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Category → 2008 Spring National Meeting

A Little Night Music

Exactly one week ago today, I was at the ACS national neeting, trolling the convention center in New Orleans for interesting talks in the Organic Division, when I chanced upon an unassuming stack of black-and-white photocopied fliers. They promised both music and refreshments at that night’s joint poster session with the Medicinal Division. I like music and refreshments, so I stuffed the flier into my bag.

It should come as no surprise to you that chemists also like music and refreshments. Long after the last poster was lovingly rolled into its case, they were tapping and dancing along to the Zydepunks, who I think were the best example of interdisciplinarity at the meeting.
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Leaving The Big Easy = Not Easy

I’m sitting in the airport, waiting for my flight, hence my current state of blogorrhea (two back-to-back posts!). At least one of C&EN’s reporters got bumped from an American Airlines flight out of New Orleans yesterday. I’m flying US Airways this afternoon, so keep your fingers crossed for me. Safe (and on-time) travels to everyone, especially to the Nature team.

I feel like I’m leaving on a high note–last night, I was trading stories about the meeting with chemists and music lovers as the joint ORGN-MEDI poster session wound down and the Zydepunks kept on playing their unique blend of folk/punk music. I’d say they were good; they had more than a few chemists playing the air drums in the convention center when they thought nobody was looking. Expect a more detailed post (with pictures!) about this soon, where I do my best to pretend I write for Rolling Stone or Q Magazine.

The low point? Feeling more than a little guilty that I spent five days here and stayed exclusively in the nice, clean, touristy part of the city, pushing the gritty reality (see here and here) to the back of my mind.

Philly’s got next, but because we have a permanent blog now, I don’t have to say “see you in Philadelphia.” Awesome.

Chewing The Fat About Antibiotics, Cancer

It’s Thursday, and the folks who cleared out of the New Orleans convention center early missed out on a great set of talks in the MEDI division about targeting fatty acid biosynthesis for antibacterial, anticancer, and other pharmaceutical applications.

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Six Degrees Of C&EN

As was mentioned in Susan’s post, there was a bit of Hollywood in town during the spring meeting. I also happened upon several trailers full of film equipment during a stroll down Decatur street on Tuesday night and thought I’d fill readers in on a secret C&EN connection to the New Orleans movie action. C&EN Senior Correspondent Ann Thayer’s brother and sister-in-law have been down in the Big Easy for several months working on “12 Rounds,” an action flick being directed by Renny Harlin.

Ann’s sister-in-law says their crew was shooting “car running shots” through the central business district on Tuesday night, but there are now five other movies filming in town, including one that has made its home base on Decatur. If anyone stopped to ask any of the crews what they’re working on, give us a shout in the comments.

Preparations: Medical, Mystical, And Logistical

Earlier today, I decided to follow Lisa’s suggestion and visit the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. After Linda’s awesome voodoo post, I got the impression that pictures of musty hand-labeled vessels of liniment and snake oil would appeal to C&ENtral Science readers.

This is the door to the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. It has ornate and nicely timeworn handles. It also was locked when I got there.

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Nothing Like The First Time

For graduate students, attending an ACS National meeting for the first (or second time) can be a bit overwhelming.

Throughout the afternoon on Tuesday, associate editor Linda Wang and I enjoyed pouncing on unsuspecting grad students to ask them if they had experienced anything weird or surprising while attending the events here in New Orleans. I did the interviewing while Linda snapped these photos. Here are some of our favorite responses:

Following the Women Chemist Committee’s luncheon, Penny Neisen Roufs and Maria Deslandes from Case Western Reserve University shared that they accidentally stumbled onto a movie set while walking to Kinko’s to print Roufs’s poster. (A WCC/Eli Lilly & Co. Travel Grant recipient, Roufs presented a paper and poster under the Division of Organic Chemistry.) They regret not asking about the title of the movie as they were being quickly escorted off the set, which featured period costumes from the 1920s. (Others mentioned having seen the set as it moved throughout the city this week.)

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Saying It Loud And Proud

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The chemistry t-shirts were out in full effect in New Orleans. We saw everything from the old school, straight-up periodic table, to the creative (and occasionally more risqué) student association shirts, to a professor who’s spelled his name out in peptides. For those who appear in the slide show, thanks for being so accommodating when a crazy lady ran up behind you and asked to take your picture. For those walking around with shirts that they’re particularly proud of, give us a shout. Who knows, we might come looking for you. We’re going to try to update the slide show as the meeting winds down.

Top 5 For Wednesday

A few things we’re excited to see and do today…

1. Get over to the expo, ’cause it’s your last chance to pick up tchotchkes. (Morial Convention Center, 9am–1pm)

2. It’s also your last chance to catch part of the Cotton Memorial symposium. (9–12:30pm, Morial Convention Center, Room R02)

3. Self-healing polymers. Cool. (9–11:35am, Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Grand Salon 7)

4. Hydrate after a night on Bourbon Street: amid all the alternative energy hype, learn how new fuel sources might impact water supply. (1:30–4:50pm, Morial Convention Center, Room 236)

5. Start planning your postmeeting trip to the Tabasco factory in Avery Island, La. Acetic acid at its finest.