Monday, November 28, 2011


Well Monday morning is here - its freezing!

My plans for the week have been thrown in the air with the news that my brother broke his ankle playing football yesterday. Some @&#%* who he calls a friend tackled him during a football match. What's wrong with that? he tackled him hard enough, and with studs showing, that it ripped his sock and made him bleed. My brother being who he is tried to carry on playing afterwards as well!

I knew it wasn't going to be good when my mum told me my dad was taking him to the hospital (it has to be bad for my dad to do that!) and after much waiting it was confirmed last night that he'd broken his ankle. Thankfully sounds like just a crack but it looks like 6 weeks in plaster anyway! Not what he needs when he has potential of getting picked up by our local professional team this season...

Anyway - once I've done what I need to do in labs I'm going home. Not sure how long for exactly, but my parents won't be able to get time off work (think that was all used up getting me to the hospital and back lots of times over the summer!) so I think he might need a hand!

Not that I'll be much use in the hand department (we're not doing well in our family are we?). Pain in my arm seems to be getting worse not better, it's not good when you can't sleep despite being maxed out on your painkillers, but we'll see what the doctors say this week (assuming I'm organised enough to ring up to sort out the appointment anyway!)

Off to labs I go...

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Have had 2 more turbo sessions since my last post. Think the cellar is going to be slowly decorated around the bike - need to find some more things to stick on the wall I think!

My Friday night "ride" was once again quite enjoyable - a reasonable mix of spinning along and doing a few sprint interval type things to keep it interesting. Last night's on the other hand was less good. I just wasn't really feeling it, managed about 40 minutes on the bike but much of that was me sitting and not doing anything - I think it was just down to a combination of general tiredness, my arm being sore from lots of writing all day and legs not being fully recovered from the day before!

I was going to have a few days off anyway, turbo training seems a whole lot less appealing after a 9-5 Monday or a 9-6 Tuesday at uni! So will be back to it mid-week. Seeing yet another doctor about my arm this week too, so who knows - maybe they'll be helpful!

My big news of the week is that I'm now officially a final year chemistry student! I had my meeting with my tutor, he didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know but it was good to talk it over. The general gist of the meeting was that I'm academically capable of doing 4th year and getting a good classification at the end of it (always nice to be told that!), but if I don't want to work in chemistry, or more specifically in research there's not necessarily a lot to be gained from having a masters. If I thought I'd enjoy it I'd probably do it anyway, but I'm pretty sure I won't, and at any rate having a year off might fun! Well I say fun, I intend to work through most of it so I can have money!

On the subject of work I've been very busy this weekend catching up on uni work, still way too much to do but I've decided to not do any more writing this weekend which rather limits what I can do! The main work I've been doing is some coursework from our statistical thermodynamics module. It took me ages to get to grips with it and work out what I was actually supposed to be doing, but now I have I'm really getting into it! I'm not convinced that I've done it all right (I've got a few odd results out the end to say the least), but I intend to effectively do the coursework twice so I can see if I get consistent answers. The thermodynamics and science side of it is quite interesting, but I've oddly been enjoying the data analysis even more - finding the high temperature limits has consisted of just running the software for multiple temperatures and analysing the results - I got a bit too excited and made a spreadsheet to run the calculations for me with the numbers that the software spits out, needless to say I did it for *a lot* of temperatures in some sort of attempt to get an accurate results! I feel I may be suited for some sort of part time job in data entry...

Christmas shopping has also began this weekend, with the aid of the internet I've bought presents for nearly everyone that I wanted too, just a couple of difficult to buy for people left. Opted to not go mad this year (student budget an all that!), so I've mainly gone for small novelty items - should make Christmas day in my house fun though! Hoping I might get a few similar things in return, I think this is the first year that there's nothing I really want - so just some little fun things will be fine with me (chocolate is always welcome too!). That said there are a few bike-related things that I want, my parents have said they won't buy me any bike things though so hopefully I'll have enough money to treat myself :P

I appear to have done a full circle and have managed to bring this back round to bikes - that's good because it's what I want to end on too! Having not left the house yesterday I though I should at least go to the shop today (I emerged with pizza, cake and a lego figure!), it may be a bit chilly outside but apart from that the weather is lovely - can't help but dream of whizzing through the trees, crunching leaves and emerging into the sunshine again. It's been so long since I've ridden off road I'm even looking forward to getting muddy on a bike again! (anyone that's ever ridden with me will know that mud is definitely something that I tolerate but generally avoid at all costs!).

