Category Archives: Fun Stuff

FDA Warning to Brazilian Blowout. Also, Fume Hood for Hair?

I interrupt this blog from its regularly-scheduled hiatus* to comment on a new tidbit of information about Brazilian Blowout that has recently come to light. The FDA has issued an official warning letter to Mike Brady, the CEO of GIB, … Continue reading

Posted in Brazilian Blowout, Fun Stuff | 9 Comments

A Deuterated Mouse: Isotopes and Phys. Org.

What would happen, hypothetically, if a baby mouse could grow up eating only deuterated food and water? Could you make an unusually heavy mouse?

Posted in Chemistry, Chemistry Basics, Fun Stuff | 19 Comments

Sour Patch Kids are Full of Protons

Take a look at the ingredient list on the back of a Sour Patch Kids bag the next time you go to the movie theater, and you probably won’t be surprised to discover that this gummy candy contains a lot … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Chemistry Basics, Fun Stuff | 5 Comments

You know you spend too much time in the lab when…

I hope I’m not the only chemist who frequently wakes up in the morning to realize I’d just been wasting my sleep time by dreaming about chemistry. Kekule famously dreamt , but mine – so far – have been just … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Fun Stuff | 6 Comments

Low Hanging Fruit

This past week, I met with a visiting professor who commented that chemistry research is harder and more complex than it used to be. Most of the “low-hanging fruit” has already been picked, and the major problems facing chemistry today … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Fun Stuff, Old Chemistry | 1 Comment

Chemistry of Morphine, Heroin, and Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

You’ve heard the warnings – don’t eat poppy seeds before taking a drug test. The seeds can trigger a false positive reading for opioids, making your potential employer think you could be a heroin addict. A few years back, Mythbusters … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Fun Stuff, Medicine | 26 Comments

A Proposed Modification to the English Language

A Question I begin this post with a serious question, particularly for non-chemists. If I say the following to you, does it make sense? I would love to be done with my taxes by now, but there’s such a high … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Chemistry Basics, Fun Stuff | 12 Comments

Animals and Aminals (and two kinds of metathesis)

Unless Even if you’ve been living under a rock, you know what an animal is. But do you know what an aminal is? Well, it’s two things: (1) A metathesis of the word “animal” (2) A chemistry term for a … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Chemistry Basics, Fun Stuff | 2 Comments

That’s what kids used to do for fun?

In stark contrast to the Bieber-obsessed Wii-playing youth of today (and I mean that in the nicest way possible), here is a direct quote from an article written in the 1920’s: “More and more the students are learning science out … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Fun Stuff | 17 Comments

Periodic Table of the Stock Market

While researching investment choices for my new I’m-trying-to-be-a-responsible-adult Roth IRA, I eventually grew impatient with analyst predictions and just started searching for interesting ticker symbols.

Posted in Chemistry, Fun Stuff | 8 Comments

Pandemic Disorder Threatens Public Health*

A widespread disorder affecting a staggering number of citizens in developed countries, including the U.S., has recently been brought into the spotlight.

Posted in Chemistry, Communication, Fun Stuff | Comments Off

If James Cameron Did Chemistry

Chemistry has a lot of smart researchers, but no names or faces that the Average Joe would recognize.  The field needs a hero but, as Chembark points out, what chemist has the time to be a spokesperson?  Research in the … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Fun Stuff | 9 Comments

New Year’s Resolutions for Graduate Students

The most popular New Year’s resolutions aren’t always practical for graduate students. Often we need to set the bar a little lower

Posted in Fun Stuff | 2 Comments

Christmas Chemistry!

Here’s a random assortment of holiday cheer, with just a hint a big dollop of chemistry nerdiness.

Posted in Chemistry, Fun Stuff | 1 Comment

Chemicals Among Us: Acetic Acid Top Ten Facts

Like acetone in a previous post, acetic acid is another common laboratory chemical that makes frequent cameo appearances in your home.  Here are 10 – dare I say – “fun” facts about acetic acid that you may or may not … Continue reading

Posted in Chemicals Among Us, Chemistry, Fun Stuff | 3 Comments

Dissolving Bears and Limericks

Q: A bear from Yosemite and a bear from Alaska fall into a pool of water.  Which one dissolves first?

Posted in Chemistry, Fun Stuff | Comments Off

Top 10 Things You Did or Didn’t Know About Acetone

The majority of people know acetone only as it relates to removing nailpolish.  Organic chemists like myself, on the other hand, would have a lot of trouble imagining life without acetone.  

Posted in Chemicals Among Us, Chemistry, Fun Stuff | 3 Comments

Organic Chemistry, Jersey Shore Style

The cast of the strangely popular TV show Jersey Shore are known for their extreme obsession with tanning.  Earlier this year, Snooki switched from tanning beds to using spray-on tans, citing Obama’s tanning tax and “friggin’ cancer”.  Unlike UV light, … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Fun Stuff | 1 Comment

Fun Molecule: Ethanol Puppy

I first discovered the ethanol puppy when I was a sophomore in college.  While exploring the cupboards of a dingy office that I shared with the other lab TAs, I found this dusty old box with yellowed papers dating from … Continue reading

Posted in Fun Stuff | Comments Off

Um, I’m Curing Cancer I Guess…?

I should work for the CIA. When you’re in the CIA, you can’t tell anyone what you do. That’s basically my life already as a grad student in my particular branch of science. Well, to be precise, I am allowed … Continue reading

Posted in Fun Stuff | Comments Off