[chemical|anisotropy] the clueless chemist chronicles

…jottings about working, writing and living as a Clueless Chemist in Manila

Archive for the ‘meanderings’ Category

[pic] The dreaming leaf

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The dreaming leaf

Originally uploaded by oui_buenafe

From an old roll of Kodak Elitechrome. Took this with my Vivitar last April.

Makes me think of old remembrances…


Actually, I got the film rolls developed (finally!) and I just got the CD by courier today. A bulk of them are uploaded in my Multiply account–I will take my time with Flickr tomorrow.

Written by Oui

July 4, 2008 at 10:35 pm

Posted in lomography, meanderings

[jottings] after a while

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Apologies for not updating for quite some time. 🙂  Been caught up with a lot of things at home and work, more so last week (Finals Week).

For starters, we just had another Nobel forum awhile ago; Prof. Ciechanover was the speaker.  😀  He entertained the audience with his anecdotes about his personal and academic life before talking about his award-winning study on ubiquitin and protein degradation.  Compared to his technical Nobel lecture last January (the Eurasia Chem conference), today’s seminar was light.

And I got an autograph from him.  Cool! ^___^*

Written by Oui

April 3, 2008 at 9:32 pm

[jottings] life in the Pinoy academe

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At least the scientific side of the community. 😀

Let’s face it–the academic culture in the Philippines isn’t popular.  Ask any college student on where they want to work after graduation, they’ll pick a top-tier corporation where they can become glorified pen-pushers with 5-digit salaries (nothing’s really wrong with it, but if >> 90% of our youth pick management-related degrees, what would they manage–themselves?).  Work from Monday to Friday, get Friday and Saturday nights off to party harder.  Only a handful pick the academe…this can be seen more in the Humanities and the sciences.

(God bless the short-sightedness of countless parents and children… >_>;)

Now, academic life isn’t financially better than working in industry or corporation, but it has its perks (and pitfalls).  Ditch that thought of “teaching (and geekery) is square”!  Want to learn management skills?  Try handling lecture classes 2-3 times a week.  Need money?  Write research proposals.  Teachers aren’t just teachers–they are managers, financial analysts, diplomats rolled in one package.  And for scientist-teachers, they can even make things go “boom!” in the lab, too.

Why the above (semi-)rant?  Well, the week I had was…interesting at best.

Personal facts about me:  I am a college instructor (read: college teacher).  I am a chemist.  And I also do research.  But wait–there’s more!  I work in NCIC, too…as the resident NMR analyst (or manager), so I deal with clients for their NMR needs.

It’s just that since last week, I got dragged into joining the SoSE Research Awards as a faculty judge. >_> So, I had to wade through thesis papers (undergrad and grad) of different departments–Physics, Math, Biology, Engineering–and try to made sense of them.  Aside from being a teacher and researcher (which both eat my life), I had to do this tedious job, too. :-O But, there were compensations. 🙂

Written by Oui

March 8, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Posted in meanderings, real life

[photo] Schmitt Hall

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Schmitt Hall

This photo was taken using my Holga 120CFN, loaded with expired Fuji Superia ISO100.

I studied here. And I’m working here as well. That’s a total of eight years–4 undergrad, 2 grad and I’m finishing up my 2nd year of work here. This coming schoolyear’s my third. By this time, I should be fed up of the place…but I’m not. This is my second home.

But with another exodus of people I knew, the people I grew up with from college, my wings are restless. This time, I promise, things will change, things will be different.

Written by Oui

February 21, 2008 at 4:11 pm

[jottings] 15 seconds of fame

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The latest issue of the Loyola Schools Bulletin featured my article (which I previously posted here). Can’t say that I’m too, too pleased with my 15 seconds of local university fame. 🙂 Because the readers considered my blurb for “About the Author” as the best part in the discourse. So much for trying to write an in-depth analysis. >_>;

Delayed update–not so much as becoming netblind as to admitting laziness (and sickness) for the past week.  But, a lot of things happened this week (and it hasn’t ended yet): meeting up with the Medical City/ASMPH/SoSE people (and joining the fledgling journal club named “Stem Cell 101”), getting my long-delayed period, “moderating” a Sci10 plenary lecture given by Dr. Cuyegkeng, chasing the final tweaks on the NMR paper, etc. etc.

Hence this post, while listening to Tori Amos on iTunes in shuffle.  I’ve just encountered articles on musical molecules and blogging as a research tool.  And I will work on how to spin these into something bloggable while breaking my head over a set of client 2D-NMR spectra.

Written by Oui

February 21, 2008 at 3:22 pm

Posted in meanderings, real life

[jottings] happy evolutionary Sunday!

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A few days ago, I gave my usual Sci 10 (Science and Society) lecture to my class–our topic that time was “the origin of life”.  A student of mine raised his hand and asked, “Ma’am, do you believe that man descended from apes?”

Mm, a classic question.  And timely, too, after reading through an article from The Scientist about PhDs and parishioners and the proposal for Evolutionary Sunday.

And what was my answer?  Well…the issue is moot-and-academic. 😀 The classic question, in itself, was “defective” in form.  We did not literally descend from the genus Pongo, BUT we share the same common ancestor, making us not-descended from apes, but another type of ape.

Now, hear the post-Darwinian critics howl.

Written by Oui

February 10, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Posted in meanderings, science

[jottings] remembering B’t X

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(image from www.all4seiya.com)

Today was…hm, indescribable, I suppose.  Doing QA over a manuscript for submission to the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry for factual, logical and stylistic faults–including revising the data points of a major chart one by one–is tedious and neuron-killing in the long run.

Speaking of neuron-killing, there’s nothing like a nostalgia-trip to ease the numbness in the head.  After reading the article about switching blood types, I remembered the animé series B’t X, back when it was shown on ABS-CBN in the afternoon.  That translates to eight or nine years ago.  Man, that’s a long time ago!

Anyway, the premise of the series was that the main character, Teppei, revived an old kirin-type mecha (called a B’t) by the eponymous name of X, by giving it a bit of his blood.  Teppei’s blood, however, is not his “original” blood-type–X’s former mistress, Karen, donated hers to save Teppei in the past.  Since B’t’s are linked to their owners by their masters’ blood, Teppei became the new owner of X.  So the story goes.

The real-life story, though, about switching blood types, is much more scientific.  An Australian girl had a liver transplant, with a surprise bonus of liver stem cells from the donor.  The doctors were not aware of the surprise until her blood test showed that her type has changed to that of the donor.  It is surmised that the stem cells from the donor’s liver migrated to the recipient’s bone marrow and replaced the whole system.  How this change was triggered…is still a mystery.


(image from www.duke.edu)

Written by Oui

January 30, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Posted in meanderings, science