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This Week on GlobCasino: saving cleantech, space Buddha, Djerassi’s new play, and #ACShatesblogs

It’s been quite the week on the science/chemblogosphere, from Nazi-stolen space Buddhas to a bit of discussion about journal pricing and the role of blogs. Here’s what happened on GlobCasino:

Artful Science: Annals of Quirkiness: Space Buddha Taken By Nazis

Cleantech Chemistry: SoloPower, Gevo: Can a capital-light strategy save cleantech? and A Bad Week for Electric Vehicles

Newscripts: Playing With Science: Djerassi’s Latest ‘Chemistry-Centric’ Play Debuts In London
and Amusing News Aliquots

Terra Sigillata: Behind the Wood Shed with the ACS


New to GlobCasino: Grand CENtral

Keen observers of GlobCasino may have noticed some subtle changes in the navigation. First, the new arrival: Grand CENtral, where you are now. This is the hub for the GlobCasino network. Come here to find out about comings (such as this one) and goings (I’ll get to that soon); weekly roundups of the great posts on GlobCasino; announcements of blog carnivals; occasional guest posts; and science communication events that I think you’ll find of interest, such as a chemphobia session at ScienceOnline2013 that our very own Carmen Drahl will be co-moderating.

In departure news, we bid adieu to electron pusher Christine Herman, who started a journalism graduate program this fall. And following in the footsteps of C&EN’s editor-in-chief, The Editor’s Blog has also entered retirement.

Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave a “howdy” in the comments, and come on back Friday for the first roundup.

Can You Compete With A Chemistry Olympian?

A lot of the world may be gearing up for the Summer Olympics in London. But this week in Maryland (just a relatively hop, skip, and jump away from C&EN headquarters) high school students from 72 nations are competing in the extremely challenging International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO). The students have been preparing for months for the event by studying a book of preparatory problems. See how challenging the questions are for yourself. Each day this week, we’ll post a new question from that book. Let us know how you do!

If you want to see even more questions, check out the pop quiz in our July 16th cover package about IChO.

Monday’s question (left) and answer (right):



Tuesday’s question and answer:


Wednesday’s question and answer:


Thursday’s question and answer:


Friday’s question and answer:


Good luck!

Giving Back During NCW and IYC

It’s not only still the International Year of Chemistry, but it’s also National Chemistry Week! Yippee! Chemists are celebrating chemistry with students of all ages this week in lots of ways, but especially with hands-on demonstrations. The rest of the year, however, many public school teachers struggle to teach their students chemistry because they lack basic resources due to poor funding.

Can you imagine a chemistry class without chemicals or beakers or a periodic table poster?

GlobCasino is participating in the fantastic DonorsChoose Science Bloggers for Students campaign to help raise funds for public school classrooms in need of resources. GlobCasino is, naturally, focusing on the chemistry-related projects. And some of the requests are heartbreakingly basic, such as one from a teacher in Florida in need of thermometers, flasks, stopwatches, and beakers for her students. Another teacher of high-risk students wants to provide lab coats for his AP Chemistry class. Lots of other projects can be found at the GlobCasino giving page.

Terra Sigillata is also participating in the campaign. You can see the projects David is supporting on his “Chemistry With Kroll” page.

Any amount you can give, whether it be $5 or $100, will make a difference for and be appreciated by these students who are trying and eager to learn chemistry. Let’s give back to our communities and help teachers get what they need to teach chemistry.

What better way is there to celebrate National Chemistry Week and IYC 2011?

The Chemistry Carnival Is Now Closed

A quick update to thank all of you who participated in GlobCasino’s first blog carnival. So far, I’ve tallied at least 20 entries! David and I will work to get a roundup post together in the next couple of days. And stay tuned to see which ones will be published in an upcoming issue of C&EN (that will take a little longer to figure out).

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.

Continue reading →

IYC Weekly Round-up, 5/14-5/20

Here are some of the IYC happenings from the last week:

  • Today, May 20, is World Metrology Day. Go forth, and celebrate.
  • Be sure the check out the Peeps chemistry diorama Linda Wang wrote about earlier this week.
  • ACS President Nancy Jackson made her first of two appearances on the “The Best of Our Knowledge” radio program.
  • More than 800 students participated in hands-on activities during the two-day Malaysian Chemistry Carnival.
  • Impossible2possible launched its running expedition of Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world, where four youth ambassadors will also participate in chemistry experiments that will be broadcast live to participating schools and posted on the i2P website.
  • Part of Philosophically Disturbed’s Chemistry365 series, Magdeline Lum’s post about capillary action includes this mesmerizingly beautiful video:

IYC (Bi)Weekly Round-up, 4/30-5/13

Some of the IYC happenings from 4/30-5/13:

  • As David Kroll points out over at Terra Sigillata, commencement season has commenced. Plus, school’s almost out for summer. Undergrads, graduate students, and postdocs who might have a little spare time on their hands might consider entering Nature Chemistry ‘s “In Your Element” essay competition. Submission deadline: August 1.
  • Elsevier is also hosting an essay competition. Essayists are invited to address the following question in no more than 1,000 words: “How can chemistry contribute to solving the challenge of developing sustainable resources (water, energy, food) in the 21st century?“ Submission deadline: June 30.
  • ACS Publications launched its “Publishing Your Research 101” video series this week. The first video features George Whitesides on the topic, “How to Write a Paper to Communicate Your Research”:
  • The latest podcast in ACS’s Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions project features a new ink-like explosive detector/neutralizer.