Kuiper peeks up between rows of lavender. His ears are up and he is smiling.

Dog in Lavender

We took this picture at the Oregon Lavender Festival a few weeks ago. Many thanks to Wayward Winds for allowing leashed dogs to visit, and to @scoutgoldenretriever for giving us the idea.

Did you know that there are over 60 different chemicals in lavender oil (and maybe as many as 100?) The exact composition depends on the species and variety (as well as altitude and season!) Two of the major constituents are linalyl acetate (3,7-dimethyl-1,6-octadien-3yl acetate) and linalool (3,7-dimethylocta-1,6-dien-3-ol). These have the chemical formulas C12H20O2 and C10H18O, respectively.

Both of these compounds are considered “organic,” which has a very specific meaning in chemistry. Molecules can be organic regardless of whether they were extracted from a USDA-certified plant or synthesized in a lab. In chemistry, the term refers to a molecule that has at least one carbon atom with some hydrogen stuck to it. Thus methane (CH4) is considered organic while carbon dioxide (CO2) and diamonds (wait for it…C!) are not. The vast majority of known compounds are organic (including almost everything in your body!)

Carbon is element number 6, which means it has 6 protons and 6 electrons. We can ignore the protons for this analogy, because they kind of just chill in the nucleus. Electrons work a little like parking garages with multiple levels. The ground floor can hold 2 electrons, and the second floor can hold 8.

Since C has 6 cars, that gives us 4 empty parking spaces on the second floor. Hydrogens only have one electron “car” and don’t like driving around in circles downtown, so they love parking in carbon garages (i.e. bonding.) And since no one likes giving up a good parking spot, CH bonds are typically quite strong.

The carbon lot isn’t always full of hydrogens. Sometimes a carbon atom will timeshare some of its parking spots with other carbon atoms (as well as other elements like oxygen.) That’s how we end up with neat looking carbon rings and chains like the ones found in delicious, delicious carbohydrates. ???

Speaking of carbs, I think I’m going to go find some ice cream. ???? Have a great weekend!

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmCU9QlAbIl/

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