Chiral Jones is dead. Long live Chiral Jones.

February 22, 2011

As aforementioned, I was expecting a move to CENtral Science. Finally: Transition States is go!

Blogging will slow down a bit here, but during the beginning, I’ll be sure to cross post (with plenty of links) so you can re-calibrate your RSS antennas. And I might drop the occasional ‘just-for-fun’ post here, too.

Thanks for reading this far, everyone. You’re all cordially invited to check out the new blog.

*If you’re well read in chemical blogging, you might recall the now dormant blog written by a fellow named Tynchtyk, A Chemist in a Transition State. We briefly debated using such a similar name, but after emailing Tynchtyk, and receiving a supportive response about using the name, we figured we had to. A shout out/kudos to you, Tynchtyk.




Bigger News

January 30, 2011

I’m in! A little less than a week ago, I received the first acceptance email. After the suspense of a seemingly indefinite wait, and uncertain outcomes, it’s a good, relieving feeling to know I’ll be going somewhere next year. Now I just need to hear back from everywhere else so I can start planning the North American tour dates…

More importantly, this means I’ll have ample blog/’job’ security for a few more years…

Actually… speaking of the ‘tour dates,’ does flying business class on Southwest constitute a “reasonable travel expense?” Nothing says you’re a rockstar like preferred boarding, a free drink coupon, and double frequent flyer points.

Actually…speaking of free drink coupons, I spent the weekend celebrating grad school, the blog news, and for the sake of celebrating. Although it’s well into the evening, my head still feels weird. It’s as if the quiet, but constant rumble of the fume hood was encased in my brain… all. day. Considering the circumstances, I’m ok with it. And for next time, here’s some drinking guidelines set forth by the RSC. Really.

Big News

January 30, 2011

Chemjobber does it again! Really, he couldn’t be better at what he does – even if he’s not even specifically trying.

Way back when he cross posted info about my search for grad schools, I got much more than I bargained for.* An editor of C&EN came across my blog, enjoyed the ‘Chiral Jones Experience,’™ and contacted me with interest in picking me up over at CENtral Science. Of course, I played it coy and said “I like the idea very much,” instead of “no sh’t, I want to blog for C&EN!” I blurted out when I originally read her email. In retrospect, I think my original response would have been equally well received, but, you know… ‘Best foot forward” and all…

We’ve exchanged plenty of emails, discussed different aspects of the new blog, including the  possibility of a co-blogger, etc, etc. After confirmation from the C&EN High Council, the news is finally official enough to post here! So here are the deets:

Yes, I’ll be blogging for C&EN! The majority of my operations will take place over there, but I’ll cross post things back here from time to time, and maybe post some random things here if they don’t necessarily fit in with things over at C&EN. You know, quick posts like “Hey, I think this paper is cool, you should check it out” that aren’t necessarily a full “post,” more a glamorized tweet (tumbl, as I hear they’re called, but I neither tweet nor tumbl), and maybe incriminating happy hour pics. OK, especially incriminating happy hour pics.

Yes, I’ll be picking up a padawan-blogger! I’ll let him introduce himself at the new digs, but I’ll say that he’s a junior, and he’s generally pretty awesome. He’s doing more of a chemical biology thing, and wants to get a little more into synthesis. (lucky kid has never even had to run a column!) I’m glad to have him on-board, as our interests complement each other quite nicely. (Chemical biology looking to do a little more synthesis vs. Synthesis looking to do a little more chemical biology.)

We actually don’t have a name yet… but we’re working on that. Worst case scenario, we’re going to mash-up names of other successful blogs. Something like: The Totally Carbon-Based Pipeline Button. Which… actually isn’t as terrible as I had imagined. So that’s an option, too.

We start as soon as we get the paperwork, and the name thing sorted out. Guesstimation: about a week.

Full details forthcoming!

*Actually, I didn’t bargain at all, so I suppose receiving anything is more than I bargained for…

Home, and out of my mind, for the holidays

December 31, 2010

Happy holidays, and a happy New Years (Eve, depending on your timezone) to everybody. As you might expect, I’m in the thick of the holiday slow-down. Granted, many of you will probably be back at the grind some time after the first, but I won’t even be back at school, nor spending any time at “the altar,”* until the 13th. I mean, I don’t mind extended time off, and I certainly enjoy catching up with friends I haven’t seen in six months,  but the last intermediates I was working with are just… sitting there. SITTING THERE!

