Archive for the ‘Random’ Category
Edit: Props to Pat Knerr for forwarding along the SI article.
Every chemistry teacher has moments when students ask…odd questions. I had one such moment last week, when a student hung around after class to ask me what I knew about DMSO (yes organickers, that DMSO). A friend had advised the student to use DMSO on a running-related injury. Organic chemists know DMSO as the world’s most annoying NMR solvent and an oxidant…was there any truth to these claims of pain relief? After lowering the figurative raised eyebrow, I decided to investigate.
DMSO is perhaps the world’s most famous sulfoxide, and it sits on the oxidation ladder between the abhorrent dimethyl sulfide (Me2S) and dimethyl sulfone (Me2SO2). The latter has an interesting medical history of its own, as we’ll see shortly. DMSO may be used as a polar solvent in organic reactions, but it also finds application in the Swern oxidation and other alkoxysulfonium-based oxidations—organickers, check out the Pfitzner-Moffatt oxidation too. All those applications, of course, have nothing to do with the medicinal effects of DMSO. Could a choice reagent for oxidations also have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects? Read the rest of this entry »
My prelim exam is coming up in October, so I’ll probably be out of commission until then. But, the latest issue of J. Chem. Educ. and its ASAPs are actually quite good, so take a look if you’re interested in what’s abuzz in the chemical education world. Thirty-second lit review coming soon…
I don’t exactly know what the typical submit-to-publish time is for research science publishing, but consider the fact that this article on editing Wikipedia just came out on ASAPs, and the last edit to the article’s featured page (by the authors’ class) was made in the summer of 2009. Come on JCE!
Excimer‘s marvelous talk at ACS has inspired me to take up blogging again. However, as my interests have changed substantially since I started MGW back in 2007, I’ve decided to re-cast MGW as “Cheersical Education,” so named for “Cheers, Mike,” my signature e-mail signoff. Here I’ll post about developments in chemical education, literature reviews, life in the lab (watching it from my office across the hall) and other random junk like that. I’ll leave you with this:
Blog: Short for weblog. A meandering, blatantly uninteresting online diary that gives the author the illusion that people are interested in their stupid, pathetic life. Consists of such riveting entries as “homework sucks” and “I slept until noon today.” v. intr. The act of posting to a weblog. (Source)
I figure it’s about time for a triumphant return. With Kentucky in reasonably clear site of an NCAA title, my spirits are invigorated and I’m ready to take on the slings and arrows of the blogosphere. I’ll be posting here about organic chemistry, life, women, whatever. And yes (in case you were wondering…), Wednesday Night Problems will be making a comeback in the near future.
So what’s the deal with ACS Mobile?! It’s an app that allows you to read papers from ACS Pubs on the go. Cool—for a guy who spends essentially zero time at work reading non-essential papers, it’s nice to have that option, I thought. Gee whiz, I thought, maybe they’ve built a whole new mobile publication interface. That’d be—what the deuce?!?! $2.99 at the App Store?! That’s right ladies and gents, ACS Mobile is going to cost you three times as Running Log, infinity times as much as Facebook and Pandora combined, and three times as much as renting Cube from That’s Rentertainment. Screw it; I’d rather watch a dude get chopped in half three times—paying for it each time—than pay three bucks to read journal articles on my iPod Touch. Sorry ACS.
…at least, that was my reaction two days ago. Slowly, over the past couple of days, guilt has been eating away at me. The ACS always has a way of pulling me back. Kind of like hipster chicks—it’s just so hard to let them go. They’re just…so damn cool. Finally, in a moment of weakness, I caved and bought the app today. I’ll try to keep the remainder of this review, in contrast to the first half of it, at least marginally more objective.
Positives: The interface is really nice. It’s not exactly new, but it’s nice. You won’t find yourself zooming with frustration on abstracts very often (full text is a different story). The text is HUGE, and resolution on the figures is superb. You can select what journal ASAPs you want to see, and filter content to look only at results from a specific journal. You can also save articles, because “JESUS CHRIST WHAT WOULD I DO IF I LOST THAT PAPER ON YET ANOTHER ENANTIOSELECTIVE DIELS-ALDER REACTION?!” Abstracts load quickly, but I found navigating the articles (which appear in PDF form) to be a little laggy. Great for blazing through abstacts, though. Landscape mode is a nice touch.
Negatives: Price is going to be your biggest minus with this thing. The verdict’s still out for me in terms of paying for itself in usefulness. You also can’t set time limits on what it displays, as far as I can tell. I realize $2.99 isn’t exactly filet mignon, but for what you get, it’s almost easier—almost—to just use ACS Pubs’s website. The full-text interface needs to improve, but this isn’t all ACS’s fault—navigating PDFs has never been fun on the iPhone.
Overall: If you’re a grad student who feels like you need to read more papers but you don’t have time, spring for it. If you already feel inundated with literature during the bulk of your work day (I feel like this might be a common sentiment among readers…comment and let me know?), then skip it.
As I’m sure regular visitors have noticed, things haven’t been too exciting around here for a while. In lieu of boring you with all the gory details, I’ll just say that MGW is going on a little “break” for the time being. Regular posting should resume sometime in the summer. Until then, enjoy this. LSD optional.