Wednesday, December 1, 2010

~*~*~*~*Witches and Chemistry~*~*~*~*

          The concept of witchcraft and chemistry has posed an interesting question, “Did the effects of witches and their chemistry survive until modern times?”  I believe it did.  Women up until the last few decades have been poorly recognized in many ways; they have also along the way hit the inevitable “glass ceiling”.  Statistically women are paid less for the same job as many in many companies today.  I do believe women are moving higher and higher with each decade, but it has been a really long road. 
            Concerning the next week of class, I think morphine, caffeine and nicotine will be an interesting discussion and read.  I have learned so much about the chemistry around me in this class, more so than in chemistry class.  I think having taken this class I can really start to understand just how important it is and how it has effected and still affects mankind today.
            As far as this class goes, I find it hard to say what I like and don’t like.  The books are great, I really loved them and I plan on keeping my Napoleon’s Buttons book.  The Holmes case we did I liked a lot, I don’t understand why the majority didn’t.  But for me, the challenge of solving a puzzle is fun, interesting and I learned from it.  I have had a hard time keeping up in this class and I am sure that I have missed assignments here in there.  I think there is really too much to do, it was really overwhelming for me.  It is no secret that I didn’t care for the group; I would have enjoyed the assignment more if I had done it alone.  There were too many parts to the group as well, I was just confused.  I think my confusion stems a lot from my crazy schedule this semester also, I am taking 13 hours, working for three different post offices filling in, not to mention being a wife and mom….  I am just ready for the semester to be over with; I think I have aged two years in four months!
            Seriously, everything was very interesting but I think there was a little too much to do overall.  Maybe skim a little here and there off.  The discussion boards were great and allowed for an actual “discussion” which my other classes don’t seem to understand.  If everyone says the “same” thing, how are we to discuss anything?  With this class I had no problem discussing the topic because we all had different parts or at least said or had a different idea than everyone else.  At first I wasn’t crazy about this blog, but I have come to enjoy it.  If for no other reason than to feel that I have a voice and I am not just a number that needs to follow the syllabus word for word without question in order to receive a grade. 
            Thanks for putting up with me so far, you are almost finished as well!  J

Monday, November 15, 2010

Week 12 - DNA , Natural Polymers and Proteins

          Natural polymers relate in a lot of ways to my life.  Some of the natural polymers are essential for life; such as proteins and nucleic acids.  There are other natural polymers besides essential life requirements.  Cellulose for instance, paper and its use has roots in ancient history, thank goodness someone figured out how to make paper or else a lot of wonderful history may not have been recorded, especially large, detailed works.  Natural rubber led to our synthetic version today, wow, remarkable how one item can change forever the way we live, work and transport ourselves along with so many other applications.
          Thinking about the final, I can honestly say that one part of me is so giddy for this semester to over with, while the other side is saying, “So how am I suppose to do this without being able to use any sources?”  So of course I am worried, who wouldn’t be?  I am just looking toward that light at the end of the tunnel.
          So far what we have covered sometimes seems that there is no rhyme or reason for the order but I am sure there is a reason the chapters and lessons were covered the way they were.  I can speculate that we started with basic chemistry with the spices, we moved to salt, etc., each is a bigger jump that the previous and all culminate together to explain our world and the chemistry that made it all possible.

Week 11

“My list of activities to the Group”

