Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Fragments (9/30/11)

Well this week has been quite the crap-shoot of productivity.  At the times when I needed to be productive and get stuff done, I wasn't able to focus between the upcoming football, ridiculously ever-changing weather, and random activities around the lab.  And other times when I had time to just sit back and relax I decided to to go big instead of go home (my ass still hurts from plyometrics on Tuesday but whatever).  So, I have about an half hour to burn before my last requirement for the week on campus, my major professor's is giving a seminar to another department...and there's free refreshments!

Anyway, I wasn't prepared for a Fragments this week because I have just been lazy and forgotten to save interesting articles.  Plus, I have spent a good amount of my usual time spent of science and news articles looking at the Purdue vs Notre Dame preview and fantasy football stats. See or for good Purdue sports blogs!

Side Note: Quick shout out to my brother, Adam, is 0-3 in our fantasy league but is by far the best manager I ever had in a fantasy league.  The dude writes extensive weekly reviews about the match-ups, previews upcoming games, and has created a ton of weekly "trophies" for me to waste time looking at during the week.  It feels some much more legit when I win!  Thanks dude! (I should also note that he isn't completely terrible at fantasy football, but he drafted Arian Foster [bust #1] and Peyton Manning before the surgery [bust #2]).

I digress, so I do have a few interesting links for you to finish your week up with...

-Being in the field of pharmaceuticals I get asked the same question a lot; "Why do drugs cost so much?"  I could (and will someday soon) explain the situation and my view on how the system works and how I believe it should work.  But until then here is a very well written article to explain some of the dynamics of the pharmaceutical industry.  I disagree with the idea thrown out at the end that the industry will enter an "Ice Age" soon but otherwise it is a very good article. (About 5-10 minute read)

-If you have ever seen those annoying QR codes and wondered what reasonable application they can have, look no further.  Wikipedia is going to start incorporating them into, well, anything and everything!  The Indianapolis Children's Museum is already using them.  I personally think this is a great idea!

-AlphaDog robot project...the video speaks for itself (hint: it's creepily awesome).

-I believe I may have noted about new injection techniques earlier but here is quick article about the advancement of needles and the future of injections.  This is standard IPPH stuff.

-Lastly, if you remember back in the spring there was talk of "alien life" found on earth.  Well, if you are really hurting to waste some time, this review over at is a great look at the debacle that is/was the "new life" form and the subsequent fallout for the scientists involved.

Alright that's all I got right now. Oh and don't forget to Boiler Up this weekend against the Crying Irish of Notre Dame!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Outline to Grad School

Well, my first major graduate school requirement has been assigned to me for the spring semester.  I will be giving my “first required seminar” to the department.  I am both excited and nervous already.  Because of this I feel it’s only appropriate to give a little overview of how my graduate school outline looks. I originally was going to post a new “Under the Hood” featuring my topic for the seminar (and what will eventually become my thesis work) but I want to have a large background before I write that post so that I can accurately paraphrase, because in reality I would bet none of you really care.  But I appreciate all the site views and support for my blog regardless!

Anyway, if you go onto the Purdue IPPH website it has links for the curriculum and requirements but the links just lead to under construction pages.  So I will do my best to fill you.  The Pharmaceutics Ph.D. program is considered a five year program so I will break it down into those five years and what is expected.

Year One –
  • Finish any pre-requisite classes (Physical Chemistry, Linear Algebra and Differential Equations, etc.).
  • Take full course load of classes that are either helpful for your future research or helpful for background in you research area (Organic Spectroscopy, Statistical Design of Experiments, Computation Chemistry, etc.).
  • STAY OUT OF TROUBLE academically!

Year Two –
  • Begin working in the laboratory.
  • Identify area of research for thesis (non-specific).
  • Give “First Required Seminar” involving a literary review of relevant topics and preliminary data.
  • Take a few more classes that could aid in your work (Properties of Solids, Crystallography, etc.)

Year Three –
  • Continue lab projects.
  • Take one or two more classes.
  • Complete an “Oral Preliminary Exam” based on your direction of your thesis work.  Sometimes this is referred as an Opening Defense.

