Friday, March 30, 2007

Chinese Dean-Stark

A Chinese person commented on the Dean-Stark post:

‘I am using the apparatus and looking for the information of inventor to write dean-stark apparatus for chinese wikipedia.Thank you for your answer.’

Here is the Chinese entry. The only Dean-Stark entry that gives the reference to the original paper and gives the names of the inventors. The fact that somebody uses this blog as information source proves the unreliability of Wikipedia :-)

Not a rotavap.

I this the first rotavap? Een of andere vent asked here.

The Alchemist in Search of the Philosophers Stone, by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771

The answer is most likely: 'No'.

It is a concentrating device without a condensor and most likely without rotating abilities.

The painting shows Hennig Brand the german alchemist (c.1630–c.1710) who discovered phosphorus around 1669 by conentrating urine and heating the phosphate-containing residue. On this painting Brand is concentrating a solution containing the glowing phophorus.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Top 5 Chemist statues

1) Joseph Priestly
Birmingham, Birstall, Leeds,UK

2) Justus von Liebig

Giesen (destroyed during WOII), Munich, Germany

3) Robert Bunsen

Heidelberg, Germany

4) Antoine Lavoisier

Paris, France

5) Benjamin Silliman
Yale's Sterling Chemistry Laboratory, USA

There are more chemist statues. For instance Mendeleev has two in Russia (Moscow and St. Petersburg), Marie Curie in Japan (Soka University, Japan) and Kekulé in Bonn, Germany.

What they said; Cycling scientists

Friday, March 23, 2007

A synthetic environment - reloaded

Two weeks ago I mailed to tell Een of andere vent that I hoped he would not delete the blog and should continue to post things every now and then. He replied: ‘Do it yourself.’ I said that had no access to the blog. He gave me access. It turned out that I knew him.

He is my supervisor now. He wants me to call him Sir now, so we have a strict professional realationship. I do the work and he will say it was his idea. In the meantime Vent is just doing nothing besides having an Ellen Swallow Richards obsession and a special interest in facial hair. I will probably post less often than Vent did, but I’ll do my best.

Well this was his idea I must admit, a new category: What they said…

With Einstein on the beach

Vent demanded two other 'What they said' things in this post.

Deductive technique

Vent demanded facial hair things as well.

Recognize a genius

Vent spoke about his urinating behavior and I wonder if he could help me with this reduction I am working on.

JACS, 1900, 22, 309

Thursday, March 22, 2007

New author

Yep, someone is prepared to continue this blog for some time. He promised to publish the same kind of nonsense I did. I hope I do not have to sack him next month because of incompetency and being too serious, we'll see.

Get on with it, Snaack. (Silly name.)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Final post...

Well.. The final post.

This blog will not be deleted, but it will be silent here now. I had plenty of ideas left though. I never wrote on named-reactions, and never searched for the original papers.
There is a lot more nonsense to write about facial hair of dead chemists and I could look for chemist hair style changes.

August Wilhelm von Hoffman

I could be searching for old pictures and old patents to collect autographs.

Beistein, Erlenmeyer

And I could do a 'top 5 chemists in front of blackboard'.

Schiff, Burns Woodward, Pauling, Nernst

There are other things that will keep me busy right now. A few months from now I might do the 'once a month posting thing'. Maybe some time I will start Synthetic environment - the sequel (or think of a less dull blog title). I don't know yet. If so, you'll hear.

So, I cease posting, now. I will not leave you, and will still be reading all the nice blogs that are out here.

A peasant from a plague village once said: I'm not dead!.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Decision... I quit.

I started this blog 4 months ago and wrote 66 posts now. The amount of visitors has increased ever since. This blog reached the top 5 on chemical blogspace now, but I quit anyway. I do not have to write a thesis or lost my job, but I think I have done my trick. Sure, there are still a lot of 'top 5 lists' I can make up, and there is still a lot of science history to tell but that will be more of the same stuff....

Blogosphere is quite amazing. The moonshine post still attracts visitors, directed here by google and most blogs I read have this blog on their blogroll.

I really enjoyed writing all the nonsense like the Top 5 bearded chemists, LCMS analysis of coffee and Ageing and poses in chemistry. (My personel favourite is the article titles analysis-post.) I am fond of discovering the origins of the Vigreux collumn, the Rotavap and Markovnikov's rule, but when I have to think and do research for another post I think it is over.

So... this is the end... Well... the end for this blog, but not for blogosphere, one in ten thousand just started and you should go there. Carbon base curiosities will find new topics, I am sure. Chemical musings will post irony forever, a great blog as well! Jungfreudlich, very amusing and Kutti promised to write more in English, I am looking forward to it. Oh yeah, visit Homebrew and Chemistry, Chemgeek knows the meaning of life, beer is more important than chemistry.

Derek and Paul will be there forever, I think.

