Snippets of Science: Glowing Pumpkin Seeds (pepitas) and Protochlorophyllide

Pepitas, the inside of pumpkin seeds, fluoresce under UV light! It is a stunning coral orange color. This photo doesn’t quite do it justice. The compound causing the fluorescence is protochlorophillide, a precursor to chlorophyll. (Chlorophyll is also fluorescent under UV light, but it glows a deep red.) The seeds themselves have a slight glow [...]

Snippet of Science: Newly Discovered Elements and Uncle Goose Periodic Table Blocks

Who else has these adorable periodic table blocks from Uncle Goose? We’ve been given two sets, one for each kid, and today we discovered something was different between the first set from 4 years ago (bottom) and the new set (top). Four new elements had been named! I had no clue! (And bravo to Uncle [...]

Snippets of Science: Radioactive Fiestaware

Snippets of Science are short tales of fascinating science for a quick read. Would you like some uranium with your tea? From 1936-1972, the makers of Fiestaware (and also many other ceramics from that time) used uranium oxide in the glaze, making the dining sets radioactive. They initially used natural uranium which contains a mix [...]