Monthly Archives: August 2015

Vodka is used for science experiments because it is a relatively inexpensive form of ethanol in water. (photo credit: Andrew Cheal)
I’m commonly asked why many chemistry ‘recipes’ call for vodka or Everclear as opposed to medical-grade ethanol (alcohol). The answer is simple: It’s easy and inexpensive to obtain vodka, while obtaining medical-grade ethanol, even if you have a permit, can be expensive. Aside from the regulations surrounding ethanol, it’s a […]

Why People Use Vodka for Science Experiments

Oobleck is a type of slime that behaves as a viscoelastic or non-Newtonian fluid. (David Mulder)
Slime is a classic science project. There are lots of different ways to make it, so you’re sure to have ingredients to make it. Here’s a collection of easy slime recipes to try: Classic White Glue and Borax Slime Recipe Let’s start with the go-to slime recipe, made using white […]

3 Easy Slime Recipes

Periodic Table Chart - Dark Background
New Color Periodic Chart This periodic chart is a colorful addition to the periodic table wallpaper collection. Each element group is represented by a different colored cell containing the element’s atomic number, element symbol, name and atomic mass. The full-sized image is 1920×1080. This makes it perfectly suited to use […]

Color Periodic Chart

Chemistry Cat
It’s commonly believed that taurine is an amino acid. There are a few reasons for the misconception. The chemical name for taurine is 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, so it has an amino group and is an acid. Taurine has the “-ine” ending that is common with other amino acids, plus it is […]

Why Taurine Is not an Amino Acid

Clothes Hanging Out To Dry (schermpeter42)
Have you ever wondered whether washing clothes may make them dirtier rather than cleaner? Here’s an interesting e-mail I received: “I am hoping you may be able to answer a question that seems to have everyone staring into space. It appears we are all focused on what pollutants are in […]

Washing Clothes May Make Them Dirtier

Soy Sauce with Wasabi (Melissa Doroquez)
The news services sometimes include unusual stories that relate to chemistry. For example, Snopes collected a series of news reports about the use of potentially carcinogenic soy sauce made using human hair instead of soy beans. I learned that the amino acids in human hair can be used to make a […]

Soy Sauce Made From Human Hair