Year Four –
  • Lab experiments.
  • Write thesis.
  • Enjoy life.

Year Five (and Beyond) –
  • Give “Last Required Seminar” over your thesis research to the department.
  • Complete your “Thesis Defense.”
  • Submit your final “Thesis.”
  • Get a job!

So as you can see there are essentially five big milestones for the graduate curriculum (bold).  I am excited because I am finally getting to start on the first one!  I guarantee you will be hearing much more about all of these as they come and go.

As for my First Required Seminar, that involves an hour presentation to all the professors and students in the department.  It is the stepping stone into giving presentations at conferences and preparing for the grind of publishing and defending work during and after graduate school.  Needless to say, this might be the least significant presentation I ever give professionally, but it will definitely keep me up a few nights in the near future!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Fragments (9/23/11)

Fall seems to have finally made it's way to Purdue, as evidence by my unpredictable sinuses!  And as such, football is in full swing.  Now, my friend Aaron and I were discussing about heading to a local high school football game...not because we want to cheer for a team or because we know someone on a team.  But because we kind of miss the "Friday Night Lights" experience.  You know, paying 10 dollars for popcorn and a child size coke to watch awkward teenage boys hit each other, while the "cool kids" yell (usually at each other) on the sidelines, and the parents either get way too into the game and spray you with extraneous spittle or look like they are the subjects of a stress test gone haywire!  Now personally, I miss the halftime show.  You know, the real reason everyone shows up on Friday nights (at least in Avon).  That's right the marching band show.  So as a personal en devour I will attempting to not only make it to a local high school football game, but also a local marching band contest on a Saturday.  And I recommend it to all who want to relieve a little part of their teenage years.  Heck, take your significant other and make it a creative date (or man-date if you don't have that special someone).  So for anyone who would like to tackle this vendetta with me, hit me up in the comments section or text/call me if you have my number.  But I digress from the real reason you are here...the fragments!

-Physics had a HUGE week!  Today, scientists revealed a possible break in the speed of light barrier!  Other scientists have concocted an anti-magnet (read to find out because I still am not sure what that is).  And other research has lead to the first breakthrough in proton transistors, which would make computer-human symbiosis possible.  Those are three possibly huge breakthroughs in physics and I bet at least 1 out of the 3 will actually materialize into something substantial, sorry Einstein.

The new Windows "Blue Screen of Death"
Now with 50% less intimidation and 100% more
"you're an idiot!"
-For Windows phone users (me), Windows new phone OS, Mango, is set to release next week.  Excellent!  There is also a Windows 8 Beta currently out right now, if you're into that kind of thing.

-I already posted on this but gamers on the West Coast have utilized a video game to crack an AIDS mystery. In a word....spectawesome!  That is spectacular and awesome for those who are keeping score at home.

-Lastly, Hugh Jackman was on WWE this week. No I don't watch WWE anymore but I found this article about how he actually hit a guy in the face and broke his jaw.  Maybe it's not all fake <----obvious sarcasm!

Ok, that's all I got for now, enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Birthday Perspective

Another year another birthday! Currently I am sitting in a lecture hall "proctoring" an exam. Thus I will take this opportunity to give a quick birthday perspective.  This is unscripted and whatever comes to my mind will be written! And at 24 years old I have to say, I have the odd feelings of both being old and young at the same time.  I shall explain...

At 24, I am young.  I have (hopefully) 75% of my life to live still.  I have gotten through the awkward teenage years and through the crazy awesome college times.  So on the one hand I feel like I have the whole world at my finger tips and that I can achieve anything.

This is the nerdiest (coolest) birthday cake I have ever seen!
On the other hand, I am a grad student at Purdue.  Which means that on a daily basis I see thousands 18-22 year olds walking around campus, not to mention all the Purdue tours with kids that have Class of 2014 on the side of their letter jacket! I discussed with my friend the other day that the gap from 18-21 is a hundred times larger than the gap from 21-24 (or even 21-30).  Once you turn 21, you are a full fledged adult.  But a lot of people grow up, mature, and change from 18-21. Those are the years that will define you as a person.  So from that aspect I feel old because I have been "21" for three years now.  This might be the feeling middle aged women get once they turn 48, I mean the 18th anniversary of their 30th birthday!