My plans for the afternoon are rapidly turning into a bit of a snooze followed by watch the last F1 race of the season. Living the dream eh? ;-)

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend! Get out and ride if you can...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Well, this blog is called "The Universe, Life and Schrodinger's Cat" and (as anyone who's read any of my previous posts will know) a big part of life for me is bikes.

I worked in a bike shop before I started at university, and still do in the holidays and it was starting there that gave me the bug! On road and off, racing and just for fun. It's not just riding either - I'm far from being mechanically competent (although I am always learning things!) but I love looking at bikes too, I'm always looking at new frames, components and whole bikes - usually dreaming but occasionally buying!

Needless to say when, following my crash in a race, my couple of weeks off the bike turned into months I wasn't very happy (again, anyone who reads this blog will know that!). I made the decision that it wasn't worth turbo training for months on end, with no idea when I'd be on the bike (if I needed more surgery it'd be at least Easter before I could ride again), and I didn't want cycling to become a chore.

As it would now appear I've have thankfully dodged the 2nd surgery bullet (even if my consultant suggests it in the spring I think I'd say no now...) getting back on the bike is getting closer. I was advised a couple of weeks ago that 3-6months would be a realistic timescale so as to avoid doing any damage (nerves are fragile things apparently), and just due to the amount of strength that I lost in the 4 months my arm was useless. Obviously I don't want to rush things, and risk causing problems but I'm aiming to definitely be riding again on the shorter side of the estimate!

The last 4 and a half months has most definitely had its ups and downs but I think I'm past the worst of the downs now, although I've hit a bit of a plateau again my arm and hand is hugely better than when I came back to uni and hopefully things will keep getting better and the big decisions that had been looming over me are very close to resolution now!

Getting back on the bike is certainly a big "up" to look forward to and I want to be able to hit the ground running, hopefully my confidence and skills will still be in tact when I'm back on the trails (or on the road) and I don't want it to be my fitness or power to be holding me back, and with some exciting plans for next summer I can't wait to get back going so the training has now begun!

I expect I shall get my self a heart rate monitor or something so that I can make the most out of my training time. Might try out the sufferfest videos too. Today's session (and I expect any future sessions until I sort out something a bit more specific) consisted of 45 minutes alternating between spinning along to muist at a reasonable pace and going all out sprinting until I thought my legs were going to fall off. That's about all I do on the turbo because otherwise it's just a bit dull!

Managed a (very) little bit of the session with both arms on the bars - 1 arm feels really unbalanced and no hands is fine in the most part but because I'm then sitting upright I'm pretty sure power output is reduced - definitely still got some healing and strengthening to go. I'll keep working on it, don't worry - I'll make sure I don't overdo. It hurt enough from the small bit I did today (although not quite as much as my legs so I expect its a good thing!), will just have to play it by ear and see how it goes...

I think a poster of the outdoors needs to go up on the wall to I can pretend I'm flying through the trees, could do with a fan downstairs as well! At present my training plans consist of nothing more than ride when I feel like it and don't do too much too soon, I think this is fine for now - I expect there'll be real plans at some point so I can make an attempt to win some races next year!

Still buzzing from being back in the saddle and getting pedalling. Have to love exercise endorphins!

Bye for now folks!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I had an awesome weekend at home - lots of good food, dog walking and quality time with my family, and I did almost no work which is always nice for a change!

That's the last time I'll be home until the Christmas holidays...24 days and counting!

Yesterday brought the start of labs proper. It didn't fail to deliver on the promised boredom, 4 hours to set up 24 vials with various saturated solutions in, and then a couple of hours of database hunting. This morning was 45 minutes to set up another 12 vials and yet more databasing. Not that I'm complaining the much - its simple to do, which is just as well as my current skills with a pipette and micro spatula leave much to be desired (thanks for that one nerves...). Did manage to stab myself 3 times with a needle whilst putting holes in vial lids (twice yesterday and once today) - enough blood from my finger today that the demonstrator thought I needed actual first aid (it looked a lot worse than it was!).

