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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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« Injustice | Main | Work At Home! It's Easy; It's Fun! »

December 21, 2006

Holiday Schedule

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Posted by Derek

Well, since it's the Christmas season around here, posting will be intermittent. I'm going to be making cookies with my two children tomorrow, for example. (I've explained to them that you should be suspicious of an organic chemist who can't cook). Further kitchen work over the next few days will include crown roast of pork, leg of lamb for a crowd (I'm hoping it's good enough weather to do it outside on a spit), and the traditional (for me!) Christmas breakfast of country ham, scrambled eggs, biscuits, and red-eye gravy.

I'll post occasionally, though, in between all this cooking, present-wrapping, and the like, but the regular schedule won't resume until after New Year's. I hope to do some work on my "Vial 33" paper while I'm home, but that may be wishful thinking. I did mention that I have two young children, after all. . .

Comments (17) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blog Housekeeping


1. ss on December 22, 2006 4:57 AM writes...

Merry Christmas, Derek.

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2. Harry on December 22, 2006 7:34 AM writes...

I second that sentiment! Merry Christmas, Derek and all the regular readers.

May the New Year bring you joy!


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3. Lou on December 22, 2006 7:36 AM writes...

I agree about a chemist who can't cook. I had this discussion with lab-mates yesterday night (in a pub!) how scientists should be good at cooking.
The two other people commented on how their partners (coincidentally both architects) can't cook well, as (1) they can't multi-task, e.g. boil water whilst peeling carrots, and (2) they must have recipe book on hand. Not sure whether (2) has any relavence to science...

Anyway, I've always enjoyed reading your blog, Derek. Have a good holiday. Merry Christmas!

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4. Molecular Geek on December 22, 2006 8:59 AM writes...

Needing a cookbook certainly enters into it, IMHO. If you are uncertain about why you are adding something into your reaction vessel, be it a flask or a saucepan, you aren't going to be in a good position to react properly if something goes wrong. Ingredients and reagents are both prone to lot and vendor variations, and while a burnt roux isn't nearly as dangerous as an accelerating exothermic coupling can be, either one can ruin your day. And is it any different to find you are out of eggs or ginger halfway along preparing for a dinner party, or to reach for your favorite hydride reducing agent and find that your blankety-blank hood mate just used it all up and forgot to get more from the stockroom before leaving for lunch?

Merry Christmas to everyone, as well, and a happy New year.


P.S. special good wishes for Derek and all the other Wonder Drug Company staffers with their job searches.

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5. Molecular Geek on December 22, 2006 9:03 AM writes...

Along with the cooking comment, I wouldn't ever trust a chemist who can't tend bar, but that may just be a personal quirk. :-)


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6. Wavefunction on December 22, 2006 9:59 AM writes...

Happy holidays and happy new year!

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7. Oliver on December 22, 2006 10:21 AM writes...

I thought I was the only person who did crown roasts of pork -- very rare over here in the UK. The top of a pineapple coming out the middle makes a good garnish...

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8. aldehyde on December 23, 2006 2:24 PM writes...

Merry Christmas, and you're right about the cooking comment. Once you understand the chemistry going on it makes it a lot more intuitive :) I guess it doesn't hurt that my parents made me help them growing up.

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9. Paul on December 23, 2006 6:06 PM writes...

The whole process of cooking seems inefficient to me. I prefer to purchase food from establishments that employ experts at their craft.

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10. anon on December 23, 2006 8:47 PM writes...

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays. I hope that your lamb turned out well; it looks like the weather will be cooperative.

Paul: I am lazy about cooking as well since I am single, but alot of recipes make more servings than what I could realistically use and some dishes are not suitable for leftovers (cassaroles). Eating out does get old (and expensive, depending on your taste) very fast, though. Plus you might not be in the mood to go out. It is not that hard to cook an egg or heat up some soup or make a sandwich. There are alot of decent frozen foods as well that can be microwaved as well.

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11. Anonymous BMS Researcher on December 23, 2006 9:36 PM writes...

Have a great holiday, Derek, and I sure hope your New Year brings an excellent new job! If I hear of medchem openings at my shop, I certainly let you know.

I'll be visting my parents in Colorado tomorrow (I had been scheduled to fly there on Thursday, but Mother Nature had other ideas so I've been rescheduled -- at least I spend the blizzard in the comfort of my home and not sitting in an airport lobby like those people on the news).

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12. Ψ*Ψ on December 23, 2006 9:44 PM writes...

Can't cook to save my life. But I could be a closeted spectroscopist--it's too early to tell. (Coincidentally, SO is an architect and is much better in the kitchen than I am.)

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13. TNC on December 24, 2006 7:16 PM writes...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Ditto the comments about multitasking in the kitchen. Rather than stirplates, it's burners.

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14. eugene on December 24, 2006 10:29 PM writes...

"It is not that hard to cook an egg or heat up some soup or make a sandwich."

Easy for you to say. You must have a kitchen and stove. I remember when I had a kitchen, I used to cook eggs and soup too... Surprisingly, I'm getting pretty good with the microwave and I've figured out perfect settings for cooking fish, pasta and rice dishes (i.e. sushi is a go, but you really need a kitchen since the prep takes up a lot of space). I'm still not trying any eggs in that things however, just doesn't sound right. It's a shame, because eggs over medium with some salt and pepper are one of my favorite dishes.

Has anyone figured out settings for frying eggs in the microwave?

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15. Devices R Us on December 26, 2006 2:31 PM writes...

Fried (or fired) eggs
Break and slip an egg into a small buttered (lots) small glass dish. Poke yolk and cover wtih plastic wrap. Cook on low power just until egg is almost desired doneness, about 1 to 2 minutes. Let stand, covered until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard.
This isn't really fried but good enough

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16. markm on December 27, 2006 2:07 PM writes...

If you microwave eggs, a stout cover on the dish is very, very important. Microwaving tends to produce steam in the middle of the egg, which builds up pressure until it explodes and throws chunks of egg foam all over. With experience, you'll learn how many seconds will cook the egg and stop BEFORE the big bang, but if you don't have a cover that stays on while learning, you'll spend too much time on cleanup. Plastic wrap might do if you fold the ends under the bowl, and leave a hole for steam to get out. I usually just set a saucer on top of the bowl.

I add a little milk and scramble the eggs with a fork before nuking. Mainly this is because I hate runny yolk, but I think it also reduces the cohesiveness of the white, so more steam can escape without a blowup.

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17. eugene on December 30, 2006 3:13 PM writes...

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I'll be sure to try it out when I get back to my microwave.

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