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Author: Subject: Alternative hobbies that appeal to those with interest in chemistry
Cou
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[*] posted on 19-4-2017 at 14:26
Alternative hobbies that appeal to those with interest in chemistry


Not everyone can pursue a chemistry passion for one reason or another: Inability to get into college for any reason, dumb laws making it risky, too scared to use dangerous chemicals, can't afford lab apparatus. Maybe you just like mixing chemicals together, you like making baking soda/vinegar volcanoes, but you're too dumb to understand the science/math behind it and figure out more advanced chemistry.

However, if chemistry sounds fun to you, there are other activities/hobbies with similar feels that are also fun if you give them a try.

I gave up on chemistry because I'm too lazy to pursue higher education, and I'm awful at english/history so I can't do college. I also live in texas, where it's illegal to buy glassware without an annoying permit process every time you want to order a new set.

Cooking: Ideal if you simply like to mix stuff together, but aren't into the math behind chemistry. I especially enjoy making spice mixes/blends (mixing together pure spices and herbs to make things like taco seasoning, curry), because I like to see how the color changes every time you add a new spice, and how the smells combine to make something completely new. For me it's just as fun as doing a fischer esterification.

Pharmacy technician: Alternate career path if you can't go to college. They only make 25-35k a year, lower end in retail, but it's kinda fun to mix IV bags and count pills, for some reason.




my youtube channel, organic chemistry videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0qzaRyHxLUOExwagKStYHw
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WGTR
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[*] posted on 19-4-2017 at 15:20


Chemistry and electronics are related topics, and if for some reason one feels hindered in pursuing their passions in chemistry, it's possible to focus more on the electronics side of things.

There's no stigma associated with learning electronics (unlike amateur chemistry sometimes), and there are large online forums dedicated to various aspects of it, whether it's analog or digital design, programming, etc. You're located close to Mouser Electronics; if you order parts from them via ground shipping ($7), they'll arrive the next day.

Electronics appeals to many similar interests that chemistry does. It's possible to identify a problem, design a solution, verify that the results do what you want, and change the results by modifying some variable. There's a great amount of creativity involved, and if one is interested in programming, it's possible to buy pre-made evaluation boards. These types of boards can have peripherals already on them, such as Ethernet modules, blinking lights, switches, displays, etc., and the sky is really the limit to what one can do with the programming of these things. Programming appeals to some people, I think, because it's possible to make a small change, recompile, and then see the results immediately...instant gratification. A chemistry reaction may take hours or days to complete.

Alternately, one can experience the joys of mixing the two hobbies together, like I do, and having lots of fun in the process. It can also make you a ton of money later in life, even without a college degree, if you're self-motivated.

[Edited on 4-19-2017 by WGTR]




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Deathunter88
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[*] posted on 19-4-2017 at 18:09


I'll list a few that I enjoy, and I have noticed a lot of other people into Chemistry also enjoy:

-Minecraft
-Metal working
-Laser building
-Woodworking
-Painting (houses and stuff)
-Plumbing
-General DIY
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violet sin
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[*] posted on 19-4-2017 at 18:50


Though I barely get to play chemist anymore, it is useful at times. Still have everything of course. Second kid on the way, so I'm busy with life all the time. Work and fam, top priorities always. But of course a guy's gotta have hobbies.

-electronics; as WGTR says, I find this quite fulfilling. Complex problems, intricate tasks, layout, openly accepted and all kinds of room for style! What's not to love. It has been fun to get back into this hobby, and seemingly safer as long as the iron gets unplugged :) learning to fix toys for the kiddo is money saver too.

-metal working; super fun and you can do interesting things with few tools at low cost. Of course the real fun opens up with more expensive tools, but you can actually make some money in the process. Several of my friends go to community center or each others shops weekly. They have all made trinkets, etc to cover the costs of the class time too.

-Gem and mineral society; lots of fun. Another place that has a ton of tools there to use, usually a great price on raw stone there if you have nothing of your own. Nice and peaceful too

-General fabrication, aka busy hands doing/building/making; just like working with your hands? Me too! Everything from art to home repair here applies. Refinishing wood, carving, painting, fixing, etc. Learning new stuff to make things happen can be the kind of thing that sets one apart from competition if equal trade related skills are had for the job at hand. I like to make function things that aren't ugly, but aren't just art :) tool maintenance is deffinitely included here.

