Wed, 19 May 2004

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thermodynamics and relationships

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Contrary to the claims of my friends, disconnecting my Internet connection at home has failed to improve my social life. In fact, since I also don't have a T.V. anymore, or a phone line, and I'm not really sure that I'm still receiving mail at my erstwhile place of residence, I'm rapidly losing touch with any semblance of "reality" (whatever that may be) and I don't know when anything is supposed to happen anymore. Since I don't have my computer on almost 24-7 anymore, I'm not even sure what day of the month it is half the time.

Somewhat ludicrously, I think my sporadic posts to this blog are the only evidence to the outside world that I am, in fact, still alive.


This entry on f(r)ictions caught my eye, mostly because I am a supernerd who stupidly took the organic chemistry class that only chemistry majors and chemical engineering majors usually take, and the schematic of organic molecules reacting snared me.

But, even more synchronously, I have been using the term "free radical" to euphemistically refer to newly single people in my (increasingly incestuous) circle of friends here in the Midwest. (Skip the following if you have no interest in reading about organic chemistry or biochemistry—which I imagine will be both of my readers) The analogy, while extraordinarily nerdy, is, I think, also apt. Think of break-ups as the splitting of covalent bonds. Depending on how tight the bond was (how strong the relationship was) and how much energy was expended to break the bond (how dramatic the circumstances of the break-up were), you will end up with (1) two atoms that momentarily split apart, then rapidly join back together again (2) two atoms that were loosely bonded anyway even before the energy was applied, and which rapidly drift apart, either calmly binding with other unbound atoms or simply going its separate way as a stable, single atom or (3) two atoms that separate with explosive force, shearing electrons this way and that—in other words, creating free radicals.

Now, just as in a reaction chamber, the result of such a reaction depends on the neighboring molecules. If the other molecules in the chamber are sufficiently stably bonded, the free radicals will eventually shed their unpaired electrons without much ado. But if the other molecules are unstable as well, likely all hell will break loose. A chain reaction will ensue until some stable state is attained, which is typically nothing like the starting conditions.

You squeeze a bunch of molecules tight enough together, and some interesting (though possible devastating) things can happen.

Very few elements actually stay unbound, though. There are, of course, the noble gases, such as helium, neon, argon, and xenon, but even argon and xenon can be induced to bind to oxygen or fluoride, given enough energy. Non-reactive single atoms are very rare indeed.

So I suppose that's either a blessing or a curse, depending on whether you think explosions are a good thing or not.

15:38:27 19 May 2004 > /soul > permalink > 2 comments

comments

Name/Blog: infiniti
URL: http://frictions.blogspot.com
Title: jeez
Comment/Excerpt: that organic chemistry/biochemistry explanation was like the story of life and love/won and lost... gee. thanks, doc!

Name/Blog: Marcel
URL: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003440216661
Title: CkLl6oOa6nAk
Comment/Excerpt: There are two aspects to this qutesion. Whether you are looking at the situation accurately, and what to do about it no matter how you are looking at it. I think this answer will help you a lot, but only if you really take it to heart.First, you say you are average looking with a unmagnetic personality. You have a negative image of yourself. That is an opinion and everyone is entitled to one, but that negative self image does not serve you at all. If you look (and don't give up seriously don't give up EVER) for the things that are good about you you WILL find them and eventually have a healthy self-image.Ultimately you need to apply this next strategy no matter what you think of yourself. You need to visualize yourself doing fantastic in the exam, looking fantastic, and having a great self-image in advance. Most people have the process backwards. they want to fix something on the outside (have) then they can act the way they think they should (do) and then they can feel the way they want to feel (be). Switch this on its head. Spend 10 minutes per day visualizing yourself exactly how you've always wanted to be. Think back to the best times of your life and project them into the future. That will make you feel like that person up front (be), then act as that person would act (do), and then you will receive/develop all the rewards you've desired: confidence in exams, a great self image, etc. (have).Read this answer over several times. Its how all the great successes and most talented celebrities got to where they were. They KNEW they were great even before they had any proof to show anyone else. Spend the time to apply this (even if it takes months or years) and you will blow everyone's minds.Good Luck,John

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