Wednesday, April 01, 2015

My "Interview" with "The Polymer Babe" stirs up some serious legal trouble for me

Yet again, the Polymer Babe
Polymer Babe: Why Are You Making Such Trouble for Me?
What a difference a day makes. I woke up this morning look forward to a beautiful Minnesota Spring day with sunshine and the feeling that snow, frost and cold temperatures are pretty much behind us.

And then I looked at my overnight emails.

Holy cow. Legal trouble. Big legal trouble. A potential lawsuit. Is this really happening?

Take a good look at the "Polymer Babe" interview that I had up last week, as it will NOT be there much longer. Or maybe take a few screenshots. Or whatever. I really don't care. It just doesn't matter. Why? Well, ponder over the email I received just a few minutes ago:

April 1, 2015

Dear Dr. Spevacek,

My law firm represents the Society of the Polymer Industry (SPI). If you are represented by legal counsel, please direct this letter to your attorney immediately and have your attorney notify us of such representation.


As legal counsel for the the SPI, we are quite taken aback by the many false claims in your recent post on your "It's the Rheothing" blog, "An Interview With the Polymer Babe".

For you to suggest or otherwise endorse the concept that polyvinyl alcohol contains alcohol, or even worse yet, can induce inebriation goes beyond the pale of scientific evidence. As a scientist and practicing chemist, you clearly understand that the the word "alcohol" refers to hydroxyl functional groups and that very few alcohols will upon human consumption lead to any state of stupor.

Similarly, to suggest that other polymers are similar to table salt and that water-based polymers should not have water within their contents is to defame polymeric materials. The SPI has spent countless decades in service to the polymer industry and your mocking tone and poor attempt at humor is not welcomed.

If you do not comply with this cease and desist demand within the next 10 days, the Society of the Polymer Industry will pursue all available legal remedies including seeking monetary damages, injunctive relief, and order that you pay court costs and attorney's fees. Your liability and exposure under such legal action could be considerable.


Ima Loiyer, B.A., M.S., Ph. D., J.D., LL.D., Esq.
Of Counsel,
Dewey, Cheatem & Howe
1060 West Addison Street
Chicago, IL 60613

Being unemployed (still), I can't fight something like this, so I'll have to comply. Looks like few people can take a joke anymore. It's sad. Literally.

Update: Yes, this was an April Fool's joke. There are plenty of tip-offs. First, the date at the top of the letter. A much more subtle one is the industry group name. SPI is the Society of the Plastics Industry, not the Polymer industry. The attorney's name - "Ima Loiyer"? - read it out loud if you need to. The law firm of "Dewey, Cheatem and Howe" goes back decades and even has its own Wikipedia page. And 1060 West Addison Street is Wrigley Field, made famous in the Blues Brothers movie.

Until next year!

Previous Years

April 1, 2014 - A Big Announcement

April 1, 2013 - An Open Letter to Justin Bieber

April 1, 2012 - the Trump Journal of Science

April 1, 2011 - Polly Mer Announces Presidential Run

April 1, 2010 - BPA - The Shocking Truth Revealed!!!

April 1, 2009 - Stimulus Bill Backfires - Bans All Plastics

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