The Lung Brothers

Hanging out at the extreme end of the long tail ...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Twenty Things that You Never Wanted to Know about Chemistry.

1. The cleaner the lab coat, the less the sense of humour of the wearer. (so to answer to your next question ‘Yes - CSI is full of shit’)

2. The more the piece of laboratory equipment looks like a washing machine, the more it costs. (NMR, electron microscopes, Plasma spectroscopy,..etc)

3. You "can" judge a book by its cover. The prettiness of a chemical corporation’s catalogue is directly proportional to how sinister the nature of its activities . They tend to compensate for their evil ways with publicity.
For example if there is a paper manufacturing company that has a simple aerial photo of their factory on the cover of their catalogue, then you can rest assured that they are probably just what they claim to be i.e. a company that manufactures paper.
However, if you see a catalogue with a photo of waterfalls, a mother holding a baby or a family having a picnic in a field of sunflowers then you can pretty much conclude that this company puts dioxins into baby food or experiments on pandas.

4. The presidents of nearly all large German chemical conglomerates look like child molesters. I’m not kidding. Check it out. It must be something to do with the blond moustaches and the devious smiles but I personally wouldn’t let one of them within half a mile of a playground.

5. Unlike architects, writers, computer programmers, engineers or librarians, chemists don’t usually have friends who are chemists outside of their workplace. Because let’s face it, who the hell wants to be friends with a friggin’ chemist. “Hey Mike, lets get together tonight for a few brewskies and chat about surface catalysts for ketone synthesis”. “Hell yeah! That’d totally raaawk.”

6. Any chemist worth his/her salt should be able to cook. The processes are almost identical even if the smells are not.

7. All chemists above 5-foot ten have a stoop.

8. A lot of high level chemists have a chip on their shoulder about the fact that quantum physics and genetics are the sexy, trendy sciences that are getting all the media attention at the moment. I’ve heard stories of photos of Craig Venter being stuck on dartboards in University staffrooms.

9. The chemistry departments of almost all universities are usually housed in the ugliest building on campus. Something resembling a high rise prefab or an inverted bunker. The obvious thinking behind this is that the college shouldn’t spend a lot of money and effort on a beautiful and expensive building when there is a fair chance that it might accidentally explode some day.

10. Surprisingly, the hardest thing to find in a large laboratory is a small glass rod to stir the shit in your beaker.


12. You know those ignorant philistines out there who think that the most useful application for helium is to make your voice sound like a smurf’s?
Well, they’re actually right.

13. It is not generally known that in 1997 after extensive research into Mexican food, IUPAC reclassified the term ‘Noble Gas’ as an oxymoron.

14. You know in the film ‘Blade’ when Wesley Snipes makes Stephen Dorff explode by injecting him with a solution of the chelating agent EDTA? Well that was frigging cool, that was.

15. Don’t even bother asking a chemistry student if he knows how to make LSD. I can guarantee you that the book was borrowed from the university library in 1967 and never returned.

16. Chemists and cordroy. Don’t ask me why.

17. That ‘hide-the-metalic-sodium-in-the-swimming-costume’ gag stops being funny after the third or fourth time.

18. Primo Levy is the chemists’ Jim Morrison.

19. (To be rapped)
Beaker and Bunsen Honeydew.
It’s funny coz it’s so true. (Motherfucker)

20. There was a girl in my college year who could fill a 50ml pipette with her mouth in eight seconds flat. Boy was ‘she’ popular.


Anonymous Jessica said...

Have u try the Chemistry online bookstore

I get all my textbooks for this semester from this bookstore. All are brand new textbooks and half price discount textbooks.

Good luck and wish some help.

hehe ^_^

4:24 pm  
Anonymous AnnieB said...

Bravo! Very aptly titled!

Just kidding. I eagerly await your (rather spasmodic) postings.

I feel juvenile saying so, but I did get a giggle out of #13 ...

4:01 pm  
Anonymous Chris S. said...

Nice list. I think if there had been more people like you in my college courses, I just might have found it more interesting and stuck with it. Organic Chem still haunts me to this day...

12:11 pm  

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