Short items

Korean chemistry in decline 
Most of the South Korean students who won medals at this year’s annual  International  Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) held in Seoul turn out not to have gone on to study chemistry at university. The country’s ministry of science and technology said only 21 of 50 Korean medalists took up chemistry for their undergraduate studies. ’Scientifically-talented students refuse to study science, possibly because the field fails to promise good jobs. That is the kernel of the current crisis in science and engineering,’ said Lee Duck-hwan, professor of chemistry at Sogang University in Seoul.  
The Korea Times, 9 July 2006 

Relief for hopeless chemist 
A former chemistry student’s lack of skill saved him from a harsh prison sentence, according to a US federal judge in Wilmington, Delaware. Paul Little was caught trying, unsuccessfully, to make the hallucinogenic drug LSD . He could not be punished for something he had not done. 
Delaware Online, 8 July 2006

Chemistry in the Caribbean 
Jamaica needs to start making money out of its valuable scientific research, according to a  Jamaican chemist investigating the antioxidant properties of three local plants - gungo (Cajanus cajan), corilita (Antigonon leptopus) and match-me-not (Acalypha wilkesiana). ’As a country, this is where we are lacking,’ said Sheridan Hibbert of the country’s Scientific Research Council. 
Jamaica Observer, 9 July 2006 

TV nonsense 
A Sky TV series purporting to introduce viewers to science ’in a fun and engaging way’ has attracted criticism for faking experiments. In particular, an explosion (that wasn’t) caused when caesium was dropped into a bath tub. ’Sometimes we’ll make an explosion bigger than we need to just because it’s fun,’ admitted the programme makers. 
The Guardian, 15 July 2006