Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Thank you Technology!

Due to advances in technology, the smoke detector near the elevator was able to contact the fire department and tell them that there was a fire on the 4th floor of Hunter Laboratories (the Chemistry Dept.). From the time the call was received it took them 20 minutes to get here and get the fire under control. Nice work Clemson University Fire Department!

The cause was a solvent still (used to "dry", or remove water, a solvent). In this case it was an isopropanol still that went dry and the drying agent, CS2 carbon disulfide, went up in flames. The fire was contained to that lab and there was some standing water in other labs, but that's no big deal at all. Our lab floods a bit at least once a month. Yes we've called maintenance and they've been up here at least 7 times and still can't figure out what's going on.

Our lab was completely safe and unharmed but if we hadn't had the fancy fire alarm system, this fire which started at 9 pm on Friday, would've been decidedly worse. So huge accolades to Technology.

Today is the department picnic. What it means for us is we get some free booze and dinner and it's also our first real opportunity to meet the new grad students (first years) and get to know them and recruit them to join our group. We're at a healthy 4 students, 3 of which are grad students and the other guy just graduated and is post doc-ing. So we need some new blood in the group. So far my plan is to take a few of our crystals and actually show the newbies what we do, which is more than other groups can really do. You just can't be obnoxious about it because that's what a few of the faculty do and they don't wear it well. We have projects, we have money, we just need another set of hands or two and some sharp minds and we'll be set for a few more years.

I just set up an awesome weekend for J and I. It's my birthday present to myself and J a little too. We're going up to Charlotte Sat. morning, going shopping (J needs a dress for a wedding and some bachelorette party in Miami clothes, oh sorry "needs" these clothes), then checking into the hotel, doing dinner somewhere, resting a bit and then at midnight I will be going to the 2nd 12 hours of the Central Carolina Region's 24 Hour autocross. It's from noon Sat. to noon Sun. I did all 24 last year and from midnight to noon, there aren't too many people up and about so you can drive and drive and drive until you can't keep your eyes open anymore. So I imagine I'll be content about 6 or 7 am, go back to J, sleep, eat lunch and then go to Body Worlds! I've wanted to see this exhibit for a few years now and finally get the chance. I don't think they allow cameras but I'll be sure and recap the entire crazy weekend.

Have a good Tuesday!

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