Everybody Needs A: Brain
Jun02

Everybody Needs A: Brain

In a post several weeks ago, I examined the debate of synthesis or purchasing of commercially-made compounds.  If you recall, it appeared that I could not synthesize the correct compound, and the compound I had bought did not appear to have been synthesized correctly.  I took the advice of one of a reader and decided to call the company from which I had bought my compound.  Luckily, I had a great conversation with customer support,...

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Everybody Needs A: Laser Pointer
Mar07

Everybody Needs A: Laser Pointer

Laser pointers, while not entirely necessary for undergrads, are nevertheless a whole lot of fun to play with.  And for formal presentations too, I guess. You can go in several different directions on this one.  I very often see the canonical cylindrical HeNe lasers that operate with a button on the top (left).  It is and maybe a little Spartan, as gadgets go.  Interestingly, these can either be powered in traditional laser fashion,...

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Everybody Needs A: Bottle Opener
Mar04

Everybody Needs A: Bottle Opener

OK, it’s a humble beginning to the series of posts that purports to improve the quality of life of an academic researcher, but trust me, a bottle opener is a handy piece of kit to have. If you think about it, it does make sense: if there’s anything that chemists know how to do that’s not chemistry, it’s scrutinize the ‘ingredients’ list, and drink. Furthermore, beer tends to be the drink of choice...

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Everybody Needs A: PhD

Way back in 1996, Norman Cook (you might know him better by the alias Fatboy Slim) released the album Better Living Through Chemistry, containing the song “Everybody Needs a 303.” Although I was only 7 when it was released, I still greatly enjoy the song, and most of the album. Furthermore, the album/track serve as an excellent jump-off point for me to make terrible puns, and share some wisdom. And that’s really the...

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