Fun With Science: Top 10 Videos Of The Year
Dec19

Fun With Science: Top 10 Videos Of The Year

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...

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Happy Mole Day: “A Molar Eclipse Of The Heart”
Oct23

Happy Mole Day: “A Molar Eclipse Of The Heart”

Today’s the day chemists everywhere revel in their geekiness and celebrate Avogadro’s number, 6.022 x 1023. This morning, the Internetz are atwitter with love for the video you see below: “A Molar Eclipse of the Heart.” As soon as I saw this delightful clip, I had to know where it came from. Who are these folks who unabashedly love science so much that they spent what I assume was a lengthy period piecing it together? The answer is the Virtual School. It’s an open education program that, with the help of teachers and other education enthusiasts, puts together understandable, catchy videos about various topics. It’s all in an attempt to “revolutionize global education by creating equal access to the highest quality secondary education for learners around the world—anytime, anywhere, and completely free of charge.” That’s a direct quote from the Virtual School team. I contacted them this morning while I was still buzzing from seeing their tribute to The Mole. What follows are some of their other answers to my questions, edited only minimally for spelling and grammar. What is the goal of the Virtual School? We want to fully cover each subject with engaging learning videos. Passionate specialist teachers and subject matter experts are joining our movement and sharing their expert knowledge. For the topics they feel most passionate about, they record their explanations of important concepts as concise bites of knowledge. Next, the Virtual School's creative design team enhances these explanations using effective animations to trigger learners' knowledge construction and retention. These open educational resources really suit 21st-century learners' interests and are made available free of charge on our YouTube EDU partner channel. With their vast knowledge base in chemistry, the American Chemical Society's members would be very welcome contributors. Please email us at vsteam@fusion-universal.com if you're interested in helping us teach learners around the world! What inspired the making of this video? To convey the concept of the mole, the Virtual School chose a catchy song that we knew would be difficult to forget. The educational lyrics ensure that the viewer remembers the concept well. Visually, we wanted to create an engaging, unique video that complemented the lyrics and would stay in people's minds. [Thank you, Virtual School, this has been stuck in my head now for hours.] Are the video makers chemists? The video was made by a very diverse team: It is an amalgamation of styles and abilities that blend together perfectly. The lyrics were written by a biologist/documentary maker and sung by a professional singer. Filming was done by a TV researcher, and the animations were created by an animator, artist, and media freelancer. Everybody brought a different ability to the table. What brings...

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Day Of The Mole
Oct23

Day Of The Mole

Happy Mole Day, dear readers! Last year we gave you some ideas of how to celebrate with food. This year I'd like to point you in the direction of Adventures in Ethics and Science's Friday Sprog Blogging about Mole Day, particularly for the artwork at the...

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