Somehow it’s already almost December, so this edition of Periodycal unboxes some classic chemistry advent calendars for another airing. There’s also some festive science in the shape of a mulled wine chemistry overview, and some seasonal offers in the Compound Interest Redbubble store. All along with a new graphic on mineral hardness comparisons and the usual round-up of chemistry news and features!
Comparing mineral hardness
It’s been a while since I put out a new graphic, but here’s a new one that veers off into geology, looking at the Mohs hardness scale used to compare the hardness of different minerals. There are plenty of lists of Mohs hardness of minerals out there, but seemingly nothing that puts them on an easily interpretable diagram, so I decided to make it!
I make no pretence of being a genuine geologist, so there may be some glaring omissions in the graphic, but I’m hoping I’ve managed to cover the key minerals, along with a few other materials of interest that I thought were worth including. Spot something missing? Let me know in the comments!
December is here again, and, as is tradition, it’s time to wheel out the Chemistry Advent Calendar! No new edition this year, I’m afraid, but there are still a number of past offerings to choose from:
I did have a half-baked idea for a new edition this year, but didn’t quite get around to fleshing it out — maybe next year! I’m always open to suggestions, so if you’ve got what you think might be the beginnings of a great Chemistry Advent idea, let me know.
Mulled wine season
It’s the start of winter, though you wouldn’t know it from the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve had here in the UK. As the cold creeps in, one of my favourite things about this time of year is the abundance of opportunities to drink mulled wine, which this graphic celebrates.
One of our recently acquired Christmas Day traditions is making a large vat of Smoking Bishop, essentially a slightly fancier version of mulled wine with the addition of a bottle of port along with the wine. Arguably there’s little that can’t be improved by a bottle of port, but perhaps one to enjoy in moderation!
If you’ve got any favourite mulled wine modifications, I’d love to hear them – or any other festive drinks you’d like to see a graphic, for that matter.
Redbubble poster sales
As many of you may already know, I’m committed to keeping the graphics free to download on the Compound Interest site for those who want to use them. However, I do also make them available for purchase over on Redbubble, for those who want to purchase larger, glossy poster versions of the graphics.
Currently, Redbubble has some cut-price deals on posters and other products, including 40% off posters, for a limited time. So if you wanted to grab a chemistry-themed poster for yourself, a family member or a friend, and support Compound Interest in the process, head on over to the store!
Chemistry news and features
Here’s the usual short round-up of recent interesting chemistry news and features:
Unwrapping ancient Egyptian chemistry: A look at how the ancient Egyptians utilised chemistry for colours, mummification and metal-working.
Birth control for men: A C&EN overview of where we stand with male contraceptives, which examines why a drug for male birth control is still yet to become publicly available.
An electron now weighs one rontogram. More on the new SI prefixes for huge and minuscule numbers in this update from Chemistry World.
Time to cut back on your pet’s wet food? A study has shown that wet pet food is several times worse for the environment in terms of greenhouse emissions than dry food.
That’s all for another edition! The next issue will include a look at rocket fuel chemistry in the wake of the recent Artemis launch, along with some more seasonal content, so keep an eye out for it in your inbox.
Thanks for reading,
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Regarding the mulled wine graphic, there seems to be some debate about the importance of D-limonene in contributing to the aroma of oranges. A list of papers is given in: https://www.acs.org/content/dam/acsorg/pressroom/reactions/infographics/why-do-oranges-and-lemons-smell-different.pdf,
including this: https://search.informit.org/doi/epdf/10.3316/informit.383254343845378