Blog Profile / Chemistry Blog

Filed Under:Academics / Chemistry
Posts on Regator:375
Posts / Week:1.1
Archived Since:July 23, 2009

Blog Post Archive

The most cynical advice to graduate students from an assistant professor you’ll read

Attention: ALL THE WHINERS IN MY LAB I’m sick of your fucking complaining. Labor laws, my ass. Union? Give me a fucking break. You’re here in my lab for one reason: you wanted to play in the big leagues and you fucking chose to come here. I didn’t get down on bended knee for you. … Continue reading »

Halloween Chemistry: Cinder Toffee!

Tweet Follow @Sci_ents How about a spot of halloween chemistry? With nice simple explanations for the trick or treaters. Cinder toffee!! You’ll need: Sugar Golden syrup A jam/jelly thermometer Bicarbonate of soda Grease proof paper A baking tray A saucepan Safety: The toffee mix gets very hot, be careful when handling in and make sure there’s … Continue reading »

Molecules in Minecraft

Tweet Follow @Sci_ents Tweet #MolCraft Children should be playing more computer games in school. That idea might enrage you if you think kids today already spend too much time staring at screens or if you are already sick of your offspring’s incessant prattling about fighting zombies and the like. But hear me out. Specifically, I … Continue reading »

Review: Chemistry Sets fit for the 21st Century.

Tweet Follow @Sci_ents As a kid I loved my chemistry set. Many an afternoon was whiled away in my dad’s shed, totally ignoring the set’s instructions and randomly mixing the contents of the various bottles. To be honest I can’t really remember learning much chemistry, beyond the fact that it was possible to generate some … Continue reading »

The chrome plated mystery of the Terracotta army’s swords

Tweet Follow @Sci_ents Qin the 1st Emperor of China prepared well for the after-life. Throughout his reign he commissioned and built an eternal army of some 6000 soldiers, charioteers and cavalry. The  warriors stood in formation, buried at the foot of his tomb, there to guard the Emperor for eternity. But all did not go … Continue reading »

Simulating C&EN and JACS

I decided to make a robot that would Tweet fake C&EN headlines and JACS titles. There are many ways one could go about doing this. The way I decided to do it is to use something called Markov chains. This is similar to how your cellphone’s keyboard works: Your cellphone will try to guess which … Continue reading »

How science lost one of its greatest minds in the trenches of Gallipoli

Tweet Follow @Sci_ents August 10, 1915. The Gallipoli sun beats down on the back of a Turkish sharpshooter. He is patient and used to the discomfort. He wipes the sweat from his eyes and peers back down the sight of his rifle, sweeping back and forth across the enemy lines. He’s hoping to spot a … Continue reading »

Making Sexy Catalytic Converters in Power Point

Today, I’ll be moving away from explaining how to use Powerpoint to make sexy molecules and show how it can be used to make compelling science graphics too. In next week’s issue of Chemical & Engineering News I highlight some recent advances in catalytic converter technology. I did not know much about catalytic converter chemistry … Continue reading »

Making Sexy Molecules in Powerpoint

Making sexy molecules is a great way to make your science shine. Sometimes you just need that extra umph for your grant or presentation. There are a lot of drawing programs out there so which one should a chemist use? I suggest PowerPoint. All chemists have it installed in their computers, and it only takes … Continue reading »

6 ways to tackle #chemperceptions

Tweet Follow @Sci_ents Tweet #Chemperceptrions The overwhelming message to come out of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s study into the UK public’s perceptions of chemistry is that people just don’t know what it is chemists do. So in case you are stuck for ideas on how to spread the message here’s my top 6 ways to tackle #chemperceptions … Continue reading »

Spread the world about chemistry & don’t fret the chemophobia

Tweet Follow @Sci_ents Tweet #Chemperceptrions  At times chemists can feel rather maligned. But according to the RSC’s study of the UK public’s perceptions of chemistry we shouldn’t be quite so worried about what people think of us.  We do however need to get out there and let people know what we do. The other sciences seem to … Continue reading »

There’s something interesting brewing…

There’s something interesting brewing over at the Royal Society of Chemistry. They’ve been beavering away trying to figure out what the (UK) public thinks for chemistry, chemicals and chemists. Results are out on Monday 1st June via a live-stream. Be sure to tune in and join in the conversation on twitter with the #Chemperceptions hashtag. And … Continue reading »

My Extra Credit Assignment: Turn a General Chemistry Topic into a Science Museum Exhibit

When traveling, I always make a point to explore local science museums. I look for engaging exhibits that explain scientific concepts in informative and fun ways. One such exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota asks participants to create carbon nanotubes using foam connectors. A few friends and I used our advanced degrees to produce … Continue reading »

A tale of a tired lecture course. Flip it.

Tweet Follow @Sci_ents It dawned on me that no one cared. The proteins that I found so fascinating just didn’t seem to intrigue them as much as they did me. I thought the video of water molecules flipping as they passed through the channel of aquaporin was marvellous. But it hardly gleaned a reaction from … Continue reading »

Campaign for Clear Code starts here!

Tweet Follow @Sci_ents I’m concerned about the software that’s installed on my electronic devices. You should be worried as well. Have you really considered what you are opening yourself up to every time you download a new app or install an upgrade? Have you thought about what all those faceless software giants are doing with the … Continue reading »

What has Chemistry got to say?

The XKCD comics have been keeping me entertained and informed for years. But sadly, in the latest comic, Chemistry seems rather quiet. So how about some suggestions for the next panel, where Chemistry finds a voice? Tweet Follow @Sci_ents  

Reagent pencils, turning chemistry into child’s play

Tweet Follow @Sci_ents If you’ve ever sat opposite a doctor and wondered what she was scribbling on her notepad, the answer may soon not only be medical notes on your condition, but real-time chemical preparations for an instant diagnostic test. Thanks to the work of a team of researchers from California Polytechnic State University, recently … Continue reading »

The Food Babe quiz. Can you tell Vani Hari quotes from other irrational nonsense?

Tweet Follow @Sci_ents By now I’m sure you’ve all seen the ravings of Vani Hari a.k.a. Food Babe. Her one women campaign to spread fear through nonsense has netted her (in)fame, fortune and influence. Not to mention a pretty strong back lash from the rational side of the internet. So to test if you’ve been paying … Continue reading »

It’s time science reclaimed health food from the quacks

Tweet Follow @Sci_ents I’m not quite sure what came over me, I’d set out in search of a beer and a burger. But somehow ended up in a juice bar wolfing down falafel, quaffing a cucumber, celery, ginger smoothie and sprinkling sweet potato chips with some strange pink salt. And it was good. Really, really … Continue reading »

A letter from a chemist to homeopaths

Tweet Dear Homeopaths, Homeopathy awareness week is here again. And I’ve got some questions about this most popular of alternative therapies. The answers to which I’d very much like to be aware of. Homeopath, as I understand it (please correct me if I’m wrong), is based on a idea that ‘like cures like’. So if your … Continue reading »

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