It is summertime, which means we are smack dab in the middle of wedding season.
A couple of weeks ago, one of the grad students in our lab got married and did a nice job of incorporating some chemistry into the mix. Each table was named after one of the couple’s favorite molecules, and it was no coincidence that the delegation from our lab was seated at the alcohol dehydrogenase table:
A couple of years ago, another grad student from our lab and his wife had element themed tables (with test tubes as seat markers) at their reception:
Pretty cool — and I love the glassware. Congrats to M & A and A & C for getting hitched and representin’ chemistry at the same time. (Also, many thanks to the fabulous GK for the photos.)
These chemical wedding ideas are awesome, but I generally spend more time planning my dream funeral. Since chemistry is a big part of my life, I’d like to make sure it is also a part of the celebration of my death. In ancient Egypt, people were buried with items thought necessary or useful in the afterlife. These included everyday items like food, utensils, and furniture. In this vein, I would like to be buried with a few pieces of lab equipment when I kick the bucket.
First off, I’ll need some PPE. I’ll stick with with the traditional dress pants, shirt, and tie (yellow, please), but I’d like a Nomex lab coat in lieu of a sports jacket. Next, I want a pristine 7″ NMR tube with a purple cap placed in my top left pocket. In one of my trouser pockets, I’d like a set of 24/40-to-vial adapters. Nothing beats ending a synthesis by rotavapping your product directly in its final container.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked the blog’s Facebook fans and Twitter followers what they’d like to be buried with. Here are some of the responses:
Roger — A 1 GHz NMR (ok, Mr. Greedy)
Bethany — An NMR tube cleaner (I’ve never had one)
Adan — A Schlenk tube (nice)
Michael — A J-Young NMR tube (very nice)
Benny — A Dean-Stark apparatus
Jess and William — Soxhlet extractor (fun to watch for eternity)
Cari — A fritted funnel with vacuum adapter (man, there is nothing like having a clean one)
Wendy — A fleaker (saucy!)
Derek — Kipp’s apparatus (old school ballin’)
Ann — A Sharpie
Neil — Mortar & pestle, or possibly, a blowtorch (hardcore)
Barney — One of those 10 mL green pipette pumps
Rory — A swivel frit
Peter — Suba seal septum (red or white?)
Freda — A “cute” bubbler
Peter T. — A column…with “a blocked sinter and dodgy tap”
Lab Monkey — “The sole red Keck clip from our dept labs. The thought that someone will finally have to order more warms my cockles”
The most incisive comment made during this exercise came from Shawn, who noted “this seems like a formula to inspire grave robbing by grad students from underfunded labs.”
Maybe, but if you seal me in my coffin with a few jugs of expired THF, I don’t think many people will want to come a knockin’ with shovels.