Sherlock’s In A White Lab Coat

They blindfold you and hand you a substance.
Then they start a time bomb and set it for three hours.
The countdown begins, the clock’s ticking, your life depends on it, any moment, your beaker might explode.
You have got to find out what they gave you.

You’ve been framed, and you know it. All the evidence stands against you.
There is only one way you can prove yourself: take the interrogation.
They’ll try to trick you, they’ll try to break you, it’s up to you to stand by your word and worth.
They have all the records.
But you might have the answer… Or a doughnut.
You’ve one chance to win… Can you acquit yourself?

Alright, so they maay not blindfold you. But apart from that, I’ve described our chemistry practicals.

We have a test where, like I mentioned above, you’re given a beaker full of mystery liquid, and you must find out what’s in it.
Sherlock’s got work to do.
Sniff it, (don’t) taste it, run tests on either it, or your buddy. But solve the mystery.

One of the possible organic compounds we could be given is an alcohol.

Yes, no one talks about it, but most of us are under-18.
Can’t tell them that, though.
Besides, phenols are kinda banned too.
Not in our lab, though―anything’s possible if you just try!

So, back to the alcohol.
We’re on a mission to identify the alcohol.
It’s a project I call Alcohols Anonymous.

But this is the prelude.
The real symphony is to be played tomorrow.
The apparatus is set.
There’s a look in the glint on the beakers and test tubes’ glass that says, See you there. The final chemistry practicals begin.

Tomorrow’s the big day.

Tomorrow, Sherlock will smoke a pipette in a white lab coat, and alarm bells may ring.

The game has begun!

Cruise Control (Is Lost)

I’m sitting and doing some physics. (Yep, I’m pretty much still running yesterday’s state.)
I’m sorting out a tangle of wires and looking for potential where there is none.
I’m up to date with all current affairs.
Kirchhoff’s laws are looking good; everything’s starting and meeting at a point. Beautiful.

If you look at it, Kirchhoff’s laws are basically Valhar Morghulis for the layman.
All current, potential or EMF that generates somewhere must return to that point (and hence end it’s journey). All born must die.

But yeah, my loops are sorting themselves out, calculated values are looking weird as ever (and as I’ve come to learn, that’s often a sign that things are on track!), and basically, I’m in control. I’m so in control, I’m listening to Green Day while doing my numericals.

And then dad calls.

They’ve been going through my grades to send to colleges, and apparently I’ve got an A in a chemistry. (Where I want to send my grades, an A+ is kind of a prerequisite)
I’m prepping for my pre-boards right now (and blogging… Could we skim over this bit?). Ever since my December SAT scores have come in, I’ve also got new colleges to send applications to (because for once, things worked out in my favour, and they were good! Unfortunately, that only meant that a whole new race had begun!)

So dad reminds me I’ve got two college applications to write.
Their submission deadlines are around the 1st of Jan. My pre-boards begin from 2nd Jan.
I was the one in control.

And then, in my ears, FOD by Green Day takes foreground.

Stuck down in a rut
Of dialogic and smut
A side of you well hid
When it’s all said and done
It’s real and it’s been fun
But was it all real fun?
Let’s nuke the bridge we torched two thousand times before
This time we’ll blast it all to hell.”


Now I just want to sit listening to FOD on repeat and satisfy myself sorting out wire loops much messier than I.  *electricity crackles*

Cranberry Soda

It isn’t the holiday season until you’ve created a new weird combination by mixing perfectly normal food prepared by someone else and claiming credit for it, and then enthusiastically shoving it down everyone’s throat.
Heck, with you as excited, chances are, you’ll get a super excited response from them in the form of a throw up. But oh well, guess yoghurt and pasta isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

This time, it was cranberry soda. Just mix cranberry juice lying around in the fridge with Sprite. Somehow, I claimed credit for it!
But with the sparkling bubbles and dark red liquid, I found it quite symbolic of Christmas.

After messing around a bit with juices myself, I took it upon myself to treat everyone who comes home with a cuppa cranberry soda. Of course, the only ones heading my way were mum and dad practicing weightlifting with their grocery shopping.

It actually went better than I’d expected. Their cups were in the sink before I could realise it… I mean, I do realize that could either be because keeping it too long would have it lose all its fizz, or that they gulped it down like a nasty medicine shot…

Got the best reaction from my little sister though. She hates fizzy drinks anyway. I’d have got a money shot had I a camera on me then!

