Who says scientists are boring geeks who drone on about quantum efficiency and reaction yield? We here at the Newscripts blog LOVE science and think those geeks are rockstars. So we’ve selected an assortment of our favorite videos of the year depicting just how cool science can be. The clips were culled from 2012 blog posts as well as from the YouTube channel of Chemical & Engineering News.
So sit back, relax, warm yourself by the gentle glow of that Bunsen burner, and bask in the awesomeness of science.
In at number 10, Russell Hemley and researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science have gotten so good at growing their own diamonds from methane, they can make gems as big as 10 carat! Too bad they’re using them in high-pressure experiments rather than sending the Newscripts gang free samples.
Number 9: Reality TV isn’t just for privileged housewives, the gym-tan-laundry crowd, or survivors who like to eat bugs anymore. This year, MIT released a reality Web series following undergrads trying to pass an introductory chemistry course. Oh, the intrigue! Crystallization contests, rotovap malfunctions … this is the trailer that got us pumped for the series. [Link to original post]Number 8: Adorable pandas + poop = instant classic. It really doesn’t even matter what the rest of the video is about. Although we did slip in some biofuel science. So you’re learning something while overloading on cute.
Number 7: Although the Newscripts gang loves to yell out requests for “Free Bird” at concerts, we also think Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” is pretty clutch, too. It’s even better when played by Tesla coils. [Link to original post]Number 6: This year, researchers at Harvard and Caltech made a polymer sheet swim like a jellyfish. Why? We’re not so sure it matters. All we know is, right now, we’re heading out to procure some rat heart cells, a silicone sheet, and a vial of fibronectin because, well, we want one.
Number 5: You didn’t think you’d make it through a 2012 countdown without a Gangnam parody, did you? Good. Because here’s biochemistry, taught Gangnam-style. [Link to original post]
In at number 4, some super-science enthusiasts this year celebrated Mole Day (Oct. 23) by making a rad music video. Any clip that involves a guy in a sombrero, a cartoon mole, and the lyrics, “Once upon a time Avogadro said ‘Hey!’/And showed us the way out of the dark/His number you must use/A molar eclipse of the heart” is a must-see in our book. [Link to original post]Number 3: So you’ve got a powerful frickin’ laser and you’re looking for cool stuff to do with it. Do you A) Blow up a planet, B) make someone’s house explode with popped popcorn, or C) pop 100 balloons, domino-style? We’d do all three, but this clip shows only one of the options. [Link to original post]Number 2: The Newscripts gang loves food. And the Newscripts gang loves chemistry. Put ‘em together, and you’ve got a recipe for awesomesauce with a side of nerding out. Plus, this video features one of our favorite guys: Matt Hartings (aka sciencegeist), who teaches a “Chemistry of Cooking” class at American University.
And the number 1 video of 2012 is “Why The Peacock Mantis Shrimp Can Take A Beating.” This tough little crustacean has claws so strong a normal aquarium can’t hold him (oh, the broken-glass carnage). This year, researchers looked into the molecular structure responsible for his fracture-proof claws. Need we say more about why we love science?