The Terminator Returns?

I was on Yahoo! the other day and I was going through those thumbnails at the top, you know, the ones with the important news? I came across this one post that I clicked on, and it talked about a polymer that can, get this, HEAL ITSELF! So I just had to find out more!

Created in Spain, this polymer can be sliced in half, left on a table for two hours at room temperature, and reheal itself up to 97%! There is still scarring, but, no matter how hard you try, it will not rip at that spot.

According to one article,  “Self-healing polymers mend themselves by reforming broken cross-linking bonds. However, the cross-linking healing mechanism usually requires an external stimulus.” Most of the time, the triggers are energy inputs like heat or pH. “Self-healing polymers that can spontaneously achieve quantitative healing in the absence of a catalyst have never been reported before, until now.” Other attempts have been made before, like Ibon Odriozola of Spain. However,  it was not appealing enough to market to the public. During the video above, the Terminator is cut in half and then left in two pieces atop each other for 2 hours in room temperature. The material? An industrially familiar, permanently cross-linked poly(urea–urethane) elastomeric network.

Many chemists believe this elastomer can be used to “… improve the security and duration of many plastic parts, for example in cars, houses, electrical components and biomaterials.”

I believe this is just the start to developing long lasting items. With this technology, we can develop more realistic things found in nature. Developing new products such as for use in the human body would be amazing. If we were to refine this, fake skin could be modeled out of it! And from there! Oh, the places we’ll go!


So ta ta for now and I hope to see your chemical reaction soon!


So many choices…of water?

I drink bottles water all the time! I’m always on the go and I usually grab the water bottle that’s closest or cheapest. Recently, I read an article that told me what water I should drink when. Excuse me? Since when is there a “right and wrong” to water? Since the need for competition in the world of water. There are so many different brands: Poland spring, Fiji, waa-tah!, and more! There are also the generic brands from CVS and Shoprtie, not to mention flavored water, vitamin water, water addins, and sparkling water. Although the article was reasonably short, there were many interesting points within it.

The  article contained quotes from Martin Riese, who recently created a water menu for Ray’s & Stark Bar in Los Angeles. “Water is not just water,” says Riese. He means that there are so many different things in water today, it is never just water. In the article, he gave his opinion on different brands of water and when to drink them.

For after a workout, Riese suggests a brand fro. Germany called Gerolsteiner.  He states it contains a lot of minerals and has carbon dioxide, which is used for refreshing bubbles, meaning that it is used only for enjoyment. Another foreign brand, Riese wrote,  “Badoit from France is easy to drink because it has very tiny bubbles and a good amount of minerals to keep you energized at throughout the day. Plus, the magnesium content helps you relax and concentrate.” For this brand, he believes is best used at a desk. Also from Europe, Vichy Catalan from Spain  is the best water in place of a cocktail. It “…has a unique taste thanks to the total dissolved solids, or TDS, which means it has a high mineral content…” says Riese. He also suggest adding it to another cocktail for a more complex taste. When eating broccoli or another vegetable, it is best to drink Iskilde from Denmark, as it has “earthy notes”. However,  with a salad with vinaigrette, Riese feels 9th is better for cutting the acidity. The last advice Riese gave to us was what to keep by the bed. This should be a familiar name, as he recommends Fiji water for its minerals. Riese also said a cold glass will help the stomach react better to caffeine. 

Wow! I did not realize just how many different types of water there were! In addition,  who knew how many different effects there were of different kinds of water! To read the full article, clink the link below.


So ta ta for now and I hope to see your chemical reaction soon!

Hormonal Shoppers?

While surfing the web one afternoon, I came across a video about how to shop. It mostly talked about when the best time to shop was and when to shop in regard to how hungry you are.  At the very end, however, was something I did not expect, that you get a hormonal rush after you make a bargain.  In other words, when you are felling happy after saving money, it’s really your hormones going crazy. After looking it up, I could find little about that exact case study, but managed to find information about girls, more specifically, how our periods turn us into the best customer for stores: impulse buyers.

