Most of my experience with recording spectra is as an astronomer. So when given a lab setup with a weak signal, my first instinct is to just give that signal an absurdly long integration time to see if that improves matters. I have no idea if this is normal in experimental work or not.

But then, I'm still new at this whole being-an-experimentalist thing.

what if: a journal where at least half of the profits from subscriptions go to the authors and reviewers, without whom the journal wouldn't have any meaningful content

"A corrigendum for this article has been published for this paper"? So has the word erratum gone out of fashion now, or...?

So on Wednesday, I got to start setting my my experimental apparatus.

By which I mean I spent all afternoon painting a laser table.

I wonder if it's fully dry yet...

Serial Endosymbiosis is a fascinating theory and, by my understanding, it makes a lot of sense. After all, the mitochondria in our cells have different DNA to the rest of us. The same is true for the chloroplasts in plant cells. 🌿

We may never know for certain exactly how eukaryotes evolved, but this seems like it could be the most likely explanation!

Roughly 2 billion years ago, our distant ancestors evolved complex cells and became eukaryotes. They went on to evolve into every complex life form on Earth, including us.

The theory of Serial Endosymbiosis says that eukaryotes evolved when single celled organisms began to live inside each other for mutual benefit.

Taking historical reenactment to its logical conclusion, a team of biologists led by Angad Mehta has managed to repeat the process using bacteria and yeast!

Working with lab data and its so unruly and chaotic. There's a certain beauty to be found in the theoretical data I'm more comfortable with. Even if it's inherently more likely to be disproved by an inconvenient set of facts.

So it's not that I have a problem with water. Honestly, I like water. Some of my best friends are roughly 65% water on average.

But speaking as a chemist, water really does ruin everything.

Also, I just got an e-mail advising everyone of things that are happening around the building tomorrow. This one excerpt made me laugh:

- Traffic in the building from East to West, north corridor to avoid, favor the South corridor.
If necessary, bring a compass.

We're getting new lab things delivered and installed tomorrow, which means I get to start playing with lasers next week. It's quite exciting. No pun intended.

I'm so glad that parallel processing is a thing and I can get 2 weeks worth of quantum calculations done in less than a day.

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Discover Unpaywall, a New Browser Extension That Lets You Read Millions of Science Articles Locked Behind Paywalls

A reminder that imposter syndrome hits _many_ of us in academia. You’ve earned your expertise!

An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar.

The first mathematician goes up to the bartender and says "A pint for me, please!"

His friend pipes up "Yeah, and a half for me!"

The third says "I'll have a quarter", the fourth asks for an eighth, the fifth wants one sixteenth...

The bartender holds up a hand to stop them, places two pints on the bar, and says "Know your limits, guys."

So I've been trying out Orca for some low level computational chemistry. So far, I'm rather impressed with it. Only downside I've found is that it's rather slow when it comes to open shell molecules. But that could just be the theory level I've been using...

Are prescription laser goggles a thing? Because I feel like maybe I should think about getting a pair.

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Scholar Social

A Mastodon instance for academics

Scholar Social is meant for: researchers, grad students, librarians, archivists, undergrads, academically inclined high schoolers, educators of all levels, journal editors, research assistants, professors, administrators—anyone involved in academia who is willing to engage with others respectfully.

We strive to be a safe space for queer people and other minorities, recognizing that there can only be academic freedom where the existence and validity of interlocutors' identities is taken as axiomatic.

"A Mastodon profile you can be proud to put on the last slide of a presentation at a conference"

"Official" monthly journal club!

(Participation is, of course, optional)

Scholar Social features a monthly "official" journal club, in which we try to read and comment on a paper of interest.

Any user of Scholar Social can suggest an article by sending the DOI by direct message to and one will be chosen by random lottery on the last day of the month. We ask that you only submit articles that are from *outside* your own field of study to try to ensure that the papers we read are accessible and interesting to non-experts.

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