I love Marquette, but let’s be honest - the winters are pretty depressing. I was feeling a little down today, being cooped up indoors since it was about -11 and a whiteout. I decided to look at some pictures that I had taken of past winters I’ve spent here, and was reminded that even with the isolation and the cold, there is a lot of beauty in these frigid months. There is something really beautiful about a day spent in a cozy coffee shop, or exploring familiar sites that have been completely transformed by ice. This winter, instead of looking at the things that I can’t do because of the cold and snow, I am going to try to recognize the unique experiences that come with UP winters.

The combination of our clients’ creativity and BVLA’s master craftsmanship never ceases to amaze us!!! This custom order was so much fun! If you can imagine it, they can make it! If you want to treat yourself to some awesome jewelry and piercings you know where to find us! Facebook.com/christhepiercer


Bucket chemistry: How NOT to perform a reaction.

In a nearly lab someone made a larger amount of N-Nitroso-N-methylurea (NMU) what is the direct precusor to diazomethane. The synthesis is quite easy, only some sodium nitrite should be added to an acidic N-methylurea solution at a low temperature to avoid the decomposition of the product. After everything is added, it should be filtered and washed with water to obtain pure product. Important note: NMU should be stored wet and should be never dried, since its pretty explosive in dry form. 

The problem with this is: “N-Nitroso-N-methylurea (NMU) is a highly reliable carcinogen, mutagen, and teratogen. NMU is an alkylating agent, and exhibits its toxicity by transferring its methyl group to nucleobases in nucleic acids, which can lead to AT:GC transition mutations.” So you can get cancer from this stuff quite easily. Extra info: in the bucket there is 600g of this compound.