Visit the whole blogroll, kinasepro, tot. synth. etc. etc.

Ohhh shit, ψ*ψ, happy birthday!... a bit late... sorry.

I hope all you people enjoyed this blog.

The final post will be here within a week.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Listed list

Another 'amazing discovery': this blog entered a top 5 itself, here at Chemical Blogspace. I do not know how the ranking is calculated. Maybe this post will kick me out of this top 5.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Top 5 lousy chemist graves

The great chemists deserve a great grave.
Dmitri Mendeleev, August Kekulé

Some had their graves a bit overdone.
Louis Pasteur

A chemist can die in a lousy way, but a chemist can have a lousy grave as well.

Top 5 lousy chemist graves

1) Rosalind Franklin
Deserved a Nobel Prize and a decent grave.

2) Lise Meitner
Deserved a Nobel Prize and a decent grave as well.

4) Richard Adolf Zsigmondy
Received a Nobel Prize and a lousy grave.

4) Friedrich WöhlerWas elected number 1 of the dead chemists but has a simple and plain grave.

5) Sir William Henry Perkin

I have no picture. Simon Garfield was unable to locate the grave at the time he wrote the book Mauve. Someone found the neglected grave a few years later.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Alexander Shulgin

I do not correct old 'Top 5 lists', but...

Russ said about the previous post:

'I am stunned that this list could even exist, and make no mention of Alexander Shulgin, who synthesiszed over 230 different phenylethylamines (i.e. amphetamines) and tryptamines (e.g. serotonin analogues) and tested many of them on himself! He published his work in journals like Nature and J. Med. Chem. and then went on to write two books: Phenylethylamines I Have known and Loved and Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved, commonly known as PiHKAL and TiHKAL. I read most of PiHKAL many years ago, it is a fascinating read for chemistry (and/or recreational drug) enthusiasts.'

and Russ is right...

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Top 5 recreational drug chemists

1) Raphael Mechoulam
The guru of cannabinoid research. Identified delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol as active ingredient of Cannabis Sativa in 1964. Did extensive research (and still does) on the endocannabinoid system, and the therapeutic exploration of the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 (there is a CB3 too, GPR55).

2) Albert Hofmann
The very old and famous LSD man.

3) Charles Romley Alder Wright
Lecturer on chemistry in St. Mary’s hospital Medical School in London, synthesized heroin in 1874. He tried to find a non-addictive alternative to morphine

Unaware of Wright's work Felix Hoffman synthesized it as well for Bayer in 1897. Hoffman synthesized vitamin C at the same time and Bayer marketed them both leading to a nice and famous ad.

4) Anton Köllisch
Synthesized MDMA in 1912 for Merck (Germany). A patent that included the substance was filed the same year (DE274350). MDMA is mentioned as a chemical formula. The tale that MDMA was developed as an appetite suppressor for soldiers but appeared to have side effects is incorrect as was shown by a study of Merck's archives. MDMA was an intermediate in the synthesis for clotting agents. Anton Köllisch died as a soldier in 1916.

5) Nagai Nagayoshi
Discovered ephedrine and synthesized methamphetamine from it in 1893. (Thought it would be nice to have a Japanese guy in the list.)

Glassware as mannequin

I was doing some experiments with my new camera and took some pictures of some piece of lab-glassware. Using different sources of light and different backgrounds I got some nice images (no photoshopping).
top view
Know what it is?

Friday, March 2, 2007

Big bad industry

Are there people that think you work in the big bad polluting industry or the industry where they do not want people to get healthy? Tell them there is always worse, and give them this book about I.G. Farben:

The crime and punishment of I.G. Farben by Joseph Borkin

You can get a free copy here.

If you want to read horrible patents.

Check out : DE438818, DE447913 about Blausäure, Later known as Zyklon-B(lausäure).
Developed as a pesticide but later used to commit massive war crimes.

DE447913; Haltbarmachen von Blausäure

'Making Hydrogencyanide not perishable'


Do you know those funny guys that say Journal of Organic Crap?

NaH = Nasty Harry
t-BuLi = this Burns Life
GPCR = Gives Pharmacochemists Crises Regularly
DMSO = Dissolves My Skin Often
LiHMDS = Listen, Handgloves Make Definitely Sense
abs.EtOH = absolute Eternal Ongoing Hangover

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Top 5 beardless chemist moustache designs

This had to be done since I already did the Top 5 bearded chemists.

1) The
pince-nez/moustache combination

2) Victor's tangled food residue collecting moustache

3) The moustache with extensions on the cheeks

An improved design was the ‘only on the cheeks moustache’, developed by Charles-Adolphe Wurtz

4) The hanging moustache on round face with a piercing look

Alfred Werner, Theodor Curtius

This design is closely related to:

5) The modest moustache on round face

Carl Bosch, Peter Debije