Those are the four things that keep this guy going. They all Cary a certain level of creativity, problem solving, intricate work, complex thinking and I wouldn't have it any other way. Standard is just so boring.

Ohhh and gardening...




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m1tanker78
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[*] posted on 19-4-2017 at 19:37


I'm with WGTR. Electronics is one of my [many] beloved hobbies. In fact, electronics and metalworking is what opened the door for me to learn a little bit of chemistry. It was the desire to make a better flux for soldering and brazing! I've acquired quite a good bit of glassware over the years and enjoyed a hands-on approach to learning chemistry (in a limited capacity).

IMO, if you make a career out of a beloved hobby, you end up despising it. If I'd taken a career in EE right out of school, I imagine it would be one of the last things I'd want to do at home.

On the flip side, too many hobbies and not enough hours in the day or years in a lifetime... :o




Chemical CURIOSITY KILLED THE CATalyst.
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Cou
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[*] posted on 19-4-2017 at 19:43


I still hold to the fact that cooking is the best alternative if you enjoy the hands-on mixing/playing part of chemistry more than the math/science studying part.



my youtube channel, organic chemistry videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0qzaRyHxLUOExwagKStYHw
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[*] posted on 19-4-2017 at 21:38


For me it was a toss-up between a career in chemistry or a career in electronics. Both were hobbies from a very young age. Electronics won, but I still play with some light-weight chemistry stuff. I was lucky enough to score a huge pile of free glassware 20 years ago, which has kept the chemistry interest alive.
I'm also into metal work and wood work, mostly for home improvement, but sometimes just for fun.




Helicopter: "helico" -> spiral, "pter" -> with wings
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[*] posted on 19-4-2017 at 22:02


I am into statistics and advanced programming, music, civics, and a lot of other stuff... umm... definitely avoid smoking, gambling, boozing, womanizing (or exploiting men), driving too fast, drugs, or eating ice cream so quickly that you get a headache.



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Deathunter88
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[*] posted on 19-4-2017 at 22:26


Quote: Originally posted by Cou  
I still hold to the fact that cooking is the best alternative if you enjoy the hands-on mixing/playing part of chemistry more than the math/science studying part.


I would argue that cooking doesn't offer enough depth for those of us who like to pursue things at depth.
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[*] posted on 20-4-2017 at 03:49


Quote: Originally posted by Deathunter88  
Quote: Originally posted by Cou  
I still hold to the fact that cooking is the best alternative if you enjoy the hands-on mixing/playing part of chemistry more than the math/science studying part.


I would argue that cooking doesn't offer enough depth for those of us who like to pursue things at depth.


As a child I discovered chemistry very early.
At some point I switched to electronics as a less destructive (especially for the carpet!) hobby. Shortly after I discovered computers. I've loved building them ever since.
Then, around 20 years ago I got my first Internet connection and learning chemistry became a lot easier.
Around the same time I got a lot more involved in caving.

I also went through cooking, mostly for health reasons and because I was unemployed.
Whenever I talk to someone about chemistry I tell them that it's not very different from getting a cooking book with a million recipies for "Soufflé".
Most people understand this fortunately.
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[*] posted on 20-4-2017 at 05:45


I see a few patterns developing here.
I have pretty much the same list of hobbies: electronics, programming, rock hunting, building 'things' (out of wood, metal).
Also, rocketry was once a hobby.

I too now find myself using hobby skills mostly to fix toys and appliances and improve the house than for hobby projects.

[Edited on 20-4-2017 by phlogiston]




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[*] posted on 20-4-2017 at 07:39


Well, chemistry is certainly my primary hobby, but I have others as well.

-Gardening. Probably my second favorite. I mainly like growing vegetables and herbs, because having a use for the stuff that I grow makes it more worthwhile for me. I need to build a fenced in garden at my new house though because the yard is a favorite place for herds of deer to hang out.

