or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Wonders of Science

I'm on Yves Rocher's mailing list because I buy some stuff from them from time to time, and I got a mailing touting their new product, Micellar Cleansing Water. Doesn't that sound all scientific and technological and advanced? Why, it has the word "cell" in it!

It doesn't, though. "Micelle" is derived from the Latin "mica", "particle" or "crumb" (related to Greek "micro-", "tiny"), and the diminutive "-ella", so a micelle is a little bit of something--in this case, a minuscule clump of surfactant molecules. Which is to say soap. Which is to say that "micellar cleansing water" is soapy water.

Not so sciencey now, is it?

The stone known as mica is oddly named, since it isn't usually encountered in the wild in particles, but in sheets and flakes. See?


Its name is thought to be influenced by the verb "micare", "to flash, to glitter", presumably because tiny bits of things, including pulverized mica, which to this day is used in makeup, are what glitter and sparkle. See?

Also pretty!


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