building (top most picture) my one time friend supposedly owned in Dongying was multi-floored with a single staircase, no elevator, and no alternative escape routes in case of fire (let alone no sprinkler system).  But I guess that is no surprise seeing that the hotel I stayed in had no fourth floor due to superstition of the number (2nd picture top).

So anyway, Mr. Ba accompanied my ex-girlfriend’s mother (who hated me since I am a white man) and I got to spend a great deal of quality time with the two of them.  Ba (being the smart individual he is) tried to set up the usual animosity**** between me and my one time friend; however, unbeknownst to Mr. Ba I knew of it right away and my ex-girlfriend and I pretended to have potential interest in his plans (which were to circumvent my one time friend on business related matters).  It was during one of these discussions that Ba asked me how do people succeed here in the US?  Although I didn’t say this at the time (due to the long translation it would require {even though he knew a lot of English and pretended to be ignorant}) I wanted to comment that in today’s world things in the US are primarily done by who you know and not what you know.  Furthermore, the problem is that true free-market capitalism that once made this country great no longer existed and that was one of the main reasons why the country was going to hell in a hand basket.  Instead I told Ba that things were accomplished by making a product or having a service that was superior to others and therefore in demand and that through hard work you could advance yourself.  Of course his response was more or less laughter which I would expect from a communist elitist where people advance through connections and not by talent (with the fascist form of capitalism here in the US not lagging far behind).

What caught my eye recently was the fact that the Chinese (either to influence US media and propagandize how wonderful their country is or to simply dump worthless dollars) bought the movie chain AMC.  The buyer?  Wanda Group, the same company Ba was tied into.  When I told this to a friend of mine he like many others didn’t see the inherent danger that such things bring.  More so ever, he like many ignorant Americans do not realize the true hatred many of these people possess against the US and how a large number are chomping at the bit to overtake and destroy the country (I know this first hand).  Still, another digression is required.  During his stay I noticed who Ba was and what he was about.  He is a soulless individual like so many others from his country (mainly the well to do ones)***** where his primary driver was money.  This man had no real life and is symptomatic of the plaque infecting society as a whole; that is, greed…


* Mordeth 13 had warned me about dating Chinese, especially those from the mainland; however, I stupidly did not heed his warning.

** Well, not built by him specifically as my guess is he never did a single day of physical labor in his life.

*** My ex-girlfriend’s parents were supposedly traditional Chinese.  The thing that always blows my mind (despite their overt racism to all ethnic groups except mainland Chinese) is the fact that China really has no culture of its own.  What I mean by that is the Chinese have adopted so many facets of western culture it is unreal.  For example, clothing, jewelry, perfume, foodstuffs, automobiles you name it not one is derived from Chinese culture.  So, it didn’t surprise me that the architecture for the bridge was stolen from western culture as well.  Another comment I have to add here is that in some cities(e.g. Wuhan) buildings are quite nice and fit and form is good.  One of the main problems with Chinese builders is lack of attention to detail.  Large gaps in windows, doors, molding and so forth are not uncommon.

**** Chinese are some of the most manipulative, and evil people I have seen (I thought Americans were bad).  A common game among Chinese is called Three Kingdom Killers Game where players more or less try to build an empire through various nefarious methods.  This gives you an idea of the mentality of these people.  Unfortunately for my one time friend, Ba and his other cohorts in Dongying did not hold my one time friend in high regard.  One thing that they found interesting was his proclivity for cheating on his spouse during his numerous trips to China.  But knowledge of his weaknesses were used to manipulate him to their advantage (such great players of Three Kingdoms Killers Game).

***** I have to say that from my experience the lowest working class people of China are the most human like and least greedy that I have known anywhere (see picture below).  Many of these people are caught in the system as pawns and serfs and it is a sad situation to see first hand…

Findings on MAO Based Initiator Systems

Some months ago we conducted follow-up studies on the trimethylchlorosilane(TMSCl)/methylaluminoxane(MAO)/2,4,4-trimethyl-1-pentene (TMP) modeling reaction, this time using 29Si NMR spectroscopy.  1H NMR appeared to support addition of silicenium ion to TMP; however, 29Si showed that instead silyl halide undergoes ligand exchange type reactions with MAO and that polymerization is initiated in an ill-defined manner by this process.  Our group will be submitting a paper on this soon and the purpose of this announcement is to alert the reader to the fact that the chemistry described previously for this initiator system is incorrect.

