Well here we are at yet another Tuesday, and yet the world is slightly different. Fair warning: this is a post full of shameless plugs. First things first, I can personally vouch for the quality of Hartwig’s book, if you’re into organometallic chemistry. It was good as a bunch of PDF files with hand-drawn figures, and it’s even better in pretty hardback form. His writing style didn’t always resonate with my brain (sometimes I found I’d “read” a paragraph by doing little more than moving my eyes over it), but if you want to know something about organometallic chemistry, it’s in there. Stamp it.
Secondly, I wanted to point the blogosphere to a project that organic chemistry students at the University of Illinois have begun this semester (it’s going to be pretty sweet, trust me…just read on). We are having student teams create web pages illustrating the properties and mechanism of a compound of their choice…and when I say “illustrate,” what I actually mean is “awesome-ize.” This thing is going to be bigger than dinky images and hollow text. I’m hoping students take the Jmol and MarvinSketch instruction we’ve provided and run with them. In fact, I’d like the thing to turn into nothing less than the Wikipedia of interactive mechanisms. We’ll see. Truth be told I’m a little nervous about it—trusting students never seems like a good idea. Still, I’ve been surprised so far this semester with what students have produced. If you want to know more, check out the Molmodac project homepage or my cyclic AMP example page. This project is my baby this semester, so you’ll probably be hearing about it again.