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Author: Subject: Alternative hobbies that appeal to those with interest in chemistry
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[*] posted on 22-4-2017 at 01:05

I'm member of a harm reduction organization about drug abuse.
Quote: Originally posted by gluon47  
My main other hobby is lucid dreaming/oneironautics
Same here :D
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[*] posted on 22-4-2017 at 12:51

Cool! Nice to know there's another dreamer around on the forum:).

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[*] posted on 25-4-2017 at 18:28

Wood working and other hands-on things are common among the chemists I know. Cooking and brewing are also common hobbies among my chemist friends. I like that in cooking I can eyeball things rather than easuring carefully and worrying about yields...

Used to like to code and build electronics, but just have not been able to keep up with it. Took jobs in both areas for a while back in college but just could not keep up with the changing technology now. Hard to find a good Fortran (Watfiv or 77), Pascal, Basic or 370 compiler anymore... And I can't figure out where to put the punched cards in my smart phone. And they replaced many of my npns with Mosfets, and I just don't get them as well. I even still have a few tubes left somewhere. Boy I feel old now...
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Corrosive Joeseph
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[*] posted on 25-4-2017 at 18:38

Playing music
Designing and building simple systems (fluid transfer, motors, pumps, heating elements, the usual DIY Hack stuff)
I built and modified quite a few cars in my youth, I'm surprized no-one has mentioned this one yet


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[*] posted on 25-4-2017 at 19:11

Glass blowing and glassworking
They are in expanding projects involving chemistry
Metal casting
Rock collecting and minerology

[Edited on 26-4-2017 by symboom]
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[*] posted on 25-4-2017 at 20:21

I think GNU Fortran is the best Fortran compiler these days... Microsoft has a Visual Fortran too I think. Fortran is still used for supercomputing research because it tends to be faster than everything else except for assembly language written by the very best programmers.

I mainly use C and C++ for numerical programming since it is almost as fast as Fortran and I'm not paying a hundred thousand dollars per hour for computing time. I've been known to play a few hacker wargames in my time (that's what they call it when someone sets up a computer for you to break into). Actually hacking anything is about as distasteful as breaking and entering, though - there are things you just don't do.

[Edited on 26-4-2017 by JJay]

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[*] posted on 26-4-2017 at 11:25

I make wine.

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[*] posted on 26-4-2017 at 15:19

Cool parallels in hobbies, for sure.

For me, definitely chemistry, rock-hounding, botany/gardening, music (piano mainly, also trombone), cooking, and electronics and programming to a lesser degree, usually having to do with other hobbies.

I feel like I would get into cooking, winery/meadery, and perhaps riflery in later years. I feel like I already have a lifetime of hobbies to eat away at my time though, so I'll probably just buy a Mosin Nagant and make mead every so often :P

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[*] posted on 27-4-2017 at 14:49

For me, it is:

-botany, a lot more besides gardening, special interest in their chemistry and parasitic and aquatic/marine plant life
-reading novels, a whole lot, mostly the "hard" variety of science-fiction
-brewing fruit wines
-growing mushrooms
-cooking of course too, nearly every chemist is a dedicated cook too, surprisingly :D

I find it very interesting people mention lucid dreaming as their hobby, that is very cool and I appreciate it a lot.
My own experiments with lucid dreaming didn´t turned out so satisfying, it is interesting, but hard to achieve and generally, one has to know what to get out of it. I don´t. Although flying and having the weirdest sex ever is a cool thing to do, besides that the lucid kind of dreams are just useful tools for abortion of bad dreams for me.
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[*] posted on 28-4-2017 at 23:43

Photography is my other main hobby with golf and badminton for sports. I am interested in just about any branch of science with astronomy and microscopy up there and I enjoy a bit of coding and electronics now and then. Basically I am the full science geek.

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[*] posted on 29-4-2017 at 17:47

Sometimes I think I have too many hobbies for my own good. Between a full time job, amateur chemistry, mycology, target shooting, project car building, motorcycle riding, gaming, and astronomy it's hard to find the time and money to keep everything going.
I also like to go to concerts and I watch a bunch of movies if those can be considered hobbies.
I've been wanting to get a camera for photography/video purposes
Maybe getting into model rocketry with sugar rockets and such. Maybe even one day building my own liquid fueled rocket.
I've been wanting to start a garden recently.
Glass blowing and programming some small devices would be awesome. There's just not enough hours in the day.
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[*] posted on 2-5-2017 at 01:25

I like my dogs, they're ex racing greyhounds and are challenging to normalise.
I guess my main hobby after chemistry is buying shit on eBay etc and repurposing or selling it after stripping it.
I tend to stick with science medical and plastics stuff but food and pharma industry stuff is always cool.

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[*] posted on 3-5-2017 at 05:34

I reckon I'd be lost without chem/bio/pharmacology as a hobby. I do play videogames, and occasionally read fiction, but its not nearly so satisfying as cooking up something interesting, studying it, working on refining techniques, to nail down all the little fine details in getting a synthesis working perfectly, optimizing for yield etc.