Don't know what we're going to do next week, even if we have crystals we can't use the x-ray crystallography machine (yay for maintenance) and we've already for information from 50+ compounds from the database so not much we can do from that side of it either, I guess we'll just start doing our write up and preparing for the presentation a bit ahead of time...

How's the arm? Sore! I think various bits of lab work and lots of writing, combined with various exercises is probably slightly too much to be doing but I shall persevere. It will get get better. I hope. Am doing my best to avoid painkillers where possible too. Still can't manage to put enough weight on it to ride my bike properly (also means climbing is still out of the question!), but I am now officially back in training. Had my first turbo session in a long time at the weekend, nothing too strenuous, a bit of a spin to get the legs going and a sprint at the end for good measure. Turbo trainer is now back with me at uni. Not sure our damp and mouldy cellar will do my lungs any good whilst training but it'll be good to get going again - means I can hit the ground running when I'm back on the bike for real!

Got my tutor meeting scheduled for Thursday, spoke to my parents about it all in a bit more detail over the weekend. I know they'll support me whatever but I think they're happy enough for me to continue with "the plan" because as long as I have a plan its good with the (they don't want me hanging about not dong anything though!). Will let you know how it goes!

My "things to do before I'm 25 list" (made in February) came up today, I've made a pitiful amount of's an update! :P

1. Meet my Mr. Right - can't say as there's be any progress what so ever to report here!

2. Get a piano (or keyboard!) and learn to play properly this time - or here, this may be one for when I have somewhere to put a piano...

3. Stand inside the Arctic Circle - nope, no progress here either, watching Frozen Planet on the BBC has made me want to even more though

4. Visit somewhere on the other side of the equator: - I wish...

5. Climb the highest 10 “mountains” in England, Scotland and Wales again no, but I have now passed my grade 2 training with Ramsoc, which means I can read a map (and am a bit more confident in doing so), so this one should be able to happen soon (especially as rambling can be done without the full use of arms!)

6. Achieve a podium in a cycling race - gutted. How close did I get to that one? Well...I only made it into a fraction of the 1st lap, but I would have got 2nd place! Hopefully motivation to train hard over the winter and get racing again next season!

7. Get a photo I’ve taken published in a magazine / online - not managed this either, have got a DSLR now though, and have taken some photos that I'm happy with, will keep going with this and hopefully one day it will happen!

8. Skydive or bungee jump (or both!) - may have failed to get this one done so far, definitely happening this summer though. I'm putting some money aside for a sky dive. Going to be awesome. Can't wait!

9. Learn to snowboard - This probably needs to wait until my arm stops hurting. Hopefully another one for the summer though!

10. OK, this isn't on the same level as the others but hey, it needs deciding - Organic, Physical or Inorganic? - Never got any closer to deciding, but looks like I don't need to any more...

11. Take a photo every day for a year - Will probably start this in the new year. 1 photo every day in 2012!

All in all been a bit of a fail so far, good thing I've still got 4 and a half years left to do it all! Lots of exciting things to look forward to at least!

Bye for now folks!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Well, its been a while since I've posted 2 days in a row but today has been one of those days where I feel I have to do an update!

Started off with a trip to the GP, not my GP that I saw mind you (although he was there so no idea why they gave me to someone else!), after much explaining of the situation (it was easier for me to tell her than for her to read the numerous pages that have been added to my medical records over the summer!). She came to the conclusion that I'm too complicated for her to have any idea whats going on, but it would appear that I'm more broken than they thought. I really am fed up of being broken now!

As she didn't really know what to do she's given me some new painkillers and referred me to someone up here who might know what to do, and to give me physio; I think she's a locum so she had no idea how long the wait will be, but hopefully it won't be too long. So although I've effectively taken a step back with my recovery, there is some sort fo progress!

I got very excited by new painkillers too - I put my chemist hat on for a while because they've given me (and by given I mean made me pay for!) ones I hadn't heard of before. Only need to take 1 tablet twice a day and far less worries about adverse effects (like co-codamol and the liver!), shall test them out tonight - hopefully they'll do the job!

I finally got around to speaking to my tutor today too, he's agreed to meet up next week so we can have a proper chat about what I want to do. This was important for me because it means I've taken a big step towards actually making a decision. I shall let you know how it goes next week!