I do not know anyone who enjoys their period. I mean like as a whole. It would be bad if we couldn’t reproduce, but most aspects are not fun. Anyway, PMS, or premenstrual symptoms, come about a week or two before the actual menstruation begins. During this time period, women often have mood swings, are stressed out, and their bodies go crazy. Our immune systems are down, stress is high, and everything is upped a level: oil production, hair growth, etc. During this time, women, with their wild mood swings, are bound to feel down. A favorite female pastime is, you guessed it, shopping! However, we don’t just want to get something cute or cool accessories, we want to get something that flatters us. Many women, when they are upset, or anyone for that matter, often buy materialistic objects so they feel satisfied, when they really are not. Scientists state that during their most fertile days, approximately the two weeks before their period, many dress up nicer. This is from an animal instinct, as an animal’s goal is to survive, and to pass down his or her genes, must be impressive in order to attract a suitable mate. In order to dress nice, many women want to add to their closets. However, during a study, many (the number was not specified on the website) said that after spending more than they wanted to, they often wished they hadn’t spent the money and try to return it when possible.

I did not know about this, despite that our hormones go insane. I knew basic information about what hormones can do, but never thought about the influence it could have on something as regular as shopping. I’ll definitely watch out the next time I suddenly want to go shopping!

To avoid these impulsive habits, try not to shop in that 14 day period. For more information, check out the links below, or pick up a copy of Sheconomics, as recommended by one of the websites.

Links: (The really good site with lots of information and books) (my inspiration for this post)

So ta ta for now and hope to see your chemical reaction soon!

Cooking Up Some Chemistry!

Chemistry is seen in every aspect of our lives, from fashion to fire, but I haven’t mentioned substantial food, unless you consider pop rocks to be nutritional. When you heat something, say chopped red cabbage, the heat breaks down the colored pigment, changing the pigment from an acid to an alkaline, which causes the color change. If you increase the acidity through the addition of vinegar, some of the color will return. Some vegetables, like asparagus, become brighter when placed in boiling hot water. The water “pops” the air bubbles in the surface cells, making it brighter. The longer you cook it, however, the less appetizing it becomes. If overcooked, asparagus can become shrunken and dark green, due to the release of acid.

Bananas and other fruits give off gas that helps ripen them faster. This is why, when you buy green bananas, they quickly turn yellow if kept in an enclosed bag. Once they are ripe, release some of the gas, so the stay at their peak ripeness as long as possible.

Although I knew about the bananas with their super quick ripening gas, I didn’t know that other fruit had similar gases that did that. Now I know why my fruit ripens so quickly! I also previously knew about asparagus, but I didn’t know the science behind it. However, this idea of the acidity makes sense. The majority of the cooking article was really interesting, especially since I love eating fruits and vegetables! The full article has a link down below!


So ta ta for now and hope to see your chemical reaction soon!

Crackle, Crackle POP!

Next week is spirit week, and some people do crazy things. Some people wear school colors
in their hair, go above and beyond expectations, and,
of course, try to look the best. One fashionable way to stand out is to wear statement clothing. But you can also dress up your nails!

One type of nail polish in particular used to be a huge craze labeled “Crackle”. These nail polishes, applied over a first base coat of any color. After it is dry, you would apply the crackle, which literally crackles on your nails only a few seconds after applying. Depending on how thick your crackle coat is, the times for a pattern to paper varies. A top coat can then be applied.

Crackle is a clever tool for nails. It forms a broken pattern over the nails, similar to those scratch pads that are originally black but scratch off to be rainbow underneath. However, crackle is created through using alcohol to break the nail polish down faster and unevenly. The crackle forms a film over the original nail polish, but shrinks and dissolves as it dries, creating small lines in between the nail polish. This trend is really a nail polish test gone wrong, just as it says on In the article, it goes into more detail, especially with specific ingredients. The link is below.

I didn’t really consider crackle as something with a chemical reaction, but, realizing it has to dissolve something to get that effect, I learned more about the effect that alcohol can have on certain substances. While the trend has died down, people still use it, and it is so cool that I can go up to them and tell them that a) their wearing chemistry and b) how they are wearing it. Just knowing something that is so intertwined with our culture is amazing. It broadens my knowledge and I have opened my eyes to just how much our world reflects chemistry.

So ta ta for now and hope to see your chemical reaction soon!


