Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How to promote your work through LinkedIn

013 marked professional networking site LinkedIn’s ten year anniversary.  By the end of its first decade, the company netted 225 million members, with a growth rate of over two members per second. [1] Now with 277 million members, LinkedIn has the largest number of users of any online professional network in the world. [2] “LinkedIn is, far and away, the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today,” according to Forbes. [3] “I’m often asked, ‘How important is it for those already near the top of their careers to be utilizing resource tools such as LinkedIn?’ Most times, these questions come out of not fully understanding what you can do with a LinkedIn account and profile,” says career coach John Crant of SelfRecruiter.com [4]
So, how can you harness LinkedIn’s vast audience and  successfully showcase and disseminate your published content?
Utilize your strongest promotional tool on LinkedIn – your profile. Make your profile a positive tool in promoting the circulation of your published content:
  1. Tell your entire story. Assess potential omissions in your profile – have you listed all of your occupational experiences?  Education? Awards? Prior accomplishments may seem small, ancient, or downright irrelevant, until you shift your perspective. LinkedIn users visiting your profile probably don’t know the narrative of your career. A lapse in your profile is a missed demonstration of growth and of ambition. An earlier achievement may not reflect your current work but it will enrich your profile ‘story.’ By establishing the scope of your achievements, you grow common interests, expand your circles, and increase access to you and your published content.

organic chemists

How organic chemists tweak existing molecules and build new ones from scratch
Natural products—molecules originally isolated from bacteria, fungi, plants, and other sources—often have medicinal values that can be enhanced by careful

This Day in Science History - May 13 - Ronald Ross

Malaria has been a problem for people for all of history. It usually causes symptoms a lot like flu, fevers, chills and nausea--even causing death. The term malaria or mal aria means "bad air". Medieval doctors thought there was something in the air that causes the disease.

On May 13, 1857, Ronald Ross was born. Ross was an Anglo-Indian physician who discovered malaria is caused by the parasite Plasmodium. This parasite would be spread by mosquito bites. A female mosquito would bite an infected animal or person, get infected itself, and infect everyone it bit afterwords. Describing the life-cycle of Plasmodium would earn Ross the 1902 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

1975 - Marguerite Catherine Perey died.

Perey was a French physicist who discovered the element francium. She found the elusive element while investigating lanthanum samples. Francium is produced by the alpha disintegration of actinium and has a very short half-life of only 22 minutes.

Make Plastic Sulfur

Did you know that you can make a polymer from an element? It's really easy to turn ordinary yellow sulfur into plastic sulfur! As an added bonus, you'll get to experience a couple other interesting properties of sulfur. The yellow solid melts into a blood-red liquid. When it is heated, it may ignite with a blue flame... Make plastic sulfur


  • 50 g sulfur [Compare Prices]
  • test tube (25 mm x 200 mm)
  • burner
  • test tube clamp
  • beaker of water (500 mL or so)
  • tongs


You'll melt the sulfur, which changes from a yellow powder into a blood-red liquid. When the molten sulfur is poured into the beaker of water, it forms a rubbery mass, which remains in polymer form for a variable length of time, but eventually crystallizes into a brittle form.
  1. Fill the test tube with pure sulfur powder or pieces until it is within a couple of centimeters of the top of the tube.
  2. Using a test tube clamp to hold the tube, place the tube in a burner flame to melt the sulfur. The yellow sulfur will turn into a red liquid as it melts. The sulfur may ignite in the flame. This is fine. If ignition occurs, expect a blue flame at the mouth of the test tube.
  3. Pour the molten sulfur into a beaker of water. If the sulfur is burning, you'll get a spectacular burning stream from the tube into the water! The sulfur forms a golden-brown "string" as it hits the water.
  4. You can use tongs to remove the mass of polymer sulfur from the water and examine it. This rubbery form will last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours before reverting to the usual yellow brittle rhomic crystalline form.

Do Bubbles Pop from the Top or the Bottom

 A soap bubble consists of a thin layer of water trapped between two layers of soap molecules. The liquid layer is thin, but it is still affected by gravity, so as a bubble floats, the water is drawn to its base. The film at the top of the bubble thins, even as evaporation removes liquid from the entire surface, until finally the bubble pops -- from the top. If you freeze bubbles with dry ice, you can pick a bubble up to examine it more closely to verify this for yourself. Another fun way to view bubbles is to color them.

This Day in Science History - May 12 - Dorothy Hodgkin

May 12th is Dorothy Hodgkin's birthday. Hodgkin was the British chemist who developed three dimensional x-ray crystallography. X-ray crystallography involved growing a crystal of the sample you wished to investigate, beaming x-rays through this sample, and recording the diffraction pattern made by the atoms of the crystal. The pattern would reveal the structure of the crystal's atoms in two dimensions. Hodgkin aimed her x-rays through crystals at multiple angles and compared the differences in diffraction patterns to find the three dimensional structure. This technique showed atom positions, length of chemical bonds and the relationships between individual molecules in the crystals. She found the structures of penicillin and insulin, but the structure of vitamin B12 would earn her the 1964 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

How to Make Colored Sparklers

Sparklers are small handheld fireworks that give off fiery sparks rather than explode. Sparklers consist of a thin metal or wooden stick coated with a simple pyrotechnic mixture. Colored sparklers really are as easy to make as regular sparklers. The difference lies in the oxidizer that is used. You're basically replicating a flame test, except in reverse since you know the colors to expect from various metal ions. Potassium nitrate or saltpeter will impart a violet color. Barium nitrate burns green. Strontium nitrate burns red. Aside from ordering from a chemical supply store, you can find strontium nitrate in emergency flares and potassium nitrate at some garden supply stores (or you can make it yourself). You can mix in other metal salts from the flame test or colored fire list, but only go for one color. If you try to mix colors, you'll likely wind up with a basic golden sparkler. There are several recipes for colored sparklers. Here are some examples. Ingredients are listed in terms of parts by weight, so you can use milligrams or grams or ounces... whatever works for you.

Red Sparklers

  • 5 parts strontium nitrate
  • 1 part shellac
Dip iron wires or wooden sticks in the mixture and allow it to dry completely before use. Be sure to leave enough room on the stick so that you can hold the sparkler safely.