My to-do list is still epically long, but I've been ticking things off this afternoon, hopefully I'll have time to tick a few more off while I'm home for the weekend. Have done all the urgent things though so all is good!

I ended my rather productive day by cooking some real food. Chopping/stirring etc is still proving a challenge to me (as is opening jars!), but I persevered and that may well have been the nicest food I've cooked in quite some time. Followed it up by finishing off a tub of Ben and Jerry's fossil fuel. Perfection!

I expect the next few days to be far less busy (but hopefully no less happy!).

Stay safe everyone!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Well it's the middle of the week and I've been doing far too much thinking so I thought I ought to write a blog!

First week of "labs" has been OK as we haven't actually stepped in the lab yet, just been doing the plan. I've just about written mine, don't want to submit it yet though as the deadline isn't until Friday afternoon and you never know what good idea someone in the group might come up with between now and then...

Starting in the lab first thing Monday morning, testing the solubility of our compounds (how exciting!) Well I don't suppose I'll e doing much other than "supervising" seen as I'm not anticipating my handling of anything which requires any dexterity will go well! Its not so bad because its not just me - down to 12 working hands out of 14 in the group thanks to a karate related broken hand!

Still ticking over with work for uni, have lost motivation for nearly all of it so its slow going (and things are starting to pile up), things are definitely starting to conspire against doing 4 years...

Having got all excited about my arm being on the mend I'm pretty sure I've overdone it in the last few days. It's giving me more grief now than it did even in the couple of weeks straight after surgery so I've gone back to minimal writing in lectures (to save it for all this work we've got!), and am off to the doctors tomorrow morning...

Yes, I've given up my only non-9am start this week to go to the doctors as I was keen to get in as soon possible. Not sure what they can do for me really, but I know if I don't go I'll be worrying about it all the time. I get the feeling some of it may be down to the physio I've been given being maybe a bit too challenging this early on (something that would I assume be picked up on if the hand therapists were seeing me again like my consultant wants them too!). Hopefully they'll come up with something to make it a bit easier for me...surely things should be getting better now? (or at least not getting worse!). I shall let you know how I get on!

In a far more happy place, I'm really looking forward to Friday, as soon as lectures are over I shall be heading home as its my dad's birthday on Saturday. Big family meal planned for Friday night - there'll be my parents, my brother and me as well as both sets of grandparents - having a carvery which is always a good excuse for eating lots!

Both sets of grandparents will undoubtedly attack me with the usual "do you know what you want to do yet?"s, I shall say no, as although I'm now more set on heading in a certain direction I don't want them to get their hopes up! I have now mentioned it to my parents, they were quite surprised - I was surprised by their surprise as I thought they might have seen it coming, but apparently not! I've heard nothing back from the various other people I've tried to organise work experience with, but I think they are quite busy people (as they are head's of department as well as being in charge of training type things), so I expect they have many e-mails so I'll wait a few more days before I give up hope on those ones!

Hopefully I'll pull myself out of my currently odd frame of mind - I seem to be flicking between almost bouncing of the wall with excitement and somewhere far less excitable and just generally a bit glum. Tomorrow is Thursday, which is nearly Friday so that should help. And Thursday is GSK lecture today, that's normally a good one for getting a bit inspired with chemistry. Organic stuff may not be my strong point (although I wish it was!), but there's something exciting about seeing how all the little things that we've been lectured in week after week for the last 2 and a half years actually all come together and really make a difference!

There we go, ended on a positive!

Actually one more thing - to the RSC - a toast sandwich? really?

Bye for now!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Today is Saturday. The weekend. Yay!

What with it being "reading week" our timetable was a bit depleted last week so managed to get pretty much up to date with lecture notes and stuff in the time that would have usually been spent in lectures. That means today I've finally got round to starting going over notes from the early lectures in the year in an attempt to learn things! Progress is slow to say the least. I'm writing this now because having spent the last 3 hours writing 3 (A5) pages on palladium chemistry my arm has entirely given up!

