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Chemistry

  1. Science

    Get to Know the Science Behind Sriracha With This Video

    Curious why Sriracha is so good? It's because of science! (Isn't everything?) In this video from the new(ish) YouTube series Reactions by Kirk Zamieroski from the American Chemical Society we get a molecular-level look at what makes Sriracha so uniquely wonderful, and now we're hungry for fiery deliciousness.

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  2. Science

    TEDEd Explains How Your Brain Is A Slave To Sugar Cravings [Video]

    It's virtually impossible for most people to turn down a cookie piece of candy. You know, unless you were both without a "sweet tooth," of course, in which case we're all very jealous and would like to know how you are able to resist. But what do we mean when we talk about "sweet tooths" in the first place? Let Nicole Avena of TEDEd explain.

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  3. Science

    5 Tips for a Better Thanksgiving Through Science [Video]

    Say goodbye to dry, cardboard-like turkey and boost your health thanks to Bytesize Science. They'll show you a bunch of ways to make your Thanksgiving more delicious and more healthy at the same time. What they don't show you is how to tell your Mom her turkey could be better. Science has no answer for that. You're on your own.

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  4. Science

    12 Elements Discovered Since Tom Lehrer Set the Periodic Table to Music in 1959

    Tom Lehrer is a genius. He released a number of albums in the 50's and 60's of satirical songs, but as far as we're concerned his magnum opus is "The Elements." The song put all the known elements at the time to music. That was in 1959. We've discovered a few elements since then, and here they are. Mr. Lehrer, perhaps another verse is in order?

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  5. Weird

    Spreadable. Beer. Beer You Spread on Things Then Eat, Now Reality

    An Italian brewery and an Italian chocolatier came together to invent beer you can spread like Nutella, so let's all take some time this long weekend to write them a thank you note, because now that's a thing that exists. This is groundbreaking because now sandwiches can get you drunk.

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  6. Science

    Liquid Nitrogen Pool Party Poisons Nine in Mexico, Leaves One Victim Comatose

    For no doubt the first time ever, a bad decision was made a pool party sponsored by Jagermeister. I know, I'm as shocked as you are. This bad call, though, went beyond the standard ill-starred hookup or barf-inducing round of Jager Bombs as organizers poured liquid nitrogen into the swimming pool. While this produced the desired 'smoke on the water' effect organizers were seeking, it also had an unintended consequence, creating a cloud of nitrogen gas that asphyxiated party goers and left several hospitalized, including a 21-year-old man who remains in a coma.

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  7. Weird

    DJs Suspended Indefinitely Over Chemistry Joke Florida Didn’t Understand

    We probably don't have to tell Geekosystem readers this, but water is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. It can be written as H2O, or as dihydrogen monoxide which means literally "Two hydrogen one oxygen." When two Florida radio DJs announced that dihydrogen monoxide was coming out of their faucets, the Fort Myers area went bananas. The DJs have been suspended indefinitely and could face felony charges.

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  8. Entertainment

    Watch Adorable Dogs Explain Chemical Bonds, Be Almost Too Cute

    Science is great. Dogs are great. Dogs teaching science is amazing. Here are two dogs demonstrating how different types of chemical bonds work, or something. It's really hard to pay attention to what the voice-over is saying, because the dogs are so cute. The dogs represent atoms, and their toys are electrons. That's what we managed to get, anyway. It's almost too cute to count as educational, but we'll give it a pass.

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  9. Science

    Chemistry Set Contains No Chemicals

    Sign of the times: A children's chemistry kit sold by a company called Elenco boasts "60 fun activities with no chemicals" on the box. Amazon description: "There is no fear of working with dangerous chemicals or poisons. The topics covered in the kit deal with chemical reactions, acids and bases, chromatography, crystal growing, surface tension, solutions and colloids, expansion of gases, magnetism, optics, growing plants and more. Simple experiments are performed using the contents of the kit and common household items." (Presumably, such potentially hazardous substances as vinegar and baking soda must be obtained from one's own home.) MAKE's Sean Michael Ragan nails it: "I post this not so much in the spirit of “shame on such-and-so” for creating this astounding oxymoron of a product, but rather to lament the general state of affairs we have come to thanks to litigiousness, chemophobia, and flagging scientific literacy." (MAKE via Neatorama)

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  10. Science

    MIT Chemist Develops Ultra-Efficient “Artificial Leaf”

    MIT chemistry professor Daniel Nocera has been studying sustainable energy for a long while, and with his latest effort, he hopes that a chemical process similar to photosynthesis can reduce dependence on fossil fuels in the first and third worlds. Nocera's "artificial leaf" is a cheap fuel cell the size of a playing card. Leave it in a pool of water exposed to sunlight, and it will use the solar energy to split the water into oxygen and hydrogen, which will be used to power an electricity-producing fuel cell. (Technically, this makes the process involved electrolysis rather than photosynthesis, since there is no production of sugar or other organic compounds involved.) According to Nocera, all it takes is a gallon of water to power a house with moderate energy needs for a day:

    With a single gallon of water, Nocera says, the chip could produce enough electricity to power a house in a developing country for an entire day. Provide every house on the planet with an artificial leaf and we could satisfy our 14 terrawatt need with just one gallon of water a day. Those are impressive claims, but they're also not just pie-in-the-sky, conceptual thoughts. Nocera has already signed a contract with a global megafirm to commercialise his groundbreaking idea. The mammoth Indian conglomerate, Tata Group has forged a deal with the MIT professor to build a small power plant, the size of a refrigerator, in about a year and a half.
    One potentially large setback: In many of the developing countries in need of power, water is a very dear -- and very limited -- resource. However, power plants like we currently use are secretly water-guzzlers: One estimate has it that coal and nuclear plants go through 200 billion gallons of water every day in the U.S. alone. (h/t HN.) Nocera's fuel cell sounds like a most encouraging step in the right direction: Get something like this to work with salt water and we'd really be talking sustainability. (via Wired UK. title pic via AnorZaken)

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