Anyway, ’tis the season where you can momentarily forget that there’s a truckload of integration and semiconductors and benzoic acid that lies waiting (at least for me), so grab the opportunity, eat what you like, sleep, read, blog, and then INTEGRATE!!

Well, till I blow a fuse then.
Happy holidays! (Because we all deserve ONE day off.)

We’re Journaling On The Run Again

Do you remember that blockbuster time a few months ago when I had a physics journal to complete, and only twenty four hours (realistically, less) to do that? (Those either really bored or curious can check it out here.)
Well, turns out it wasn’t the end.
What I really did do that time was make twenty three experiments seem like twenty five. Thanks to my small handwriting, despite my three-day endeavour, my teacher couldn’t believe there were even twenty three of those in only hundred pages. (Not too far off the mark, but it was close enough to pass for 25. Still there was a momentary doubt: is this it? Will it all end like this? All that work for being called a bluff?)

Now look here, if I were in 11th grade, it may have passed. Not now. This year is supposedly the real deal. (Cue cut to rising background music
“Tell us,
tell us your final wish
Now we know you can never return”

Nope, this is the final stage. No turning back from here.)

So indeed, old ghosts return to haunt me. The work’s finally caught up with me. So here I sit with a journal in front of me to complete, yet again.
Might I mention, this time I need to draw the diagrams too.

But before I begin, there’s a little secret, a small triumph I could share. I may have “journaled” my physics journal writing process, but you won’t see that happening for chemistry.
That’s because I delegated that work to mum. (Mweeheehaahahaa.
In spite of all the evil villains out there, I still find one of the most impressive evil laughs to belong to a Disney character, from a Disney princess movie at that: Ursula from the Little Mermaid. Go figure.
(And for my mean, lean, rough, touch credos, please don’t ask about the Disney princess background!) (Another helpful pointer: it was left behind in the distant past. Distant, dusty and hazy. Don’t get lost on Mars.))

So, back to mum doing my chemistry journal… you won’t find me grumbling about it— and I wonder if twenty two salt analyses produced a piece of sheer frustration and boredom, or creativity, from my mother?
She just swears she’s not drawing my physics diagrams anymore.

My journal needs to be submitted tomorrow. (Wide smile)

What say we grab our coffee mugs and prepare for this time’s all nighter?

Two experiments, and twenty five diagrams to go!

(Note: I’ll keep updating thos post if and when I do. If you’re on this live, you may need to refresh.)

Well, here goes!
One thing I’ve gotta admit, it’s probably not a great idea to be beginning at 11:50 in the night when I’m expected in school at 8 the next morning. I have not an outlandish chance of completing everything!

I suppose the whole reason I’m even slightly motivated to begin is because I bought a new pen today. Nice, slim, sleek, very dark blue and unused. Something exciting about new stationery, if not exciting, then motivating. For at least 10 minutes.

Come to think of it now, I’m in deep. I need to figure out how my mum writes. It’s very different from my own writing. I don’t mean the way the hand works, mine is apparently one of the most wrist breaking styles in that department. Mum’s been trying forever to get me to “unhook” my hand, but it’s just comfortable. Guess it’s a lefty thing.
I’ll begin my undercover poseur training another day… Two experiments still to go for now.

I can imagine the scenario on Practicals exam day:
Let’s start over again
Why can’t we start it over again?
Just let us start it over again
And we’ll be good
This time we’ll get it…
Get it right
It’s my last chance… Ignore and forgive this, I couldn’t possibly write it again!

… After so many days of following SAT/America’s english model, putting a comma before every ‘and’, it’s almost kinda liberating to be following the British model again!

Great, it’s the day of my submission already!(post-12) I’ve started preparing my Ode to Coffee already…

I can’t believe this! I’m writing a three-page experiment to “identify a diode and a capacitor”, among others. My eyes haven’t given up on me yet!
Wonder if I should mention in the apparatus list that I used my eyes for this one?

Capacitors have the capacity to be chameleons. (See what I did there?)
They can be backstabbing bitches, basically. They’ll be friendly to one component of you, and totally ignore the other. They work perfectly fine with alternating currents, but the minute it turns steady, the friendliness disappears: it just won’t work anymore. Picky.

