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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Will It Blend?
Dec02

Will It Blend?

In this week's print Newscripts column, I wrote about Will It Crush? That's a project launched by oceanographer Matthew Alford of the University of Washington, Seattle, to educate kids about what it's like at the bottom of the ocean. Alford, who studies ginormous underwater waves that affect Earth's climate, takes everyday objects to the depths of the ocean and films what happens to them under the crushing pressure of all that water. Those poor Gummi bears--they survived, but, man, they got squished. Alford told me that his project was inspired by the YouTube video series Will It Blend? These clips are put together by Utah-based firm Blendtec to showcase its blenders and have a bit of fun. I'd never heard of the "sensational" YouTube channel before, but I've since checked it out and thought I'd share a favorite clip or two to celebrate the fact that it's Friday. For the chemists, check out the glow stick reaction in this clip--and kids, don't try this at home. My 10-year-old niece would be horrified by this next video. But the Biebs had it coming. Blendtec is taking suggestions on what to blend next. You can participate by clicking here. And Happy...

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