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Author: Subject: Things That Frustrate As A DIY Chemist
j_sum1
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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 02:38


Quote: Originally posted by gardul  
CAT HAIR! One of my problems.. It seems no matter how careful I am I always atleast get one hair.

So... Operation Cat Army wasn't a huge success then?
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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 02:55


People thinking I am making drugs or TNT
My friends thinking that I waste my money in some useless white powder
My dad thinking that every bit of rust was me dropping some acid

And still here I am
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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 03:51


You could make exploding drugs that leave rust stains when they go off. :D



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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 03:53


Quote: Originally posted by Zombie  
You could make exploding drugs that leave rust stains when they go off. :D
Only if they leave a layer of cat hair and dust everywhere.
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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 05:12


Quote: Originally posted by Argentum  
People thinking I am making drugs or TNT
My friends thinking that I waste my money in some useless white powder
My dad thinking that every bit of rust was me dropping some acid

And still here I am


Yeah.... "Hmmmm.... So you turned one white powder into another white powder, what for?"

Ugh... My sincere apologies that it didn't jump out of the drying dish to sing a most impressive song for you and then explode into a shower of multicolored glitter that smells nice. :)




Note to self: Tare the damned flask.
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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 06:09


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Quote: Originally posted by Zombie  
You could make exploding drugs that leave rust stains when they go off. :D
Only if they leave a layer of cat hair and dust everywhere.



That's the idea of the rust filled exploding drugs. To blow the cat hair up, up, and awayyyyy.

That was just plain sad...




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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 11:31


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Quote: Originally posted by gardul  
CAT HAIR! One of my problems.. It seems no matter how careful I am I always atleast get one hair.

So... Operation Cat Army wasn't a huge success then?


as if right now now. My soxhlet extractor cracked. Not really sure how or why. but I have to wait until next weekend to order a new one.




I just made you read this very pointless signature. How does it feel?
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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 15:46


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Quote: Originally posted by Zombie  
You could make exploding drugs that leave rust stains when they go off. :D
Only if they leave a layer of cat hair and dust everywhere.


I let cats to gardul, they give me a nasty allergy. At least I know who to blame if I see cats flying


[Edited on 11-2-2015 by Argentum]
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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 15:51


Quote: Originally posted by Mailinmypocket  
Quote: Originally posted by Argentum  
People thinking I am making drugs or TNT
My friends thinking that I waste my money in some useless white powder
My dad thinking that every bit of rust was me dropping some acid

And still here I am


Yeah.... "Hmmmm.... So you turned one white powder into another white powder, what for?"

Ugh... My sincere apologies that it didn't jump out of the drying dish to sing a most impressive song for you and then explode into a shower of multicolored glitter that smells nice. :)


They can make some loud noise -music to my ears- And explode. Not colorful or with a nice smell, though.

BTW, sorry for the double posting, I need to learn how to quote twice in a post
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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 16:22


Quote: Originally posted by Argentum  
Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Quote: Originally posted by Zombie  
You could make exploding drugs that leave rust stains when they go off. :D
Only if they leave a layer of cat hair and dust everywhere.


I let cats to gardul, they give me a nasty allergy. At least I know who to blame if I see cats flying


[Edited on 11-2-2015 by Argentum]


that would be amazing! Kinda cool too. But their are laws in the States about expeirments like that on animals.




I just made you read this very pointless signature. How does it feel?
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Etaoin Shrdlu
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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 17:39


Quote: Originally posted by Zombie  
You could make exploding drugs that leave rust stains when they go off. :D

I laughed pretty hard.

My main frustration is lack of time.
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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 18:18


I love the comment about cat hair. I have the recurring night mare that my cat will find its way around a double locked door and into my lab so it may drink all my evaporating solutions, the sweat taste of ethylene glycol has killed many of pets... :(



We are chemists , we bring light to the darkness. Knowledge to ignorant, excitement to the depressed and unknowing. we bring crops to broken fields and water to the desert. Where there is fear we bring curiosity.

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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 18:26


I don't think ethylene glycol tastes like sweat. Sweat tastes salty.

:D




As below, so above.
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[*] posted on 11-2-2015 at 18:40


I attempted to write a "love letter" to a girl once. It started out...

Dear Sweatheart.:(

It sort of went down hill from there.




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[*] posted on 12-2-2015 at 02:00


I'll say this much: Nothing is as irritating as constantly being asked if I "cook". Like I want to spend time in the Federal pokey just so Clem, johnny and Ringo can get a buzz. How I loathe that damn show..
And when I try to clean my glassware and I can't get it clean enough to 'sheet' water. Its especially bad in Sepp funnels( so many **** little beady droplets!!). I don't know what I'm doing wrong but man does it drive me mad. Don't get me started on OTC product MSDS's...




