contact me

I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.
K. Rich. II 4.3

Below: about me - some Web sites I manage - Steve's picks

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.

What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.

T.S. Elliot (Four Quartets/Burnt Norton)

Surrealism can be intensely moving to me, and de Chirico , whose Nostalgia of the infinite you see here, is one of my favorite surrealists— along with Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, Magritte, and of course the master of them all, Salvador Dalí.

Perhaps this is my psyche's rebellion against the objectivity of science!

Click to pop-up my favorite Dalí: Slave market with apparition of the invisible bust of Voltaire
some other favorite artist sites:
Cezanne Hockney Hopper Monet

About me

1933 Born, Oakland CA
1941-50 Grades 2-11 in Huntington Park (LA) CA
1951 graduated from Medford (OR) H.S.
1955 B.A. Biochemistry, UC Berkeley
1958 M.S. Organic chemistry, Oregon State
1963 Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, University of B.C.
1963 married Marlene Rae Hunt, Vancouver
1965-99 Prof. of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University
1988 -99 proprietor of Chem1Ware Ltd.

I Like:

Classical music of all eras, opera, theatre, art, Flamenco dance, architecture • dogs • being on top of a mountain • cuisines of Turkey, middle East, India, Indonesia, Mexico-Oaxacan • the high desert of Eastern Oregon • spirituality • seeing new places and meeting interesting people • PBS, CBC-radio 2tasteful irreverenceskepticismSister WendyMr. Bean

I Can do without:

Astrology, Shirley MacLaine, Deepak Chopra and other new-age mind-mush • Good Morning America • ideologies of the looney-left and the far-right • most TV and popular culture • post-60's pop • sports • God • Microsoft Windows • cats • political correctness • True Believers and others who Know They Are Right

Ben Katchor captures the insignifica of imagined cities in Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer

Steve's own Web Sites

Complete index

Some selected sites:

Steve's professional home page  
AquaScams: water pseudoscience and quackery

magnetic water treatment, "ionized" water and similar scams
Science and pseudoscience

how to tell the difference

Canadian Folk Music - A Centennial Collection resurrection of a 1967 9-LP set
Instructional resources for Chemistry

mainly for teachers

Survey of environmental geobiochemistry

chemistry of the world

General Chemistry Virtual Textbook Well, it saves trees
Chem1 Instructional Software

this is supposed to be profitable?

Steve's Picks


best play ever written Oedipus the King (Sophocles, ca 430 BC)
Canadian plays Colours in the dark (James Reaney, 1969)
Two pianos, four hands (Dykstra and Greenblat)
Shakespeare King Richard II, Cymbeline, Merchant of Venice
contemporary English

The Norman Conquests trilogy (Alan Ayckbourn, 1973)
No man's land (Harold Pinter)
Democracy, Copenhagen (Michael Frayn)
On the Razzle (Tom Stoppard) - delightful slapstick
Humble Boy (Charlotte Jones, 2001)

American You can't take it with you (Hart, Kaufmann, 1936)
Death of a salesman  (Arthur Miller, 1949)
Wit  (Margaret Edson, 1999)

The Government inspector (Nikoli Gogol, 1836)
Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett, 1953) (see this spoof!)
Peer Gynt  (Henrik Ibsen)
The Visit (Friedrich Dürrenmatt, 1956


"greatest stories ever told"

The Mahabharata
Virgil: The Aeneid (texts/audio)

"the great american novel" Ross Lockridge Jr: Raintree County
favorite authors

V.S. Naipaul (A house for Mr. Biswas)
Italo Calvino (Mr. Palomar)
Jaroslav Hacek (The Good Soldier Schweik)
Alexander McCall Smith (The 2½ Pillars of Wisdom: The Portuguese Irregular Verb Trilogy)
Rebecca Goldstein (36 Arguments for the Existence of God - A Novel)


Oliver Sacks: Uncle Tungsten
Jill Taylor: My Stroke of Insight
David Peat: Infinite Poential: the life and times of David Bohm