Peewee’s EDL

Peewee's standards

I wanted to take a moment and write about Peewee’s environmental diagnostic laboratory (EDL).  For of those of you who haven’t had the unpleasant experience of meeting Peewee count yourself lucky.  Peewee is one of two people in the New River Valley area whom I’ve never heard a single person say anything good about them (the other is a guy by the name of Joe who runs a research center locally).  In any event, I don’t want to drone on how terrible Peewee is.  This particular blog post is for the amusement of the many people who I have befriended over the years that have jumped ship and left employment at Peewee’s company (in addition to those unfortunate souls still trapped there).

For those of you who don’t know, I use to rent laboratory space from Peewee; however, the rent slowly became too rich for my blood.  In his ever so gracious nature, Peewee offered me an option that was supposed to be to my benefit.  That is, I could use part of Peewee’s EDL space and through consolidation (i.e. downsizing) my rental fee would be more palatable.  As it turns out, nobody wanted to work in Peewee’s EDL (or for Peewee, period) so over the years it continually shrank in size both in terms of people and projects.

In any event, after spending a few weeks in Peewee’s EDL (while waiting for Peewee to get his company reinstated with the VA SCC as well as deliver a lease agreement) I noticed some interesting things that made me really begin to wonder how is it that Virginia is so stupid as to hire Peewee to do anything lab-wise?  For example, I found it quite interesting that volumetric flasks containing stock solutions used in tests (I’m guessing standardized by the EPA?) were sealed with glass stoppers with a sliver of tissue paper wedged between the stopper and the ground joint (see above)!  I’m guessing they should be better termed “variable standardized solutions” seeing that not only would volatile titrants evaporate but so would the solvent (i.e. water).  Possibly this sort of chemistry does not require accurate knowledge of things like concentration?  More likely, this is a new science that is standard for those with ABT or EBD designators in place of a real degree abbreviation.  I also found it amusing that the acid storage cabinetry for the base cabinet of the fume hood had a flammables sticker (see below) slapped across it when indeed it is not rated for flammables.  Despite my pointing this obvious fact out I was dismissed (by the god Peewee) as not knowing what I was talking about.  I could go on about how the EDL hood lacks any lab scaffolding, didn’t have water service and was missing access panels (covered originally with trash bags) but why digress?  The sales rep for the manufacturer of this hood chuckled when I called in context to replacements for the latter stating that the model in question hadn’t been made for almost 30 years.

The last straw for me was once a lease agreement was delivered not only did I discover that use and storage of reagents in Peewee’s EDL was forbidden but that large swaths of space that were supposed to be occupied by my company were actually not included in the lease CAD figure.  According to Peewee, a chemical consulting and R&D for hire operation (like the one I run) doesn’t need chemicals to do business.  Hmm, maybe I missed out on something by getting a Ph.D. instead of an ABT or EBD?   Moreover, I also was required (by the lease) to undergo laboratory training from the EDL manager.  In passing conversations where the manager was ignorant of what abbreviations like NMR stood for (and my casual observations of various things in the EDL) I realized that despite the entertainment value that such training would provide in the end it would be a royal waste of my time.  Next time around I’ll have to see if the EDL manager (former DEQ) can teach me how to insert tissue into ground joints without having it fall into the variable concentration (aka standardized) stock solution…

Berkey(R) Water Filtration Units

Well, finally I am writing about something that is a consumer product and not beating the scientific horse to death.  My father was nice enough to purchase one of these units for me about 1 year ago.  At the time I was dating the daughter of the mayor of a city in Shandong province China and I was getting ready to relocate my life there.  Water is an essential (of course) and all of the water I’ve ever had in China is horrible.  So my intention was to use this unit to purify water for my personal use.  In any event, the racism so prevalent in China surfaced its head and through a series of what appeared as misfortunes (which in reality could turn into blessings), many which arose because I’m a white male, I decided to not move.  So there was a delay in using the unit as I was drinking water filtered through a refrigerator (which was potable but not much more).  Finally in 2012 I broke this bad boy out (see above) and after discarding the first couple aliquots of water was pleasantly surprised to see just how good it tasted.  It turned the crappy city water that tastes almost like swimming pool water into high quality water (the type you actually want to drink over other beverages like pop or event bottle water).

