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).

Ferrous Wheel

What's a chemistry carnival without a ferrous wheel? Hand-drawn "structure" credit: Jeff Dougan

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 with the following information:

The title of the post

The name of your blog

Your name or ‘nym

The URL of the post

Submit your posts by 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time on September 26 and we’ll post the carnival entries later that week.

But wait! There’s more!

The best entries will be published in an issue of Chemical & Engineering News later this year. Kinda cool, eh?

So, start thinking about reactions and let me know if you have any questions in the comment thread below.

Finally, a special shout-out to Matt Hartings at ScienceGeist for suggesting the theme.

Happy blogging!

9/14 Update: I should have mentioned that any writers who are without a blogging home are welcome to guest post here on the IYC 2011 blog. Just leave a request in the comments or send a note to the gmail address above.

Author: Rachel Pepling

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