A Place for Some Ideas and Ramblings to Reside

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Presumably, this blog post, and those which follow it, will be read by people that already know me. For those that do not, I am a career chemist. I haven't been doing it long but, after several years of study and over a year on the job, it sometimes feels like I at least know what I'm talking about. This blog, however, will not use chemistry or even science as a central topic. I'll likely just be putting ideas and opinions here. Hopefully they'll be a lot like the one that I'm going to spend this brief post on.

I think about glassware a lot. Chemists and scientists use specially designated glassware both to contain and to manipulate the chemicals and mixtures that they handle since it's usually a bad idea for them to use their hands or to get their tools mixed up with those reserved for other purposes. This glassware has come to take many shapes and very specific designs to perform important functions. Some of the pieces of glassware measure things. Others, like funnels and filters, watchglasses, and distillation devices are used to separate substances. This is what I'm often trying to do in the lab.

But this isn't a chemistry blog. It's not even necessarily a science blog. The glassware that separates chemicals is quite important and I've been thinking recently about how important separation can be. At least in my life, I tend towards letting lots of things mix together. I sometimes find that I'm thinking about work while I'm at home watching a movie, or maybe I'm thinking about how to translate a sentence into Spanish when I'm at work trying to prepare a calibration curve. This is distracting and maybe it works for some people but, at least for me, it seems that I need separation.

It isn't the case that I think all separations are good. When I'm separated from certain equipment at work my whole day will become wasted. Similarly, I don't like to be separated from people that I love. Even so, I feel like we should have a healthy amount of separation going on. Sometimes our thoughts and ideas need some rest and we have to move on to another task before we can really use them. This being the case, I'll be trying to separate myself from some of my thoughts and ideas by placing them here. If you'd like to, and I certainly would like it if you did, you can leave a comment about my thoughts. If you know me "in real life" then feel free to let me know what you think through some other means if you prefer. But either way, this will be a way for me to separate myself from some of my thoughts so that they can rest, and in this way I hope to revisit them in an even more productive way.

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