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One-of-a-Kind Chemistry Autograph Collection Goes Digital 16

carmendrahl writes "A science historian has collaborated with a publisher to digitize a one-of-a kind collection of chemists' signatures. In the shadow of World War II, a Japanese chemist named Tetsuo Nozoe traveled outside his land for the first time, and collected autographs from the people he met on the way. This turned into a forty year hobby, and a 1200-page collection. The digital collection sucks chemists in for hours — it's full of cartoons, jokes, haikus, and scribbles the signers admit to having scrawled 'in a drunken state.' Nobel Prizewinners and ordinary chemists signed side-by-side. The Nozoe notebook collection will be open access for at least three years, with a big goal being to identify all the 'mystery' signatures in the collection with help from readers."
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One-of-a-Kind Chemistry Autograph Collection Goes Digital

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  • Chemistry (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @10:34AM (#42656463)

    As a guy who likes chemistry, I enjoy seeing more posts recently about chem, but I'd like a little more "real stuff" like Milstein's recent paper from like last week, about a catalytic alcohol to hydrogen converter using ruthenium under pretty normal-ish conditions instead of weird oxidizers or high pressures (the full paper unfortunately lives behind a very expensive legacy paywall publisher) rather than "I haz autographs". For example the paper goes in a "here's a fun way to make carboxylic acids" direction but my first thought was "here's a fun way to make lots of hydrogen easily using a liq fuel". I would have to think about it for awhile but from a thermodynamic perspective, wouldn't you get higher system efficiency by stripping H2 off alcohol then running it thru a fuel cell, then burning the semi-acidic remainder in a traditional IC engine, probably with some weird carb/fuel injection adjustments? OTOH I bet the exhaust of a carboxolic acid fueled IC engine is pretty icky to clean up.

    But no we gots "I haz autographs" instead. I guess it could be worse.

    • by Jeng ( 926980 )

      Submit more of the stories you are interested in.

      I should also, but I don't actually know anything so even stupid stuff interests me.

    • So, how often do you submit stories? How often do you seek out and vote for such stories in the firehose?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      As a guy who also likes chemistry, I have to say Slashdot really isn't the place to go for that. When it says "news for nerds", they mean "news for *tech* nerds". If you can't connect it to linux, computer chips or anime, it's not really interesting to the general Slashdot audience(*). There's been a couple of abortive attempts to do a "Slashdot for Science Nerds", but they never really got traction.

      If you're looking for cool chemistry news, your best bet isn't Slashdot, and it isn't even the science sectio

    • Yeah, I could stand to get in the habit of submitting more chemistry stories. I actually saw the autograph story yesterday in C&EN, but never even considered submitting it here. I guess it's not "real stuff, " but I found it charming, and a nice illustration of personal connections in science.

      I'll admit that there are at least a couple stories about actual work in the field each week in Chemical & Engineering News that could readily be submitted here. Paywalls are a problem when it comes to sharing

      • by vlm ( 69642 )

        Paywalls are a problem when it comes to sharing chemical research with a wider audience, but they're a factor in physics, astronomy,

        http://arxiv.org/ [arxiv.org]

        Free preprints for physics and astronomy (and a lot of other stuff, just no bio). I'd like to see more of those too. I think every time aaronson posts something on his blog it should hit /. for example.

        I've seen some truly inscrutable theoretical physics and mathematics stories here where half the comments were "LOLWTF someone explain,"

        I can agree with that. From the front page of Nature Chemisty (paywall alert) we've got

        "Molecular cages" by Cooper, mistakes in this summary are solely my fault, something like you can now nano-engineer a really tiny pasta strainer to catch certain specific molecular shapes, in this paper

  • When you turn a page. Wow! This is a very cool thing for Tetsuo Nozoe to have spent many years doing and a treasure. It is a great thing that it is available online (for a limited time). But WTF is up with that sound as you turn pages. If real books sounded like that when you turned a page libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops would be horrible places.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel