A “known” substance is, on closer inspection, unknown

Mishap 1


A compound is misdrawn

Mishap 2


A pipette surrenders to the weight of a solvent flask

Mishap 3


14 Responses to Everyday, every day, reoccurring mishaps—A chemist’s variation on Groundhog Day

  1. How about my day: some bastard has splashed something UV active all over my TLC plates, my favourite spotter is broken, a leaky rotavap takes 30 min to fix/clean up, and a rival group publish something close to what I’ve been working on. In a good journal. Well timed blog post.

    • drfreddy says:

      For some reason I cannot recall as of now, I had a mental picture of you as an American. (Not an insult! Seriously. I am a big fan of scholars from all countries.) Why do you rant so much about God then? I didn’t think the white-bearded man in the clouds was a big thing in the UK.

  2. I lived in the UK for a long time. I’m not from the UK originally. I presently live in Stockholm.

    Religion is not just a problem in the US. I think that’s harder to appreciate in Sweden, which is largely a secular country that speaks English and pays attention to a lot of the US cultural output (as opposed to Italian, Ugandan or Saudi). Religious belief sets up ridiculous premises in people’s minds, which lead to ridiculous (and often immoral) actions. How about a Pope in Rome telling countless Africans that condoms are worse than contracting AIDS? American? No. Results in innumerable deaths? Indubitably.


    For the specific case of the UK, take a different example: “intelligent design”. It’s nonsense, and religious groups are exploiting various loopholes in the UK system to promote it, effectively teaching the kids bullshit in science class.


    ID is a problem in Muslim countries too. Within meters of my fume hood is a guy who, despite doing organic chemistry research, believes that “evolution was invented by atheists to weaken Islam and belief in God generally.” That’s an educational disgrace.

    Lots of other reasons… to numerous to mention.

  3. I doubt it. My best guess is you graduated/post-graduated KTH and went to work for Astra/some other pharma company in the area. I don’t remember seeing which on your bio. I’m in academia, so our paths haven’t crossed, unless by chance we’ve been to the same seminars or something at KHT or Stockholm Uni.

    • drfreddy says:

      My guess is you opened the “About the author” tab and followed one of the links… 🙂

      Let us keep a professional distance here on this page. Would be nice to bump into you one day in real life. I do go to seminars in the Stockholm area from time to time.

  4. I had so many mishaps as a student I became a theorist! Once pipetted 5 M NaOH into my mouth; another time I broke a bottle of bromine, and others mishaps not to mention.

    Stockholm: was there last week for my son’s wedding. Have four grandchildren and two children there, so I am a frequent visitor. Lost, or had stolen, my passport in Stockholm and I think it is safe to say that there is no better country to lose a passport. I am certain it was stolen, because if it were lost, it most certainly would have been returned.

    But the Swedes now appear worried about immigration. Still, Sweden feels a lot like Canada.

    • drfreddy says:

      Your first sentence caught my full attention when I misread theorist as terrorist. Makes good sense too. Who wouldn’t turn to terror after a mouthwash of 5 M NaOH?

      Glad you liked Stockholm, but I’m not sure Sweden is any less criminal than other countries nowadays. We were quite innocent during the 70’s and 80’s, however.

  5. Apropos the previous chemistry-religion link, here is something on Theological chemistry:

  6. Anonymous Coward says:

    Your result in #1 looks like a SciFinder answer (I’m assuming you have SciFinder Scholar). If you are a SciFinder user, calling Help Desk (+49 7247 808 555 from 8 am – 6 pm M-F Central European Time) might help – there may be a legitimate reason why your substance might be in SciFinder and yet have no references.

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