June 2008

Jaa, halfway through! O-chem is actually a really cool field; I’m just horrible at memorizing reagents when I don’t know what they do. I copied this poem onto the extra credit page of our exam today, just for kicks. It’s the 1962┬áChristmas Competition Quatrain from the Royal Society of Chemistry:

“I’m grateful, lord, for NMR,
for IR and UV,
but may a technique ne’er be found
that will dispense with me.”

It’s amazing the things you can find in when ambling aimlessly through scientific writing. Dad’s fathers’ day gift this year was the sequel, More Random Walks in Science, from whence the poem comes. Another favorite from the new collection is the classification “a paranoia of faculty.”

Incidentally, guess who’s going to King’s?


Well, my mom and I took a bit of a journey eastward to go see Journey to the West. We got tickets on a total fluke about three hours before we would need to leave, and we split the drive over a night and a morning. They ended up being the best seats in the house for a show that was nothing short of spectacular. The music was great, as were the sets and animations (I liked the one with the fishes). The acrobatics and stunts and sets and costumes were quite a bit more amazing than I think I could describe. Sun Wu’kung was much more of a monkey than in the books, and Tripitaka a bit less of a jerk, and they cut most of the 81 trials, so it was perfect. Don’t even get me started on the spider women or the singing starfish! There were contortionists and flying sages, gargantuan sets of pure whimsy and brilliant (both technically and otherwise) costumes, a kickass sword maiden, dragons, and a regiment of heavenly soldiers on rollerblades and unicycles. The performance is also home to one of the best stage transitions I’ve ever heard: 500 years later…

Brilliant. Gorgeous. Thrilling. Definitely worth 13 hours in a car.