Saturday, 18 December 2010

My Top 10 videos for 2010

It's the time of year when everyone does "top ten" lists for the year.

So here are my favorite films for 2010, chosen from the various projects I work on.

They're in no particular order.

1. CHEESEBURGER IN ACID (from periodicvideos)
Sometimes you do something just because you're curious! Here we put a cheeseburger in hydrochloric acid (the same type of acid found in our stomachs). If you like this, check out what we did to Coke cans!



2. FILLING AIR BAGS (from Test Tube)
This is a sentimental choice. Seamus Garvey was one of the first people I filmed at the Uniersity of Nottingham and he told me about a dream he had involving inflatable underwater airbags. This is the moment his dream became reality!



3. STANLEY FALKOW (from My Favourite Scientist)
My Favourite Scientist is a new project launched later in 2010. I chose the Stanley Falkow video because the subject himself watched and enjoyed the video. Read more about it in a previous blog post.



4. HAND IN THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER (from Sixty Symbols)
This year we invited Sixty Symbols viewers to submit questions and my favourite was definitely "what would happen if you put your hand in front of the beam at the Large Hadron Collider". I had a feeling it would make a great video. And when I saw the reactions of the scientists... well, here it is. Currently the most watched video on Sixty Symbols.



5. DARMSTADT & SUPERHEAVY ELEMENTS (from periodicvideos)
I've been lucky enough to travel to a few interesting and exotic places this year. But the most interesting from a scientific perspective was Darmstadt, where many of the artifical elements are created in a giant particle collider.



6. THE HOLY SEPULCHRE (from bibledex)
Another trip which impressed me away was to Israel for our Bibledex project. We travelled from the Dead Sea in the south to Galilee in the north. But the video I've chosen is the one we filmed in Christianity's most holy church, the traditional site of Jesus's death and burial. It was amazing that we could just walk in and start filming. (If you've not seen our Bibledex videos you should... they are not religious and are pitched at people that just find stuff interesting)




7. FLUORINE (from periodicvideos)
One of the real weak spots on our Periodic Table of Videos was always our fluorine video. The most reactive element in chemistry was one of our most disappointing videos because we didn't have access to the raw ingredient. That changed when we visited a helpful expert at the nearby University of Leicester.



8. WORLD CUP FOOTBALL PHYSICS (from Sixty Symbols)
Of course 2010 was a World Cup year and we made several videos to mark the event, including a chemistry video about World Cup trophy which made international headlines! But here I've chosen one about the world cup ball, mainly because it was so much fun to get some scientists in lab coats to take free kicks and conduct a penalty shoot-out... A sight you rarely see.



9. GAS BALLOON TAKE-OFF (from Test Tube)
I've been following the adventures of Janet Folkes for a long time and it was great to see her taking off in the Gordon Bennett gas balloon race. It was a long day of filming but the shots were beautiful. Janet had a successful flight, but sadly two of her friends died when they flew into a storm off the coast of Italy.



10. WORLD'S SMALLEST PERIODIC TABLE (from periodicvideos)
Maybe I'm choosing this because it is so fresh in my mind - but I can't help thinking it is pretty cool. It features two icons of our chemistry videos - the periodic table itself and Martyn Poliakoff's hair!



My thanks to the men and women who share their knowledge and time... It's a joy to film them and be allowed to ask so many silly questions.

And finally thanks to everyone who watches my videos... If you didn't watch them, I probably wouldn't get to make them!

PS: A few more videos I couldn't resist mentioning.

The Periodic table of Videos trip to India

Chemistry in the Clouds

The Professor on Viagra

Samovar from Words of the World

The Vacuum Cannon (I really do have it in for Coke cans, don't I?)

Taking our show on the road to Turin

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