Sunday, December 19, 2010

Funniest comment of the week

I should really go to bed, but this deserves some kind of award*. Anon1218100201p in the adjunct professors post:
Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good *chemists* or bad. Why we chose that catalyst, or why we isolated the minor diastereomer. All that matters is that our paper got accepted by JACS over many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Crom. So grant me one request: Grant me tenure! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!
I sure hope Crom's listening.

*Is this because he's the only commenter who noted "The Wheel of Pain"? Maybe. 


  1. Is Crom related to Jobu?
    Has the gubenator been commenting on Paul's blog again?

  2. Do we count as Life Scientists? I hope not:

  3. CJ, perhaps he/she has Thulsa Doom or Dagoth as a faculty chair on the tenure committee! :)

    Anyway, I and others will attest that Prof. Dirk Trauner (formerly of UC Berekely) sounds just like the soon-to-be former Governator. Listening to Trauner (or MacMillan) talk is always a treat.

    Maybe you can set up a poll for the chemistry professors (all sub-disciplines included) who have the best/worst presentation skills.

  4. @Anon2:26 The traditional sectors of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, & physical) have been considered as physical sciences. However, the emergence of cross-disciplinary research over the past 25 years (bioorganic, materials, atmospheric, environmental) has somewhat blurred the distinction between life and phyiscal sciences, perhaps even engineering.

    @CJ: May I have your to cents on a job-related issue? I used to hear that professional organic chemists, especially in industry, preferred to hire candidates who were "an inch wide and a mile deep". Nowadays a disproportionate amount of public funding seems to be allocated to multi-disciplinary research, e.g., organic projects often NEED to have a discrete biological component (usually assays done by collaborators). My guess is that recent organic PhD graduates may, by neccessity, have acquired "diverse" (disjointed? disparate?)research skills during their graduate studies. Is it so bad to be "a mile wide and an inch deep"?

    Ideally, one would know everything about everything and be able to do anything, however I would be the first to admit my limitiations. In my conversations with late-stage grad students and postdocs at recent ACS conferences, I've often heard complaints from them that industrial recruiters were focused on hiring those with demonstrated expertise in restricted skill sets (i.e., synthetic jock). What should an eager-to-learn yet jack-of-all-trades new PhD do to gain employment in the chemical (fine & pharmaceutical) industry while competing against hordes of temps who already have the specialized skill sets and experience?

    If praying to Crom doesn't help, there's always Cthulu ;-)

  5. pray to Chrom, Wismut or Eisen?

  6. If you do pray to Cthulu you do so with this ancient hymn.

  7. @Anon6:22 on 12/20/10: Didn't Dirk Trauner go back to Austria? Did he ever get tenure from Berekely? Ha, the thought of him saying those modified lines from Conan the Barbarian (with his heavy Austrian accent of course) is indeed hilarious!

  8. Munich.