ACS Matters is a weekly newsletter for ACS members and chemistry enthusiasts. Each week we run an item call "pHun and Games" where we explore the lighter side of chemistry and our profession. Currently don't receive ACS Matters and would like to? The next time you log in to www.acs.org, select "Edit My Profile" and opt-in to subscribe.
This is an item from the June 2, 2009 edition:
Since chemists are essentially detectives in lab coats, we thought it'd be entirely appropriate to call your attention to this brain-teaser from our friends at the FBI. If you enjoy this kind of thing, be sure to visit the FBI's booth in the Exposition at the upcoming Washington, DC national meeting – you may be a G-person at heart!
From the July 21, 2009 edition of ACS Matters:
Thanks to our friends at BoingBoing and the Financial Times, we're now aware of the Materials Library at King's College London, which has vaulted to near the top of our List of Reasons to Visit London (just ahead of lunch at Franco Manca). How could we resist going to see turbine jet engine blades grown from a single crystal (cool), Aerogel, the world's lightest solid (cooler), or the world's blackest black (cooooolest!). We'd also like to meet library curator Mark Miodownik, who's a man after our own cluttered, geeky hearts.
From the July 14 issue of ACS Matters:
The web site is a bit glitzy, but you can't fault the aims of the Rock Stars of Science project, which is sponsored by Geoffrey Beene Gives Back and GQ magazine. Citing a Harris poll claiming that most Americans can't name a single living scientist, Rock Stars of Science seeks to bring recognition to doctors and researchers in health science and disease prevention, which hopefully will increase public support for efforts in those areas. Why not nominate a worthy colleague, or weigh in on the candidates already identified – no actual rocking out is required, apparently.
From the July 28 issue of ACS Matters:
We've had our head in the stars lately (or at least in space), what with all the hoopla over the anniversary of the moon landing, not to mention last week's eclipse. So what could be more timely than the BBC's online gallery celebrating the 400th anniversary of the telescope? The links to recent telescope-related BBC articles lead to worthy reading, to be sure, but we wished there had been greater coverage of the skiing moon robot from "Wallace and Gromit."
From the August 11 issue of ACS Matters:
August Chemical Anniversaries
With this week's rundown of chemical anniversaries in August, it's our pleasure to welcome 64-year ACS member Leopold May, from the Catholic University of America (Washington, DC), as an occasional contributor to ACS Matters!
August 4, 1859: One hundred and fifty years ago, William Sutherland was born on this date. He did research on relationship between viscosity of gas and temperature using Sutherland Constant, dissolution of strong electrolytes; viscosity of gases and liquids, molecular attraction, valency, ionization, ionic velocities, atomic sizes, and an electronic theory of matter.
August 27, 1859: One hundred and fifty years ago on this date, Edwin Drake discovered petroleum in Pennsylvania.
August 29, 1834: One hundred and seventy-five years ago on this date, Hermann J. P. Sprengel was born. He was a researcher in discharge tubes and the invented vacuum pump.
August 30, 1884: One hundred and twenty-five years ago, Theodor Svedberg was born on this date. He was a researcher on the ultracentrifuge for determining molecular weights and sizes of proteins for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1926 for his work on disperse systems.
from the September 8, 2009 issue of ACS Matters:
Well, there's no denying it any longer: Labor Day is behind us, summer's over, and the real business of school and/or work has returned in earnest. To help get our heads back in the game, we're brushing up on our memorization of the Periodic Table of the Elements, with musical assistance from Tom Lehrer. Of course, they're not exactly in the correct order, and some updating of the lyrics is clearly needed – plenty of new elements have been discovered since 1959, when Lehrer wrote this! Now, how to work "Seaborgium" into the lyrics…
From the October 13, 2009 issue of ACS Matters:
Well, we've succumbed once again to football fever, and we're grateful to Scientific American for supplying a suitably high-brow collection of reports about the science of the game, and scientists involved with it – perfect reading while we're waiting for the next kickoff!
From the October 6, 2009 issue of ACS Matters (and just in time for National Chemistry Week):
This just in from the Uncanny Coincidences desk: On the very day that we praised Tom Lehrer's "Elements Song" in this space, our esteemed colleagues at BoingBoing premiered a charming video called "Meet the Elements." Sort of an animated love letter to the Periodic Table with music by They Might Be Giants, we think it's a fitting and affectionate update of Lehrer's classic. It'd sound great at your NCW party!