" the Modern Chemist is inundated with literature"-Unknown
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[*] posted on 12-2-2015 at 05:25


As said above and elsewhere, I despise how frequently I had been asked if I "cook" as well. Plenty of pharmacologically actives at work not to want to do so in my spare time, especially at great personal risk. Who would be dumb enough to show and then tell someone you didn't know extremely well?

I have had people ask if I take work home. That can be weird. As far as what I work on specifically, even if I didn't sign NDA's and other kinds of paperwork asking not to talk about some things with outsiders.... What business is it of yours unless you are a colleague? Either too nosey for their own good or attempting some espionage. And if anyone thinks that sounds paranoid, ask your place of employment or any alma maters if they have been hacked/targeted/etc. just this past year, I saw footage of someone arrested for espionage in a facility I visited over a largely academic piece of research with health implications.
Quote: Originally posted by Savior  
Wasting money on it. I believe we should earn from chemistry, and not waste even a coin. Chemistry should serve us, not otherwise!
... Awkward. Troll?
Running a lab of any kind costs money. Resources, including labor, are scarce. Education is comprised of services, and labs of goods. There is no way around this nor is it servitude.

[Edited on 12-2-2015 by Chemosynthesis]
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[*] posted on 12-2-2015 at 10:22


I have to agree withe you Chemosynthesis.

The last statement there... This is a new chapter in my life (chemistry), and the thought of it "earning" is not something that even crossed my mind.
I gained an interest believing this will be an expansion of my understanding of Human physiology. (lofty goals)

"Chemistry should serve us" Yes. That statement I understand, and agree with.
The first sentence however, "Wasting money on it. I believe we should earn from chemistry, and not waste even a coin."
Perhaps that was mis-stated...

All of my hobbies cost money. I never expected this to be any different.

[Edited on 12-2-2015 by Zombie]




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[*] posted on 12-2-2015 at 11:00


I don't think that there isn't anything particularly frustrating as a DIY chemist more than just general ignorance of the general population, as that's where most of all of the other problems we encounter come from. The drug laws, the legal restrictions and requirements, the paranoia, mistrust and fear all stem from ignorance of the society we live in.

When an average person meets another who says he's a chemist - he'll have no way to relate to him and his chemical formulas. When an average person meets another who has a personal chem lab, the only things he'd be able to relate to that concept are drugs and bombs. The problem here is the average person - who really doesn't really know much, has to resort to media skewed stereotypes to comprehend something. It's a societal thing reflecting how the average person understands these things, and our entire legal system revolves around this familiarity (or rather complete lack of it).

Honestly people don't know any better. So instead of telling them the straight beans, I water it down and make my passion more relatable to them by also playing on stereotypes. If you tell someone "I'm an amateur chemist" they'll think DRUGS!! BOMBS!!.. but if you tell them you're an "amateur scientist" they'll think "hey this dude is probably smart and knows some interesting stuff".

When people ask, I don't tell them I'm an amateur chemist and my love for chemistry. I tell them I'm an amateur scientist (which is something that has a lot more positive and less negative connotations). I tell them I'm passionate about science in all shapes and forms (which is very f*cking true), and that chemistry just happens to be one of many things I am interested in. I'll show them some of my non-chem science experiments, and if they find out about the chem, it's always just about your passion for -all- science and not just chem in particular. You have to water this stuff down and make it relatable to other people. Think Bill Nye the Science Guy, not Jesse and Heisenberg.

We live in a worldwide fear based society. We make laws everytime that something goes wrong, but people don't understand that laws they make are at best a patchwork to cover up a much larger societal problem. Making shit illegal doesn't deter the people who are fullheartedly set on something, be it good or bad. But ignorance breeds ignorance. There is just not enough science found in the common classroom or in informal settings for the common person to have found any great interest for it.

If people actually knew a thing or two about chemistry then they'd be able to at least appreciate what we do. They don't know shit about science, and as a result resort to stereotypes they know of. The problem is that society is afraid of things it can't easily understand or control. Whenever something unfortunate happens like one idiot kid in a million doing something stupid and setting himself on fire, society panics and makes a law. That's why we have to deal with all these fucked up laws.. which in turn restrict the applications that hobbyists do, and what can be demonstrated and/or performed in a classroom. Because god forbid you teach a kid how to properly use a bunsen burner.

If we don't have hands-on experiments and things that get us interested into science at an early age, we won't ever know the joys of it when we get old, or be able to have an appreciation for it. And so the cycle continues - something unfortunate happens, we blame it on lack of regulations, we create more, and then we wonder why no one fucking even likes or understands science anymore.
The children are the future of our society and if we neglect showing them how to make and do -all this cool shit-, then our society's brain capital goes down the drain as it gets older, the cycle intensifies, and we start getting taught that we used to ride around on dinosaurs a few years before Jesus.

