Science in the elevator

Him: My biggest problem now, something I have been struggling with for weeks, I just can’t get anything done while this continues.
Her: Oh, my, so is it pretty serious?
Him: I just can’t deal with anything and I’m loosing sleep…
Her: How bad is it, really?
Him: They just won’t uptake cobalt. They just won’t. And it’s been weeks, you know.
Her: Yeah, I hear ya.
—overheard in the elevator just now.

I think about this often, about the slight alienation of us—scientists with a PhD or MD after their name; or—my favorite—“Dr.” in front of it. We represent less than 4% of the nation here in the US—1 in 25 you meet. In the world, I heard, we are under a percent—less than 1 in a 100. Note, my source on this is which is far from a reputable; but, I digress. Being a “normal” person, when I hear a young male, in his late twenties, talking to a young attractive female, I assume that he was talking about some personal emotional dilemma. He was probably looking for empathy on some illness or a breakup or something similar, right? What did you think about when you read that quote? I have to admit that for me “cobalt” came as a surprise. I did, however, immediately remember that the elevator is taking us to the fifth floor which we share with a group of biologists focused on some developmental bio-stuff-that-I-don’t-understand and they have fish tanks with sea urchins, receiving injections. Science, you know.

Long ago I’ve stopped talking about high energy electron deceleration in dense mediums at bars. I don’t possess the natural instinct to discuss my work in words similar to my favorite I fucking love science! blog, with the article on penis fractures being prominently features on their front page as I am typing this text. I do talk about interesting new technology advancements with the external world but my work remains largely uncovered by my conversations with friends. Just like the internal workings of the Philadelphia Orchestra in my conversations with my friend who is a musician there—for him it’s just a job that is over the moment he puts down his trumpet. For me it would be alien but exciting to hear about the inner workings of a large classical music orchestra; and for this reason I’ve decided to start this here blog.  I love writing and keep a few journals, not to mention all the technical writing I do for living; and here I am free to use em dashes, semicolons, and other glyphs as I like. I plan to mostly focus my writing on scientific endeavors and I hope to see some interaction with the readers. I am more than happy to answer questions so please don’t hesitate to email me at or just leave a comment here.