Monday, October 31, 2011

Friends Forever

Halloween...probably one of the "craziest" times of the year between parties, costumes, haunted houses, movies, and trick or treating.  However, I attended the 6th Homestead Horror Halloween Party at the Pratt Manor over the weekend.  Mr. Glenn Pratt has been throwing the best theme parties since we were 15 years old and here we are 9 years later and he still has the gusto to put together an awesome Halloween party (this year's theme - The Nightmare Before Christmas).  

This party felt a little different though. It was almost like a little high school reunion.  Even if there were only about 15 people there, we spent the better part of the party talking about what we all were up to, and who we had run into. I really enjoyed catching up with a few old friends that I hadn't talked to in a while and it was really nice to see how everyone has gone on to bigger and better things from high school.  The range of the "success" ranged from law school to logistics to grad school to moving out to LA for movie producing.  

As I drove back to West Lafayette the next day, I began to reflect on how far we had all come from those first few parties.  There were things we were so sure of during high school that have gone by the way side and there were things that we were spot on about as well.  It really got me thinking the most about the relationships we form.  Those people who really care about you genuinely want to know how you are doing (even if they shroud it by saying that their mom keeps asking what you're up to now).  Those are the people that regardless of the time and distance apart, that we should relish.  

It's no secret that my personal life was on easy street for years.  It makes it easy when your dating your best friend. However, life is an ever changing target and sometimes it throws you a curve ball when you don't expect it.  Thus I can honestly say that the last year or so hasn't necessarily been "easy" and I have had to grow so much as a person. But it was very nice to find out that relationships with people that I thought I lost, still genuinely cared about what I was up and how I was doing now.  Life is too short to get caught up in the "what if's" of life.  If you really want to know about the what if's in life, go do something about it.  And whether or not the answer is what you want to hear, you must learn from those experiences.  

I'm not sure if this reflection will actually make sense when I read it back but it is something that I felt needed to be put down on paper (or more accurately cyberspace).  The people who care about you and who you care about, are worth going the extra mile to keep in your life.  Even if that means driving the hour down to Indy to go to a karaoke bar, making that phone call to check in on someone, or even dropping everything to just hang out with someone when they really need a shoulder to cry on.  I really felt rejuvenated after seeing my old friends and in a time when everyone seems to be running away, it gave me comfort to find out we all have similar feelings about life.  We may be at different stages in life (married, college, new job, moving away, living at home) but we all need the love and support of our friends!  

So if and when you need a friend, never be afraid to call up that old pal that you haven't spoken to in a long while (or me, I'm always good for a little convo)!  Chances are they could use a little pick me up too!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sacred Ground

Well everyone, it's Friday again.  It seems as though I forget about my this blog until Friday and then I remember that I want to put up some links.  However, today I probably should not be taking time out of the day to right a blog post but I have had an incredibly productive 10 days (more on that in a moment) and I really just want to spend a few minutes trying to put some thoughts down in cyber space to share with you all today.

Like I mentioned, I have essentially been on a 10 day school/work week.  Fall break was last Monday and Tuesday (10th and 11th) and thus I had a short week last week.  But as fate would have it I was asked to teach over the weekend, essentially eliminating my "weekend."  Thus I have been on campus from about 9-5 every day since last Wednesday.  Now, don't let that fool you, being a graduate student is also very flexible and I have had my fair share of down time.  But still, 10 straight days of being in the lab and constantly working on multiple projects has been yearning for a break.

Dr. Garnet E. Peck, Professor Emeritus
Purdue University, IPPH
With that said, I want to take a minute and discuss my experience at the 9th Annual Peck Symposium.  The Peck Symposium is hosted by the IPPH Department here at Purdue to honor Dr. Garnet E. Peck for his contributions not only to Purdue but to the world of pharmaceutics.  Dr. Peck is the lab instructor for the class I teach (I mainly teach coating, that's important for this next part).  Now I understood that Dr. Peck has had quite the impact on pharmaceuticals working with everything from tableting, to encapsulation, to coating.  But I did not know that he was essentially the pioneer of latex-based coatings that have been used in pharmaceuticals for thirty years.  So when I am teaching the coating lab and Dr. Peck walks into to inspect our work and says, "Those tablets look good!" that is more than just a professor telling you that you're doing it right.  To me, that is like Derek Jeter telling me I am a good hitter!  It is absolutely an honor to be working with someone of the caliber of Dr. Peck.  So yesterday was an eye opening day for me and my teaching experience.  But there is more...

The symposium featured speakers from across the country as well as a couple Purdue professors (including my own major prof. Dr. Taylor).  These speakers are from some of the top Universities/companies for both Pharmaceutical Sciences and research in general, including; University of Kentucky, University of Wisconsin, Johnson and Johnson, University of Connecticut, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of South Florida.  And I understand that when you are invited to speak at a conference that you humbly talk about how honored you are to speak at the event.  But, on multiple occasions the speakers kept referring to Purdue as "sacred ground" in the field of solid state chemistry (SSC).  I know that Purdue has been a leader in the SSC for pharmaceuticals but it astonished me that these people from across the country saw this opportunity to speak at Purdue as one of their most honored experiences.  I may take being at Purdue for granted some days but today I truly feel blessed to be at Purdue University studying at the "sacred ground!"

