August 11, 2017

History's deadliest colors - J.V. Maranto

I love the animation of the Ted talks.

I also love the weird chemistry of the past, things we didn't know back in the day would kill us but that we totally know about now.

Weirdly, I'd read about the wallpaper-Napoleon connection before.

And I love Fiestaware, though I only have the modern, non-uranium version.

February 5, 2017

Fish goes bonkers for brine pool | Nautilus Live

The deep ocean is stunningly weird.

There are extremes of concentration and density that result in a far, far from homogeneous ocean bottom.

Above we see a brine pool, an area of ultra-high salt concentration that leads to a pool that is far more dense than the surrounding water and often contains high concentrations of methane, also, making the pool deadly for any animals that are unlucky enough to happen into the pool.

There are a bunch more brine pool videos from the Nautilus Live YouTube channel. I'll put a couple more after the jump, but they're certainly worth a hunt down.

December 31, 2016

Bunsen Burner (THERMAL IMAGING) - Periodic Table of Videos

I do, admittedly, wish that this video was made with a Tirrill burner because that's what we use in my classroom, but the idea certainly works as though it were a Tirrill burner.

Bunsen burners work about the same, but the Tirrill burner gets a better mixing of the oxygen and methane and has a dial valve at the bottom to adjust the methane coming into the burner. (Admittedly I tell my students not to touch that valve because I've had two incidents where that fell out and caused a large - and thankfully momentary - fireball when the gas came into contact with the air.)

I love the show of the hottest areas of the flame in this video as well as the conductivity of the heat up the glass rod.

December 13, 2016

So, Someone Dumped 160 Liters Of Hydrogen Peroxide In 2 Olympic Pools

FoundOutAboutChemistry, your source for timely news in the sports world.

So, this past summer...

...the diving well in the Rio Olympic pool turned bright green.

You may not be aware, but that's not the color that diving well water is supposed to be.

Unless it's St Pat's Day.

Luckily, we know it's all because somebody dumped hydrogen peroxide into the pool.


That's enough to clean up a whole bunch of paper cuts...or to kill the chlorine's ability to destroy organic matter, yielding a pool that 'smells like a fart.'

December 9, 2016

Best Fire Tornado - DIY - no moving parts!

I've made fire tornados before.

I've posted about them, too.

But those required a bunch of fans or a lazy susan.

This one is even lazier.

It requires some glass cutting and not much more.

Don't refill your methanol container even remotely when it's hot...or warm.

Be safe, folks.

December 7, 2016

Don't Flush Sodium Down a Toilet

Hopefully this goes without saying, but don't flush sodium down a toilet.

Don't think about it. Don't do it. Don't think about doing it.

Don't think about thinking about doing it.

See, sodium reacts like all alkali metals do with water.

They react to produce hydrogen gas and metal hydroxides. In the process, there's energy released that sometimes...sort of...sparks the hydrogen.

Which makes an explosion.

Destroying the toilet.

It's one thing, of course, if you do that to a toilet mounted on a platform in a parking lot.

Because that's where I keep my toilets.

December 5, 2016

The Transfermium Wars

We live in a time of wonders.

In my lifetime, the periodic table has grown by a dozen elements, all of which are synthetically produced.

In my father's lifetime, we've added twenty elements - all synthetically produced.

That means we've figured out how to take atoms, accelerate them to nearly the speed of light (source) and ram them into other atoms, creating matter that didn't exist until that very moment.

All so we can yell at each other about who did it first...about whose name needs to go on the discovery for the ultimate chemistry prize - having an element named after you. That's the basic story of the Transfermium Wars, the fights for naming primacy for elements 104 through 109.

I would sacrifice nearly everything in my world for the opportunity to put Duschium all over the periodic tables of the world.

I would gut you for that chance.

You think I'm joking?