It’s been a few years since we first featured the kaleidoscopically awesome work of Australian artist Pip & Pop (previously featured here), aka Tanya Schultz, who creates dazzlingly colorful and complex site-specific installations using sugary candy, glitter, beads, sand, toys and other knickknacks. It’s painting with Pixy Stix!

Schultz often invites other artists to collaborate on the creation of her magical fluorescent dreamscapes. The pieces pictured here were created at venues in the Netherlands, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia respectively.

Visit the Pip & Pop website to check out many more photos of these sugary fantasy lands.

[via My Modern Metropolis and Hi-Fructose]

Did you know? All scorpions, regardless of coloration, fluoresce under long-wave (360-400 nm) ultraviolet (UV) light, due to the presence of two compounds (beta carboline and 7-hydroxy-4-methylcoumarin) in their exocuticle. 

The significance, if any, of the fluorescence is subject to debate. It is widely thought to be nothing more than an incidental accident of chemistry. UV fluorescence is indisputably associated with the hardening of the scorpion exocuticle: the soft joints between hard plates don’t fluoresce; after molting, the soft plates doesn’t fluoresce until hardened; and the fluorescence increases with successive molts. 

The unique ability of scorpions to fluoresce under UV light greatly facilitates their collection and observation by scorpiologists at night!

Read new scorpion research by Lorenzo Prendini, a curator in the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology.

Image: A male Brachistosternus telteca scorpion as seen under ultraviolet light. © L. Prendini/R. Mercurio


Next week I’ll give a presentation on the Researchers Night at Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary with the title: “Chemistry of light and the light of chemistry”.

During this presentation one of my favorite dyes will be also presented: Nile Red. However, just as usual, the 1000 USD/gram price was a bit over our budget, so I had to make it.

The raw product was contaminated with a few impurities, but a fast purification, by simple filtering the mixture through a short column helped a lot and ended up with a +95% pure product.

At first I concentrated the product from a dilute solution on the column as seen on the first pics. It’s interesting to see, that it has a different fluorescence in solution (faint orange fluorescent)  and while it’s absorbed on the solid phase (pink, highly fluorescent).

After all the product was on the solid phase, I added another solvent and washed down the pure, HIGHLY FLUORESCENT product. Everything else, what was mainly products of side reactions, stuck at the top of the column as seen on the second pics and the gifs.

Also here is a video from the whole process in HD: https://youtu.be/W0Lk5jkd_B0


Fluorescent blue and green Fluorite
Cubic, gemmy crystals of fluorite on matrix from world famous locality - Rogerly Mine. Medium luster. Fluorite cubes are well coloured - green in artificial light with a strong blue daylight fluorescence, and an even stronger purple-white fluorescence under long wave UV light. This amazing fluorite crystals change colour in different lights - in natural light they are blue, in artificial light they are green. 
Rogerley Mine, United Kingdom