Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ooooohhh!!! Aaaaaahhhh!!

I love fireworks, and in the past, I've taken extreme measures to see two shows in one night. So I was delighted to find this site, courtesy of Librarians' Index to the Internet. It explains the chemistry and basic physics behind the displays, and includes a table showing the compounds that produce specific colors, as well as a little bit of history. A friend of mine worries that knowing too much about things like fireworks will make them less wonderful and enjoyable, but this stuff fascinates me.
Chemical of the Week is one of my favorite sites. I always learn something here, and it often appeals to a family affinity with explosives (stories for another time). It's geared to enlightened non-specialists, so anyone can enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New search tool for science!!

I just tried out Scitopia, which describes itself as a " federated search portal to the digital libraries of leading science and technology societies." Currently, it simultaneously searches the publications of 15 scientific societies (including AGU), as well as "patents and government data" (I haven't figured out how well the last part works yet). It's in beta now, so give it a try and let them know how to develop it.