Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What was David Snyder doing?

Jyllian Kemsley is covering this interesting case on the UC Davis campus:
That “‘small chemical explosion’ in a UC Davis student housing complex” wasn’t meth. The university researcher who set off the explosion, 32-year-old Ph.D. chemist David Snyder, was arrested over the weekend on explosives and firearms possession charges.
Literature searches indicate that Dr. Snyder is a synthetic chemist, with a patent and a J. Med. Chem. paper to his name (and also a regional ACS conference poster.) He's apparently a postdoc, if you look at California state employee records.

I don't know what he was up to, and I don't care to speculate very much, other than to say this: if one were going to be experimenting on explosive compounds, it would seem wise to do it in a laboratory, where requisite safety equipment is. (Throwing aside, of course, that you would be risking your labmates' life as well as your own.) As I said on Twitter, most people in the lab don't really pay attention to what other people are up to in their hoods (even when they should be.)

I guess I'll be following this story, too. 

7 comments:

  1. It's a strange story. I wonder what the heck this guy was thinking.

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  2. Yes, why would he be making meth in a housing complex. I am sure you can easily make a pound a month in a hood and no one would ever notice.

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  3. Well he has a LinkedIn profile, and has been endorsed for Narcotics!

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  4. Does anyone else think that the whole 'endorsement' thing on LinkedIn is pretty idiotic? I've got people endorsing me that I haven't worked with in over a decade.

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    1. Pretty much. It has about as much meaning as a Facebook "like."

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    2. I think people do it as a way to bump up their profile or something. One of those bogus LinkedIn things that says "You need to do ____ to have a 100% complete profile!" It also puts you right at the top of the recent activity tag by just clicking a button. I've had people who never worked in lab with me endorse some of my lab skills.

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  5. There is no reason to take dangerous chemicals out of the lab and into your house unless you plan on doing something illegal.

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