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Archive for the ‘personal story’ Category

People sometimes find a lot of excuses as to why they cannot do something instead of just trying it.
Here is one story of someone who thinks anything is possible even with a disability!

Student has no trouble visualizing a doctorate in chemistry
By Ed Fletcher (efletcher@sacbee.com)
Published: Monday, Sep. 12, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 1B

Even the most adept chemistry student will spend an evening hopelessly staring at models of double helixes, polypeptides and ribonucleic acids.

Not Henry Wedler.

Blind from birth, Wedler, who is working on his doctorate in organic chemistry at the University of California, Davis, sees these complex structures in his mind and occasionally with his hands.

I note that he is hedging his bets too by having a second undergrad degree in History and minoring in mathematics. Who knows what his career path will be.

Inspiring for anyone who doubts themselves!

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A great article in The Scientist blog about creating time to do the things you really want to do:
Giving up tenureā€¦ and getting happiness in return?
Morgan Giddings says:

I think that there is not enough time to go around, and the story above shows why. Besides, the Federal Reserve and its equivalents around the world create money at the press of a button, but nobody that I know of can create more time at the press of a button. That would be magical, indeed.

And now he has given up a tenured position and is helping other people get grants and living his life instead of chasing money.

What aspects of your life would you like to spend more time on and how can you get there? Sometimes you need to take a “leap in the abyss”

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I went to the American Chemical society meeting in Anaheim last week and listened to a fascinating talk by Alfredo M. Ayala Jr. He studied chemistry as an undergrad also with a interest in engineering and physics. At the end of his undergrad, he discovered that Disney Imagineering was looking for interns. He parlayed his organic chemistry knowledge into a solution to a problem they were having and got the job. He has been there ever since.


He has moved on from doing chemistry these days to doing robotic animation for the different rides. He said that at Disney people are not pigeonholed but can try new areas that interest them.

I guess that makes sense in a company that is all about creativity and imagination!!

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Here is an interview with Chris Young – one of the authors of Modernist Cuisine.
He was a biochemist and mathematician who decided the kitchen was the place for him!

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Overcoming challenges. Being challenged to overcome. This is the topic for April’s edition of Scientiae, and I received an overwhelming response of your varied tales of challenge and triumph. Further proof that all of us are capable of facing our problems head-on and growing into wiser, more competent people.

The carnival is based out of Candid Engineer’s blog : http://candidengineer.blogspot.com/2009/04/april-scientiae-we-rise-up.html

These carnivals are a wealth of inspiration and often thought-provoking – check them out! You may find some kindred souls….

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Here is a new blog (All my faults are stress related) on Science Blogs from a structural geologist – in her “about me” description she tells of the winding path she took to get to this career:

I became a structural geologist by accident. I meant to study chemistry, but chemists spent too much time inside. Then I meant to be an environmental geochemist, but somewhere along the way I discovered that rocks are fascinating and gorgeous. So I decided to study metamorphic rocks, which still involves a lot of chemistry. But I got distracted by the question of how metamorphic rocks get buried and exhumed, and that led to studying how rocks get squashed.

What ever gets your rocks off!!

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Here is a new book that sounds interesting – suitable for chemists and ex-chemists:
THE ALCHEMY OF AIR
A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler
By Thomas Hager
Harmony Press. 316 pp. $24.95

Somehow fertilizer seems an unlikely subject for a Faustian tale about pride, vanity and ambition. Yet here it is: Chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch won Nobel Prizes for their contributions to humanity as young men and reached the pinnacle of German science, only to be brought low by their own, very human failings.

Haber and Bosch invented industrially made fertilizer during the first decade of the 20th century, developing a method of synthesizing and mass-producing ammonia from hydrogen and atmospheric nitrogen, hence the title of Thomas Hager’s book, The Alchemy of Air.

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