[chemical|anisotropy] the clueless chemist chronicles

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

Archive for the ‘real life’ Category

Tee-hee! A Birthday outtake…

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Tee-hee!

Originally uploaded by oui_buenafe

Hamming it up with Ian Ken in the NCIC office yesterday!

Here’s how I managed to celebrate my birthday with my other family–the ADMU Chem Department:

1) Set aside enough money for the lunch treat.
2) Wear black x red casual-lolita (without the petticoat) for school.
3) After arriving at school, wear the petticoat.
4) Borrow the Pizza Hut PALM Card from the stockroom.
5) Order pizzas from Pizza Hut.
6) Fool around the department in casu-loli with the department camera. *points at photo*
7) Drag people to the lunch when pizza arrived.

Well, now I can say that I look young for my advanced age of 25, hehe. 😀

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Written by Oui

May 27, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Posted in odds&ends, real life

[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] of anachronism and lomography

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There’s nothing like creative anachronism.  No, I don’t mean the Renfest and its relatives, not exactly.  But, in this (digital) day and age, using film cameras (or using film) to capture interesting and off-beat images is…so Luddite.

What just got me thinking now are two things: finally getting my cross-processed film roll scanned, and seeing a small exhibit of lomographs in ADMU (for Humanities Week).

Let’s Get Digital!

There’s nothing so convenient, powerful (and stylish) than a digital camera, right?  You don’t have to worry about buying and loading film, getting the rolls developed and sent to almost everyone.  Every image detail is recorded and stored electronically–no more messy chemicals, faded photographs and moldy negatives to store in a box, only to be forgotten.

Now, how do digital cameras work?  It’s….both simple and not-so-simple.  First, your recording medium isn’t light-sensitive film in a roll–it’s a CMOS sensor. This is a semiconductor unit that “senses” light pixel by pixel–imagine a sheet of tiny electronic devices arranged in an array, each one corresponding to one “dot” of light from an image.  So, the more sensors you have, the higher the definition of your photo, the more exact the image you reproduce.

What About Film?

The only advantage of using film is that it can still record images at the highest amount of definition as possible.  Why is this so?

Remember that the amount of sensors present in the camera determines image resolution–how the picture is defined exactly.  You can have millions of pixels (millions of sampled “dots” of light) in a CMOS sensor, but…film has more of these “sensors”–a sheet or a strip of film contains light-sensitive silver halide crystals which coat the surface.  Each crystal–no, each molecule of silver halide receives its “dot” of light, so light-sampling from the image is continuous and not limited to the number of sensors in a square area of semiconductor.

And What About Anachronism?

Digital photos are still cheaper than film photos…but why in the world am I posting shots taken with a film camera?

It’s a personal reason, really.  Aside from the fact that film records images “more precise” than digital cameras, I can do a lot of things with film rather than in digital.  By just picking the kind of film, camera angles, a certain play of light and odd ideas for film processing (courtesy of lomography), I can do crazy things like rendering modern Cubao a la 1970’s, even if Gateway Mall wasn’t there during the Seventies…

Of course I can do that in Photoshop using a digital camera. But, having worked with all sorts of digital cameras, I find the products…too crisp and error-free.  Easy, too.  Like any other electronic equipment.

Besides…film cameras (especially the plastic, toy ones) are dirt-cheap.  And no self-respecting thief would dare to steal one.

Written by Oui

February 1, 2008 at 10:59 pm

[essay] A Nobel Thought – Musings About the Nobel Forum

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(N.B.: I think this will be published in the university newspaper [LSB].)

The 10th Eurasia Conference on the Chemical Sciences—held last 7-11 January 2008 in PICC —achieved nothing short of a casting-coup in hosting the Nobel Forum, with four Nobel Laureates in Chemistry. The audience came from private and public sectors, aside from those belonging to the local and international scientific circles. Despite the disparate background, the forum itself was not a highly-technical talk on the latest aspects of chemical research, but an open discussion about science, creativity and innovation, sprinkled with dry wit.

The four Laureates—Aaron Ciechanover (Israel), Ryoji Noyori (Japan), Hartmut Michel (Germany) and Yuan T. Lee (Taiwan)—shared their unique insights gained from their scientific life before and after winning the prize. Some of their one-liners were humorous as well as thought-provoking.

The following are some of my personal favorites.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Oui

January 24, 2008 at 8:57 pm