Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Meteorologist - Best Job Ever?

"Stormchasers" may be my favorite new show. I would love to get out there and chase those monster funnels that I could never attempt to stop or alter their path. If I ever become a billionaire, I will probably fund a stormchasing team (probably called Team Hammer) for kicks and giggles. The Dominator and TIV would be no match for my bat-mobile tornado chaser. Hey, I can dream can't I?

As I was walking the 20 minutes home from campus today, I realized that my light fleece jacket was not keeping me warm enough. Now, you might say, "Matthew, you're fault for taking the wrong jacket!" But, the weather app on my desktop this morning said the current temperature was 41 and that the high was 51. It lied. The temperature never got above 40. Now, what job could be cooler than one where you get to chase weather and be wrong 75% of the time? Check out this photo!
Is that a tornado or God's shower curtain?

Monday, November 29, 2010

All I Want For Christmas...

With December looming, and a new Christmas tree in my apartment, I can't help add a couple things to my holiday wish list. Besides new bed sheets, video games, and a new lamp I would really like a sports team that wins! Purdue sports is plagued by torn ACLs and blatant disrespect. I will continue to be a die-hard fan until then end, but I just want to catch one break as a fan. My patient with the media is wearing thin. Plus, my other football teams, the Colts and Boise State Broncos both are looking dim (well Boise State is still a damn good football team but any national title hopes have been demolished). The Reds gave me a good jolt in October by getting to the playoffs, but they made Philly look super human and honestly it was embarrassing to watch. And if the Pacers somehow make it into the playoffs and win the NBA finals because they did just beat LA, I might just give up sports all together. Actually I will never do that, but I will question the basketball Gods sense of humor in destroying Indiana college basketball (see Gordon's half-court shot, Robbie's torn ACL, and even the fact that IU has been one of the worst teams in the country lately) to watch a Pacer team full of overachievers win. It makes my brain hurt! Oh well.

Oh, and I would love a new Merck Index, too!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Let's Get It Started (again)!

Well, well, well! It has been a while since I have posted anything, and all 3 of my followers have probably given up on this blog. However, I am back and have a mission. I will continue to give an inside look into my graduate school studies and the interesting people, places, and things I get to be involved with. But I will also publicize and promote anything science related that I deem interesting or significant.

One more thing, I will post a new writing every Sunday night (could be very early Monday morning) and I hope to get to the point where I post a paragraph or two every day. It is ambitious but I believe it is doable. So, let's get back to the grind...

Back in October, Purdue hosted the 8th Annual Peck Symposium. Named after the Emeritus Professor of Industrial Pharmacy at Purdue, Garnet E. Peck, the event highlights what's new and upcoming in the Pharmaceutical Industry. This year's event featured pediatric formulation advances and nanotechnology in drug delivery. Now, you can read the biographies and research of the presenter's here but I have a few notes of the conference that I took and thought would be interesting to share.

First, I am a naive, stupid little grad student. I know very little and also found myself to be way to ambitious about hearing what everyone had to say. There were 8 speakers who each gave 50 minute lectures on subjects well above my head, along with a formal lunch in the middle. I thought going into the event, "Oh, I can listen and take notes on interesting things throughout the day and could probably sneak out if I needed a break or two." Nope, there were just as many distinguished alumni and faculty as students and I found out really quickly that I was not prepared to sit through 8 hours of lecturing. The senior grad students lined the back of the room with their laptops while the other professors all had smart phones to occupy their time when the lectures got dry. I found myself sitting next to the department head of Purdue trying not to fall asleep, and I love this stuff! Oh well, I'll learn how to adapt to the environment.

Second, I slowly realized that I was surrounded by some of the best minds in the industry. Dr. Peck, of which the event was named for, has been around Industrial Pharmacy forever. He is the head of the lab class which I am a teaching assistant. He practically invented the idea of industrial and physical pharmacy (the name of my department at Purdue). Dr. Byrn, who was a speaker and I have taken a couple classes from in my undergraduate studies, was honored at lunch by have a volume of a Solid State Pharmaceutics Journal dedicated to him (only the second person to have this honor). Dr. Bryn is considered to be one of the father's of solid state chemistry analysis (which is the basis for my research in grad school). I feel I choose the right place to go to school for solid state research in industry. Oh, and congrats to Dr. Ei-ichi Negishi (pronounced "H. Na-gE-shE") who just won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry and was one of the professors who helped develop the Spectroscopy course I am in currently.

All in all, I felt quite small in a field of which I used to feel fairly competent in. I aspire to one day be asked to speak at this symposium, because maybe then I will stay awake. As for now, I will begin my actual research in Dr. Taylor's group next semester. This semester I am finishing up some classes and I am a TA for a pharmaceutical processes course (students get to make acetaminophen tablets). I am working on a post outlining what my research will be geared toward soon, probably in the second installment of "Behind the Lab Bench!"