We’re movin’ on up to the first quadrant

Oh, how I wish there were vacation packages to MathMagic Land. I would gladly strap on a fanny pack over high-waisted, tapered, acid wash jeans if it meant I could jam with Pythagoras – NO SHAME.


Keep Angry and Listen to Henry

Something amazing happened. And it came by in a pretty unusual way.

I like visiting Oh No They Didn’t, that lovely cesspool of pop culture, hilarious gifs and Mean Girls quotes. It’s nice when I need something funny to distract me from nights of study. The recent influx of Henry Rollins posts have kept me coming back. A Rollins fan there decided to submit questions from the members of the community to him, which he agreed to answer. One of them was mine:

Dear Mr. Rollins,

Big fan. “My War” will forever be my rip-the-world-to-shreds anthem.

My question for you regards the place of science in society. As a Chemistry graduate student, what I grapple with most often is the danger my craft can pose. Agent orange, napalm, nerve gas, CFCs, the nuclear bomb – unlocking the mystery of nature is equal parts fun and lethal. Do you think it’s possible to be an ethical scientist, or am I bound to end up creating/discovering something that will only cause misery? Any advice on how I should balance my curiosity and love for the universe and its inner workings with the potential clusterfuck those secrets could unleash?

And this was his answer:

It would take a chemist to make Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin possible, certainly. I think many people in the science world are tasked with the burden of being ethical, seeing what they can concoct. I wonder if the scientists who brought us all that nuclear information were all that happy about where it went and what was the result of their research. I think it comes down to the person. If someone was to give you a large sum of money to design a better nerve gas of higher potency and longer shelf life for use in future conflicts or union strikes (!), you could opt out. Someone else in your field would no doubt take the money and deliver but at least it wouldn’t be on you. I think it’s a matter of when to say no as well as how loud you want to say it.

FUCKING. AWESOME. I can now say I can live by Henry Rollins’ personal advice to me. I mean, how do you let down Henry Rollins? Here’s to being an ethical scientist!

Oh, fear clutches my breast!

OH MY GOD, Space Jam’s on the Cartoon Network!

Excuse me while I relive sweet, childhood memories.

Thaw and serve

As the mountains of crunchy ice-slush entrapping all the garbage in the city begin to melt and release their contents, so I end my nearly two-month hibernation and return to blabbering on the internet. Everything herein is likely to be disposable, but isn’t it always?

There’s something about sitting in an unheated apartment, during the awesomest/shittiest winter of the past decade, watching your toes freeze that leads one to introspection. You see, I often regret the choices I make. Whether that’s through lack of determination or sheer paranoia, it’s still not very fun to mull over every decision and reach a crummy conclusion. So I’ve finally realized that the only way to stop regretting your choices is to start making better ones. Obvious, I know, but most a-ha moments tend to be. Regardless of how clear this may seem to others, finally admitting to it has me feeling chipper the last few days. Hopefully things look up from here on out.

It’s probable, though, that my recent bout of gaiety has more to do
with the fact this is shaping up to be an amazing year for music (that I like, that is) than with any epiphanies my brain could have conjured. Seriously:

– World/Inferno, The Kills, PJ Harvey and Laura Marling are all coming out (or have already) with new albums, which means that I’ll get to see at least a couple of fucking BOSS shows this year.

Cannot fucking wait. I already pre-ordered the shit out of what I could, rent be damned. There are also two performances I can hardly contain my excitement for – Rachel Brice’s solo show this weekend (squeeee!), and the Steve Ignorant-does-Crass show in March (thanks to Chloe’s spontaneously generous roommate, Smart Face). Awesome, indeed!

Here are some more musical discoveries that have also helped defrost the aforementioned frozen toes:
– I finally brought Fire of Love into my life…

– while listening to A.P.P.L.E. for inordinately lengthy periods.

– Mumford & Sons. I’ve known about them for a while (due to their association with Laura Marling) but for some reason neglected to look into their stuff. Remember those regretful choices I’ve mentioned? Exactly.

And the final, non-music related things that have tickled my life-ain’t-so-bad bone:
– Trips to Pearl River Market for the sole purpose of Milky retrieval.

– My new jackalope t-shirt. It’s the best fucking thing ever. I’m pretty sure the jackalope is my spirit animal.

– This picture of my graduation. Everyone kept bitching at me about not keeping my gown long enough to be photographed in it, but I think this is much, much better. Now if only I had a diploma to show for all that work and frustration…

Well, I suppose this is all for today. It’s finally warm enough to ride, so I’ll be laboring over the bridge in about a couple of hours. Happy last days of winters, folks.

Let the parrots hit the floor

After a week of late night studying, more coffee than I could stomach, a constant state of accelerated heart beats and final exams, this is exactly what I needed.

So much laughing ’til I’m crying. Thank you for this, internet. I am eternally grateful.

Gracious decomposition

New blog title and post to wrap up my day of rampant procrastination.

My finals are next week so I’m transitioning from a state of silent panic to full-blown anxiety, which often robs me of the power of concentration. It’s quite the sucky place to be, I must say.

I did manage to take some pictures of the lab before my debilitating anxiety kicked in, though. So please enjoy the hilarious warning labels and all the pretty colors.

Never has a mouse so graciously fought decomposition. This little guy instantly reminded me of Ophelia, particularly because his paws were sticking out of the water like her hands in the painting.

Death in Brooklyn can be quite poetic, you see.

I’m covered in beads!

Beads? Bees? The possibilities are endless.

So! I’ve thoroughly neglected this place, as was to be expected. I have a legitimate excuse that involves poisonous, as well as radioactive, chemicals. I made my first set of polymer beads. They’re tiny, they glisten and they’re beautiful. According to the professor they’re excellent, and I have to say that getting complimented on my chemistry makes me feel as good as having an awesome-pawsome hair day. It’s reassuring that my first graduate school project came out so well. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about my Quantum course work. Anyway, here are the beads and the set-up used to create them:

Other things that have occupied my time:

– Making rainwater dinosaur art in subway platforms:

– Reading a lot of chemistry, particularly about coordination complexes. No photographic evidence, but if I could I’d offer up my fried brain as evidence.

– Taking advantage of the last mild days of the year to ride my bike.

– Taking pictures of sunsets, sunrises, and the slow degradation of chlorophyll:

That’s it for now, it seems. Back to the books and to praying that please-pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top that I don’t fail my upcoming exams.