Al-chemie

Reading all the depressing news about plastic, which has now found its way to the bottom of the Marianas Trench – I’m reminded again of a gorgeous paragraph from that great Italian word-magus (and chemist, and survivor by the skin of his teeth of Auschwitz) Primo Levi:

[T]he great problem of packaging, which every experienced chemist knows, was well known to God Almighty, who solved it brilliantly, as he is wont to, with cellular membranes, eggshells, the multiple peel of oranges, and our own skins, because after all we too are liquids. Now, at that time there did not exist polyethylene, which would have suited me perfectly since it is flexible, light, and splendidly impermeable: but it is also a bit too incorruptible, and not by chance God Almighty himself, although he is a master of polymerization, abstained from patenting it: He does not like incorruptible things. 

The Periodic Table

Pure gold. Read him. RIP.