Top 10 Chemistry Videos Of 2013
Jan02

Top 10 Chemistry Videos Of 2013

Although it’s our mission at Chemical & Engineering News to describe in words the wonders of chemistry, sometimes words just don’t do justice to the dynamics of a particular reaction or funky new material. Sometimes our prose just doesn’t capture a scientist’s excitement for research (or the time he spent playing the theme song to Super Mario Bros. with a chromatography column in the lab). It’s those times when we turn to video. Following are some of the Newscripts gang’s favorite clips of 2013. They’ve been collected from our blog and from our YouTube channel. Some we even homed in on and plucked from the roiling sea of inappropriate pop stars, prancercisers, and talkative foxes on the Interwebz last year. And we did it all for you, dear readers. So pour something delicious into that mug that looks like a beaker, kick back next to your science fireplace … and enjoy! Number 10: Alright, so this video isn’t technically chemistry—that’s why we’re ranking it last. But when a theoretical physicist uses the melody to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” to sing about string theory, we’re gonna take note. Did we mention the Einstein sock puppet? Number 9: Unless you lived under a rock in 2013, you probably heard about a little show called “Breaking Bad.” In this clip, Donna Nelson, science advisor to the show and chemistry professor, discusses some memorable chemical moments from the series. (Alright, alright, we admit this video made the countdown not only because it’s awesome but also because we like hearing Nelson talk about C&EN.) Number 8: Last year, the folks across the pond at the Periodic Table of Videos filmed a number of chemical reactions with a high-speed camera to learn more about reaction dynamics. This video, about a reaction called “the barking dog,” is their most recent—and one of our faves. It’s got historic footage of explosives lecturer Colonel BD Shaw and current footage of Martyn “The Professor” Poliakoff. Need we say more? Number 7: Yo, yo, yo! These dope 7th graders made a hot “rap battle” video last year that details the historic tensions between Rosalind Franklin and the notorious DNA duo, Watson & Crick. Word … to their mothers, for having such creative kids. Number 6: You couldn’t open your news feed in 2013 without finding at least 10 concurrent stories about 3-D printing. One stood out for us, though: Researchers at the University of Oxford printed eye-popping, foldable structures out of liquid droplets. Number 5: Nostalgia for two cartoon plumbers + a handful of test tubes + a chromatography column + Vittorio Saggiomo (a researcher who happened to have some time...

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Amusing News Aliquots
Aug02

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings of this week's science news, compiled by Bethany Halford and Lauren Wolf. Chemcraft nostalgia: Ah, the good old days of chemistry sets with cyanide and uranium dust. [iO9] Meth-cooking chemist sets up early for the ACS meeting. [Philly Inquirer] Using a 3-D printer to replicate your own brain in chocolate: hilarious and fun [Newscripts]. But using a 3-D printer to replicate your unborn fetus as a keepsake statue in clear “amniotic” resin? We think this might be crossing over into the Creepy Zone. [iO9] Deep-sea squid breaks off its arms to confuse predators and then flee. And you thought Arm Fall Off Boy was a lame DC Comics superhero. Shows what you know. [Gizmodo] Fish in Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace. [WA Today] If you’ve got a smartphone and 100 million yen, you could control this massive, gun-toting robot. [Guardian] You can keep your fancy office espresso machine. The Newscripts gang would prefer this pancake-making machine any day....

