enormously large!

January 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm | | literature, nerd

Now here is an exciting title:

Enormously large (approaching 14 eV!) electron binding energies of [HnFn+1] (n=1-5,7,9,12) anions

I just love exclamation points in titles.

stanford grad students are NOT eligible for worker’s comp

January 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm | | grad life

According to this official document, Stanford graduate researchers are not covered by worker’s compensation. If we get injured on the job, we have to pay using our private insurance. Well that sucks. I can’t see any reason that a postdoc working in lab should be covered but a grad student doing the exact same thing is not.

Students at Notre Dame, Rice, UIUC, and Caltech are covered. Why aren’t we?

This means that we graduate students should be more vigilant at demanding safe working environments, refusing to even enter an area that is at all questionable, refusing to work with or around unsafe individuals, and asking postdocs or professors to perform all strenuous or risky tasks (such as heavy lifting or working in the machine shop).

UPDATE: I’ve heard of two cases of graduate students getting injured while in lab, and Stanford refuses to pay the workers comp. In one case, the student’s private insurance paid. In the other, the Stanford-branded health insurance (Cardinal Care) also refused to pay, because the injury occurred at work; that student got a hospital bill for nearly $2000. Something is wrong here!

UPDATE: I’ve read the California statutes on the subject, and I’m convinced that Stanford is breaking the law. The only exception that grad students could possibly fit under is the following:

“3352.  “Employee” excludes the following:

(i) Any person performing voluntary service for a public agency or a private, nonprofit organization who receives no remuneration for the services other than meals, transportation, lodging, or reimbursement for incidental expenses.”

But grad students are not volunteers. And we do receive payroll checks, not specific reimbursement for expenses.

Caltech agrees with me:

“Caltech is obligated by law to provide workers’ compensation coverage to its employees. Workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect employees and their families from the financial consequences of injury, illness, or death arising out of and in the course of their employment.

Caltech provides workers’ compensation coverage to all Institute employees (including students on the payroll), pre-approved volunteers, and professors emeriti.”

(From their HR website.)

Murphy’s Law of Water Titrametrics

January 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm | | grad life

It will ALWAYS be raining whenever you need to do Karl-Fischer titration in another building.


El Nino sucks.

go get your own alligator!

January 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm | | literature, science community

“They cannot argue with this data,” she said. “I have three lines of evidence. If they don’t believe it, they need to get an alligator and make their own measurements.”

(via Randy and Eric.)

Biophysics Meeting

January 7, 2010 at 3:26 pm | | conferences

Give a big shout-out if you’re heading for the Biophysics Meeting in a few months.

On a related note, this here video summarizes why biology is so friggin’ cool!

acronym fail

January 6, 2010 at 9:10 am | | literature

Strange choice for the name of the fluorescent probe.

The “SS” stands for the disulfide bond; the “A” for acetylnaphthalene. I think. Fortunately, the authors never used the phrase “ASS probe” in the paper.

liquid oxygen

January 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm | | science and the public, stupid technology

Not a good idea:

I don’t think putting liquid oxygen on your tongue is so smart. Fortunately, it’s not really liquid O2, it’s just salt water:

“The chemical components in Liquid Oxygen are distilled water, sodium chloride, dissolved oxygen and essential and trace minerals. The species of oxygen found in Liquid Oxygen include O2, and O4. The active ingredient in Liquid Oxygen is a relatively stable nascent molecule of oxygen in the form of O4. All other oxygen type supplements bond their active oxygen to salt molecules forming oxychlorine or oxy-halogen compounds driving up the pH to levels that could be dangerous to the skin and delicate membranes in the oral cavity if taken improperly. In addition, additional stomach acid activity is required to break these molecules down to release the oxygen.”


tebow celebrates my PhD defense

January 1, 2010 at 7:35 pm | | grad life

In the Sugar Bowl tonight, Florida’s Tim Tebow kindly reminded the world that I’ll be defending my PhD Dissertation on February 8, 2010.

That’s nice of him.

Powered by WordPress, Theme Based on "Pool" by Borja Fernandez
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS.