Materials Girl: Whatever can go wrong, will…

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Posted on behalf of Materials Girl:

Murphy’s Law, although highly applicable to the realm of chemistry, is demonstrated in all areas of life. Consider the [anticipated] tardiness of this post, attributed to my being away camping…

I had printed a stack of articles to study in relation to an upcoming post, much to the chagrin of my brother who protested his laser printer being in use for half an hour. However, being out in nature generally distracts one from reading about nature – “The Absorption of Water by Gelatin” would more accurately have been “The Absorption of Swamp by [my] Shoes”. That, however, is hardly an example of Murphy’s Law. The real irony was when people packed for the 110 degree Fahrenheit temperature at home, only to be met on the mountain with alternating heat and cold torrential rain. Fortunately, nature, Nature, and flash flood warnings are all exciting in their own way, so it wasn’t all that bad. Also, anything can remind me of chemistry, even something as trivial as pondering the dirt to water ratio in the various slurries of mud and grime covering the campsite. Once back in lab, I am likely to again start seeing things in terms of polarity, precipitates, and solvents…

The rain has begun in earnest again, and my pen is smudging over the notebook I am scribbling in. I shall type this up after getting home… Tell me your chemical stories involving Murphy’s Law, and perhaps how to avoid such occurrences – comments are wonderful.

Go to the profile of Stu Cantrill

Stu Cantrill

Chief Editor, Nature Chemistry, Springer Nature

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