Chemical Reaction

2013 Ig Nobels: Modified Onions Mean No More Tears; Unpredictable Cows

Earlier this month the world celebrated the 23rd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. The Ig Nobel Prizes are organized by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research. The ceremony is co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students and the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association.

All Hail The Electric Cello And Futuristic Plastics

In the third grade my music teacher had us make a miniature model of the musical instrument of our choice. I chose the cello. I was so proud of my creation and couldn't wait to showcase it in front of my peers.

De-Skunking Video Wins ACS Everyday Chemistry Contest

I am thankful that I've never needed a remedy for de-skunking a dog. However, I'm sure I've just tempted fate. No worries, this video, which was the winner of a contest sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS), gives me the lowdown on getting the skunk stink out of my...

Air Products' Rock Band Set For Swan Song Shows

In 2001 Fortune magazine named Air Products' rock band, The Difference, the “Best Corporate Rock Band in America.” Since 2000, Fortune has partnered with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland to host a battle of the corporate bands.

Smog-Busting Street Cleans Up Pollution

A recent press release from IChemE reveals a smog-eating street. I can't help but picture a road lifting up its concrete slab and noshing on nitrogen oxide to rid the world of nasty smog. The caption would say: "Taking A Bite Out Of Pollution" a la McGruff the Crime Dog...

Wooden Batteries Solve Environmental Issue

I have a coffee can full of old batteries. I don't want to toss them in the trash – those things leak all sorts of unfriendly stuff into the environment. Each time I look at the can, I think – why can't they come up with an environmentally friendly battery?...

The Artificial Nose Knows That Smell

My co-worker loves beer. So much so that he took a class to earn his Cicerone certification. A Cicerone is the beer world's version of a wine Sommelier. Part of this program involves training the nose to know when something is amiss, afoul or just plain gross.

Hybrid Clay Could Be The Cost-Effective Answer To Water Purification

A study on “hybrid clay” that appears in the journal American Chemical Society (ACS) Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering suggests an inexpensive new material made of clay and papaya seeds removes harmful metals from water and could lower the cost of providing clean water to millions of people in the developing world.

Orange You Glad There's A Plan For Waste?

You've got to squeeze a lot of oranges to get a glass of juice. The lesson: It takes a lot of work to get to the reward. The fact: The reward leaves behind a lot of waste.

From Science Fair To Felony Charges

Has a need to be politically correct at all times brought us to our knees in terms of innovation and exploration? Are we doing a disservice to students by stymieing their curiosity for fear of getting in trouble?