It's a general societal trend we have to work around, and we have to play carefully to people's conceptions. There's a lot of negative stereotypes going around so we need to work around those and generate positive ones.
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[*] posted on 12-2-2015 at 11:43


An anecdote from 2 days ago: In my local busy Starbucks there is a chart of the radionuclides on the wall (~4' x 4). For most people it's just a piece of art. But this day a friend and I were discussing the fact that my smoke alarm containing 241 Am had instructions on the back to replace it every 10 years. (My friend has degrees in both electrical and nuclear engineering.) We both agreed that it could not be due to a short half-life as that would make it too dangerous for consumer use. Then I said that I would check the chart on the wall. Coincidentally one of my chemical engineering former colleagues saw me standing on a chair looking for 241 Am on the chart. He grabbed me, and with a big smile on his face, said "You might as well tattoo the word 'NERD' on your forehead." Sadly, I agreed that he was right.

I understand that less and less young people in the US are pursuing science based careers. So we are just forfeiting our good-paying jobs to green card holders from India and China. They don't want to be poor all their lives and will gladly take our jobs.

[Edited on 12-2-2015 by Magpie]




The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
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[*] posted on 12-2-2015 at 18:13


Quote: Originally posted by Magpie  
An anecdote from 2 days ago: In my local busy Starbucks there is a chart of the radionuclides on the wall (~4' x 4). For most people it's just a piece of art. But this day a friend and I were discussing the fact that my smoke alarm containing 241 Am had instructions on the back to replace it every 10 years. (My friend has degrees in both electrical and nuclear engineering.) We both agreed that it could not be due to a short half-life as that would make it too dangerous for consumer use. Then I said that I would check the chart on the wall. Coincidentally one of my chemical engineering former colleagues saw me standing on a chair looking for 241 Am on the chart. He grabbed me, and with a big smile on his face, said "You might as well tattoo the word 'NERD' on your forehead." Sadly, I agreed that he was right.
[Edited on 12-2-2015 by Magpie]


So what if you like science posters? I bet your former colleague does too.

Everyone loves "nerdy" things but are afraid to admit it and make fun of those that do as a form of projection.




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[*] posted on 12-2-2015 at 18:42


Yes, he's a nerd too. When I first met him he told me his approach to problems was to start from the very basics. This might be by writing a differential equation.

He just loves to harass me - it's a game we play. ;)

But when I was looking at the chart I was having fun. I was oblivious to my surroundings, as I should be.




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[*] posted on 13-2-2015 at 01:20


Quote: Originally posted by Argentum  

My dad thinking that every bit of rust was me dropping some acid



HCl and HNO3 fumes will leave rust on EVERYTHING, and will coat the shiny new tools with rust in a very short time :(. Not having access to stuff like rotovaps, NMR/IR, or reagent grade materials are frustrating when you have worked in a fully equipped lab before. In saying that, the journey to make the most of what you can access and discovering more along the way is really what this hobby is all about!
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[*] posted on 13-2-2015 at 06:20


I have serveral frustrations:

1. Funding. I am at the point where my lab is worth quite a bit of money. Unfortunately, the next steps are things like a GC/MS system, which cost tens of thousands of dollars - a purchase I may never be able to justify, especially since I may be married in a year or two and thinking about children.

2. Fumes and corrosion - Like many above me have mentioned, controlling corrosion and chemical escape into a household environment is tricky. My fume hood does not run 24/7, so storing volitiles takes a lot of effort and money. A heated outbuilding would be nice, but easements do not allow for such a structure on my current property. This would also cost a great deal of money.

3. The stigma - I hate being labeled as a cook or a terrorist by default. Although I really do not try and hide anything, I am always a bit apprehensive about a curious neighbor getting the wrong idea, making some allegations, and starting an unnecessary and costly legal battle.

4. Time - I am a mechanical engineer by trade, which often requires travel and long hours at the office. Chemistry usually demands large chunks of free time which is something of a rarity for me as an engineer, homeowner and student. This is only projected to get worse through marriage and children.




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[*] posted on 15-2-2015 at 15:30


Pretty much all the above, minus cat and dog hair, add beard hair. A couple of others:

1) Travel - Having to drive 4 hours round trip for some 37% formaldehyde solution, 3 hours for tech grade 98% sulfuric or zinc dust or anything else not available at a hardware store.

2) Waiting - In particular, waiting 2-4 weeks for laboy glass, to avoid the 1000% markup sigma or thermo-fischer ask here in West Australia. Same applies with most electronics. Waiting for a $5 ph meter, to avoid paying $50 at a local hydroponics or aquarium store.

But yeah, straight up the stigma, and blank looks or glazed over eyes when you begin explaining pretty much anything. And the "what for?", when it's not about the why, it's about the how. People that don't understand it's about knowledge, the goal is unimportant, the journey is all.

That being said, poster talk got me thinking, and looking at my wall. A poster of Scarface above my poster of the periodic table. I might need to take my movie poster down. :P





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[*] posted on 15-2-2015 at 19:26


I still have a Farrah Fawcett... No not really

ScarFace huh?

Farrah_Fawcett_Poster.jpg - 515kB




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