                This week I have been trying to work on the Power Point presentation.  I was doing what use suggested and finding some part of it that I could enjoy and also be a contribution, so I like making Power Points.  I took Isaac’s rough draft and wrote up a nice outline that serves as a great guide for me in making this presentation.  Kelley has sent me pages for our Power Point for addition, I have added them in. 
                My overall group experience is no more enjoyable than having my toenails pulled out with rusty pliers.  It had started sour and I am just trying to make lemonade out of lemons thus far.  Kelley seems to be easy to work with every four or five days when she makes contact.  The one very positive part is she researched two sections from our outline of her choice for inclusion into the Power Point and designed the pages.  Isaac wrote me an email and out of 8 points on our outline, I asked for two from him and I would take four overall and do the entire work of putting together the Power Point; he basically stated that since he was doing the bibliography and since he was going to write the final paper from his rough draft that I was asking too much and he felt in order for it to be fair that I should just do it all.  So far I have constructed the contract for this group, wrote a final outline and I am also doing the complete Power Point presentation outside of the two points that Kelley sent me.  I feel that I am honestly doing more than my fair share which is fine, but I tell this to illustrate the common problems of group work.  In the beginning I know that Kelley wrote you and said she had it all planned and the roles assigned; this is like a version of the three stooges, really.  No one knows exactly what they should be doing, I receive texts and emails and we are all just a bunch of bumbling idiots it seems.  My group members may very well be great people but we all have schedules that don’t mesh, we are all taking a few other classes so certain days that Kelley is working on the project I am doing math or history or biology.  It is just really crazy, hectic and overall I loathe the experience.  Sorry L
                The project is something that is age appropriate for junior high and up I feel.  The only part that I would not recommend for junior high is the actual making of aspirin.  It is very informative, full of history and lots of great other uses for aspirin that would make a person say, “Wow, I didn’t know that!”  It is a good overview of aspirin starting from ancient times to today, practical uses and also health problems associated with its use.
                The medicinal chemistry was interesting.  I liked hunting for the information.  There was so much I read but did not include because I was trying to stick to three, but instead I posted four.  It is very fascinating to see how chemistry affects every part of our world; from our medicine, our industry, day to day living, etc. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Isoprene and Steroids

     Isoprene is formed naturally in plants and animals; this is something that I was unaware of.  Isoprene is the most common hydrocarbon in the body.  The naturally occurring isoprene in trees helps the tree to combat abiotic stress.
     Regarding steroids and the chapter I read concerning the pill, I find it to be very interesting that a person can take a molcule and change it into something totally different.  The thought the the yam was instrumental in today's birth control.
     Since I am a little behind on my blogs and catching up, as you know I hadn't been overly excited about the group project.  We had some initial trouble and although we are making progress and I am enjoying my part of the project, I still would have to be honest and say that I am less than enthusiastic overall.  I believe the reason why is being dependant on other people, there is worry associated with waiting for others to fulfill their part.  So far everyone has been making a great effort in order to complete this activity.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My List of Activities to Our Group

            Currently I feel very good about my group and the ideas that we can come up with together.  I am sure that whatever we decide on will be great.
            Today I drew up our group contract and notified the members of my group.  We have been in contact with one another through our discussion board and text messaging.  The other two groups members have been easy to reach and energetic about working on our project.  I am happy with my group members.
            Although I missed the initial post, I did jump in and read the others posts.  I also did some research to add to the initial discussion.  I found it very interesting and liked it very much, I wish my work had not have interfered with my homework lately and causing me to fall behind.  I would like to do more of these.
            The next few weeks with the group project will go well I believe.  I think we may encounter problems meeting if that is what they want to do.  I have a crazy schedule and I know that one of the group’s members works evenings, so it might be hectic.  Overall if we cannot find a time to meet up, I think we will still be able to create a great activity.
            Typically I am not a group activity person, only because I ended up in a group that helped very little and I was left to try and do most of it myself, needless to say we didn’t get the grade I had anticipated because the amount of research was too much for one person, me.  I do find that this group project will be interesting and fun.  I also believe it adds to life skills and will teach us how to work cooperatively with others in a group and meet deadlines.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dyes and My Thoughts

  I plan to interject multiculturalism into my paper by appreciating the history of the chemistry we have covered.  Chemistry and the wonderful molecules discovered were founded by a multitude of peoples.  The combining of these minds from around the world has shaped our world.  We do not owe celebration to one culture or group of people, but many.  A great number of cultures have contributed to the science.
      A dye that I use daily comes in the form of satisfaction.  My addiction to caffeine and adoption of my brother’s choice of poison to feed the addiction comes to me in the form of Mt. Dew.  Mt. Dew supplies me in my hour of need with much needed caffeine to pull me through the day.  In the ingredients of my life force and secret weapon is Yellow #5.  Yellow #5 gives this unique beverage its signature yellow green coloring.  Ah, where would I be without it?  I know, asleep!
     When delving into the question of how dyes relate to the first five weeks, I find that dyes relate very much to what we have been covering thus far.  Like many of the molecules we have discussed, dyes require chemistry to make them what they are and properties to color fabrics and enable those fabrics maintain that color.  Dyes changed the way we view ourselves, royalty used purple; this allowed them to stand out above the population.  There was, just as many of the other molecules that progressed because of need and want.  If salt had not have been needed, there would have been no use for it.  If the want of color hadn’t been so important, dyes would not have evolved and colored our world.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Organic Chemisty and My Thoughts


