And that power is Google.
About halfway through last week, my TI-89 went on the fritz¹, so instead of doing quick lab calculations on my 89, I’ve been using Google. Yep, that’s right. If you didn’t know, you can input plenty of mathematical operations into the Google search bar, and it’ll spit out an answer. In addition to the math calculation, it’ll also spit out whatever it interprets as it’s actual search.
So, when mindlessly inputting values to determine masses in my scintillation vials (and because years of advanced math courses have robbed me of basic math skills), such as “13.0946-13.0266″, google will interpret it as math, but also as coordinates on the earth. And, given the quantities of stuff I’ve been working with lately, and the mass of the empty scintillation vials, I keep getting coordinate hits in Senegal, which is close enough to Dakar.
This got me to thinking. I’m totally using lab data/google hits to plan some kind of epic vacation/geohashing. Maybe I’m not going to Dakar just yet, but as soon I get a hit for Hawaii, I’m taking it as a very strong sign from a higher power that I’ll need to take a pilgrimage to Hawaii. Or, if down the line I ever freak out and have some sort of mid-grad-school-life-crisis, I’m taking this as a sign to enter the Dakar Rally. (Although as of now, it no longer goes to Dakar) If ever I straight up drop chemistry, or need to take an immediate and unexpected break from it, the Dakar would be a TOTALLY bad-ass way of doing so.
So, next time you happen to punch in a quick calculation to google, keep an eye out for any “hidden message.” You never know where it may lead you, or your procrastination…
PS, for those keeping score at home: stop it, that’s kinda weird. But if you’re interested, definitely keep an eye out during the coming week. I’ve been slaving away over a hot keyboard the past few days and have a few fresh posts raring to go. One of which is relatively serious and heartfelt, and I hope you’ll fully appreciate. The other two, well, less so, but I hope you enjoy them for what they are.
 All better now! And I learned how to force a reset if a program freezes, or you give it a calculation that takes WAY too long…