According to Berkey® this unit can purify stagnant pond water.  I fit my unit with the alumina columns to remove fluoride as it is something your body simply doesn’t need (another poison) although they do potentially add soluble alumina to your water (in very minute quantities though).  At the time the only complaint I could possibly have had was that filtration is slow (especially on one filter).  If you drink a lot of water fill the top reservoir with water all the way to the top (if using one filter set) because by the time night rolls around you will find you’ve drank the bulk of that.  With two filters I suggest you fill the reservoir half way in the morning and half way at night.  One other thing to keep note of is for non-chemists hydration of alumina is an exothermic process.  I recall seeing some mention of this in the literature that came with the unit but you do not want the initial first 10-25 mL of effluent water coming out of the end of the alumina column to contact you as it is quite hot (yes I accidently {just barely} got a little taste of that while trying to charge the filter).  That might be the only other drawback, priming filters; however, with time they self-prime themselves if you place a column of water on top of them in the top chamber.

Unfortunately, the black filters (which are some sort of microporous {in actuality maybe in the Angstrom region pore size wise} ceramic) of my unit had some issues.  My guess is it is not an isolated incident because I noticed Berkey® implemented new return instructions not long after the first of two black filters delaminated from its plastic base (see below).  I sent it back and got a replacement which worked fine; however, when I installed it the second (of the two original) black filter decided to laminate.  So that got sent back and the replacement is on its way.  It would appear that the adhesive (which looks to be a hot melt type) was out of spec and just didn’t have sufficient tack to do its job.  I covered the empty filter slot with clear packaging tape which allowed me to use one filter.  One thing I do have to say on the behalf of Berkey® is that they seemed to acknowledge the defects were their fault and they even cut me slack on the warranty seeing that I had the unit in my possession for ½ a year and never started using it until 2012.

So right now I would definitely suggest this unit to people.  It makes absolutely great tasting water, free of all sorts of heavy metals, toxic halides (e.g. F), pathogens and so forth.  This water is a good start to making great coffee and in critical food applications I would highly suggest it as well.  Should anything change my outlook on this product I will alert the reader in future posts.

Manufacturer Made a Boo Boo

Big Chemical is ANTI-Education (Part 5)

The following details my interactions with market research companies.

Freedonia Group:  This company was very helpful to me during the time when I was writing the review on terpenic resins; however, when it came to butyl rubber/PIBs they didn’t offer any information.  I have yet to figure out whether they are simply refusing to help or if it is a case that they just don’t have the information.  So for anyone interested in buying reports from them I would say their information on terpenic resins is good; otherwise, I might be leery of purchasing other reports from them as their data might be questionable.  At this point I cannot say definitively one way or the other and should they provide me with information for my book I will gladly update my blog and let you know what is going on with them.

G+ (GLGroup):  This is a real joke of a company.  When I ran across them on the internet I attempted to contact the company through one of their webforms about 3 times (unsuccessfully) and then through one of their so called experts (first name was Lewis) and again had no reply.  Finally, in one desperate attempt I tried a different email address that I came across listed on their website and had a nice conversation with a guy called Zack.  It is interesting to see some parallels with Zack and some of the R&D scientists at BASF.  Zack was able to realize that cooperating with me could only help GLGroup and promote G+ and that by doing so they were not risking anything.  Still, he acknowledged to me that it was the higher-ups that were going to make the decision and when time came for that I again ran into a dead end.  So I obviously do not suggest anyone use this company for anything.  My guess is with the way things are run there I won’t have any feedback from any of the higher-ups…

ICIS Chemical Business:  I am completely unimpressed with this company.  For several years I use to read copies of the “Chemical Market Reporter” that were thrown my way by a friend of mine.  Interestingly, even though they are supposedly experts in the field of market information for the chemical sector they couldn’t provide me with a single data point on either terpenic resins or butyl rubber/PIB!!!  I’d be interested to see if anyone at this company will step up to the plate and offer some basic marketing information if nothing else.  It might just amount to not making the right contacts.  Again, if they step up to the plate I’ll provide an update here on my blog to let you know.

Gii.co.jp:  Again, another dead end marketing report company.

