Aug. 9th, 2010

abigailnicole: (Default)


We're officially moved in! Have a picture. It's the kitchen because that's the most furnished room right now.

I've been reading arsene lupin on my iPod--classic book app, since I finished The Disappearing Spoon this morning and the library is closed Sunday. We're going to go later today.

All the furniture so far is mostly mine, my bedroom aside--sofa bed, coffee table, end table, kitchen table & chairs, armchair. Besides that it's pretty bare, though Bailey's mum is getting us a futon for the back room soon (we pick it up today). We don't have internet either. I can steal from a neighbor but its fleeting, so I apologize for the lack of updates.

I went through Faine's boxes, with lots of exclamations of "Thanks Faine!!" in various tones of joy (dishes, spices) and confusion (so much cumin? like twelve ounces of cumin. not joking. also so many ponchos!). Her furniture is fantastic. We bleach-water-washed everything due to mom's fear of mold, polished the wood, vacuumed the upholstery, and unpacked the mysterious kitchen boxes that contained pots, pans, spices, food, and a mysterious pair of shoes. ??? okay.

This is fine for me because I love inheriting other people's stuff, I like getting furniture and boxes with odds and ends from someone else's life and going through it to see what they thought was important, what they kept and collected. I like things that already have life when they're given to you, and a good life, it's almost like you're expected to carry that into future generations. Same reason I love my grandparent's house: full of furniture (I suspect a good one-third or more of their furniture is hidden under beds and things, because they have more furniture than house. I told grandmom I'd buy a house so she'd have somewhere to keep her extra furniture), old books, old pictures, old things people have made. There's a reason my purse right now is a carpetbag of unidentifiable age I found in my grandmother's closet. I like old things. Also mum said the mattress smelled like marijuana. Oh, Faine.

I'm still in a transition phase; that first week, from school to home or home back to school, is always disconcerting; I'm not sure what the routine is yet, I know what I would do at home but here? And it's always accompanied from a busy-to-nothing shift, from finals to staring at my room in KY, from MCAT-library-working-packing-crazy to moving in, with my most strenuous duties being grocery shopping and cooking dinner. It takes a while to get reoriented. I have confidence that things will be better when Evian gets here.
abigailnicole: (books)


I read Sam Kean's The Disappearing Spoon in the car on the way down, finishing up the last chapter yesterday in the apartment. It reminded me a lot of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything for the reason that they're both wacky science history books: books about the history of science and how these scientists actually came up with all the stuff we know now. This book, however, was just chemistry, instead of the catch-all of A Short History, and that's why I loved it....because I love chemistry. It's subtitled "and other true tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements" and !!! I love the periodic table. I got a periodic table app and was so excited because you can click on an element, and it give you the founder, and the date it was founded, and a picture of the most thermodynamically stable form of that element. :D So I was playing around with this and exclaiming to my mom: "Look, elemental sulfur!" until she was like "NICOLE GET A BOYFRIEND" (actual quote, I was hurt) but then it reminded her that she got this book for me.

I think I liked this so much because you're not given a science history lesson. You learn the Nernst equation and what Lewis acids and bases are, but not who Nernst and Lewis were. Gilbert Lewis, by the way, he of Lewis structures and the famous Lewis acids (electron pair acceptor!) and bases (electron pair donor!), was a brilliant scientists who contributed to our knowledge of how electrons are important in bonding in atoms. He got passed over for the Nobel prize five times :( and eventually killed himself with cyanide gas after one of his younger, more attractive students won the Nobel prize. Tons of his students won the Nobel, by the way. Poor dude.

But that's just an example. Besides giving a brief history of almost all the elements (it get a little jumbled, just because there are so many and transition metals are all very similiar) and how they were founded, you also find out fun things like which one is the most rare? (actinium) and why? (radioactivity: there are only 20 ounces in the whole world). I suspect if you don't like chemistry you won't find this engaging at all--some prior knowledge of chemistry will definitely make you a lot more familiar with the concepts, but I don't know if someone who doesn't like chemistry or knows nothing about it would be able to keep up.

That being said, I want everyone who's taken AP or college chemistry to read this book, maybe before your second semester. It'll make the subject matter a lot more interesting and give life to those equations you've blown off all year.

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Nicole

March 2013

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