Chemistry YouTube Videos – February 2010 Roundup

A student in a chicken suit gets tackled by organic chemistry lecturer Owen Priest at Northwestern University.

An excellent video on methane by the Periodic Table of Videos crew last month.
Safety Note: Samantha “Pants!” Tang is not wearing a lab coat, gloves, and her hair is not fully pulled back.

Also from the Periodic Table of Videos, Sam shows us the Traffic Lights reaction.
Safety Note: Sam does not wear gloves even while working with NaOH powder.
EH&S Note: Throws the solution down the sink.



  1. Why wouldn’t you put that in the sink? It’s just sugar, sodium hydroxide, and indigo carmine. indigo carmine is a standard dye, even administered intravenously to people.

  2. Well, I guess she could have at least neutralized it. Just looks bad pouring chemicals down the drain like that.

  3. David Carroll says:

    I’m surprised Prof Priest waited as long as he did. Is there a clip where he comes back triumphantly displaying the “chicken”‘s head?

    It was also very thoughtful of him to take off his wireless mic. I’ve lost count of how many packs I’ve had to fix due to presenter-chicken battles.

  4. He moves quickly, but inefficiently. If he had just swung his legs over the bench, instead of jumping on top of it and then down, he could’ve caught the chicken in the room.

    Maybe it’s a chemist thing, being so obsessed with intermediate steps and such as they tend to be…

  5. unefilleblanche says:

    As a student of Dr. Priest (“OPP”), this was not out of character, though it was definitely staged. Kids played off his notorious temper often. My favorite was the day he told a student to “get the hell out of his classroom” for leaning her head against another student’s shoulder and wouldn’t resume lecture until she had left the room.

    Interestingly, this is the man in charge of our university’s annual drag show.

  6. As someone who attended NU and had to deal with this guy, I distinctly recall him chasing a student out of that lecture hall after his cellphone went off during class. He chased the guy into a bathroom stall and scared the living crap out of him. His temper is legendary.

  7. backside attack!

  8. No real reason to neutralize it, but she should probably have commented that it was basically the same thing as chemical drain cleaners which is the only reason it’s safe to pour this particular solution away.

  9. Now, while hopping onto the desk was probably less efficient, I would imagine that if he were able to take a flying leap and tackle the chicken in one step, it would have been far more awesome/elegant.

    Retrosynthetically, I see what he was going for…

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