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Amusing News Aliquots
Mar15

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week's science news, compiled by Bethany Halford and Lauren Wolf. Researchers at Vienna University of Technology break speed record for 3-D printing objects, produce racecars and Towers of London London Tower Bridges with nanoscale detail. We’ll take two of those printers. Wrap ‘em up. [TU Vienna] CYBORG SNAILS. We really shouldn’t even have to say anything else in order for you to click on this link. But they’ve got implanted biofuel cells. [iO9] Bonus: This work was published in JACS. [JACS] Happy belated Pi Day! This woman took it to whole new level, baking a pie with number-shaped pieces of apple. Count ‘em. It seems a good portion of the digits of pi are there. [A Periodic Table Blog] Worried someone will piece together your shredded personal documents? Well, now you can unprint them instead. [ExtremeTech] Violin strings made from spider silk have a unique timbre. Newscripts gang wonders how “Flight of the Bumblebee” would sound. [BBC] The Newscripts gang has previously pointed out the opening of Booker & Dax, a bar in N.Y.C. that uses centrifuges and rotovaps to make its cocktails. But this firsthand account of the bar includes videos of drinks being lit on fire. So who wouldn’t want to read about it again? [Gizmodo] If you’re wondering what to do with dead jellyfish, one company suggests making them into glow-in-the-dark lamps. [Daily...

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Amusing News Aliquots
Feb23

Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week's science news, compiled by Bethany Halford and Lauren Wolf. Chemist dons denim kilt to fight air pollution. [Boulder Weekly] Dinosaurs, robots, and 3-D printing. Add a lightsaber and some bacon, and this might just be the coolest research of all time. [Forbes] Talk about a green thumb. Russian scientists revive seeds that are 32,000 years old. [NY Times] The Newscripts gang have seen some crazy molecular gastronomy in our day, but this takes the cake: An edible apple-flavored balloon. [Geek O System] Researchers make superglue based on proteins from flesh-eating bacteria. Remind us never to accidently stick our fingers together with this stuff. [PhysOrg.com] Ten chemical reactions caught on film. [iO9] Not to be outdone, these guys collected five videos about hydrogen experiments. Do YOU know what hydrogen sounds like? [Tech E...

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Science Is Awesome: Top 10 Video Clips Of The Year
Dec28

Science Is Awesome: Top 10 Video Clips Of The Year

Everybody loves a good end-of-the-year list recounting the highlights of time gone by. The best albums, best movies, people of the year (no matter how much controversy they occupy), and snarkiest comments pique everyone's interest. So Newscripts decided to get in on the act and choose the top 10 video clips that we blogged and C&EN posted to its YouTube channel during 2011. They embody everything we love about science and chemistry. In at Number 10, we're not sure whether this year’s rash of music video parodies actually helps students learn organic chemistry, but the results are pretty funny. Our favorite for 2011 is an homage to Cake’s “Short Skirt/Long Jacket,” courtesy of the University of Utah. Number 9: What’s a post-happy-hour businessman to do to keep from smelling like an ashtray? It’s microencapsulation—in the form of a scratch-and-sniff mint-perfumed suit—to the rescue. Number 8: This one's for all those young at heart--you know, those who have mixed detergents in the basement to see what would happen or for those who have microwaved random objects and noted their observations. The folks at Blendtec regularly blend everyday objects in their "Will It Blend?" series. Here, they have a go at glow sticks. Number 7: The materials scientist who won this year’s “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest placed himself in the "Physics" category with a clip about fabricating better hip replacements via the 3-D printing technique called selective laser melting. We’re claiming it as another win for chemistry. Number 6: Larry Principe, a history of science professor, studies alchemy at Johns Hopkins University. Check out this clip to learn more about how alchemists protected their recipes from falling into the wrong hands. Number 5: Researchers at Harvard built an all-polymer robot, and this is a clip showing it walk and navigate an obstacle. The awesomeness here speaks for itself. Number 4: You either loved it or cringed at it (but still secretly loved it)—"The Chemistry Dance," captured at the Spring ACS national meeting in Anaheim.  Number 3: A 3-D model of a virus puts itself together when shaken, not stirred. We wanna work in this guy's lab. And tied for Number 1 (because we just couldn't bring ourselves to choose between the awesomeness), a clip of scientists demonstrating the wonders of conductive silver ink and a clip of scientists at the University of Texas, Austin, demonstrating how 3-D objects can be "printed" via a process called laser sintering. Aaah, lasers. We love 'em, even when they're used for making stuff, rather than blowing it...

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