What If You Stopped Sleeping?
Is your lack of sleep slowly killing you? And if you were to stop sleeping right now, how long could you survive?
This is the worst video for an insomniac.
Today we’re celebrating chemist Jacobus Henricus van’t Hoff, who was born 161 years ago today, with a 1999 story by our editor-in-chief, A. Maureen Rouhi:
When you’re young and just embarking on a career, it’s not always easy to be taken seriously. So it was in 1874 when Dutch chemist Jacobus Henricus van’t Hoff, then only 22 and not even having received the Ph.D. degree yet, proposed that carbon had a tetrahedral coordination geometry. Three years later, Hermann Kolbe, then 59 and a more established chemist, attacked the idea as “phantasmagorical puffery,” “fantastic foolishness,” “shallow speculations,” and “an overgrowth of the weed of seemingly learned and ingenious but in reality trivial and stupefying natural philosophy.”
Kolbe’s vociferous dismissal notwithstanding, the tetrahedral geometry of tetravalent carbon has become one of the tenets that students learn early in a basic organic chemistry course.
Tetrahdral Carbon Redux: Symposium commemorates 125-year-old idea that evolved into stereochemistry
Getting the Chemistry Right on Breaking Bad
This Sunday, millions will watch the hotly anticipated conclusion of Breaking Bad, which tells the story of chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-overlord Walter White. We’re celebrating the chemistry behind this acclaimed show with a new episode featuring Donna Nelson, Ph.D., a scientific consultant for the series.
"For those of us who are educated in science, whenever we see science presented inaccurately, it’s like fingernails on the blackboard! It just drives us crazy, and we can’t stay immersed in the show," says Nelson, a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Oklahoma. In the video, Nelson details how she works with the show’s creator Vince Gilligan and its writers to keep the scientific content accurate. This includes providing the chemical structures Walter White draws on his blackboard and calculating exactly how much methamphetamine could be produced from a 30-gallon drum of methylamine.
Produced by the American Chemical Society
Video by Elaine Seward
via Bytesize Science.
The crocodilian Pristichampsus runs down two early horses (Hyracotherium), by John Sibbick
Awesome science stencils via reddit user webbin
Bill Nye will be a contestant on this year’s Dancing With The Stars. Not sure whether to be excited or sad. I’ll go with excited, by a nose.
You can head over to Gizmodo’s Summer Science Symposium at 1 PM Eastern today to ask him about it! Bill will be answering questions for an hour over there. While you’re there, you can view past discussions with Phil “The Bad Astronomer” Plait, Henry Reich from MinutePhysics and other very smart folks.
Tumblr shout-out for all of you who love science and are always on the lookout for more sciencey blogs to follow, I present to you my cosmic bro from another lo-cation. Follow this dude, promote good science and stay curious :)
“Hello! My name is Chace and I’m a freshman in college. I plan on getting my Bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering with a focus on fusion energy, and my PhD in Physics. Along with running my blog, I write for the Facebook page “From Quarks to Quasars”. Science has played a major role in shaping who I am as an individual. I have realized that it is not only a method of answering questions, but also a way of viewing the world around us. It is a way for us to understand our universe, while simultaneously giving us more perspective about ourselves. My goal with this blog is to help others appreciate our universe and utilize science so that they may find their place within the cosmos. If nothing else, I hope that I am able to help people understand one simple fact: Science matters.”
- Chace aka Cosmophilia @ Tumblr
"When I talk to the camera, mate, it`s not like I`m talking to the camera, I`m talking to you because I want to whip you around and plunk you right there with me."
"I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message." - Steve Irwin.
7 years ago today, the world lost a legend. I was 14 and I remember being home from school when a little bulletin ran across the bottom of the TV, because his death was that big of a deal, that they ran a news bulletin about it across the bottom of all channels and I remember my mom switching it over to the news to hear the story.
I remember thinking, there is no way, “confirmed dead”? No he’ll be alright, because he’s Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, right?
I remember bawling my eyes out the whole rest of the day because my idol, the guy I wanted to grow up to be, was dead.
In the following years I have watched this man’s passion and efforts fade away from the very audiences he tried to reach. The channels that once aired his show have become a joke.
His message about spreading education in order to fight all the ignorance has been lost.
Today media has gone from helpful and educational to ‘what’s best for the ratings’. Shows that use fear mongering and spread misinformation are all that are shown on once great channels such as Animal Planet and Discovery.
Instead of shows like Crocodile Hunter, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, and the beautifully put together documentaries on wildlife… we have shows like Fatal Attractions, a show that depicts exotic pet owners in bad light, making all of us who own something not cute and furry look like we’re trying to ‘own and control a piece of the wild’. The incidents that are portrayed on that show are greatly exaggerated and only depict a small fraction of the exotics community. Not everyone who owns a tiger is keeping it in their NY apartment. Not everyone who works with venomous snakes is free handling them.
Then you have ‘documentaries’ such as Man Eating Super Croc, which does nothing but make a crocodile who was only living as a crocodile should, out to be a murderous monster, out to grab your children and pets from the water’s edge without any remorse.
I used to look forward to Shark Week, until it became a joke, and yet another vessel for spreading fear and false information.
If Steve were still alive today, I wonder how he’d feel about these so called educational shows that have taken over the many channels of Discovery Network? I wonder how he’d feel about the python hunts that Florida keeps placing into motion? I wonder how he’d feel about the attacks on the exotic pet keepers community and all the recent legislation that is working to completely ban anything that’s not a dog or a cat (yet)? I wonder what he’d have to say about the increase of rhino poaching and the extinction of now two rhino subspecies within 5 years? I wonder what actions he’d take on the efforts to end shark finning? How would he feel about the sensationalism of rattlesnake roundups?
I wonder what he’d say and how he’d contribute to ending all of these things…
I think he’d be shaking his head. I think he’d be incredibly sad to see how much his message has faded from the best possible hosts for it.
The world could sure use you back Steve, especially now when we need a strong voice to say what needs to actually be said and for someone to start spreading the right message again.
Animals you never knew existed!
1) Maned Wolf
2) Pink Fairy Armadillo
3) Patagonian Mara
4) Raccoon Dog
5) Sunda Colugo
6) Irrawaddy Dolphin