Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Greeting Card Campaign: 10-23 National Mole Day

Click here to download Mole Day card.
October 23 is National Mole Day. It is not a day for celebrating tiny furry pests that dig tunnels in your front yard. The day is actually designed to celebrate a concept in chemistry that my high school chemistry teacher was somehow unable to explain clearly to me.

So, the guy that got a "D" (the only one I ever got in school) is going to explain to you what a "mole" in chemistry is.  But first you need to know a couple of details about National Mole Day that will help you remember what a mole is forever and ever (or at least till tomorrow).  National Mole Day is celebrated on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m..  There's a reason for that. You see Mole Day commemorates Avogadro's Number (6.02 x 1023), which is a basic unit of measure in chemistry. Now here's how a mole works:

  • For a given molecule of any substance, one mole is the mass (in grams) or Avogadro's number of molecules of that substance.  In other words if the atomic mass of a molecule, water for example, has an atomic mass of 18.  So, if you put 6.02 x 1023 molecules of water into a cup, then that much water would weigh 18 grams.   Therefore, a mole of neon, which has an atomic mass of 20, would weigh 20 grams. As a general rule of thumb, a mole of any element or compound is made up of Avogadro's Number of atoms or molecules or atoms of that substance. A scientist named Amadeo Avogadro discovered this and after he died the number was named for him.

The holiday is a mnemonic for Avogadro's number.  Multiply 1023 (the date) by 6:02 (the time) and voila' - you have Avogadro's number which is the number of molecules or atoms in a "mole".  So send your favorite girl a National Mole Day card and show her how smart you are.  You know what  "mole" in chemistry is, you know how much Avogadro's number is (the time x the date) and you chose her as your one true love. See how smart your are.

Just click on the caption below the picture of the National Mole Day logo. The link will take you to a pdf file in Google Docs. Remember, instead of printing from Google Docs, click on "File" in the upper left corner, then select "Download" and copy the file to your own computer.  Open it with Adobe PDF Reader or whatever PDF reader you use and print the card from there. For some reason Google Docs doesn't handle fonts well, even though they are supposed to be embedded in the PDF document itself.

This is a top fold card, so when it prints, be sure to tell your printer it's in "portrait" format so you get the whole file. Flip it on the short side to print double-sided. This also flips the inside upside down from the outside when you print in portrait mode, so that, when you fold it over, the inside comes out right side up.  If you're confused, I encourage you to give it a try with a practice sheet.

You're smart enough to figure it out - after all, you know Avogadro's number (at least until you seal up the envelope.

© 2013 by Tom King

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