Considering I’m at the point where I’ve definitely had my fill of family time, I’m conducting some “interdisciplinary” holiday research, just to keep busy. Current projects include “late night leftover feeding habits of the North American undergraduate,” and “New Years Eve: A case study.” Feeding habit data suggests an average of two investigatory trips to the fridge per feeding cycle, followed by an additional trip to the fridge, and consumption of the least unappealing leftovers. These cycles continue until hunger is satisfied, although depending upon metabolic rates, wait time between each step, and “appealing-ness” of leftovers, the process can extend well into after-hours.

Data on the New Years project is forthcoming. Currently, I’m seeking to quantify work published by B.E. Peas, et al., indicating why, and to what degree tonight will be a good night. Meta-analysis of 3 previous New Years Eve data sets will be included.

Anyway, I’ll be finishing grad school applications, bothering my PI to finish his rec’s (on time!), and polishing up a bunch of drafts for the next salvo of posts here. Oh, and enjoying time with friends. I suggest you do the same(the friends part), and I’ll see you in 2011.

*no, not my altar, just a particularly clean lookin’ one.

Welcome to the Future!

January 14, 2010

Happy 2010, everybody! Everything’s new and exciting and, well, ok: pretty much same. But it’s nice to try to think of it like it’s new and shiny!

Anyway, finally – back at school where I belong! Being home for a month was… odd. On the one hand, the break from science was extremely necessary, however the whole month was a little overkill; toward the end I was getting a little antsy to get back to a lab. Furthermore, the southside/suburbs of Chicago are, in my opinion, an pit of intellectual despair*. So being anywhere where I can thoroughly geek out over stuff is incredibly comforting. And finally, the Midwest just doesn’t understand tasty beer.

So, now that it’s 2010, maybe some chemistry related resolutions are in order:

  • learn more about cross-coupling reactions: despite the enthralling synthesis class last semester, we didn’t even scratch the surface of cross-coupling reactions. And when it comes to making stuff, I’ve heard they’re kinda important…
  • get into some serious synthesis: I mentioned before that the library synthesis wasn’t exactly doing it for me, but was starting to grow on me. Well, if I’m lucky I may get to have the best of both worlds: continuing work on the library project, and maybe picking up a more complex molecule synthesis or fragment of a total synthesis! Depending on an upcoming meeting/discussion with my adviser, this might be possible. So I’ve got my fingers crossed.
  • learn to cook: I know, I can “do chemistry”, but I can’t cook? What kind of chemist does that make me? Well, I’ll tell ya, the phrase “medium-high heat”: totally not quantitative. Certainly not journal-worthy¹. But truth be told, I could stand to learn a bit more about cooking. And considering how much I love food, particularly the delicious and gourmet, it’d be a worthwhile investment. Now, time to get some proper gear to outfit my otherwise spartan kitchen… and one of those wall-knife-magnet things. They’re so cool.

    and finally

  • post more! yeah yeah, typical blog resolution. But, I will not rest until I’m posting with the diligence and impact of Derek Lowe. Or, until they develop a blogging platform that will transcribe my ongoing chemical-based stream of consciousness. Both would be acceptably awesome.

To a happy, healthy, and productive 2010.

*A bit harsh, I know, but that’s just my opinion. Although I’m not stoked about the southside, I fell in love with the city as a whole again while being home. If you’re from the Chicago area and want to wax poetic about neighborhoods of the city, discuss real deep dish pizza, or argue about Sox vs. Cubs, let me know.

[1] Ok, maybe Tet. Lett…²

[2] I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitresses.

Under the weather

December 14, 2009

As part of the “mission statement” of this blog, one of the top rules/ideologies is definitely “don’t blog about how I haven’t blogged.” However, for now, I’ll bend that rule, as it’s partially chemistry related. And, well, I do like keeping things somewhat fresh around here.

Aside from the fact that it’s the end of the semester and shit needs to get done, I’ve also managed to come down with a nasty cold/flu that’s been haunting me for the better part of a week. Although I’ve had no lasting fever or seriously serious symptoms, I’ve had some seriously annoying ones, and they’ve brought their A-game.

I’ve had a very constant headache, my nose is either overly runny, or overly dry, I’ve been super tired, and the urge to sneeze is unrelenting. It’s not fun…

Additionally, since I’ve been sick, I haven’t made it to a proper pharmacy during normal business hours, and stores on campus don’t stock anything that contains the good stuff… The replacement, phenylephrine, is in served up in lower doses, and apparently suffers from reduced bioavailability, and limited overall effectiveness¹, at least, compared to its pseudoephedrine predecessor. Rabble rabble rabble, I’m sick and grumpy, rabble rabble.

Real posts are on the way soon, though.

[1]Here‘s the actual article if you’re interested.