Tag Archives: black flag

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!


Things I Love Thursdays

Apparently, listing a handful of things you love on Thursdays is a trend in blog world. I’d never heard of it until this fly lady began doing it. It seems like a fun exercise in gratuitous commemoration of the things I like so I’m going to hop on this cheery bandwagon:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: I am forever indebted to my friend Lindsay and all the crazy theater kids we hung out with for introducing me to the absolute best book series in the history of the world EVER. Going to the junk movie theater and eating gross nachos and cheese while singing along to “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish” is one of my life highlights.

Nutella: Does this even require explanation? It’s the cornerstone of my diet and nothing short of “fantabulous” can describe it. My heart breaks a little when I get to the end of the jar. Thank you WWII chocolate rations and Italian innovation!

My bike: It gets me places and helps me work out all that Nutella. And it’s just so pretty!

Dying and cutting my hair: For the better part of the last 8 months I was horribly depressed – I didn’t leave my house, I didn’t attend classes and I just barely managed to graduate. I just stopped caring. My hair grew down to my waist. One of the first things I did once I began getting better was to cut most of it off. The first time I cut my hair short and dyed it a crazy color was extremely liberating and I regained that feeling. It might sound silly to say that something as simple as a hair cut or dye job can change the way you feel but it’s a big deal to me.

Band t-shirts: I can’t live without them. I actually have all the ones pictured above – including two Misfits ones – and then some. Music is a big part of everyone’s life, and this is one of the ways I have of expressing its importance to me. They look awesome and are great conversation starters. A couple days ago I went to meet the professor I will be doing my first lab rotation with and I was wearing my Black Flag t-shirt. After talking chemistry, he pointed out my shirt and we started talking about music and it all culminated with him lending me a couple of CDs. So you see, Black Flag can help with networking as well as being your soundtrack for smashing shit.

I think that about covers it for today. Fuck, now I’m seriously craving eating a Nutella sandwich while riding my bike, dressed in a Crass t-shirt, with teal-colored hair and whistling “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish”…