Having found out I got onto the work shadowing scheme, I am now in the process of sorting out doing some volunteering in the same place, they encourage everyone that get's onto the scheme to volunteer to do a project in their auditing department; having spoken to them about the various available projects it has the potential to be quite interesting (and of course is something to add to my CV!), unfortunately due to the nature of the organisation there is an awful lot of paperwork to get through first! Plenty of time to sort it out though so the organising will be put on the back burner for a while as Monday marks the start of 3rd year labs for me this year!

Much of 4th year is a research project, so labs this year will be the big factor in deciding whether I want to to do 3 or 4 years (no I still haven't decided, although I am getting close to making a decision now!), realistically I need to decide not long after Christmas because if I'm doing 4 years I need somewhere to live next year; this means this project will be the vital one in deciding my fate! The project my group and I will be doing is about the salen ligand, and how the coordination at the metal centre is dictated by both the metal and the ligand. We've got 1 week to plan the experiment, 3 weeks in the lab (with 1 and a half days of actual lab time each week) and then another week to do the write up and presentation. We don't officially start our planning until we have our first group meeting on Monday morning but I've already done a bit of thinking and research so I can go in armed with a few ideas (hopefully everyone else will have done the same).

My plan is to let this run for a couple of weeks, have more of a think and then go and speak to my tutor and see what he thinks. If I'm honest, I've already made my decision but I don't want to do anything about it in case its the "wrong" choice!

Back to today, the weather's been pretty good today (not that I've been outside), so in-between working there's been a lot of day dreaming going on. Yes bike related! As well as contemplating various possibilities for new bike builds (get a bursary from uni next month so some of that may well go on something shiny and new!), I've been planning some big rides, and some not so big ones too.

I'll have to play it by ear and see how it goes (I'm assuming I'll be able to ride sooner than the hospital have predicted but don't want to risk more damage/rush into it before I'm ready), but lots of turbo training over the Christmas holidays should get me back to some sort of fitness. Then it'll be a matter of testing the water and getting back on the bike outside! All being well 2012 will be a year full of cycling miles and races. And then I intend to use some of the Easter and/or summer holidays to do something big. Really big. Not sure exactly what yet (have a few options I'm considering) to have some fun but more importantly work hard and raise some money for charity. If anyone has any interest in joining me, let me know...

It's still early days and only November so more details on my riding plans shall come nearer the time!

Just thinking about all that has put a smile on my face, its far more exciting than the work I should probably be doing...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Well, lots of good things have happened in the last few days!

Monday you all know about (arm is fixing enough that I'll hopefully be avoiding any more surgery!); yesterday went basically as predicted - after measuring my grip strength (slightly improved but still only half what it should be!), and doing varying amounts of prodding and poking the hand therapist has given me a new exercise plan. She's said she only wants to see me once more (and not until the Christmas holidays), just to make sure I'm doing OK (typical NHS - pretty much everything is working, even if it's not working well so we're not going to help anymore!).

This means I'm now officially not bionic (although I have kept the bionic arm just in case I need it again!). After a day and a half I have to say I'm missing it - everything is that bit more difficult without it; someone asked me earlier what it feels like - its very hard to explain - the closest I could come to describing it was somewhere between it not feeling like my hand, and the feeling you get when your arm goes to sleep! Combining that with the various exercises I'm now having to do in an attempt to get it working as well as possible means I'm a bit sore and grumpy! I'd never have thought holding a 0.5kg weight would have been so difficult!

Counteracting my grumpiness - I've had more good news - heard back this morning - I've got onto the work placement thingy that I applied for, it's only for a week but it should be good. Really looking forward to it, and it starts the day after my 21st!

Still plodding along through uni, as the term has been going on the ratio of interesting to dull lectures has been sliding in the wrong direction. Still enough good ones to keep me going though (going to have to be lots of exciting lectures next week seen as labs are starting and that has the potential to be more than a little bit soul destroying...).

Its more than a little bit cold in the house (I think it'll have to snow before we can turn the heating on), so I expect the rest of my evening will be filled by hot chocolate and cake before I hide under the duvet for the night! Makes me wish I could hibernate...

Monday, November 7, 2011


Today finally came!

I was ridiculously nervous this morning, couldn't eat any breakfast and didn't know what to do with myself - ended up being more than half an hour early at the hospital! That was a mistake as they were running a bit late anyway, so I was sitting in the waiting room for nearly an hour (thankfully the Singletrack magazine on my phone kept me amused!)

