Geek Love: Send A #Chemvalentine To Show ‘Em You Care
Feb10

Geek Love: Send A #Chemvalentine To Show ‘Em You Care

This week, I inadvertently started a #Chemvalentine meme on Twitter after seeing a tweet from @Sulfur_Blue about chemistry valentines: Get the chemistry flowing by sending a #Chemistry Valentine? https://www.msu.edu/~nguyen82/handouts/12/Chemistry_Valentines.pdf What ensued was an outpouring of awesomeness from all the chemistry lovers out there. We here at Newscripts have compiled our Top 20 favorite #Chemvalentines just for you. Feel free to use these to woo your scientist friends this Valentine’s Day. ThinkGeek, if you’re listening, we’d all buy a pack of these cards. 1)      Valentine, I’ve got my ion you. (HT @Sulfur_Blue) 2)      Valentine, I can’t eat, sleep, or run reactions when you argon. (@laurenkwolf) 3)      Ethylene in the air? I feel our love ripening. (@SeeArrOh) 4)      There’s no HOMO-LUMO gap between us, baby. (@chemjobber) 5)      Valentine, I could never Bohr of you. (@S_J_Lancaster) 6)      You electrolyte up my life. (@derekjjohnson) 7)      You’re the biotin to my streptavidin. (@CBC_excimer) 8)      Love hertz. (@Sci_ents) 9)      You’re as beautiful as a clean NMR spectrum. (@UnstableIsotope) 10)   Say silsesquioxane again, the way I like it. (@S_J_Lancaster) 11)   Of all the combinatorial compounds in the world, you’re the only hit in my assay. (@kromablography) 12)   Valentine, you warm my pericyclic heart. Without you, I can’t Cope. (@SeeArrOh) 13)   Our love is like an anionic polymerization, it’s alive and growing, even when it’s –78 C outside. (@jaspevacek) 14)   Single? Don’t be bitter. You’re not an alkaloid. (@squidring) 15)   You’re the azide to my alkyne. We just click. (@CBC_excimer) 16)   Your structure gives me SMILES. (@kromablography) 17)   You spin my nuclei right-round, baby right-round. (@modernscientist) 18)   Upon meeting you I felt as though someone had poured ether down the drain and turned on all the faucets (@sciencegeist) 19)   Let’s carbon date! (@simplecoffee) 20)   Our love can’t be limited by Baldwin’s Rules. I 4-exo-dig you....

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Valentine Perfumes Made By Chemists
Feb14

Valentine Perfumes Made By Chemists

In this week’s print Newscripts column, Associate Editor Linda Wang wishes readers a happy Valentine’s Day by writing a feature about a chemist who makes his own perfumes. Frederick J. Lakner first wrote in to C&EN in a Letter to the Editor about his frustrations at being unemployed. But it turns out that when Lakner isn’t patiently seeking a new job, he uses his chemistry skills to concoct fragrances for men and women. To check them out, click here. The folks at the Periodic Table of Videos have also been having “a bit of fun for Valentine’s Day,” according to their website, by trying their hands at perfumery. In this clip, they pass around a bottle, and each team member adds a special component to create the perfect fragrance. As Martyn Poliakoff explains, cheap perfumes have very few components and evaporate quickly. The more expensive ones, he says, have lots of complex ingredients layered over one another. If so, their perfume, “Mendeleev’s Dream,” is quite sophisticated, containing components such as vanillin, vodka, citronellol, cinnamaldehyde, boron trioxide, and hexachloroplatinic acid (for “a little bling”). The kicker, I think, might be the red dye 23 put in at the end, turning the solution blood red. Kids, do not apply this at home. For a man-on-the-street look at how “Mendeleev’s Dream” tests with science students at the University of Nottingham, here’s some extra...

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Nothing Says Valentine’s Day Like Marie Curie
Feb11

Nothing Says Valentine’s Day Like Marie Curie

My apologies for not writing this post earlier—at a time when it might have been  more helpful to you—but I would be remiss not to share some possible science nerd Valentine’s Day gifts with you that Newscripts has been alerted to recently. At this point, you might not be able to order them in time to give to that special scientist in your life on the big day, but there’s always next year or the old “better late than never” approach. You might even try muttering something about the space-time continuum and see where that gets you. My personal favorites are a set of “Science Valentines” being sold on Etsy.com by stephoodle. If you’re like me, you still sometimes hand out little cardboard valentines in February in an attempt to keep the memory alive of your crush on the little boy who sat next to you at snacktime in Kindergarten. I would totally have won his heart had he received one of these babies. The pack of eight includes famous scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Alan Turing, and each valentine contains little notes that allude to what the person is famous for. For instance, Marie Curie’s reads, “My heart radiates for you.” The physical chemist in me is also drawn to Werner Heisenberg’s “I’m certain about you.” Classic. Or is it classical? Newscripts fan Cathy Bloedorn recently wrote in to point out beaded necklaces that she sells, also on Etsy. But these aren’t the typical chemistry nerd necklaces that bear little wire molecules on them, these are atomic emission spectra necklaces. “Did you ever look at those lists of elements’ emission spectra in high school and think ‘Wow! How pretty!’? ,” Bloedorn asks on her website. “Well, I did, and I decided to replicate the emission spectrum of the most important element for life, carbon, in black and colorful Swarovski crystals.” The former chemistry teacher also sells a hydrogen variety of the choker. Bloedorn also points out another emission-spectra-based gift for that special nerd in your life. Becky Stern sells Emission Spectrum Scarves  at sternlab.org. Warm AND scientifically accurate. Happy Valentine’s Day, Newscripts...

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