MOLE DAY

TL 10-23 MOLE DAY

If you are not a science nerd or chemistry geek you may not have a clue what Mole Day is – I admit I did not.  Let’s learn together.

Most Americans – 84% – saw science as a positive force in society.  Yet…  all age-groups had a rather flimsy grasp of simple scientific concepts, even those taught in most public high schools, such as gravity or the structure of the atom.  – Priyamvada Natarajan, PhD

MOLE DAY is celebrated annually on this day from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m. and commemorates Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 1023), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry.  That’s about when I started dozing off – but stay with me.  Mole Day was created as a way to foster interest in chemistry.  Various activities related to chemistry and/or moles will abound today.

For a given molecule, one mole is a mass (in grams) whose number is equal to the molar mass of the molecule.  Am I the only one getting a headache?  LOL!  For example, the water molecule has a molar mass of 18, therefore one mole of water weighs 18 grams.  In general, one mole of any substance contains Avogadro’s Number of molecules or atoms of that substance.  This relationship was first discovered by Amadeo Avogadro (1776-1858).  He didn’t receive credit until after his death.

Wow – I think the left side of my brain is asleep or something.  So – let’s see how people with a left brain celebrate this Mole O’Ween:

 Auld Daddy Darkness creeps frae his hole,
Black as a blackamoor, blin’ as a mole….
– James Ferguson

Yes – my mind is going toward the animal mole…  guilty!

Well – there’s an idea for your Halloween costume!  You can be Dr. Geek.  Works for me – hmm – not sure about those goggles – they might have to go.

 There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.  – Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi, 1883

I took science in high school and had to memorize a lot of minerals and stuff – but could not tell you any of them now.  I did what I had to do to pass the course and did not make an A.  I’m sure this is a great day for the smart science geeks  in America and around the world.  Have a good time and Happy Mole O’Ween!  🙂

 

Advertisements

YELLOW PIG DAY

TL 7-17 YELLOW PIG DAY

7-17 IF YOU HAVE TO ASK

The 17-eyelashed yellow pig was born because two mathematicians, Michael Spivak and David C. Kelly began listing interesting properties of the number 17 while students at Princeton University in the early 1960’s.  You might say they were obsessed with the number 17.

Since that time, Michael Spivak has written many famous math textbooks which contain yellow pigs.  His references to the pigs are not always direct; some textbooks contain references to Chinese policemen.  David Kelly runs Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics, a summer program for mathematically gifted high school students.  These kids are familiar with the yellow pigs.

I have some egghead friends who collect yellow pigs.  I visit antique stores and though I don’t see them often, I am seeing the yellow pigs more often now than ever.  It seems to be the sort of item that is either recognized for what it is, or it is not.  Not everyone is familiar with the yellow pigs and their connection with mathematics.  Maybe you learned something today – I hope so.

If you don’t think math can be fun – think again.  The day is highlighted by a lecture from Kelley on the number 17. Students and faculty also sing Yellow Pig Day carols, exchange gifts related to the day and eat a yellow pig cake.  Wait…  yellow pig carols?  Yep – here’s an example:

I’ve been Workin’ on the Problems

(to the tune of I’ve Been Workin’ On the Railroad)

I’ve been workin’ on the problems
All the live long night.
I’ve been workin’ on the problems
It’s a struggle. It’s a fight.

Can’t you hear the workshops calling?
Rise up so early in the dorm.
Can’t you hear the lemmas falling?
Burnside, Gauss, and Zorn.

Chorus (2x):
Kelly, dontcha know
Kelly, dontcha know
Kelly, dontcha know
Kelly, dontcha know you’re wrong

There’s…
Someone in the kitchen at Saga
Someon in the kitchen I know
Someone in the kitchen at Sa-ga
Pourin’ on the salt like snow…

And… sing… in’…
What the hell do you know?
Suppose that any n pigs are yellow
Induct on n to show…
Induction’s false, so it goes.

********************************************************

Well – enjoy YELLOW PIG DAY!!!  😉