My fractured attention

So I consented to join the 21st century recently when I bought an iPod Touch 4 (the iPhone without the phone). I still don’t have a cell phone, but since I am in 2 places the vast majority of the time (at home, where there is a phone already and at work where the same applies) there has never really been much of a need. But the summary of this rambling introductory paragraph is that I had more spare time and I have been using it learning about my new tool. Ahem.

One of the things it has allowed me to get back into using is Twitter, after an extended hiatus. Aha, say all my readers, now we really know where the time went! I quickly remembered both why I like Twitter and why I stopped following it: such a mass of chatter on all kinds of subjects that you might never have considered. And so much you can never keep up with it all.

Well, first thing I did was cut down my list of follows. I could certainly be more ruthless here, but the rule of thumb is to unfollow anyone who’s tweets you just skip over. Retweets and similar commentary will lead you away from your follows regularly but concentrate on your main interests and if someone is not holding that, then they should be cut.

I really like that I can get little snippets of more general interest science without devoting a lot of time to finding them. I can get notes of the business part of the pharmaceutical industry without going too in-depth – business news tends to make me glaze over.

But other than following the unintelligible ramblings of the internet in 140 characters or less and of course refining my Angry Bird technique, I did go looking for more useful stuff. The list of apps I found was very long indeed – have a browse here – but my cursory look found one showing Named Reactions (my Achilles Heel – I generally know the reaction but only occasionally the scientist that it got named for) and ChemJobber shared that he liked a drawing app called Chirys Draw. I just started playing around with ChemSpider and ChemMobi. And then there is the PeakTrak app for controlling your Isco on your device. All I need now is my Isco connected to the WiFi. Anyone tried this out? Any other recommendations?

I shall leave this now with two things I found in my wanderings, the Chemistry Blog’s intriguing Sigma-Aldrich vending machine and pharmaceutical word play on XKCD which really brings home the bacon.

Edit: comments on the vending machine on Reddit. Seems it is real, after all.

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