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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Chemists Get Down At #ACSAnaheim
Mar29

Chemists Get Down At #ACSAnaheim

'Twas just before Sci-Mix, and all through Hall B, plenty of creatures were stirring, some of them dressed like a mouse called Minnie. Alright, alright ... I need to work on my poetry skills. But you get the idea. Just before Sci-Mix kicked off tonight in Anaheim, chemists gathered in Hall B of the convention center to do the Chemistry Dance (Note that they did this BEFORE having beer at the poster session). Celebrating the International Year of Chemistry, chemists young and old congregated, practiced, and then performed a dance set to music by 2010 Chemistry Olympiad medalists Richard Li and Utsarga Sikder. The pair hopes video of the dance goes viral, showing people everywhere that chemists know how to boogie. I'm doing my part by posting some preliminary video of the performance here. My skillz with the flip cam aren't that great, so I'll update this post with video produced by the wizards at ACS's Office of Public Affairs sometime tomorrow. If you watch all five minutes of the video, you'll notice among the 100 or so dancers some familiar faces (ACS Board members, including Chair Bonnie Charpentier), some participants dressed in sparkly outfits, one person with some mouse ears (this is Anaheim, after all), and someone starting their child on an early path to science geekery. In addition, most participants had chemical elements pinned to their shirts; the line dance was set up to approximate a periodic table. Here's just a sampling of the lyrics, so you all can sing along at home (I defy you not to get the chorus stuck in your head): "International year of chemistry-- two thousand eleven We’re representing science -- 24/7 We’ve got antimatter, fuel cells and a ton of Nobel Prizes Sustainable energy solves the problem as it arises" "Move to the left, now move to the right We’ll be doing the chemistry dance all through the night Now clap your hands, everybody let’s go We’ll be rocking it out to the chemistry show" Peace out. UPDATE: As promised, here is the official video of the Chemistry Dance from the Office of Public Affairs. Makes my humble video pale in...

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