omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Eastern Standard Time:
•Penumbral eclipse begins 12:29 AM EST
•Partial eclipse begins 1:33 AM EST
•Total eclipse begins 2:41 AM EST
•Greatest eclipse 3:17 AM EST
•Total eclipse ends 3:53 AM EST
•Partial eclipse ends 5:01 AM EST
•Penumbral eclipse ends 6:05 AM EST
omly: peacock tail feather (book)
Don't get me wrong, I am excited about this year's IgNobels, but every time I think about this year's theme I get the Jonathan Coulton song of the same name stuck in my head.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
In case people have interest the 2009 IgNobels video is now online.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
I former student contacted me recently to ask about the use of lime for tanning, as she is tanning a goat skin to make a drum. Seriously, I love when students bring random chemistry questions from their lives to me. Finding out the answers is fascinating. In case you too were wondering about this, there is a great, short, and easy to read article on that here originally published in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Anyone interested in going to Museum of Science in the upcoming future? We are members, and would be able to take a limited number of people for free. Events that have perked my interest are the National Chemistry Week Kick-off even Sat Oct 18th (1-5) and the Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids exhibit (opening Oct 25).
omly: peacock tail feather (And then a miracle occurs...)
It is that time again. The APS is sponsoring the Adopt a Physicist Program, where highschool physics students can interview Physicists. Please note that this year they are only accepting candidates that have a degree in Physics (not any science like last year). More information can be found at the Adopt a Physicist Webpage

Registration: Now – Nov. 5 (or until full)
Teachers adopt physicists: Nov. 6 – Nov. 19 (limited to first 50 registrants)
Discussion forums open: Nov. 27 – Dec. 15

I really enjoyed this program last year, and technically I do have a BS in physics, but I am not sure if I am really a good candidate given that I don't really work in that field. Also given the crunch for my research, maybe I should give this a pass until next year.
omly: peacock tail feather (And then a miracle occurs...)
Woohoo! It works!

We had some doubts, and a bunch of troubleshooting was needed. For example we discovered one piece was assembled by the company incorrectly, and we were missing an important length of tubing. But hey, this is why we are engineers/scientists right? I have to say though, for something for "ages 12+" it took a lot of graduate students to figure out to turn on the on switch.

For those interested, our car is from Fuel Cell Store. It runs around $80. We also have the solar panel, but I have not experimented with that yet.
omly: peacock tail feather (knitting)
My original plan was to knit both socks simultaneously toe up from opposite ends of the ball so I could basically go until I got to the center of the yarn. Suddenly while lying in bed I realized that if I did this method that the patterns would be going different directions (as in this picture of someone else's socks). Damn you self patterning yarn!

Solution: Assuming a constant linear density (you know this is going badly when it starts like this) I pulled out the center of the ball (which includes the inner end) and used a scale to get 2 roughly equal weight sections. The whole ball weighed 105.4g which amused me from a QA perspective since in order to claim to be 100g they needed most balls to fall over that part of the confidence interval. I just hadn't thought about it previously.

Anyways so I now have 2 sections of yarn, one which weighs slightly more so they can start at the same point in the pattern. Then I have to take the inner section, which at this point looks like a yarn monster's guts and wind it into a ball careful to wind it so that the original yarn end is in the center so as not to lose the correct direction of the yarn pattern.

Whew! Now on to the gauge square.


Jan. 2nd, 2006 01:24 pm
omly: peacock tail feather (And then a miracle occurs...)
I am so very amused by this website for generating warning labels. Maybe I will even put it to legitimate use by making some for the lab... Or maybe I shall just make them for my own amusement.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
The MRS conference is this week and I have been running myself ragged. I am so jealous of the students here from other parts of the country/world who just get to do the conference without the regular day to day responsibilities. Since I paid the registration cost out of pocket I have been trying to get as much out of it as I could.

Overheard - Quote of the day (from the email newsletter sent out to registrants)
"Nano is big. It is not all hype."
- Tom Weber, Director, Division of Materials Research, NSF

more specifics )

Ok that is my update for now. I should go back to my reactor homework for a bit before I pick up Tab from daycare.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
First there was the Knitty Womb (which I still want to make, even if it is not completely anotomically to scale). Then Knitty included Tit Bits as one of it's extras this month. Now we have a complete knitted digestive system! Anatomy lovers rejoice!

