[Disclaimer - I couldn't think of any good images for this blog post, so to liven it up a bit here are a few things you can use: 1) An ASCII game you can play in your browser that is quite fun - pro tip - let it run in the background while you're at work, 2) The even better sequel, 3) A link to this post with Nyan Cat on top. And now on with the science.]
Searching the chemical literature is part of the process of doing bench chemistry, or even thinking about doing bench chemistry. I can't even fathom how much slower my days would be if I needed to go to the library to find a reaction instead of turning to "The Googlefox." These days, we've got all kinds of methods for scouring the chemical literature, Scifinder and Reaxys being two of the best. Of course, there are other useful databases: the ACS has a search feature , SDBS is super useful, and you can even get a good deal of information from Sigma-Aldrich. I'm certain there are plenty more.
And yet... I turn to Google.
During my Ph.D. I've uncovered some amusing things while trying to search for chemistry terms in google. One of the earliest actually happened as an undergraduate, I remember needing to find conditions for a dehydration reaction, so I googled it. It was with much indignation that I realized that dehydration was in fact, a medical condition. You can easily clear this search up by just searching for "dehydration reaction."
Here are a few other things I've uncovered during my tenure as a chemist:
- We all read JACS, so I'm sure most of you are aware of the Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons, and Significant Others. Brandon?
- If you Google "TAS-F," you not only find the reagent, tris(dimethylamino)sulfonium difluorotrimethylsilicate, but you also discover theTupac Amaru Shakur Foundation (which appears to be gone at the moment, but they have a Facebook page).
- Finding HFIP, hexafluoroisopropanol, provides a slight challenge, it comes up as my fourth result, behind three Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program related sites.
- Tetrabutylammonium iodide is another great reagent to google, if you look up "TBAI," you find the ever so adorable Teddy Bear Artist Invitational. Did I say cute...? A little creepy might have been better. But there is this steampunk bear, Hans?
- Of course, there are numerous searches that bring up google finance, as the searched item is a stock market ticker: DCM, NMO, and MeOH. I'm sure you've all run across these, when looking for a quick molecular weight or boiling point.
- Hey BRSM, you get some good stuff too: Beagle Rescue of Southern Maryland and the Belarusian Republican Youth Union.
- I'm not even going to tell you what urban dictionary [probably NSFW] thinks of Scott Snyder's BDSB.
- On the other hand, you might be surprised/disappointed to learn that both "backside attack" and "degenerate HOMO" are strictly chemistry... even if you venture into google images (just don't scroll that far... eventually, you'll find something NSFW).
However, I recently discovered the most infuriating thing to try and find using Google: the Gif reaction. Try googling the following: