Saturday, 26 February 2011

A few of my favourite (chemical) things

Chemjobber started a conversation yesterday detailing 12 of his favourite chemical things. A sizable list is rapidly growing in the comments, and here are a few of mine:

1) Achieving the perfect aqua marine blue or emerald green reaction solution (making a nice change from the white or yellow...or brown if it's gone real bad...)

2) The smell of freshly-spilled EtOAc*

3) Scrolling through hundreds of email alert paper titles and coming across the occasional gem: 10.1021/cr900105w (Chem. Rev., 2010, 110, 2313)

4) Running a speculative reaction with absolutely no lit precedent “under the bench” – and it working almost peak-to-peak

5) The look on your student’s face when they make their first breakthrough

6) Working in a lab with no radio reception for years then Spotify being invented (and discovering your colleagues have an eclectic mix of musical tastes)

7) The camaraderie of staying late with others (or, hell...even on your own!) because you’re waiting for the NMR/LCMS to deliver a game-changing result

8) Lab consumables catalogues thicker than the Argos book

9) Opening up a box of Aldrich chemicals to the smell of Sugar Puffs packing material

10) Understanding most of the names on an ingredients list

11) The geekiness of hearing about or using a new medicine and immediately Wiki’ing it to find the structure

12) Spinning structures around in 3D chemical software

* [insert "don't be smelling chemicals" disclaimer here]

More lists here: ScienceGeist, Wavefunction, CarbonBasedCuriosities, LJKBoerner, The Boiling Point and a growing definitive list at Chemistry-Blog

[edit for adding links]

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