PAgent’s Progress

Words Are My Favorite Toys

August 18th, 2006

How NOT to Do it

In the course of procuring my Ph.D., I blew through a LOT of liquid nitrogen. Usually a couple of liters a day, usually cooling a solvent trap, every day that I was in lab. We kept the lab supply in a large Dewar that we refilled from a much larger tank on a cart in the basement hallway.

You need to treat this stuff with respect. First, because it will freeze your flesh solid in mere moments. Second, if you aren’t careful, you might condense liquid oxygen in your trap. This is considered a Bad Thing, as solvent and liquid oxygen tend to go BOOM when they warm up. But we usually only gave cursory attention to the inherent explosive power of liquid nitrogen when it warms up. Mainly because no one was ever stupid enough to put liquid nitrogen in any kind of a sealed system.

Well, in this blog post, Derek Lowe describes an incident involving a sealed liquid nitrogen tank at Texas A&M. If you ever worked in a lab environment, this will leave you shaking your head.

I am SO glad I survived grad school.

August 18th, 2006

Music Video Madness

I’m going on vacation! I’m going on vacation!

We leave tomorrow to spend a week on the ocean. I don’t care if it’s gray and cloudy and 60 degrees all week, because at least I will be able to hear the waves crashing.

So, in honor of my impending sanity maintenance session, I give you this week’s Music Video Madness:

Toad the Wet Sprocket - Walk On The Ocean

The Honeydrippers - Sea of Love

The Beach Boys - Kokomo

The Go-Go’s - Vacation