-Cooking. Now that I'm living alone cooking has been especially nice. It is sort of like chemistry, and to me it's therapeutic after a long day of classes or work.

-Geocaching. It's a really fun way to get out and explore, especially with friends. I've gone to a lot of parks and other places that I might not have otherwise.

-Playing the cello. I've been playing the cello for over seven years now (though I haven't really improved in skill over the last few). Busting out the Bach Suites now and then is pretty fun. I need to find some fresh music to play, though.

-Model rocketry. Started with rocket making kits when I was a little kid. I'm not really into the physics of rockets, so I haven't devoted any time to designing my own, but I still enjoy building the kits and launching them, though I don't have a suitable place to do so currently, so I haven't done any in a while.

Also if I ever have a chance to build anything for home improvement purposes I relish it, though I wouldn't really consider it a hobby.




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[*] posted on 20-4-2017 at 10:25


I have combined my interests in chemistry, electrochemistry, mineralogy and electronics / microcontrollers.
Currently working on a microcontroller (Arduino) and SBC (Raspberry Pi) system to use as a fuel cell experimental workstation
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[*] posted on 20-4-2017 at 10:33


I feel like cooking is accurate but baking in particular suits a chemist; you'd be amazed at how technical it is to bake bread or prepare classic pastries.

Homebrewing, wine or other alcohol tasting, and mixology are all things I'm starting to get into. Again there's the science and detail involved, plus I've noticed people in my field like to drink a lot ;)

I tend to occupy a pretty soft part of the chemistry sphere where I'm free to use my senses a lot and there's not a crazy amount of hard science, so maybe these only make sense to me. Some other hobbies of mine are drawing/painting, competitive gaming, hiking, running, and climbing. But I don't really see how the rest have much to do with being a chemist.

[Edited on 4-20-2017 by Amos]
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[*] posted on 20-4-2017 at 12:29


I personally enjoy hydroponic growing. It's kinda fun for me playing with nutrient solutions and mesuring pH, conductivity et cetera.
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[*] posted on 20-4-2017 at 18:54


making colognes now is what i do mostly.adding oils to already made colognes like tobacco,oakmoss,ouds, etc.my lungs have taken a hell of a beating so i got rid of all my chems but kept my glass ware.love my glass ware! i now truly believe that elements combine to make compounds and that they have atomic weights and can be figured using math.i also know that some chems can make it damn hard to breathe and cause rapid heart rate.my favorite cologne is aramis.aahh! artemesia is so wonderful.
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[*] posted on 20-4-2017 at 23:38


An early interest in chemistry lead me into mineral collecting, initially as a source of some of the more obscure metal compounds. This soon proved impractical but I stuck with mineralogy and chemistry however, and ended up working in the mining industry pretty much ever since. A knowledge of these two fields being very helpful. Mineralogy and chemistry go hand in hand and I find it difficult to imagine how you can collect minerals without having access to an arsenal of chemical test, after all, I estimate that 20% of all the mineral specimens I have bought were incorrectly identified and a few simple chemical tests will often demonstrate this. This got me interested in microchemistry after reading a US Bureau of Mines publication about the identification of minute sulphide grains under the microscope by means of characteristic crystals that could be formed from them after solution in acid. This lead to the search for new organic microchemical reagent like the violuric acid derivatives and hence to an interest in organic chemistry generally and so on.
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[*] posted on 21-4-2017 at 02:58


I am surprised that no one has mentioned photography yet. I know that quite a few people here are keen photographers in both conventional (digital) formats and also more classical formats. I have had a dabble with pinhole cameras and cyanotypes and found it quite fun.
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[*] posted on 21-4-2017 at 08:51


My other hobbies are
- electronics
- photography (@j_sum1: I also did early processes and chemical developing, but with the digital era I quit doing that)
- programming (I also did that as a professional, but the last few years I am more and more in consultancy and business analysis)
As with others, a very common combination of interests.

