Lunchtime Links: Breaking Bad’s Chemical Connection

One association's link to the hit AMC series, which ends its run this weekend. Also: celebrating Google's 15th birthday.

He wanted to get the science right.

And based on that one statement, the American Chemical Society indirectly helped Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan find his scientific muse. That and more in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Bad science: Millions of people will tune in to AMC this weekend to catch the series finale of its hit drama Breaking Bad. But while creator Vince Gilligan and his cast of actors, including leading man Bryan Cranston as high-school-science-teacher-turned-drug-kingpin Walter White, have received much of the praise for the show’s successful run, one behind-the-scenes face is credited with helping the program get it right when it comes to science. Dr. Donna Nelson, a professor at the University of Oklahoma, became the show’s science advisor after reading an interview with Gilligan in Chemical & Engineering News, the magazine of the American Chemical Society. In the interview, Gilligan, who is not a scientist, said he wanted the science on the show to be believable. “When I read that I thought: This is what we’ve been waiting for!” Nelson told Mental Floss’s Jennifer M. Wood. “A Hollywood producer who says he wants help and he really wants to get the science right. This is fantastic.” Nelson reached out to the editor of the magazine, and Gilligan ended up giving her a call. And the rest, as they say, is television history. Just goes to show, Hollywood needs associations too!

Search party: Google, the colorful and ubiquitous online search engine, turns 15 today, though you could hardly tell by looking at the site. Google’s user interface remains almost unchanged from its early days. The site still features Google’s trademark logo with the simple search box underneath. But don’t be fooled by its youthful appearance. Google engineers have been busy tinkering with the search engine’s algorithm, recently rolling out Hummingbird, its most comprehensive upgrade since 2010. Writing for Forbes, advertising and internet contributor Robert Hof details the change, which aims to help handle longer search queries better. Like Google, many associations are fiercely protective of their brands. They understand the importance of familiarity and don’t make changes to their website or their logo simply for the sake of change. But that doesn’t mean they can’t work under the hood to make their offerings better. What steps has your organization taken to improve its algorithm, so to speak?

Post edit: Facebook status updates have long been a favorite tool among association communication executives, good for posting news about upcoming events, recent press, and other information important to an organization’s membership. But there’s always been one glaring hangup: Once a post went live, it was impossible to edit—that is, until now. Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Salvador Rodriguez details the upgrade, which will allow users who post updates on their computers or via Android mobile apps to revise their posts. Facebook users have long been able to edit comments left on other posts, but this marks the first time Facebook has allowed users to edit original updates. Still shaking your head over that typo from two months ago? Maybe this will help.

What are you reading today? Tell us in the comments.

(Handout photo/AMC)

Corey Murray

By Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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