Chemistry Carnival: Your Favorite Chemical Reactions!
Oct03

Chemistry Carnival: Your Favorite Chemical Reactions!

Welcome to Your Favorite Chemical Reaction chemistry blog carnival! A total of 22 entries were received since C&EN Online Editor Rachel Pepling put out the call for posts earlier in the month. The writing was superb, the science spot-on, and the personalities of the bloggers on full display. Anyone who thinks that chemists are just a bunch of stodgy old folks mumbling to themselves at the fume hood will have the stereotype turned on its ear after reading this batch of fine writing. For those of you who might be reading a carnival for the first time, we’ll introduce the blogger with a link to their blog frontpage first so that you can get a sense of the overall blog gestalt and, we hope, bookmark it for future reference. Some of these bloggers may be new to you and one goal of any carnival is to give greater exposure to some of the rising stars in the blogosphere. Then within our description of the chemical reaction post, there will be a hyperlink to the post of interest under the name of the reaction. So let’s get the show on the road!   An Oversight (updated October 11) I feel absolutely terrible that I missed an entry by organic chemist-turned-journalist Sarah Webb at her Webb of Science Blog. Dr. Webb gave us, Seeing the forest for the Birch reduction on, well, the Birch reduction. Hearty apologies to Sarah for missing this and not getting to it for so long! Simple But Powerful Sharon Neufeldt at I Can Has Science? took the high-altitude view to reactions by giving us the o-chem standard, the SN2 reaction. Her detailed teaching examples of the SN2 illustrate why it is “the treasure trove of organic chemistry principles.” The cancer pharmacologist in David also gives Sharon extra points for the historical treatment of nitrogen mustard chemotherapy. Carmen Drahl provided the entry from The Haystack blog with a multitude of humble but useful reactions for amide bond formation. Anyone who reads her C&EN or blog with Lisa Jarvis, knows that Dr. Drahl has a personal attachment to the Mizoroki-Heck reaction. Always the community-minded writer, Carmen drahls draws from fellow blogger See Arr Oh’s med-chem toolkit. And Carmen leads the pack contributing to her gallery of hand-drawn structures, the chemist’s personality test pointed out by Chemjobber.   Chemical Oscillations When it comes to favorite reactions, particularly for engaging public audiences or groggy undergrads, nothing can quite compete with oscillation reactions. First, our own Jyllian Kemsley at The Safety Zone safely holds forth on the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction, discussing the history and the ten (!) equations underlying this magnificent reaction. The video she provides of the BZ...

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The Chemistry Carnival Is Now Closed

A quick update to thank all of you who participated in CENtral Science’s first blog carnival. So far, I’ve tallied at least 20 entries! David and I will work to get a roundup post together in the next couple of days. And stay tuned to see which ones will be published in an upcoming issue of C&EN (that will take a little longer to figure...

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It’s Chemistry Carnival Time!
Sep07

It’s Chemistry Carnival Time!

A few weekends ago, I was with my young boys at our local mall checking out the kids entertainer, Ryan Buckle & Friends: Science you can sing to. Ryan, the singer, intersperses his songs with science demonstrations. We were there fairly early for a Saturday morning, so his audience was small and consisted mostly of toddlers and preschoolers – not the easiest crowd to entertain. Even though Ryan’s songs were fun to listen and dance to, it was the experiments that captured every one’s attention (yep, parents, too). Smoke vortex rings puffed air as they floated past our heads. Water “disappeared” from a cup thanks to a gel powder. And then came my favorite reaction of all time: The Diet Coke-Mentos geyser. Simple, sure, but way fun to do with kids. As the mints hit the soda, disrupting polar attractions between water molecules, even my two-year old was mesmerized by the foam spewing forth from the bottle. In this International Year of Chemistry, it seems only natural that we should pay tribute to our favorite chemical reactions, be they as simple as a soda geyser or as sophisticated as the Diels-Alder. So, come one, come all, to the greatest chemistry blog carnival this fall! A blog carnival? You betcha. A blog carnival is a periodic collection of blog posts written loosely around a single theme that are then aggregated at the host blog. The beauty of the carnival is that we all can come together around our passion whether we’re part of a network or not. Big name bloggers and fledgling writers. Dogs and cats, sleeping together. Everyone is welcome at a blog carnival. But why a blog carnival, you ask? Well, our good friends at the Scientific American blog network, led by The Blogfather Bora Zivkovic, put on a great show with last month’s Chemistry Day (blogposts are aggregated here). To acknowledge the World Chemistry Congress taking place in Puerto Rico at the time, Scientific American network bloggers and a few folks invited to the SciAm Guest Blog took to discussing issues of chemistry in their respective disciplines. Bora was even kind enough to invite our own Carmen Drahl (post) and David Kroll (post) to contribute. But the theme there was very general. We’ve decided to narrow the theme field a bit. If you hadn’t gathered by now, the theme of this carnival is…Your favorite chemical reaction. I know, I know. You’ve identified your reaction and written a brilliant post. But you’re thinking, now what the Mizoroki-Heck do I do with it? Send a note to cencarnival@gmail.com with the following information: The title of the post The name...

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