Doug's Chemistry Inventions

 You have hit upon the classic and time honored way of doing it. There is
even a bunch of software designed to do exactly that, with all manner of
bevels and textures and shadows and things. Photoshop 5 has some of it
built in, and there are several Photoshop plug-ins that elaborate on the
feature. Extensis PhotoTools, for example.

Reminds me of when I was a freshman chemistry major at Texas Tech. Between
dust storms, I designed an electronic device to measure the strength of
acids and bases. I'll leave out the technicalities and just say it was a
Wheatstone Bridge with two wires on it that dipped into the solution, and
that I had worked out a number of mathematical constants to correct the
readings for various compounds.

The thing actually worked. It was accurate to three decimal places. So
Sunday morning, I put it in a large cardboard box along with several
bottles of caustic and acid solutions and went out to my Chemistry Prof's
house. He was a real old timer, like I am now, with a background in
industry. A German Scientist.

He looked at my box curiously (They would call the bomb squad nowadays, but
this was 1948, and the only terrorist bombers were practical joker students
like me and my roommate, who buttered his office door with wet ammonium
iodide paste, and out of ignorance used a thousand times too much of the
stuff so the next morning when it had dried and he stuck his key in the
lock, his door blew off its hinges ... ahhh, those were the days. There was
latitude for mischief. But back to my story ...) As I said, he looked
curiously at the box, led me into the dining room and let me set up my
demonstration on the table there, on top of the Sunday newspaper.

He watched everything and then said "Have you sought of zis invention all
by yourself?"

I assured him that I had done so.

"Zis is fescinatink. I used vun of zese ven I vorked for Bemberg in 1928!"

I should have been proud and happy to have independently thought up an
invention so good it had actually been in industrial use for at least 20
years, but the effect was the opposite ... it discouraged me so much I
thought everything good had already been invented, and changed my major the
next semester.

Now I know that it takes a bright mind to invent one's way past a problem.
That is what bright people do. I'll bet you are going to be a real good
web designer.

Best regards,