           Studying organic chemistry has only differed slightly over the previous weeks.  With the organic chemistry I see so much being done with these unique molecules unlike applications of other substances we have covered.  The term organic when relating to chemistry means that carbon is a part of the make-up; I have seen many different molecules only differ by one or more side chains or shapes. 
            During the past few weeks, I have enjoyed learning about all the chemistry that makes up my world.  I have been especially surprised by the ingredients of pool balls.  I love to play pool and always wondered what they were made of.  I knew that the substance had to have a lot of qualities that would keep it true and round and overall the same weight as the others.  I have fun when I have discovered something I didn’t know before.
            I have learned so much in the past weeks seems to be my motto.  This class relates so much to my degree of history.  There is so much in history that now makes more sense because I know what people were fighting over.  I see how chemistry has changed history and the lives of people throughout history.  Once I see the overall bigger picture, the pieces of the puzzle seem to fall into place.
            Having the ability to utilize pictures, video and the internet in this course rather than just the traditional book has made this class come to life.  I can’t imagine not having all the extra mediums at my finger tips as tools. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Glorious Phenols!

Anyone for a game of pool?
     As I sit and look around, I notice all the wonderful things created by man utilizing phenols.  I cannot image our world without this remarkable compound.  The most interesting aspect of the readings this week was the story about antiseptic care and how operations that were once sure to end in infection or death are now safe and simple procedures.  The drive of a physician to create safer hospitals and surgeries is outstanding.  I am in awe of people who continue to try.  He knew there was a way and kept after it.  Thank goodness for those unique people in world and throughout history, for without them we would not enjoy the lives that we do.

     The upcoming paper due on "What's That Stuff" is very interesting so far.  I am amazed at the concept and the technology of preservation.  I have always been somewhat nervous of too many preservatives, I have never been convinced that they are completely safe.  I do feel a little more at ease while researching, the flip side of the coin may mean botulism, I'll pass!

      I have always felt that the world is full of endless possibilities and ways to live better.  This class has been proving to me why I should be in awe.  I have learned so much about different chemicals and substances so far.  It is wonderful to see and understand the uses.  My favorite part is the history that goes along with them.

     I hope in the coming weeks to find more information that will be completely interesting.  So far my favorite chapter dealt with the spices, coming in second was salt.  We will see what else is in store!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pollution. My thoughts.

     This week’s readings were interesting to me because of how new technology that was created at different points and times changed how we lived, worked and traded.  The advances of past times were considered to be fantastic and were but people were not aware of the devastating effects that they would have on people, the environment and the ozone layer.  Without the early science and the pitfalls created by them, we would not have understood and respected the chemical nature as we do today.  I am sure no one sets out to create a new technology to harm everything and everyone around it. 
What is wonderful about the age we are in is the conscientious nature of people.  People are really thinking hard about the ecological problems and looking for greener alternatives.  Back decades ago, the science was new and detrimental effects were not on the minds of the creators; they were thinking about how their technology would help people live better. 
     Chemistry definitely helps me live better, but pollution affects my field of agriculture.  We utilize chemicals to enhance our fields of hay.   We have to be very careful to not over fertilize.  If we do, the excess will run off into the river behind our farm, or in the creek that runs through the farm.  Outside of polluting rivers and streams that will have an impact on the ocean eventually, we have to worry about our own drinking water as we use a well for water.  This week’s lesson makes me think harder for other ways to maintain our farm, our livelihood but at the same time stay as green as possible.
     My everyday life is woven in chemistry.  From the dish soap I wash dishes in, to the fuel I put in my vehicle to transport me places.  I find it in my food, I find it in my fish tank that is in desperate need of maintenance, J. I also find it in simple items for my pets, such as Frontline for tick control.  Chemistry makes my life easier, better, but I don’t want an easier life at the expensive of clean air and clean drinking water.  I believe more people should embrace that concept.