*edit* Oooh and Baby's First DNA Model!
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
I am rather annoyed that this year Mole day (10-23) does not actually fall within National Chemistry Week. That sort of seems to have missed the point. And it seems like Tufts does not have any events planned. This makes me sad. I know I have plans for this weekend, but I will have to make sure to set aside some time to do something appropriately science geeky on sunday.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
This is just a reminder that tonight is the 15th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Harvard's Sanders Theatre. Some tickets are still available if you are interested. If you are like me though you will watch the live webcast from at 7:15. In honor there of I am cuurently reading The IG Nobel Prizes 2 : An All-New Collection of the World's Unlikeliest Research by Marc Abrahams
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
My mom sent me an email about two new mars journals. (Yeah mom you are so cool!) The website has no content yet though. I just thought this might interest a few people.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Launch Postponement Press Meeting is scheduled for 4:30. Since they only had a 5 minute window today, a delay means that it will be severel more days before another launch attempt can be done. I have to admit I am feelina little bummed about this whole thing. I will hang around for a few minutes to see if this means EST, but I have to be at the MoS by 5:30 so I won't be able to hang around too long.

EDIT: Basicaly this was a safety call as the redundant systems were not in agreement. Pinpoiinting the exact cause is still underway. Launch is now scheduled for 2:41 EST on July 16th.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
If you happen to have a few moments today it might be nice to spend them thinking happy thoughts for the Discovery. It is scheduled to launch at 3:51 EST today as it was given the go ahead last night despite some minor technical snags. They have a fair weather forecast, but given the last mission everyone is obviously holding their breath. I was just thinking about the fact that I don't really remember the Challenger launch, but I did have a teacher in highschool that had a "Nothing can stop the Challenger" poster up in his room which he kept for irony.

Anyways if you are really interested in watching this progress, Australian IT is reporting that Yahoo will be streaming video of the mission. Other than this story I don't see anything to about the mission on the homepage yet, though a briefly search did find me this (yes I know there are links to streaming video, but I was looking for one through yahoo not the nasa site).

Between Deep Impact and the Discovery NASA has been a lot more in the public's eye recently. (Actually there was a Deep Impact float in my home town's fourth of July parade.) I can only hope this will continue, as before that it looked like budget cuts would have even more severely crippled this work.

By the way read on here for a strange story on a Russian woman suing NASA for mental suffering and "deforming her horoscope".
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
"Adopt a Scientist" -- scientists needed!
x-posted to tall sorts of science communities

I'm running a program by AIP/APS/etc in celebration of the World Year of Physics. The program is called Adopt a Scientist and will arrange for high school science students to email-interview real scientists. The hope is that this will expand the students' horizons about what it means to be a scientist.

The catch is, I need scientists. The time commitment is really small (less than a few hours total for the entire fall term), you don't have to leave the comfort of your desk to do it, and the impact on students' perceptions could be really substantial. For the purpose of this program I am looking for scientists at any stage in life (advanced undergrad, grad students, professors, researchers, retirees) in any field of science (physics, biology, engineering, interpreting science to the public...).

If you're interested or have questions please email me at Thank you!

So I saw this thing on [ profile] chemecommunity yesterday, and I was thinking of maybe doing it. Plus I just think it would have been cool when I was younger to have had the chance to have been on the high school end of this. So to that end I wrote a little blurb about who I was and what I had done in a sciency sense. It is funny how weird and vaguely impressive this looks when written down; in reality though subjects that do not seem so generally do not get the funding as much. Still I have to say that it makes me kinda glad in a slightly geeky way to have been involved with a bunch of these projects.

I got my undergraduate degree at Simmons College in Chemistry, Math and Physics. There I did research in OLEDs and sensors for manufacturing. Also during this period I worked for Gillette for several years in the Oral-B branch developing toothpaste and teeth whitening products (including the Rembrandt-Oral B whitening strips). After my undergrad I worked for a few months for one of the co-investigators for the 2007 Phoenix Mars Mission. Now I am a graduate student at Tufts University in chemical engineering researching fuel cell catalysts.


omly: peacock tail feather (Default)

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