though beautiful, these fluorescent blue patches of water are an indicator of a harmful algal bloom created by noctiluca scintillans, single celled organisms which become abundant when levels nitrogen and phosphorous from farm run off increase, and which proves toxic to the marine life that consumes it. the noctiluca also serve to deprive the water of oxygen, creating dead zones that are difficult for oceans to recover from.

while the evolutionary reason for their bioluminescence is still debated, varying from defensive purposes to communication to predatory strategy, the cause of this so called sea sparkle is better known; as the noctiluca float, movement in the water sends electrical impulses around a proton filled compartment inside the microorganisms, triggering a series of chemical reactions which ultimately activates luciferase, a protein that produces the neon blue light.

most marine bioluminescence is in the blue and green light spectrum, as these wavelengths pass furthest through seawater. interestingly, no known fresh water dinoflagellates have ever evolved bioluminescent abilities.

(click pic or link for credit and location xxxxxx, xxx)

anonymous asked:

What are your thoughts on romantic love? Do you think it can potentially aid Buddhists in their practice, cause suffering or just be a chemical reaction?

Romantic love can help Buddhists in their practice. It can cause suffering and it creates different chemical reactions in your body and brain. The good thing about Buddhist practice is that you have to use everything you encounter in your practice. Romantic love is part of the world so it is part of practice. To love another person is a great way to expose and challenge your own ego. It is a good focus for practicing compassion. It also creates and feeds certain delusions. Romantic love helps us build attachments as we practice non-attachment.

Here are some posts I’ve written on love:

Love Pressures

Being In Love

Learning to Love Again

Love Can’t Hurt

For the Love of Zen

How to Love Yourself

Love, Love, Love

Love and Anger

Love and Zen

Abundant Love

Universal Love

One Love

Funny Love

You Love You

Love Your Enemy

Love and Gravity

Can You Love Somebody

The Right Love

The Story of Love

Falling in Love (poem)

Love Your Enemy, Love Yourself

Beware of Love (poem)



Love (poem)

This is a fun chemical reaction that often goes under the name of elephant toothpaste,  obviously because it looks like giant toothpaste.

This is a pretty cool reaction because it only requires hydrogen peroxide (H2O2,) yeast dissolved in water and dish soap. And bam “toothpaste”

The great thing is the only byproducts are water, soap and oxygen. Clean up is easy, no harmful toxins. Great for showing kids and adults alike the wonders of chemistry! (beware, this is an exothermic reaction and puts off a lot of heat – if you try it at home take safety precautions to avoid burns.)


The violent reaction between sodium hydride and water. 

Sodium hydride is a salt-like hydride, composed of Na+ and H− ions, it is an ionic material that is insoluble in organic solvents, but soluble in molten sodium metal and quite often used as a base in chemistry. 

When contact with water sodium hydride releases hydrogen, turns into sodium hydroxide and generates a lot heat. Because of this heat the generated hydrogen gas ignites and because of the presence of sodium ions it burns with an intense yellow color (as seen). 

NaH(s) + H2O(l) –> NaOH(aq) + H2(g) 

Because of this, NaH is usually sold mixed with mineral oil what keeps away water and protects the hydride from moisture. However if it is stored for long time, it should be titrated by measuring the amount of hydrogen generated from the reaction of the hydride and an alcohol. 



‘Hot ice’ is created using sodium acetate, which is a salt created from the reaction between sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, and acetic acid, or vinegar. When this reaction occurs, sodium acetate appears to freeze like ‘ice’ as the cold solution turns from liquid to solid. This process is exothermic, meaning that the solid structure is warm to the touch. Solutions of sodium acetate are used in certain types of hand-warmers. When a metal button is pressed inside the plastic pouch containing the solution, it releases chemicals that starts the reaction. Don’t worry his hand is fine.

Sulphuric Acid and sugar- dehydration of sugar (sucrose)

“Basically, all you do to perform this demonstration is put ordinary table sugar in a glass beaker and stir in some concentrated sulfuric acid (you can dampen the sugar with a small volume of water before adding the sulfuric acid). The sulfuric acid removes water from the sugar in a highly exothermic reaction, releasing heat, steam, and sulfur oxide fumes. Aside from the sulfurous odor, the reaction smells a lot like caramel. The white sugar turns into a black carbonized tube that pushes itself out of the beaker.

Sugar is a carbohydrate, so when you remove the water from the molecule, you’re basically left with elemental carbon. The dehydration reaction is a type of elimination reaction.

C12H22O11 (sugar) + H2SO4 (sulfuric acid) → 12 C (carbon) + 11 H2O (water) + mixture water and acid

Although the sugar is dehydrated, the water isn’t ‘lost’ in the reaction. Some of it remains as a liquid in the acid. Since the reaction is exothermic, much of the water is boiled off as steam.”

This is post number 9 in the “Acid + Things” series for today.