My sister was studying some biology earlier today. Jogged my memory about vaccins. Though this is not a rant about how those needles scare the hell out of me. I’ve been liked the wrong way enough times.
I was reminded about the guy who came uo with the concept, Edward Jenner. It just made me think, the quality of Jenners has dropped now. All they seem to do is get famous for having done absolutely nothing I could imagine thats notable… Or maybe big lips are an achievement? I’m the wrong person to be attempting to answer such questions, let’s talk physics again!

For an experiment, this one’s pretty un-technical. Gee, I can’t imagine what the procedure says. “Pick up a piece and look at it. With enough training, you should know that it’s a transistor. Now say this in 20 words instead of 10. You’re done!”
Such stuff requires a high level of expertise. Kids, don’t try this at home!

“… When both ends are touched together, there should be continuity in both directions,”
Sure doesn’t sound like the traffic.

It’s nearly 1. My internal Hab will soon be breached.

I’m currently reading the Martian, if that explains it.
It will also explain my mother’s new headache. After vacillating between five different possible career options last year and finally settling on one, I’ve been triggered again.
I’ve been wondering (in no small part thanks to this book) whether I really should be picking physics as my college major. It’s not the first time I’ve suggested this, but this is just after all my college essays have been written!
My mum’s been smacking her head, but hey, when wasn’t physics cooler than computer science?

The last time I had to write a physics journal, I ended up listening to the entire Sounds of Silence album start to finish, thrice. (It’s Simon and Garfunkel’s. And it’s definitely worth a listen.) I’m wondering what to get through now.
But then again, that’s probably the reason why it took me three days. That doesn’t take away anything from the fact that twenty three’s a big number. Especially when compared to two, which is what I must complete today, and get some sleep.

Last year, we had an experiment on resonance frequencies in a resonance tube, and they brought us tuning/pitch forks to use. Safe to say, the musicians drooled (unashamedly and justifiably, in our defence. How often do you get something to brighten up an uneventful day?) and it eventually turned into an hour of ear training tests.

In the movie the Martian, Mark Watney is a botanist. What they don’t tell you there but is made plain in the book is that he’s actually a double major. Botany and mechanical engineering from the University of Chicago. Damn. Here I was wondering how I’d juggle a Computer Science major with other things… but the pull of space is strong, isn’t it? (Yes, despite the crazy amounts by which it varies in different places, from one-sixth of the earth’s on our moon to one so strong in a black hole that even light, the fastest moving thing currently known, cannot escape it.)
My physics journal beckons. And my will is the moon’s gravity: weak. It’s nearly 1:30! In the morning, by the way. This is familiar.

Capacitors are cool that way. Infinite resistance. An invading army would love to have that. But then again, it’s only for DC sources… The Empire Strikes Back.

One done,one to go!
… Maybe keeping my mouth shut, or rather, fingers typing, instead, is not such a bad idea after all…

My situation:
Don’t confuse
Baby you’re gonna lose
You’re own game

But I gotta admit, it’s fun doing this. Until you look at the clock , at least.

If you’re up for too long, after a point, you’re gonna get light headed and really won’t care or register much any more. I still do care, but the trick is to balance your concern for finishing with your concern for lost sleep. Do this preferably before 12 AM.
Kids, make this a learning experience (just like it was three months ago… Guess I’ll never learn.)

Change of plan: I’m listening to MJ instead. It’s 1:59, so this plan needs to change soon too.

The way practical exams really work is as such:
Every breadth (and other readings ) you take
Every move you make
Every misstep you take
Every reading you fake
I’ll be watching you.

We have a new plan, and it’s to sleep! Effective immediately. I’m done, and the diagrams can very well wait another day.
The handwriting wasn’t too bad for 2 AM… Goodnight, clutch your journals tight, don’t be sleep deprived.

Magic Wand

Silver snow powder falls from his short wand
It’s vapour form fills the vacuum
Inhale, exhale, pace and deplore;
It’s a bright hot midday
Only a few hours more
Subconsciously he adjusts his tie
It’s not habit, but a vacation
Keep his satiated and stationed
At his blind date with with the lump contract
It has it’s faults, but it keeps him full
Just like his ash producing magic wand
So inhale, exhale, pace and deplore;
Lunch ends, only half a day more.