Friday, August 19, 2011

Time for a silly video

It's been a long week and there's plenty of time for uh, (in the immortal words of uncle sam), general DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMing next week. (For a nasty reality check, see Paul Hodges.)

Instead, check out these kids pulling a really long TLC spotter.

This is a little silly, but seriously, it's one of the most therapeutic things to do in the world. Everything fades away in the light of that awesome heat.

See you on Monday. 


  1. And folks wonder why chemists can't get hot girlfriends.

    The title should be The World's Most Useless TLC Spotter, given how thin it is.

    Yeah, yeah, I know. Lighten up.

    PS-I buy my TLC spotters, so there!

  2. Since I am always limited by my own arm span when I make TLC spotters, it's pretty cool.

  3. Stewie Griffin says:
    Who pulls/buys spotters anymore? After reading Kyle's blog several years ago I switched to using a 22G needle. Just gently remove the sharp tip (without actually closing up the needle) and presto! The grey 22G from Fisher are a bit longer than normal needles. I made up 4 of these bad boys in my 2nd year of grad school and they lasted the entire time.
    Now if you need to spot a reaction and the needle won't reach the solution, then ok fine I'd pull a quick spotter.

  4. I tried pulling spotters with a Bunsen burner the other day and failed miserably. I can only make wing-span-long ones with a Meker burner (like the people in the video have).

    Eventually, I found some capillaries in a drawer, and they worked fine. I'll probably never go back.

  5. You can do it, but you need a really good blue flame (the little blue cone) from the Bunsen burner.

  6. mamid says...

    Want a simple, easy to make and use spotter? One that would cost you less than a dime and maybe 5 minutes?
    Check this:

    J. Chem. Educ., 2011, 88(5), pp 673–674
    DOI: 10.1021/ed1005932

  7. @Chemjobber: or you need to find a glass tubing made from low-melting glass. Disposable Pasteur pipets work fine even with a propane-can torch. (but I find it easier to buy TLC capillaries by a pound, from Chemglass. For a really fine work I use Drummond microcaps, 4uL size. )

  8. @The Forum: Maybe it's just me, but the 9" Pasteur pipettes seem to yield "better" spotters than the 5-3/4" ones.

    Now for the $1 question: What's your favorite way of snapping/cutting your spotter to get flat tips?