In another aspect, I have done quite a bit of maturing myself over the past year.  Things change fast in life and adapting and maturing is the best way to move forward!  I had no idea I'd be where I am today a year ago and I can only hope that the next year brings about more progress and success.  To everyone that has been a part of my life, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  And to my parents, I would not be the man I am today without all your love, support, and guidance!

To summarize, embrace your birthday no matter what age.  Live life to the fullest, cherish the memories, and revel in the light that is your future!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Fragments (9/16/11)

So, I apologize for the lack of commitment lately on here.  I have excuse but I will refrain from using them as I know you probably don't care about my excuses.  I don't have too many fragments but I had an hour to kill before my first big presentation in my lab group (on Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation which will be the topic of an upcoming Under the Hood).

-I believe I have said this before but I would so be willing to be one of the first people to colonize Mars.  Well, NASA gave us a look at the rocket that might get us there!

-For all you "green" enthusiasts out there...the most environmentally friendly way to be disposed of when you die is evidently to be liquefied.

-In another AIDS research project, scientists have made kittens glow in the dark.  They used the glowing genes to indicate which cells had the target gene transfected into them.  Overview here....scientific article here.

-For some reason I find this terrifying but evidently you can make a flying, computer hacking drone that is untraceable.

-Recently, the US government has been debating things to cut in the budget.  One of those things is "public science."  Essentially it is governmentally funded research.  This is excellent article explaining the situation and I recommend it to anyone who likes science or politics (warning: it is pro-science, SHOCKER).

-Lastly, the Florida Marlins are going to be renamed the Miami Marlins and Nike has released the Air Mag shoe.  Back to the Future seems like a real possibility now!

UPDATE (per request)

-Miss Universe crowned their winner recently....Miss Angola (you're welcome Lindsey)!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Killing Time

After the long weekend I found myself motivated this morning to get "stuff" done.  So after reading a couple papers on LLPS (that's liquid-liquid phase separation for those of you keeping track of all the abbreviations), getting some homework finished, and preparing to teach lab this afternoon I have found myself with a little time to kill.  Unfortunately I am no longer as motivated to start a new project and I figured I would write quick blog post.

If you haven't noticed, the frequency of my posts has decreased since school started back up a couple of weeks ago.  Things are settling down a little school-wise and I hope to get back to some regularity.  Enough with formalities...

This last weekend marked the beginning of the college football season and our Boilermakers somehow squeaked out a win against the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State, 27-24.  Yep, there are no typos in that sentence and it was actually a really good football game as far as excitement value.  I believe Carson Wiggs is my favorite player this year because if the ball is in the stadium, he can put it through the uprights.  If you happen to make it to West Lafayette for a game this fall, look me up because my friend and I are planning on tailgating (front row) for as many games as we can! October 1st is the night game for Notre Dame (hint hint)!

Also last week I went to dinner with the guys from 105B.  They are the guys from the Taylor Lab group and we are starting to do some male bonding as the rest of the lab group in the basement are girls.  Anyway, it was my first major experience with authentic (or as authentic as you can get in the US) Indian food.  Not too bad!  I recommend going to an Indian buffet with someone familiar with the cuisine and customs.  There is a post-doc from India who was able to show us around the food and it made the whole experience enjoyable.  I do like learning and trying new things, especially from other parts of the world.  This week I believe we are going disc golfing and possibly playing some table tennis, and if you know me you know how I feel about table tennis.  But as a whole we have a really nice, diverse group of guys and it has already made working in the lab more comfortable.
Classic Design Fender Acoustic

Lastly, I am looking into getting an electric guitar this month as a birthday present to myself.  I have an acoustic (Classic Fender) but I think I want to give electric a try.  If you have any suggestions for guitars or amps for both quality and price that would be greatly appreciated!