Marketpublishers.com:  This is just a repeat of all the other companies that sell marketing reports.  They are unwilling to provide any information free of charge.  My suggestion to the reader, don’t use them at all.

Research and Markets.com:  I put in a request and never got anything from them.  Go figure.

Reports-research.com:  Another example of a company that sells market reports that is unwilling to supply me with a single data point.  As with many other related companies I do not suggest you use them.

Big Chemical is ANTI-Education (Part 4)

The following details my interaction with companies that manufacture polyisobutene and butyl rubber.

BASF: For those who do not know, I have had dealings with BASF on and off for about 8+ years.  This began not long after I started my first company (Stewart’s Technologies, LLC) at the Corporate Research Center at Virginia Tech.  At the time I was one of the first members in a program of theirs called KnowledgeWorks.  This program was to help foster startups and they really dropped the ball big time when it came to me (the program is an absolute joke).  I had the manager at the time for BASF’s North Americas segment of polyisobutylene products scheduled for a visit and the KnowledgeWorks choads didn’t even bother to show up (leaving me without much needed av equipment).  In any event, BASF never supplied any R&D funding and in an attempt to entice them I foolishly provided > $200 of a difficult to make, air sensitive Lewis acid coinitiator only to later learn they didn’t even have a glove box required to properly handle it!  That fact still blows my mind to be quite frank.

Fast forward about 7 years and I contact Dr.? Vineet Bajpai (Bus. Manager- Fuel Solutions and Polyisobutylene for BASF here in the US).  I simply request that BASF supply some rudimentary information for my book on cationic polymerization, the bulk of which has already appeared in print years before.  What was the response that that I got from him and Ulrich Eichenauer and Anette Eckerle (titles unknown)?  Nein, asking BASF to do such a thing was verboten!  To say that I am disappointed with BASF’s stance is a major understatement.  My thinking was that this company might be progressive in the way they conduct themselves and that they were truly dedicated to the betterment of mankind.  Guess I was wrong there.  Again, my hope is that someone in charge will prove to me that BASF is truly dedicated to education in the chemical sector and do the right thing and cooperate with me.  I will say this, I have talked with other people there (high ranking R&D scientists) and they share my sentiments.  That is, since the chemistry is well known and there is no IP risk whatsoever what is the big deal especially since it is free promotion of BASF and for the educational benefit of scientists in training!!!

ExxonMobil:  I contacted this company around the time I first started having dealings with BASF.  At the time I had recently invented the first aqueous polymerization system for isobutene and I recall the people who I talked with (in their butyl R&D department) being completely ignorant of the fact that polymer could be made under such conditions.  My attempts at developing some sort of collaboration with them didn’t even get past the conversational stage so I quickly decided to stop wasting my time with them.  Once I started writing the second book chapter (on polyisobutene and butyl rubber) I contacted one of their main R&D scientists via phone (Dr. Tim Shaffer).  At that time I was excited to talk with him as I held him in high regard.  When I requested information from him instead of providing me with the resources I was looking for he instead suggested I simply read the most recent summary that he and others from Exxon had published.  It was a major disappointment to me especially since there was really nothing new in their summary compared to those written about 20+ years prior to its publication.  Interestingly when I dug into Exxon’s newest and greatest technologies I wasn’t impressed as they really amount to a major waste of millions of R&D funds and no real improvements from an environmental standpoint.  Even their energy efficient initiator system is only about 90 years old!!!  I’m not overly surprised by the waste given the fact that when I attempted to contact Rex Tillerson (the CEO of Exxon) the head of their Chemical R&D department (Michael C. Kirby) told me that my chemistry (isobutene polymerization) had no overlap with any products produced by Exxon (see letter below).  Someone should remind me to eventually point out the significance of the date in this letter.  So the breaking news story from Exxon should be Exxon no longer makes butyl rubber!

TPC: Some months ago I wrote to Ms. Sara Cronin (corporate communications) of this company.  I never received a response from anyone there.  At this moment I do not know of anyone in their R&D sector and my guess is their chemistry is antiquated at best.  Should anyone from this company have a desire to provide basic information and get a free plug in my upcoming book by all means please feel free to contact me through my website.  Such a collaboration could have ancillary benefits as well (I do know a thing or two about IB polymerization).