On this day (January 21st) in 1941, the Dow Chemical Company successfully extracted magnesium from seawater, the first ingot of any metal to be extracted from such a source. While Dow had previously extracted magnesium from brine, this new process seemingly promised an inexhaustible source of raw material for the weight-saving metal. For Dow, it was also an inexhaustible source of creepy hand imagery, as evidenced by these selections from our Dow Chemical Historical Collection!
Big Win for Beekeepers as Court Voids Insecticide
An appeals court ruled that the E.P.A. erred in approving an insecticide developed by Dow AgroSciences linked to the loss of honeybee colonies. The court action canceled the E.P.A. approval of the insecticide.
By Reuters


The lawsuit was filed in 2013 against the Environmental Protection Agency by a number of organizations representing the honey and beekeeping industries. The groups specifically challenged the E.P.A. approval of insecticides containing sulfoxaflor, saying studies have shown they are highly toxic to honeybees. Sulfoxaflor is a neonicotinoid subclass, according to the ruling.

Brand names include Transform and Closer.

In its ruling, the court found that the E.P.A. relied on “flawed and limited data” to approve the unconditional registration of sulfoxaflor, and that approval was not supported by “substantial evidence.”

In vacating the agency’s approval, the court said that “given the precariousness of bee populations, leaving the E.P.A.’s registration of sulfoxaflor in place risks more potential environmental harm than vacating it.”

The E.P.A. must obtain further data on the effects of sulfoxaflor on bees before it grants approval, the court said.


Today is a tasty day around the Othmer Library because it’s our annual office-wide chili cook-off! The cook-off is highly competitive and such a cherished tradition that you can just imagine our excitement when we found these photos of the 1986 chili cook-off at a Dow Chemical Company plant in Ludington, Michigan. A few of these scenes, including the line-up of slow cookers, look quite familiar, though thankfully we’ve never needed any Pepto Bismol at our cook-off! 

Photo credits: Dow Chemical Historical Image Collection, CHF Archives. 

Do you have a favorite chili recipe?