24 March 2010

I'm actually a graduate student

Science makes you do funny things. Perhaps I should restate that and say that the pursuit of science makes you do funny things. For instance, this morning I accidentally stole someone's coffee. I line jumped for a soy latte in the morning. I felt really bad about it, but the lady whose coffee I stole was really nice about the whole ordeal and nearly gave me a hug. It turns out that I need more sleep.

I spend an awful lot of time complaining about grad school and how little sleep I get and how much work it is, but I don't think I've ever explained what it is that I do. It turns out that I'm a babyastronomer and I study the oldest stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Now what would possess me to make me want to do something so random? You see, we can learn about the early universe by studying these stars. Specifically, I study the chemical abundances of these stars. My chemistry lab doesn't require goggles and a lab coat, but rather is found in the halo of the galaxy.

from astronomy online

It turns out that carbon is found in more places than just your pencils and the burgers you left on the grill too long. It's also found in the atmospheres of stars.

And that's enough science for one post. Perhaps more later. Ordinarily, I'd append a totally non sequitur recipe at the end of this, but I haven't been cooking lately. I have a committee meeting on April 1 (where I'll be the fool) and I'll have to pass a defense (which is going to suck) in order to not get kicked out of my graduate program. This means that I can either starve or let Colby cook... and let me say that sometimes starvation is a better alternative. ;)

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