Remember the Masked Magician? The illusionist who gained fame by exposing magic secrets, which sparked controversy as many other magicians feared that their illusions were now worthless. He emphasized, however, that he felt revealing the secrets would encourage kids into trying magic instead of discouraging them, and that the entertainment of magic shows […]
The phlogiston theory reigned for quite a while. It held that all combustible resources contain phlogiston, a substance without color, odor, taste, or mass* that is liberated in burning. Once burned, the “dephlogisticated” substance was held to be in its “true” form, the calx.
The theory made good sense for hundreds of years […]
In 2003, give or take a year or so, a fellow grad student showed me this hilarious paper. I’m 85% sure it was in JOC and by one of the top dogs; I mean Katritzky or someone like that. It was usually long, even for a full paper. One of the paragraphs towards the end […]
Just to be redundantly clear: The following artwork is a mere work of fiction (and some alone time with Photoshop).
But seriously, wouldn’t it be awesome if some of our dusty old applications were spiced up with a couple of Web 2.0 functions?
- Hey SciFinder, the time has come for you to […]
3. Kurt Vonnegut
2. Dolph Lundgren
In 1982 Hans “Dolph” Lundgren graduated with a M.Sc. in chemical engineering, […]
A thermal runaway is the chemical equivalency of a nuclear meltdown. It is scary stuff, believe me. Here is a horrible, real-life example:
Clearly, these guys had no idea of what forces they were dealing with. Going directly from 1 L to a 2500 gallon (roughly 10000 L) scale is bananas. Especially with […]
After work-up, LCMS, GCMS and HNMR agree: Pure desired product. Woho!
New reaction type, new mechanism (which we don’t fully understand yet), new conditions. A one-step alternative to what usually takes three or four steps, arriving at a very attractive heterocycle.
I can’t go into any details right now, but we are working on […]
A couple of days ago, I – this page – was retweeted by Nature Chemistry. Proof:
I was shocked and flattered, of course, and I am pretty confident that this marks the height of my career. If you feel like following in Nature Chemistry’s footpath (who would rather not?), follow @SyntheticRemark on […]
I hereby admit that it was ages ago since I even looked at a MSDS, and I presume I am not the only one. Why? It is certainly not because I do not care about the safety of myself or others, because I really do, but because these so called documents are – in the […]
Amides are pretty tough to reduce down to their corresponding amines. Typically, you hydrogenate at high temperature and pressure or use LAH, borane, dissolving metals and stuff like that, under – obviously – pretty harsh conditions. Good old March (5th ed., ISBN: 0471585890) says: “The reaction is more difficult than the reduction of most […]