And there is something else I'd definitely miss, when new reagent stocks and glassware/other equipment are coming in the mail its like being a little kid waiting for xmas again :D

Building DIY chem equipment, does that count?

Or if bored and there is nothing to do, then browsing pubmed, etc. until an interesting paper is found, or even wikipedia as a start point for new ideas and using sci-hub to crack the paywalls and build up my journal reference library.

Think this year might just be the time to get further on with my ergot project, wild-type Claviceps sclerotia (C.purpurea, have been on the lookout for C.paspali but have never managed to find any, and that, I'd dare not order from a strain library. Have seen C.fusiformis growing but until I get to the point where genetic experiments would be called for, C.fusiformis is not of much use, since it has evolved a loss-of-function mutation in the ergot alkaloid biosynthetic pathway which results in its producing only clavine alkaloids. That said, it may be useful for culture for use in feeding xenobiotic clavines to C.purpurea, in order to boost alkaloid production of the ergopeptides and simple lysergamide type alkaloids.

Seen some rather...odd..looking sclerotia, in one particular location also, which are narrow, elongated and triangular, with a deep groove down the faces, unlike any other C.purpurea sclerotia I've ever seen (and I've seen quite a lot of them), suspect possibly C.sulcata. Got myself a hardcopy edition of Kren and Kvac's 'The Genus Claviceps', a bargain at about $38-39, thought I'd have to be stuck with a pirated online copy in .PDF format there, since it often sells for over £/$100, and I could only work if I can find something located nearby, as I can't drive (seizures) and after a crippling injury in childhood, made worse by a pack of shitheads stamping on my knee, face and other places I don't even want to think about, can't walk far without a lot of pain. Not that easy to get a job either since nobody since school leaving age ever gave me a chance, and without a work history people are even less willing. How does one GET a work history, when you need a work history to get a job? cyclic pain in the arse. Also I now often have to wear an eyepatch, after being nearly blinded, after LE tampered with something in the lab, and there was an ugly accident with alkali metal amides, superheated steam and caustic, was wearing goggles at the time, but the result hit me in the face at just the wrong angle, and with sufficient force after building up a lot of pressure inside a vessel to near enough knock them off my head.

Although the other day I did have a couple of women sorta hit on me because they liked the look, it does at least look stylish with a black leather trench and big goth boots or combat boots. (although autie girls are more my type though, generally speaking)

For a time, went to a kinda group meetup thing of that nature, thinking of going back, ended up dating two girls from there, one autistic/MR the other autistic, and damned, two of the best relationships I've ever had. The latter of the two, I almost ended up marrying. Wish to this day I had. Actually thats part, a large part, of the reason I intend on rejoining the group, to see if that particular girl is still there. Haven't seen her since she was about 14, many, many years ago, but she made quite the impression. Ever meet somebody you just can't forget? didn't believe in love at first sight until I met lady C (to give her some privacy, won't give her full name out online of course), but this girl was something special. Have spent the rest of my life feeling as though missing a limb. of, of anyone I've ever been with, the two most amazing people I've ever known. The other being, of all people, a stalker, again, autistic, this time, 49-50, looks about 30, damned smart and absolutely stunning. She is the only other person I've ever known, who has actually known about it, that I'd have wanted to grow old with.

Still keep in contact with her though, even after the relationship was not to be (complicated situation, downright ugly one, involving a lodger coming between us. Not in a relationship sense, I am no cheater, rather, she was, and without a doubt still is, a psychopath/sociopath, borderline hell-bitch whos only conceivable use to mankind would be to be impaled on a long metal spike and attached to a church roof should they ever need a replacement lightening conductor. A real nasty piece of work, thief, psycho, nightmare festering gorgon-whore from the blackest abyss in tartarus, who, in the end, attempted to gut me with a katana, at which point, I sent her packing, or rather, just threw her out of the door whilst I searched her stuff, and found out she'd been, in between fouling up a relationship with one of the most wonderful women I've ever had the honor of knowing, probably being a vengeful, attention-seeking little bitch, and spending her time making certainly one, and probably two (not that I knew it at the time of course) false rape claims against other guys. Claimed one of them had drugged and raped her, when she had planned to fuck the guy from before he even ARRIVED here, and I'd watched her cook the pot brownies.Possibly tried to poison me with amatoxins (luckily for me, I'm decidedly thorough when it comes to another hobby of mine, mycology.)

Actually, mycology, along with botany, is where I started out ending up with chemistry and bio as a hobby. I'm told by the living side of my grandparents, that I was 3 at the time I picked up a mycology textbook and started teaching them about what was good to eat and what species are toxic, how and why. Maybe 4 actually, but 3-4, using an old microscope of my father's, big clunky old brass job that must be an antique, interest in the reagent tests for field use in making IDs, as well as (and this puzzled me until the time I eventually got access to the net, and wikipedia) wanting to know the chemistry behind blueing in an Amanita muscaria-based intoxicant brew I'd been preparing. No, you heard right, blueing in an Amanita preparation, not in live or freshly picked Psilocybe species or other tryptamine-bearing fungi.

