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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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« And It Goes Like This! | Main | Synthetic Prep of the Day: Chocolate Pecan Pie »

November 21, 2007

Holiday Break

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Posted by Derek

Well, the drug labs are emptying out today, like many other workplaces around the US. My American readers will be celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow (and Friday as well, in most cases), and so will I. This will be our first since the new job and the move, and I have a turkey to thaw and a chocolate pecan pie to make. Tomorrow I'll be in charge of roasting the bird, since my wife has washed her hands of the oven in this house until we can get it replaced. I've had my incidents with it too, but I figure that if I can make 100 grams of alkynylaluminum reagent without setting anything on fire (a near thing, though, as I recall), then a sixteen-pound non-pyrophoric turkey should be no problem.

Last Thanksgiving I was doing roughly the same things, but in the knowledge that in two months I'd be out of a job. I prefer this year, hostile kitchen appliances and all. I hope that everyone reading this and celebrating the holiday has a good time at it, and for my readers outside the US, the best to all of you, too. You don't have to eat turkey to be glad for what you have (hey, in some countries serving a turkey would actually make that more difficult). I'll see everyone on Monday, at which point science will get up off the couch and start marching on again.

Comments (12) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blog Housekeeping


1. Bunsen Honeydew on November 21, 2007 10:01 AM writes...

I seem to remember an article from the 90s in the Journal of Irreproducible Results where the authors attempted to cook a turkey using kinetic energy. They took the turkey and dropped it off of a 10-story building. After dropping it about 10 times they discovered that the internal temperature had risen by one half of one degree Celsius. They extrapolated that if the turkey was dropped of the building several tens of thousands of times it would be cooked; so Derek, if you have trouble with your oven you could always try dropping the bird off of your roof for a few weeks.

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2. Neil on November 21, 2007 10:19 AM writes...

"I've had my incidents with it too, but I figure that if I can make 100 grams of alkynylaluminum reagent without setting anything on fire (a near thing, though, as I recall), then a sixteen-pound non-pyrophoric turkey should be no problem."

Famous last words ;)

Happy Thanksgiving Derek!!

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3. qetzal on November 21, 2007 10:57 AM writes...

Chocolate pecan pie! Now there's a man who knows how to celebrate Thanksgiving!

Hope yours is as good as my wife's! Happy holiday.

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4. CMC guy on November 21, 2007 11:30 AM writes...

Best Thanksgiving wishes to you and your readers. Most synthetic chemists I know are rather fair cooks with the benefit can eat their experiments- are you going to post your pecan pie recipe?

Do be careful with your bird as the dripping can catch on fire as this story illustrates: In college with friends went camping over the week of Thanksgiving in mountains of NM- we were unprepared for the

Again enjoy.

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5. CMC guy on November 21, 2007 11:38 AM writes...

Sorry story cut off:
..we were unprepared for the

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6. Giagan on November 21, 2007 12:23 PM writes...

CMC guy - That is some cliffhanger! I can't wait to hear what you were unprepared for! ; )

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7. CMC guy on November 21, 2007 2:01 PM writes...

Sorry had some actual work to do before I could try again:
…we were unprepared for the

Probably didn’t learn my lesson as had several pyro instances in grad school- mostly with old LAH that was supposed dead (until dug down to unexposed material).

Also I now I smoke my turkey will a real bullet smoker.

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8. Wavefunction on November 21, 2007 3:59 PM writes...

Happy Thanksgiving. Spike the Trp.

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9. milkshake on November 21, 2007 4:31 PM writes...

Meditation over a defrosted corpse of the Bird of Happiness: "Better You than Me"

Happy holiday!

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10. Great Molecular Crapshoot on November 21, 2007 5:05 PM writes...

Enjoy the holiday! Best thanksgiving turkey I ever had was deep-fried (in peanut oil) and, if memory serves me correct, was done in about 35 minutes. it was cooked out on the deck rather than in the kitchen so less mess to clean up.

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11. Paul Dietz on November 21, 2007 7:18 PM writes...

And afterwards, you can synthesize turkey tetrazinni (TuZn4).

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12. Ralph (ZZ) on November 28, 2007 10:45 AM writes...

I wonder if others have the same cooking oddity I do. In the lab, I'm relatively precise, but in the kitchen, I measure by eye and opinion. 2 cups of flower - shake, shake, - yup, about this much.

My wife thinks I'm crazy for measuring so infrequently in the kitchen, especially since I'm a chemist.


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