Coloring Chemistry?

We recently did a lab in chemistry class were we looked at metal salts and figured out what color they were. Looking into it, I found something equally as awesome. That’s right: chemistry labels for crayons! For each Crayola color, there is a chemical equation for it that sticks right on over the color’s wrapper. It matches the wrapper color, so it looks like it is not even there!

crayola-chemistry.jpg How cool is that?

It is actually quite hot. Why? Because these chemical formulas are not actually in the crayon, they just create the same color when they are burned. These chemicals burn a certain color due to the electrons. The electrons in the metal salt start off at different energy levels. When they are heated up,  they move around faster and more randomly. In one article, the writer put it this way. The flame “supplies thermal energy to the atoms and molecules of the substance, promoting electrons from a ground (lower) energy state to an excited (higher) energy state.” In simpler terms, heat transfers energy to atoms, which cause the electrons within the atom to go from little energy to a lot of energy. Another great explanation that easily explains the colors is also found on the site. ” In simplest terms, when the wavelength is long, the energy is small, and conversely, short wavelengths mean higher energies. Applied to photons emitted during electronic transitions, an electron dropping back to ground level from a very high excited energy state can give off a photon of relatively short wavelength such as blue or even ultraviolet light. Similarly, a small difference in transition energy levels could give rise only to the emission of a relatively long-wavelength photon, such as red light.” In other words,

Long wavelengths = small energy = big difference in energy = blue or ultraviolet light.

Small wavelengths = big energy = small change in energy = red light.

There is much more information with much more detail on the site, and I would highly recommend reading it. The link is the last one below.

There is so much to learn, and I did not truly understand the whole idea as energy as a wavelength. Now I understand that the size of the wavelength determines the properties, and that it can tell you a lot about a substance from looking at it. By applying heat to a certain substance, you can learn more about the different colors, and about what makes that happen!


***BONUS: an awesome YouTube song about colors! Enjoy!***

So Ta Ta for now and hope to see your chemical reaction soon!

Shedding Some Light on UV Tattoos


This past weekend was Family Weekend at the college my sister attends. My parents and I went up to visit her, where we played games at a carnival, ate cotton candy, and met her roommate. We went out to lunch afterwards, because my sister can’t have a car on campus, and talked about all the cool things she’s been up to. One thing she told me about was a UV tattoos she got. One was a heart, and the other was a cool butterfly. I figured this would be a good topic to learn more about, especially since it was relevant.

Normal tattoo ink is made up of different colored pigments: some mineral, industrial-based, vegetable based, plastic-based, and industrial pigments. Different colored inks are made up of different compounds. UV tattoo ink is a different story. For one thing, UV tattoo ink is thinner, and takes longer to apply. However, UV ink is a combination of normal tattoo ink and UV reactive ink. Like normal tattoo ink, UV ink comes in a variety of colors.

Many people want to get UV tattoos as soon as they see one, due to the fact they are nearly invisible except for light scarring, and are something cool to show off to others. It can be more private too, as it is not always visible. Despite its popularity, many tattoo shops do not offer it. This is because there are safety concerns, as well as it is a medium that is slightly harder to work with, as well as the fact that many people reported rashes and other skin infections because of them. After a while, the tattoo ink can fade into a yellow-brown color. However, phosphorus, which used to be contained in UV tattoo ink, is no longer there, which may lead to a decrease in the skin infections. Make sure wherever you go, if you decide to get a tattoo, you know where the ink comes from and what is in it.

GOing in, I didn’t really know that much about tattoos, because I never seriously thought about getting one. I still won’t, but I realize that it is a more in-depth and complicated than it frist seemed. The fact that some tattoo dyes are based off plants and minerals, like colors in shirts, should have been obvious, but I didn’t think that because it was ink. I hadn’t heard of UV tattoos before, either, so it was really interesting to learn about something I didn’t know existed as an option. Not only are they more private, but they look amazing! While I wouldn’t get a permanent tattoo, it would so cool to have a temporary UV tattoo. However, where the ink comes from would have to be looked into before I got any type, just to be safe! All in all, UV tattoos are a neat subject that I now know so much more about!


So Ta Ta for now and hope to see your chemical reaction soon!