Turns out that the species hyperaccumulates vanadium, and Amanita muscaria forms a novel octacoordinate vanadium coordination complex, where a central V atom is coordinated to six oxygen atoms and a pair of nitogens, thought possibly to serve as a peroxidase, and the anion of which is a deep cobalt glass blue color. I've been meaning to store up and dry out the stem tissue of the mushrooms for the next few years' harvests, since I go out yearly several times, and build up as large a store of dried caps as I can, although the gill and stem tissue I normally throw out as worthless in the latter case, or with the gills there is a lot of water content that comes out and makes the mushrooms difficult to cure (to decarboxylate the toxic ibotenic acid to muscimol, never tried to use them fresh, but its well known to sicken people rather than intoxicate, although that isn't my primary use for them, rather, I either brew a medicinal tea out of them, that helps inure to cold, against aches and fatigue, or use them along with a parasitic mushroom that associates with the mycelial network of the Amanita, a species related to the genus Boletus, Chalciporus piperatus, the peppery bolete. The pair of them together, once the fly agarics are given a gentle slow heat-curing and dried out, give a wonderful kick to meat dishes, particularly beef. I always add a couple of spoonfuls of dried, powdered fly agaric, and the dried boletes, whizzed up in a spice grinder to a pot of chili con carne, along with a few other weird and wonderful spices, also to sprinkle on a piece of steak being fried (the steak spice, for other cooks, is a mixture of cubeb [piper cubeba] szechuan pepper, which has the most peculiar numbing effect on the mouth and allows for the use of far fierier chilli peppers than would otherwise be tolerable], various chillies, black pepper, water pepper (a Polygonum species, related to bistort), pink peppercorns (Schinus, a species of sumac, IIRC), the amanita and peppery boletes, the contents of a few cardamom pods, pounded in a mortar, and then used to mix a marinade of the above in about equal proportions of habanero tabasco sauce, worcestershire sauce and dark, aged soy sauce and a pounded garlic clove, or part of one, depending on the tastes of the consumer, as well as being dried and sprinkled over the top of the steaks before brushing with oil, searing either side then slow-frying until the meat just falls to bits in the mouth.

Absolutely delicious.
This year though I'm going to start dessicating and keeping what would otherwise be dross, to see if I can extract and crystallize the vanadium complex.
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[*] posted on 15-5-2017 at 05:28

Alternative medicine. Mainly, I reverse "rube-goldberg" it until I get something so simple it seems impossible. Like indigestion - After supporting the manufacturer of Rolaids for about 3 decades and exploring all of the ideas regarding a single cause of a multitude of ills, it turns out 2 glasses of water will do the trick. I haven't had indigestion in over 10 years - not since I drank those first two glasses of water. Instant relief. Same with migraines. Since I decided to approach the indigestion as an indicator of dehydration, I have not had a single migraine when I used to have 3 or 4 incapacitating migraines per month. Being a coffee, rather than water, drinker, I really had to choke down that first glass but the second went down with no problem. And I've been drinking water ever since. Not enough, probably, but enough to not have indigestion or migraines.

All of my interest in chemistry is a sort of chemical minimalism. Currently, I'm trying to figure out how the mineral buildup in my Keurig coffee maker cleared itself up. I use the Keurig as a non-boiled hot water source and water is of particular interest to me but this phenomenon has left me with nothing much to experiment with, LOL. I'm thinking about hacking my water heater so I can source it with a variety of waters in various states AND monitor the thickness of mineral deposits.

The only thing I can think of that it might have been was water filtered through the Berkey (which all of my water is) that would ordinarily drip straight out as when it's filtering I lock the spigot open so it drops straight into a 1 gallon glass jar BUT, about a week ago, the rubberband I was using to keep the spigot open broke so the reservoir of the Berkey filled with water which I then funneled straight into the 1 gallon glass jug I use to feed the Keurig through a high-speed filter funnel I recently bought. And since it ran out instead of dripped out, it had a pretty good vortex going as it drained into the jug. It doesn't seem possible that a single gallon of water run through a boiler - even one as small as a single cup coffee maker - could clean it out but...I don't know - it was a pretty dang interesting turn of events! The Keurig is 9 years old and on its last legs - or so I thought - giving only about 2 ounces per for several months. But now it's giving it's full volume (12 ounces). One minute it's spitting out 2 or 3 ounces and the next it's overfilling a 150 ml beaker and running all over the counter and onto the floor.

It's things like this that probably makes my daughter think I'm nuts. Who else would be amazed and excited about water overflowing onto the counter? And then just run water through a coffee maker, over and over again? For no apparent reason? ROFL! But, then again, she's an accountant which is a whole other kinda geek. But I love her to bits because she is NOT an eye-roller! She never rolls her eyes - no matter what I do. That alone qualifies her as a "good kid". Of course, she's 40 so - not really a kid...
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