recent observations

August 12, 2010

People who rarely work with lasers are very afraid of lasers.

Liquid nitrogen is still fun, even if you use it every day.

If I attempt to explain something I don’t really understand to someone who really doesn’t understand it for long enough, eventually I will understand it beautifully.

Post-it notes make good demo props.

The guy who makes the best coffee in my cubicle farm is leaving.  My efforts with the office coffee are not remotely on par.

Helping someone collect data takes five times as long as you think it will.  It is also guaranteed to directly sabotage your data collection needs in some manner.

Hot and cold things are both capable of burning you.  Sometimes if you’re lucky you can get both sorts of burns from the same object.

“Queso makes anything better.”  Overheard, and also verified.

Qdoba is overpriced.

Wishing really hard will not produce signal from your sample.

Channeling my old ability to work tirelessly through illness and sleep deprivation only works well for about 36 hours.  Then there’s nothing that can help.

The likelihood of something not working is directly proportional to how long I left it cooling down to cryo temps, and is always optimized to produce maximal time wastage.

Wishing really, really hard will really, really not produce signal from your sample, even if it worked a week ago.

It’s lonely in the lab at night.



  1. Number three is completely true. Well, they’re all completely true, but number three especially. And it makes me nearly impossible to spend time with while in school.

  2. A colleague in graduate school long maintained that unless you could explain it to your grandmother, you didn’t understand it. Of course, your description of the process is much closer to how it works in real life. Mostly ‘cuz my grandmother always said, “That’s nice, dear.” Because she was trying to politely tell me to move on.

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