Monday, October 26, 2009

Paris is Burning

It's another Monday. And once again, while I should be doing my work I feel the need to blog.

Maybe it's guilt. Guilt that I haven't been keeping up with this damn thing. I really need to since I suppose it doubles as an outlet for thoughts and emotions. Whatever.

Got back from Puerto Rico Saturday night. I attended ACS Southeastern Regional Meeting or the simple rearranged acronym "SERMACS". It was interesting. Presented a poster on the chemical composition of Cedrela odorata.

Also heard nobel laurate Roald Hoffmann lecture. Yeah. You know the Woodward-Hoffmann rules in organic? Same guy. Very interesting scientist. Survived the Holocaust. Wrote plays. Music producer. Poet. Artist. The man is a genius. To think logically, but also to acknowledge beauty in all it's forms. That's my goal. Right now it seems that my life is more or less driven towards science in the respect that I have little time for expressing any artistic qualities. Hopefully I will be able to change that when I have some more free time. I need to write more. Like I said, I've been slacking with the blog as it is. But writing poetry down... I never remember to. I should probably work on that. I also wanted to try my hand at oil paintings. I love looking at the textures on canvas. Maybe I'll buy some supplies for my birthday. Then there's photography. I got some half-assed shots in during the trip. I was injured for the majority of the pictures I took, so it was more like "(Snap a shot before you fall over!)"

Oh right, the "injury". Yeah. This is a fun story... Finally had some free time to spend in Puerto Rico after all the poster presentations. Decided to go to the beach and get some surfing in while I was there. Swam for awhile and hit up against a huge rock. For those of you unfamilar with northern Puerto Rico, there are a lot of fucking rocks. At any rate, it was like "(No big deal. Ow, wave. Ow, wave. Swim faster or else you'll hit up against the rock again.)" So I got hit up against it pretty well. When I came back onshore Whitney pointed out the my leg was bleeding. Ok. No big deal. Just a little blood. Then... I started walking towards the surf shop. I had to stop because of the pain. Sat on the curb and noticed what I thought were splinters. Some were pertruding from the skin, so naturally I ripped them out. Then I noticed SEVERAL inside my left foot and a few in my right foot. Long story short: guy at the surf shop said those weren't splinters but rather sea urchin spines. So I discontinued use of my left heel and rather "hopped" with my right foot and pushed off with my left foot. So it provides some mild entertainment and serves as an odd limping movent.

The spines are painful and pressure on these areas only pushes them into the foot. They are also reverse barbs. Meaning, don't try to fish them out with a needle or tweezers. ... ... ... Okay, looking back on that, I did not intend on the cheezy pun. On the brightside, the spines a Ca/Mg. So, using basic chemical knowledge: dissolve the spines. I used vinegar since it's composed of acetic acid (a weak acid). The perk is that it won't burn my skin or anything, but the downside is that it has an epilthelial barrier before reaching the actual spines. I've seen people post on sites about using vinegar for sea urchin spines, but I have had little success so far. The spines will slowly dissolve on their own. I imagine that is because the skin is slightly acidic... At any rate, I have crutches so I don't drive them in further. I hate using crutches. And I hate being handicapped.

P.S. I was right by the fuel storage facility in San Juan. It was still burning when we left.