Microwaves and Snow

We’ll the second blizzard of this season(technically the blizzard of ’11 but I don’t really use that terminology) has left me kinda snowed in. I just finished pushing upwards of two feet of snow fall away from my car (with some help from Mr. Mercadante!) and helped Diandra and a neighbor out of their spots as well. This is the most snow I’ve seen outside of a ski mountain since probabley that big snowstorm in 1996. At least we didn’t lose power. Combine today with the fail that was yesterday and you have a very unproductive week for a chemistry grad student. Hopefully CT DOT will have cleared the roads and UConn itself has been shoveled enough for me to get in. Cause I have a few ideas I want a try. I’ve been looking into C-H bond activation lately, a throwback from my days at Columbia. Since its “in vogue” as Dr. L would  put it, it could lead to several excellent publications. I’m particularly interested in Dan Seidel’s work over at Rutgers. I’ve been a fan of him for some time and, had I chosen Rutger’s, I would of worked for him. He’s been doing a lot of azo methine ylide chemistry lately. Particularly this sort of stuff using an ol’ friend proline as a starting material:  

Proline FTW!

So I’m gonna look into that and some other “tert-amino effect” work. And that brings me to my next point. Microwaves. I really do love them for chemistry (and for many a meal) and I love our flow reactor. Just sometimes I feel its better to work out the chemistry first, then move in with technology. Technology is only great when it works. Unlike yesterday (shakes his head). Microwaves have this little drawback that I found out about real quick.  They really need to be calibrated often. One of our microwaves called Fry (ironic) was off in temperature by 50 degrees C (for those of you out there that are in Fahrenheitland, that’s more than 122 degrees). So it’s no surprise that I’ve had three explosions in two days…hence why I must of displeased the gods of chemistry or something. I’m hoping that karma will come back on my side tomorrow…if I can get in. Ckellz…Signing off 😛


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