Monday, January 18, 2010


On images

While I attempt to reconcile my day job--working in the department of chemistry at a research university--with wanting to write, I find artful endeavors in unlikely places. So, naturally, I have to pause what I'm doing and savor. Then blog about it.

Nanotechnology is all the rage in the material sciences right about now. Chemists enjoy working on a scale undetectable by just a human being. Equipment--marvels of technology, sure-- have removed the hands of a person away from the medium of the human body and made the humans' hands useful for knobs and computers to control the equipment. These people use bright & shiny equipment, and end up working at the cellular level with contrast agents & other cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. I get to see the equipment and see the writing in proposals. The narratives surrounding cancer research is a little awe-inspiring and a lot confusing.

In this image library, you can see these neat-o images. While looking at these images without the research background to understand can be unnerving--can I really know the exact significance and effort poured into making these by the aid of a giant microscope?--it makes a new kind of art gallery.

On language

In animal testing parlance to euthanize a rodent is to "sacrifice" it.

On text

If you can find anyone more concerned for formatting than the federal government, I'd like to know.

Does cancer research and being caught up in this department make me feel a little of this lazy bastardism? Yes, I fear, sometimes. Then this means I'm not trying hard enough.