Back to college and learning today, which was in some ways a welcome relief (ordered days, timetable, properly into the new year so no reason for various professionals to not be doing what they’re meant to be doing and getting back to us…distraction, seeing my friends) and in some ways a pain in the head.
My New Year’s Resolution hasn’t gone so well (in fact, my resolution has almost gone completely) and I’ve not been getting to bed on time. I think I probably just need to give it more of a chance, but after a day when I accidentally imbibed caffiene quite late in the evening, the next day when a friend needed some late-night support and a day when I really couldn’t be bothered to make it work, it’s all gone a bit downhill. I’m also a little fed up of the laying-there-thinking-about-being-asleep stuff, which hasn’t been a problem at 2.30/3am.
Still, the laying in bed awake has at least given rise to some interesting thoughts. Last night’s was about how the main characters in Star Trek Voyager have names which in some way either phonetically or heritage-inally reflect their personality. That was a fun think for a while. Majorly geeky, but who’s watching?
This morning (on the back of that late night) was straight into science class and trying to get my head around the acid dissociation constant. For any chemists/learned people out there, I understand that this is probably a piece of cake, but I have a serious problem with ‘worked examples’ which suddenly introduce numbers for no apparent reason and then proceed to play with them. It’s also not sunk in yet that square brackets, when surrounding a chemical formula, denote the concentration of said element(s). It’s a whole nother language, people.
I did at least manage to get my brain to understand that a weak acid is so called because it has low dissociation of hydrogen ions (due to strong bonds between elements) and a strong acid is so called because it has high dissociation of hydrogen ions (due to weak bonds between elements). For anyone who doesn’t get that, dissociation is when the hydrogen ions fly off on their own in an aqueous solution and then are available to burn, corrode and generally cause chaos. Ergo you can put your hands into strongly bonded, weak acids like table vinegar, and not get hurt, but you’d be wise to resist dunking a digit in any nitric acid you might have lying around.
I’d also like to urge you (if you’re so inclined) to take a moment to sign a petition to sign this Change.org petition to seek co-operation from the Hong Kong SAR Government to crack down on the horrendous practice that is shark-finning and lead the way by agreeing not to serve shark-fin soup at official functions. FYI, sharks are often targetted by those who are only able to scratch a living, who are bound by complicated policies which mean that the shark is often hauled aboard, has its fins cut off whilst still alive, then is thrown back to drown. The consistent targetting of apex predators is causing irreparable damage to marine ecosystems around the world. Shark fin soup has no nutritional value and serves as a status symbol, costing from around $120 a bowl in some places.
I’ll end on a more positive, musical note, with two of my current YouTube most-played tracks of late. Enjoy.
The wonderful Eddie Floyd
And the incomparable Charles Wright (with added extra of a cute video)