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Blog Housekeeping


Work and home have left me little time for blogging today. Topics coming up in the next few days, though, include lessons about working with bigger-than-normal drug molecules, some insights on covalent compounds in living systems, chemistry in Flatland, and more. See everyone on Monday!

7 comments on “Upcoming”

  1. gippgig says:

    Here’s an odd one – the play “The Effect”, “a drama about drug trials”.

  2. Vampyricon says:

    Can’t wait for chemistry in Flatland.

    1. tangent says:

      That’s an interesting one!

      What is the Flatland carbon, and what’s its version of sp3 hybridization?
      So first I have to get: what are the s and p orbitals there?
      The s and p are from spherical harmonics, so Flatland just uses sin and cos to form harmonics on the circle.
      So it comes out like you probably expect, an s going in all directions and a p_x and p_y.
      So Flatland sp2 orbitals I figure will have the same drumstick shape and trigonal layout as ours do, made by the same linear combinations…

      (Is a Flatland 3-valent carbon a “Rhode Island carbon” by analogy with Texas?)

    2. D.B. Cooper says:

      You (and Derek) have got to check out the book Planiverse, a sequel to Flatland written 100 years later by Alexander Dewdney who succeeded Martin Gardner and Douglas Hofstadter in writing Scientific American’s recreational math column. Dewdney, a computer science professor, consulted with colleagues in the departments of chemistry, biology, and physics while imagining how a 2D universe would work. While many questions about the universe are answered in the main text, the book also contains an appendix with more answers to many questions you may not have thought of, including:

      How does digestion work (a digestive tract would split an organism in half)?
      What are the “carbons” and “oxygens” and important molecules in 2D?
      How do the changes in Newtonian laws affect physiology (how do “birds” fly)?
      How is electricity used (since one can’t walk past a wire)?
      How/where does water drain after a rain?
      What are planetary orbits like in a 2D solar system?
      How is breathing accomplished?

      It also addresses societal questions like the etiquette of walking on top of someone to pass them. I first read it while taking multivariable calculus and I still give it a read every few years when I’m in a scientific “funk.” Unfortunately, Dewdney is now most famous for being a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

      1. tangent says:

        Oh, now I vaguely recall hearing about that — I’ll have to look it up!

        Dewdney is now a 9/11 crackpot? Sigh.

  3. Jack Jamez says:

    And I know, Heres to our sweet satan, the little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad satan.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Upcoming next week: Nobel Prizes
    Monday 2 October, Physiology or Medicine
    Tuesday 3 October, Physics
    Wednesday 4 October, Chemistry
    Friday 6 October, Peace
    Monday 9 October, Economics
    Date to be announced later – Literature

    My vote: Akira Fujishima for discovering photocatalytic effect of TiO2 as a grad student. Maybe give a share to Michael Graetzel, too. (Without Fujishima there would be no Graetzel.)

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