Jeopardy IYC Recap
Jun22

Jeopardy IYC Recap

I don’t think I’ve ever been as tuned into the TV game show Jeopardy as I was last night. It’s usually on in the background while I’m eating dinner. But last night was different. For weeks, I had known that this episode would be featuring questions related to the International Year of Chemistry. I was eager to find out what questions would be asked … or in this case, what clues would be posed. About halfway through the episode, and after a commercial break, host Alex Trebek introduces the categories for Double Jeopardy. The IYC logo pops up on the screen, and Trebek says, “This is the International Year of Chemistry, according to the U.N.” He then introduces the other categories: musical theater, papal bulls, writers’ relatives, what do you stand for, and nothing. The contestants went straight for the musical theater clues. The minutes seemed to drag on, and most of the other categories had been completed, before one of the contestants, Jay Rhee, an oncologist from Annapolis, Md., finally tackles the first IYC clue for $1600, which turned out to be a Daily Double: “Frederick Soddy came up with this term for atoms having the same nuclear charge but different masses.” Rhee, who was up to $17,100 by this point, bet $100 and poses the question, “What are isotopes?” “Isotopes is right,” said Trebek. Rhee asked for a second IYC clue for $400: “The celebratory year 2011 marks 100 years since this radiant scientist’s Nobel prize for chemistry,” said Trebek. Rhee: Who is Curie? Trebek: Be more specific. Rhee: Who is Marie Curie? Trebek: Yes! After a break to tackle some of the other categories, Rhee came back to IYC and asked for the $2000 clue: “A solid can be finely analyzed using the EELS technique, which studies energy loss in these particles.” Buzzer (signaling no response). “Energy loss in the electrons,” Trebek offered. Rhee asked for the $1200 IYC clue: “A chemical known as an anhydride is one that removes this from substances.” Contestant Julianne Moore, a mom and volunteer from Placentia, Calif., chimed in: “What is water?” Correct! She asked for the next IYC clue for $800: “You exhale this gas first identified by British scientist Joseph Black in the 1750s.” Not one to be outdone, contestant Scott Goldstein, a director and writer of a sketch comedy theater from Chicago, Ill., asked, “What is carbon dioxide?” Correct! And the IYC category was finished, with one clue left in the “Nothing” category. Watch for yourself and let us know what you think about the chemistry clues posed and how the contestants did:...

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What is … the International Year of Chemistry?
Jun14

What is … the International Year of Chemistry?

Tune in to Jeopardy! next Monday, June 21, for some chemistry trivia. The episode will feature questions related to the International Year of Chemistry. We have no idea what topics will be featured, so you’ll just have to watch! For local air times, visit http://www.jeopardy.com and click on “when to watch.” Let us know what you think of the contestants’ chemistry...

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IYC Groom’s Cake
Jun06

IYC Groom’s Cake

Analytical chemist George Ruger sent us these photos of an IYC-inspired groom’s cake that he had at his wedding earlier this year: How are you celebrating IYC? Feel free to share your photos with...

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More IYC stamps
May26

More IYC stamps

To celebrate the International Year of Chemistry, countries around the world are issuing commemorative stamps. Newscripts wrote about some of these stamps in the March 14th issue of C&EN. Since then, several more stamps have been issued: Jersey Bosnia and Herzegovina Macedonia Gabon For more information on these stamps and to learn about new stamps being issued, visit the IYC Postage Stamp Central page on the IYC...

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Celebrating IYC with a Children’s Book
May23

Celebrating IYC with a Children’s Book

In celebration of the International Year of Chemistry, South African children’s author Ginny Stone has written a children’s book about chemistry. In “Sibo Mixes Things Up,” the main character–a young girl named Sibo–has made a huge mess and has to clean it up before her mother finds out. Her friend Lennie comes to the rescue and helps clean up the mess with a chemical “magic potion.” Sibo becomes curious about chemicals and wants to learn more about them. So her teacher invites a guest to come talk to her class about chemistry and how it helps them in their everyday life. The book is the 10th in a series of Sibo books by Stone. “Chemistry only gets introduced to kids in Grade 6 or 7 in South Africa and I figured there is no earthly reason for them not to know about it when they are younger,” she says. Stone debuted the book during SciFest Africa, South Africa’s national science festival, which was held this year on May 4-10 in Grahamstown, South Africa. For more information about the book, visit: www.sibo.co.za/sibo_2_011.htm Photo by Ginny...

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