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A Reason To Celebrate March 28, 2007

Posted by Kimberly in General.
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Filed by Linda Wang

I consider myself pretty lucky. At $125 a ticket, not everyone gets to attend the ACS Oscars (a.k.a. the awards banquet). In fact, this is my second time attending this glamorous affair, and like the first time, there were women in sparkly dresses, men in tuxedos, and all the hors d’oeuvres you can eat. What was different about this event, for me, is that now I know many more people in ACS. Not a minute went by before I saw another familiar face.

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A Meeting In Photos March 27, 2007

Posted by Kimberly in General.
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Filed by Linda Wang

My favorite part of the national meeting is running around with my camera and seeing what everyone else is up to. Here are some memorable scenes.

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POLISHED Julien Couet, a polymer chemist at Imtek Freiburg, in Germany, gets his shoes shined at the convention center.

Click “more” to see other images from the meeting. (more…)

Not Another Boring Ride March 27, 2007

Posted by Kimberly in General.
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Filed by Linda Wangmirror100.jpg

These past couple of days, I’ve spent quite a bit of time on buses, shuttling back and forth from the convention center to my room at the Sheraton. Each trip takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on whether a bus has just left. Part of me is irritated by how long the commute takes; another part of me is secretly thankful that I’m forced to relax and enjoy the ride.

Taste Of Chicago March 27, 2007

Posted by Beth in General.
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Filed by Lisa Jarvis

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Not all of the chemistry is happening inside McCormick Place. Four C&EN reporters ventured out to Alinea, a restaurant in Lincoln Park that uses science as a tool in its cooking—some might call it molecular gastronomy. If any of you are fans of “Top Chef,” this is the stuff of Marcel Vigneron.

The restaurant’s signature dish (more of a bite, really) is the “black truffle explosion,” and we got the chance to visit the kitchen to see how it is made. Essentially, black truffle juice is gelatinized, then the delicate little balls are set in a ravioli skin. When cooked, the gelatin liquefies, creating a very different kind of ravioli than the kind I buy in the freezer section of my grocery store. The idea is that, when eaten, you get a taste of liquid gold.

Yes, you ask, but how does it taste?
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Art, Media, And Chemistry March 27, 2007

Posted by Kimberly in General.
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Filed by Rachel Petkewich

Only a handful places in this country have art conservation laboratories, and a group of reporters attending the ACS meeting got a behind-the-scenes tour of the labs at the Art Institute of Chicago on Monday afternoon.

Two patina-coated lions welcome visitors to the Institute’s enormous and stately building, which currently has about 4,600 objects on display. It is the third largest art collection in the country and home to the famous painting of a farmer and his wife by Grant Wood called “American Gothic.” It’s also undergoing a major expansion referred to as the Modern Wing.

The labs, which are not open to the public, were established in 2003 with $2.75 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In fact, a security guard told me that he had worked at the Institute for years, and yesterday afternoon was the first time he had been in the labs. He said employees know that going into the labs without proper authorization generally means getting fired. I must say, I had never attended a lab tour with so many security guards following us around. (more…)

Newscripts: Live And In Color March 27, 2007

Posted by lisajarvis in General.
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Filed by Lisa Jarvisperiodic.jpg

Back in October, Newscripts ran an item about Theodore W. Gray’s beautifully constructed periodic table, which uses real samples to bring every element of the table to life. We at the magazine came to life here in Chicago when Gray brought his wares to the exhibition center—posters, place mats, individual element samples, and, most important, the live version of his table.

I had to elbow my way through a mob of people to reach it, but I managed to get up close and personal with the live version of “The Elements.” It lived up to the hype. The posters are probably more in my price range, but it would be pretty cool—inspirational even—to have the 10-foot glass-and-wood version mounted in my office. Bosses, take note. We may need to make some adjustments to the budget for next year.

Gray says for about two or three weeks after Newscripts ran, the site enjoyed “unusually good” sales. This is his first time at the ACS meeting, which Gray readily admits is his target audience. And if his constantly packed booth is any indication of how business is going, it seems like the three-hour drive from Gray’s base in Champaign, Ill., was well worth it.

Gray is discovering that all this publicity—C&EN, local papers, and even Popular Science have written about “The Elements”—can bring some unconventional science enthusiasts out of the woodwork. (more…)

Adventures In Liveblogging March 27, 2007

Posted by Beth in General.
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Filed by Rudy Baum and Beth Halford

Rudy and I are liveblogging. The signature event at the C&EN booth in Chicago on Tuesday is an appearance by George Whitesides. Stay tuned.

This year’s Priestley Medal winner is signing copies of the March 26 issue of C&EN. George is on the cover, and his Priestley Medal address and a profile of him are the cover stories.

Click “more” to see photos.

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Making A Run For It March 27, 2007

Posted by Kimberly in General.
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marathon275.jpgFiled by Ron Dagani

Imagine stepping out of your hotel at the ACS meeting, expecting to find the shuttle bus to the convention center waiting to whisk you away, and instead finding that the street has been taken over by runners—hundreds, even thousands, of them—running past the hotel. Well, that’s what I encountered on Sunday morning as I set off for the McCormick Place convention center.

Fortunately, I had my camera with me, and I started shooting. Even though I wasn’t running myself, I found it exhilarating. The runners kept on coming and coming. At first, I thought this was one of those “fun runs” that have been held at ACS meetings in the past. But soon it became clear that there were far too many runners for them to be chemists at the meeting.

I later found out that this was something called the LaSalle Bank Shamrock Shuffle 8K, which had registered some 30,000 participants. What a glorious way to start the outdoor running season!

Pictures From A Pre-exposition March 27, 2007

Posted by Beth in General.
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Filed by Ivan Amato

It takes a gargantuan amount of effort, resources, skill, and logistics to get massive expositions, such as the ones at ACS national meetings, up and running. On Sunday morning I took my camera and strolled the main floor as crews meticulously, by hand, unpacked crates and assembled the fixtures, displays, instruments, and thousands of other whatsits, which within a day would sum to the exposition at the 233rd ACS national meeting. Click “more” to see a selection of images that captures only a few pixels of the big picture.

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Taking It To The Streets March 27, 2007

Posted by Beth in General.
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A group of high school students in Chicago for the conference shops on Michigan Ave. Anyone know who these proud chemistry lovers are? We’re impressed with their early affinity for science.

Filed by Lisa Jarvis

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