Category Archives: Fun

Screw stereochemistry!

I saw my former PhD boss (Fraser Stoddart) over the weekend and he had a challenge for me. And I can’t resist a challenge. He gave me a copy of the midterm he had just given his grad class and … Continue reading

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The periodic table of Twitter

So, you’re a chemist and you’ve finally decided to find out what all the fuss is about with this thing called Twitter. You decide to sign up, but, for whatever reason, you don’t fancy using your own name. Maybe an … Continue reading

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My Olympics

We were lucky enough to see a couple of events at the London 2012 Olympics… first up was some tennis at Wimbledon. We got to see Murray and Robson in the mixed doubles (beating the Australians — which is always … Continue reading

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Where I’ve been (in the name of SCIENCE!)

I’m not quite sure who started the whole #sciencenomads thing on Twitter (I think either @Chemjobber or @SeeArrOh), but it got me thinking about all the places I’ve visited/worked because of SCIENCE! Sure, if I’d never got into chemistry (or … Continue reading

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My ChemDraw hell

Here’s a challenge for you. Draw the structure below in ChemDraw – so that it looks as pretty as it does here* – and let me know how long it took you. If you can do it in under 3 … Continue reading

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The value of PR stunts?

I’ve been a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) for many years now; I think I’m coming up on my 15th year. The RSC does a lot of good things — and I know many people who work … Continue reading

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Cookie chemistry

Apologies for the lack of posting here. I’ve always been impressed with the output on a lot of the chemistry blogs that I peruse, but since starting this blog I now have an even deeper sense of wonder and awe … Continue reading

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Drawing conclusions

How do you draw your benzene rings? No, not how do they look when you’re finished, but what are the motions you go through when you put pen to paper? And I do mean pen to paper, obviously drawing benzene … Continue reading

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The smallest chiral hydrocarbon?

Last week I posed the following question: What is the lowest molecular weight hydrocarbon that is chiral? (A couple of restrictions — isotopes don’t count, so no deuterium or 13C, and no conformational stereoisomers, I’m looking for stable enantiomers at … Continue reading

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Pop quiz #1

In my former life I taught organic chemistry — sometimes to classes of 300. A significant fraction of the students were ‘pre-med’ which for those of you who don’t know, roughly translates as, ‘I couldn’t give a crap about chemistry, … Continue reading

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