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Photo Contest Plea

We’re getting super close to announcing the winners of the inaugural C&EN Photo Contest. Granted, we were supposed to be publishing the winning photos in this week’s issue (10/18), but we’ve had a wee bit of trouble notifying some of the finalists. Publication has been pushed back to the November 1st issue, but we’ll announce the winners online as soon as we can (hopefully this week). If you entered the contest, please check your Flickrmail TODAY to see if your photo was selected. If you don’t reply, we’ll have to give your slot to someone else. And that would just be a shame.

If you didn’t enter the contest, visit our Flickr group to see the entries. (Slight Flickr glitch: you’ll need to join the group in order to view all of the more than 230 submissions.)

Contests, Quizzes, and ROFLs

We’ve been woefully quiet here on Newscripts of late, so here’s a roundup of items of interest to help disturb the inertia:

First of all, chemistry shutterbugs will want to get their submissions in for C&EN’s inaugural photo contest pronto. Entries are due by September 30 (that’s a mere two weeks away, folks). Cash prizes are to be had–first place collects a cool $250, second gets $150, and third, $50–and winning photos and other favorites will be printed in the magazine’s October 18th issue (hey, National Chemistry Week!).

We’re collecting submissions on the C&EN Flickr group because 1) it’s super easy, and 2) the idea behind this contest and future ones is to create a pool of chemistry images for all the world to see. Participants are even encouraged (see, it’s in the rules) to submit their photos under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License so that we’re not the only ones who get to benefit from such a fine collection.

Video contest buffs may prefer to enter the newest NanoTube video contest, “What is Nano? Part II.” Submissions are due by November 5 and the grand prize lands $500. Perhaps there’ll be a sequel to the original “What is Nano?” contest winner, the catchy “The Nano Song”:

Speaking of prizes, Nobel Week will soon be upon us. Why not test your Nobels knowledge with a quiz from the recently resurrected ChemBark: Can you name all of the Nobel laureates in chemistry?

And now for something completely different and irreverent, be sure to check out the TOC ROFL tumblr page, a collection of, um, noteworthy images appearing on the table of contents of various journals. You’ll laugh, you’ll groan, perhaps you’ll even cry. But you will return to see more.

Exposition Swag

Despite having finished graduate school four years ago, there are some habits acquired during that period of indentured servitude that I just can’t shake. One tendency is the overwhelming desire for free stuff—no matter what its form. To this day, if I hear that there will be free sandwiches or cookies somewhere, my knee-jerk reaction is to plot how many of them I can fit into my pockets to save for later.

The exposition at the ACS meeting is the perfect place to indulge that cheap-nick tendency. I always enjoy walking around the plush-carpeted floor looking at the wares vendors have brought to draw attendees in to their displays. But my days of being on “the outside” have made me picky. No longer will I stop at tables for the pedestrian hard candies and pens. I want more serious swag.

Meeting tchotchkes (santizers, mints, and a baseball). Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN

Cotton T-shirts (even though I don’t wear them often), mugs, and totes suck me in with the force of a tractor beam. Late last night, I got a JACS

-Beta T-shirt at Sci-Mix. And let’s not forget about the sweet yellow “GlobCasino” T-shirt you can get for the blog keywords contest. I’ve also heard rumor that Sigma-Aldrich is giving out free glass beaker-like mugs in the exhibit hall. Can’t believe I missed that one. 

A lot of booths this year are also offering a chance to win iPads and Kindles—a solid choice for attracting customers. Frontier Scientific is giving attendees the opportunity to play a little Wii baseball at its booth. Sadly, I didn’t hit a homerun during my turn and lost the chance to have my name entered in a drawing for Red Sox tickets. But I did get a free baseball (Frontier Scientific gets an A+

for that unique tchotchke).

Caricature artist at ACS booth. Credit: Lauren Wolf/C&EN

John Wiley & Sons, which is advertising on the back of the On-Site Program, has a number of giveaways at its booth: ear phones; aluminum sports bottles; and my favorite, a cute container of hand sanitizer shaped like a chemist. ACS’s own Chemistry for Life booth even has a caricature artist at work.

So what has drawn you in? And are there any noteworthy tchotchkes I’ve missed?

Making Life Easy

For those of you at the meeting in Boston, come on by the expo hall (Pubs booth, #527), and turn in your keywords for an awesome t-shirt. Wear your t-shirt in the expo hall Monday or Tuesday for a chance at a VISA gift card ($10-$50).

And to make life super simple, find the words here, here, here, here, here, and here.

More chemical artwork

One of the best things about writing Newscripts is the interaction you get with readers.  This week’s column about art inspired by chemistry prompted Jim Rybka, a chemist who retired three years ago and has been working with stained glass, to write in.

“Since I worked for Eli Lilly & Company and worked on two molecules that made it to market, I decided to make art pieces of tadalafil (Cialis) and prasugrel HCl (Effient) since they were important structures to me,” he writes. As a proof of concept, Rybka also made a glassy version of theobromine a compound found in chocolate. He sent us a photograph:

Speaking of photographs, I hope all you chemistry shutterbugs have been gathering your work for C&EN’s photo contest. I can’t wait to see how chemists capture their art on camera.

We Want Your Pics

After what seems like eons of planning, I’m happy to announce that C&EN has launched its inaugural photo contest. From now until September 30, upload your photos (and micrographs) of the theme, “Your Science Up Close,” to C&EN’s Flickr group site, and tag them with “CEN-UpClose10″. Winning photos will garner cash awards and publication in the October 18 issue of C&EN. See C&EN Online for complete rules and gory details.

Credit: Jes Sherman

We hope to create a nice little resource of chemistry-related images for all to enjoy, hence the Flickr group. Keep an eye out for more contests in the future, and feel free to suggest themes.

Special thanks to senior editor Beth Halford and contributor Aaron Rowe, who each proposed the idea at different points in time, for their nudgings and ideas. And also to excimer and psi*psi over at CBC for agreeing to share their lovely images for inspiration.

Credit: Aaron Finke