Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

Suggestive Chemistry T-Shirts

Friday, September 4th, 2015

My friend Tania put up this photo on her Instagram yesterday, which reminds me of a post I’ve wanted to write about chemistry T-shirts:



That is the most suggestive chemistry T-shirt that I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning. It was gifted to me in grad school by an awesome postdoc. Since it is much too risque for an assistant professor to wear, I felt the time was right to pass it on to the next generation of chemists. I know it is in good hands, as Tania has a collection going:



A quick survey of Google reveals some other dirty alternatives, but I think the round-bottom one is special because it’s from a legit glassware vendor (and one we still use to get our NMR tubes and caps).

Not how you spell that word.

It’s not polite to judge.

This could lead to confusion about the Burgi-Dunitz angle


Papers That Got Off to a Good Start

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

This week, an interesting discussion on Twitter was sparked by the publication of this paper in JACS:



That’s a great first sentence to a paper, and soon people chimed in with other memorable examples.


Tehshik Yoon pointed out this review on C-H activation as his favorite:



…which Nicolas Fanget countered with a microbiology paper from 2000 that begins with a quote from Monty Python’s Flying Circus:



My personal favorite belongs to the man himself, R.B. Woodward, who began a 1963 paper with the simple exclamation, “Strychnine!”:



Are there any other chemistry papers out there with memorable openings?

Our Newest Instrument

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

I received this fantastic gift for Christmas, and it has made a great addition to the office:


While I don’t chew gum, I’m a huge fan of jelly beans. If you’re curious, 7.5 pounds of Jelly Bellys will fill the reservoir perfectly. I highly recommend the fruit bowl mix—it contains most of the best fruit flavors without all of those weird ones, like buttered popcorn and margarita.

And if you end up getting one of these beauties, don’t be a knob—put it on free spin.

La Cucaracha

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

La cucaracha, la cucaracha,
Ya no puede caminar…


I stumbled upon this lovely scene in the men’s room by my lab last night.

At some point in every single laboratory I’ve ever worked, I’ve encountered a dead cockroach lying flat on its back. Without exception, my first thought is always:

What horribly toxic substance has this poor creature encountered to cause her
to die alone and out in the open like this?

After a few seconds of thoughtful reflection, I usually convince myself the cockroach died of natural causes and we are all safe. In other news, I wish I could say that I’ve never seen a labmate do this:

Fortunately, I haven’t had the excitement of seeing a live one racing around the floor in a long time.

Columbia Professor Dance Party

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

This video is pretty hilarious:

Congrats to Breslow, Nakanishi, and Sames for having good senses of humor. The holiday skits at Harvard were canceled a long time ago because a few people there took themselves a little too seriously.

Also, thanks to the three tipsters who e-mailed me different versions of this link. (And, of course, now that I’ve gone back and checked, this video has already made the rounds on Twitter. I will now go back under my rock. Bye.)