Top 5 Chemistry Blogs, Terderbutton’s death but not Dylans’, and pulp Mitch

None of these topics are really worth an individual blog post, but together they just barely scrape the bottom of the barrel.

Chemical Forums has been linking to Chemistry related blogs for 3-months now and I thought you might be interested in which blogs have been the most popular. Votes are based on outclicks from our on-site blog reader. Since the reader only displays the latest blog entries, the bloggers that are most active in creating new chemical content get linked to disproportionately. Assuming their little blog summary catches our readers attention.
Note: The link to the Chemical Forums blog is always shown on the site so it might “slightly” change the results. Wink

Top 5 Chemistry Blogs

Tenderbutton‘s last day has arrived. Apparently he’ll be writing for Chemistry World professionally now. So, Mitch was right and it isn’t the last time we would be hearing from Dylan.

When I was at the ACS meeting my goodfriend Greg took some photos of me. Which is fine, but he had some photoshop fun with them. Here is one below. The others are not being released! At least by me…

Mitch

By October 1, 2006 0 comments Uncategorized

The famous moonwalking Red-capped manakin (Pipra mentalis)

This was featured over at Improbable Research. The general gist is that the male Red-capped manakin will do a very impressive moonwalk to attract the females. Unfortunately, for the biologist, she didn’t make it to David Bradley’s top 10. Here is a screen cap of the bird. And here is a link to the video: bird moonwalk.

Mitch

By September 27, 2006 0 comments science news

Flammable Bubbles: The old methane in soapy water demonstration

YouTube has a new video floating around featuring one of the coolest Chemistry demos, Flammable Bubbles.

This is one of my favorite experiments to perform. Actually, I’ve forced all my students in my synthetic labs to allow me to do this to them in order to pass my lab section. The actual setup for this experiments is quite straight forward. Add aquinox to a large beaker, add water until its 1/2 to 3/4 full. Get a hose and attach it to the natural gas spigot in the lab. Bubble gas through the soapy water until you have a lot of bubbles.Now before everyone goes and tries this, please follow the below safety tips. The video above violates every single safety consideration I could think of.
Safety

  • Make sure appropriate eye protection is warn by everyone
  • Make sure to do this experiment in a lab with a high ceiling or you might literally put the roof on fire.
  • I’ve done this demo over a hundred times and it can sometimes burn a bit past your comfort level. One way to deal with this is to dip everybody’s hands in water before you apply the soapy bubbles to them. Wet hands will also have the added bonus of preventing bubbles from popping before you bring a flame near it.
  • Turn off the gas line while having an open flame
  • Make sure everyone has their hair pulled back
  • If anyone has any wrist bands(See video above) make sure you have your students remove them
  • Have your students extend their hands as far away from their body as possible.
  • Some students get scared during this demo and as the flame develops will automatically try to retract their hands to their body. Make sure you tell them repeatedly and often to every single one of them that it is very important that they not move.

Have fun with the Flammable Bubbles demo just be more careful and safe than those in the video. Thanks Borek for bringing this video to my attention.

Mitch

By September 24, 2006 2 comments Uncategorized

Radon is killing at a rate of 21,100 Americans a year

I was a bit surprised at the number myself. The figure is reported in the latest issue of the Journal of Chemical Education, by Charles H. Atwood in the article Radon in Homes: Recent Developments. What was also interesting is that there is no safe amount of radon exposure. Meaning, once some radon decays in your lungs you will be at greater risk of lung cancer. We kind of like to think, “Hey, some chemicals are toxic sure, but a little exposure can’t really hurt us?” Well, Radon is not one of those chemicals. Since, terrorists killed 3000 Americans in a single day, you would think the hazards associated with Radon would get more publicity since it kills more Americans annually. But hell, if smoking which kills 160,000 Americans annually falls between the cracks surely radon would too. Attached is a figure taken from the above mentioned paper detailing the areas of the country with the highest risk of Radon.

Mitch

By September 20, 2006 0 comments science news