The following reside in my internal "desert island":

Jazz artists Ella Fitzgerald, Blossom Dearie, Ornette Coleman
Avishai Cohen
Ethnic Afro-Cuban, Buena Vista Social Club, Ibrihim Ferrer
Kiran Ahluwalia (Punjabi Ghazals)
Geoffrey Oryema
Klezmer and Sephardic music
Fado, Flamenco

Be Good Tanyas - Canadian group with soulful arrangements
Carolyn Hester
: I want Jesus to walk with me - seductive innocence
John Reischman and the Jaybirds

Orchestral Barber: School for Scandal Overture
Debussy: Nuages (from Three Nocturnes)
Alan Hovhaness: Symphony #2 (Mysterious Mountain)
Howard Hanson: Symphony #2 ("Romantic")
Ottorino Respighi: Pini di Roma, Botticelli Triptych
Stravinsky: Firebird Suite
Tschaikowsky: Symphonies #1 and 4
Vaughan-Williams: London and Pastoral Symphonies, Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis

Bach: Musical offering on a theme of Frederick the Great
Brahms: the Piano Trios, Quintette for clarinet, piano and strings
Debussy: Quartet in G
Arthur Foote (under-rated 19th C American)
Haydn: String quartets
John Blackwood McEwen: String quartets (early 20th C Scottish-romantic)
Michael Nyman: String quartets (engaging and frenetic!)
Ravel: Quartet in F
Shostakovich: Piano Trio #1 (sparse beauty of despair)

Choral [anon] Laudario 91 de Cortone
Bach: St. Matthew Passion
Bach: Cantata #78 (Jesu der du meine Seele); other cantatas
Berlioz: l'enfance du Christ, Damnation of Faust
DuBois: Seven last words of Christ
Faure: Requiem
Schütz: Kleine geistlishe Konzerte, Historia der Geburt Jesu Christi
Tinctoris: Missa Trium Vocum
Organ Hindemith: Organ Sonata #1
Louis Vierne: Berceuse

Berlioz: la Nuites d'ete
Barber: Knoxville: summer of 1914
François Couperin: Trois Leçons de ténèbres
George Crumb: Ancient Voices of Children
Schoenberg: Pierrot lunaire
Schubert: die Winterreise
R. Strauss: Four Last Songs
Vaughan-Williams: Songs of Travel

Opera John Adams: The Death of Klinghoffer. Nixon in Chine, Doctor Atomic
Philip Glass: Satyagraha, Einstein on the Beach
Mozart: Don Giovanni
Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov
Puccini: Turandot
Poulenc: Dialogue des Carmélites
Chamber opera

Monteverdi: l'Orfeo, Coronation of Poppea, Return of Ulysses
Robert Moran: Desert of Roses
Michael Nyman: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Virgil Thomson: Four Saints in Three Acts
Astor Piazzolla: Maria de Buenos Aires
Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

Piano Bach: Well-tempered clavier (bk 2, #9), English Suites
Beethoven: Sonatas - Hammerklavier, Moonlight; Piano Concerto #3
François Couperin: Pièces de Clavecin
Rachmaninov Etudes Tableux
Schumann: Carneval
Tschaikowsky: The Seasons
Other instruments Kodaly: Sonata for unaccompanied cello
CD collections Cançons de la Catalunya mil-lenària (traditional Catalan music)
The Sea (songs by diverse composers, Handel to Ives)

Some links I like

The Skeptic's Dictionary
Molecules with silly or unusual names
Natural history of the @ sign
Lord Kelvin can conserve you from entropy
Comic Book Periodic TableJesusDressup
Scary Bible quotes
Happy like God


The Katzenjammer Kids was the longest-running comic strip, and no doubt one of the most politically-incorrect; it was also my favorite, along with Donald Duck and Pogo.

I'll leave the interpretation of this symbolism up to the viewer!

Some of us never quite completely grow up!