Actually, anything beta-ish I find interesting. Sometimes I also do mathematical things (e.g. see my last webpage on roots of polynomials) and doing fun experiments in physicals I also like very much.
Yet another thing I do is experimenting with investments and trading. At the moment I am experimenting with statistics-based investments in a set of different ETF's, using some spare money. I developed a tunable algorithm, which allows me to invest and trade in ETF's, with the property that the expected drawdown in a year's time will not exceed the expected interest rate over a long period. This allows for quite safe investments, while still having nice interest rates in the long run (in the order of 10% per year over a period of a few years).

I also really like to do is trying to make other people enthusiastic about certain subjects.




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[*] posted on 21-4-2017 at 10:41


I also really like generating enthusiasm for chemistry in others. I helped a friend get into the essential oils business and his wife into soapmaking.

Outside of chemistry, my hobbies are:

- Playing guitar (I have an Ibanez RGIR30BE and a BlackStar ID:260TVP with a pedal board, trying to find an unpaid gig to do maybe once a month)
- Collecting firearms and shooting in competition. I have quite a few firearms and I'm getting into reloading.
- Offroading/camping/hiking/survival. I have the lifted Jeep and all that.
- Building computers and occasional gaming; writing AHK scripts to automatically dominate Minecraft server economies while I'm at work.

I also enjoy cooking, but even though I make a homemade dinner about every other day (I'm the one who cooks!), it's rare that I get to make a big, extravagant meal. I'm also starting a garden this year to try and generate some fresh vegetables and useful stuff for the lab.




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[*] posted on 21-4-2017 at 16:31


Some things I enjoy doing are:

Gaming(CSGO for life)
Blacksmithing
Woodworking (to go with blacksmithing)
Microbiology- (just looking at things under a microscope and describing them)
Working with electronics
Amateur engineering (such as my fantasised table top nuclear power plant)

Stuff like that.
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[*] posted on 21-4-2017 at 17:48


One of my other interests is astronomy. When we go camping at a public place (such as a state park), I like to take my telescope and motorized tracking mount/tripod if the weather permits. Before long, I have a group of people who are curious about what we're up to or want to have a look. Young and old alike are attracted to the telescope. West Texas affords some amazing views of the night sky even without a telescope. One of my favorite clusters is the Pleiades. If there happens to be a full moon, I'll time a satellite transit across the lunar FOV and let one of the spectators see it through the telescope. "Don't blink or you'll miss it!"

If it's not the telescope when camping, sometimes I'll set up a long wire antenna, tuner and HF rig and make contacts around the world or just tune around and listen in on traffic. This also tends to amaze people. The long wire antenna is for portability more than anything. A lot of my gear is homemade.

I love competing in BBQ cook-offs (does that count as 'cooking'?) We basically hang around with a bunch of laid-back people, drink beer and peek in on the brisket (or whatever happens to be smoking) every half hour or so. I build my own smokers and pits for fun and take them to the competitions. Brisket is a challenging hunk of meat to get just right -- it takes many hours to smoke and consequently, many beers for endurance. :D




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[*] posted on 21-4-2017 at 18:13


My main other hobby is lucid dreaming/oneironautics, but I'm also very interested in philosophy and classical music (I'm a pianist).



reality is an illusion :D
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[*] posted on 21-4-2017 at 18:20


There's a lot of things I'd like to try my hand at like woodworking if I had the money and time to do so, but anyways some of my hobbies include
Running,
Cycling,
Playing music,
Cooking, as others have mentioned
Also I'm surprised no one has mentioned putting together model airplanes (unless I missed it). Did that a lot when I in highschool. It's a fun hobby, it takes a decent amount of skill and knowing special techniques to make realistic looking airplane models. Also once you get into it you get a good collection of solvents so you still get the enjoyment out of huffing organic solvents as you would doing chemistry :)
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[*] posted on 22-4-2017 at 00:47


How has nobody said this one yet... Glass Blowing
I realize you probably arn't gonna be able to make condensers or round bottom flasks in your garage without some serious equipment but with some didymium goggles a high oxy acetylene/propane torch and an annealer or furnace with controllable temperature, you could achieve a lot, such as making your own glass alembic or making your own gas bubblers or with the aid of some glass cutting equipment you could even fashion a makeshift separatory funnel out of a wine bottle, not to mention being able to repair some of those cracked condensers you have broken over the years.
Then don't even get me started on the purely artistic applications.
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