All in all, it was an inspiring day for myself and the rest of the grad students who attended the symposium.  Next year I will have a poster with some of my work presented at the symposium as a warm-up to the AAPS National Convention.  

Enough of me blabbering on.  I have only a couple fragments for you all this week...

-Two words, Quantum Levitation.  Check out a quick link here, but the video is freaking catnip for science nerds!!!

-I found this site on fluid dynamics and it is a great way to spend 5-500 minutes watching awesome physics videos of fluids.  I particularly like the bouncing water video (scroll down a little and you'll find it).

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fragmented Fragments

Alright, so I have been quite busy the last week and I am sorry but I do not have enough links for a full fragments.  However I will give an update on a few things happening around Purdue and elsewhere...

-Next week is the 9th Annual Peck Symposium at Purdue University hosted by our department (IPPH).  This year will focus on amorphous and crystalline solids, which is basically everything that our lab covers.

-Dr. Steve Byrn, a professor here in our department, is the chair of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Education (NIPTE).  It consists of 10 Universities and last week the FDA awarded them a very large grant, up to 35 million dollars!

-Thanks goes to my brother Jacob (and Yahoo) for finding this awesome video of Dude Perfect and Brodie Smith in a trick shot's pretty awesome!

-Twitter blew up last night with the announcement of another big recruit coming to Purdue for basketball...and there's even talk of a fab five (I'm looking at you Gary Harris)!

-This weekend I am teaching a regulatory class for industry professionals.  It is the same class that I teach during the school year, just crammed into three days.

-Lastly, I am headed to the West Lafayette at Lafayette Central Catholic football game tonight.  Both teams are undefeated (8-0) and both teams are number one in the state in their respective classes (WL-3A, LCC-1A).  Tonight's game is for a year of bragging rights, an undefeated regular season, and a conference title as both teams are in the Hoosier Conference.  Shout out to my pal Tommy for getting me tickets, considering they've sold 4500 for a high school football game!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Fragments (10/7/11)

Friday again and today the "Fragments" are going into BEAST MODE!  For some reason when I opened up my folder of saved bookmarks for the fragments I found about 3 times the normal amount of links.  So without further blabbering here are enough links to keep you occupied all afternoon!

-As you know by now, Steve Jobs passed away this week.  And even though I have never own anything Apple, I believe that he single handily pushed a technology revolution that is still happening today. And I found this video that explains how Apple predicted the iPhone 4S technology 24 years ago in 1987!  It's pretty close to the real thing, down to the prediction of what year it will happen.  Thank you Mr. Jobs for everything you brought us, your legacy will live on for years to come.

-I said this last week, but Windows 7.5 (or Mango) is out for Windows phones and it's pretty good.  Already getting rave reviews, I hope that my turn to update will come shortly (it's some sort of phased update, wtf).  However, Microsoft also announced that they will no longer be making Zune players.  The Zune software, which I think is one of the best music players available, will still be available for PC and WP7.

-Some bad news in the contraceptive front this week, a widely used contraceptive in Africa may actually lead to an increased risk of HIV contraction. Not Good!  So to lighten the mood, check out these awesome condom brands! released their winter weather outlook. And I'm official disgruntled! (The Midwest is in f
or a long, cold winter)

-I found this list of the most beautiful colleges campus. It seemed fitting since the leaves are starting to turn around campus.  Even if both Notre Dame and IU made the list.

-An interesting look at drug rationing in the US.  And Nanorockets...I think so!  These look awesome, plain and simple!

-In Nobel Prize news, the first ever posthumously award Nobel Prize was given out this week.  Also, chemist who was essentially forced out of his job and research because of his findings on quasi-crystals receives justification in the form of a Nobel Prize. 

-This link is only a quick look at the news in molecular science, but the atomic mirror is what caught my eye.  We may only be a few years away from quantum computers!

-The Japan earthquake earlier this year was so massive that it actually changed Earth's gravity!  Only by 2 billionths of a gal, but still.

-In the world of physics I found two very interesting articles.  One about neutrinos and the consequences of going faster than the speed of light.  The second on naked singularity.  Sounds sexy, so you'll have to click the link to find out (hint: you might be sorely disappointed).  Both have some relevancy to the currents state of physics research today.  Also, if you understand either one of the articles at all you should pat yourself on the back because I'm still a little confused and I read them a few days ago.

-In biology, scientists have used bacteria to encode messages.  I reported on E. coli being a memory storage device but this is pretty cool too.

-Lastly...this is one of the coolest time lapse videos ever.  I particularly like how you can see part of the Milky Way galaxy in some of the night shots.  Enjoy!