I was expecting one of his long appointments, with lots of discussion but I was in and out in under 15 minutes. He determined that my nerve function has improved, and all my tendons are now working, all be it most of them not very well; this means I've avoided the need for more surgery (to be reviewed again in April) as there wouldn't be a huge amount of benefit from it, and its therefore not worth the risks of surgery. Fine by me. I think he was almost as happy as I was seen as much of my trouble started when he operated for the first time!

Crazy to think about - tomorrow marks 4 months to the day since I crashed and hurt my arm. They told me in A&E to expect to be back to normal within a fortnight! But hey, these things happens and I now have an impressive battle scar to show for it...

Off to hand therapy tomorrow (because they can't possibly give me 2 appointments on the same day!), saw a different hand therapist today so I know what they're going to say tomorrow - I'll have to carry on with my program of physio, with a few alterations to be worked out when I'm there, and work out when I should stop being bionic. I'll miss that...its been a part of me for a while now!

So that's me - I'm now in a very good mood and am bouncing off the walls! Should probably get on with some work (not that I've got *that* much to be getting on with), but instead I'm thinking about my bike! Consultant reckons I should be waiting at least 3 months to start riding properly again, probably closer to 6. Hopefully if I put a lot of effort in to the physio and what not I might make it back before that! After all got to get training for next summer!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I once again seem to have an awful lot of work to do, was hoping to avoid taking it home with me at the weekend but that's definitely not going to happen so I thought this would be an appropriate time to update here!

Nothing of any great excitement has really happened to me since the last time I wrote, and I shan't bore you with the details of my week - what I want to talk about is the Thunder and Lightening public lecture that was held in the chemistry department last night.

It wasn't anything to do with thunder and lightening, but an excuse for a couple of people from the department to set things on fire and make some loud bangs! Many of the demonstrations I'd seen before, on numerous occasions (although they still haven't lost their appeal), and some were new to me!

The lecture began in a nice relaxing manner with the classic luminol/hydrogen peroxide combination, and various other luminescent type reactions. Even this was enough to get the kids in the audience excited. Very quickly things ramped up - the burning of sugar (lovely smell of caramel!), and then burning more sugar, but this time with some Potassium Perchlorate to add some oxygen and spice it up a bit, same chemistry as the "Screaming Jelly Baby" but this was done on a slightly bigger scale!

It wasn't long until they broke out the liquid oxygen and the patented (maybe) "match on a stick", as well as some cotton wool, my friend and I knew exactly what was coming but were still amused by people waiting in the wings with the fire extinguishers!

There were a few more reactions, mainly involving fire, but we'd seen them before - although the giant barking dog still made me jump! There was also the making of "firework type devices" because legally they can't show us how to make fireworks...

Then it was onto the explosives! This had been done in a guest lecture type thing last year, but I wasn't there so all new to me. The effect of surface area on reaction rate was demonstrated by setting fire to some home made gun powder, and then to commercial gun powder (see - educational really!). There was the exploding of a tin can due to the build up of pressure from heat - that was quite a loud bang, although didn't make another dent in the ceiling next to the one from last year!

Next was a delicate set up. Spread out at the front were 3 bricks, each had a small pile of our old favourite potassium perchlorate on. Onto this was put a liberal helping of white phosphorous (disolved in something sulphur-y!), this was left while he did the next experiment, as it can start itself going. It didn't. Was expecting to be let down as they heated up some copper pipe to initiate the reaction. I can safely say I was not let down. Wow. They were the 3 loudest bangs I have ever heard (why did we sit near the front?!), there was an impressive amount of damage to the aluminium plates the mini explosions were one, but more impressive was the fact the final one managed to split a brick entirely in 2!

After that came the guns, he showed us a few different types of gun - and just how powerful it can be firing even "soft" things. This meant more impressive bangs (although perhaps slightly less exciting as you don't get to see any fire!). The finale was firing 2 guns which had blanks in, but also had something (didn't catch what) which flashed and burnt as it was fired so it looked a bit more spectacular than the other guns being fired!

That was it - my friend and I left the building, ears ringing, hearing not entirely intact (my ears were still hurting this morning!), but very big grins on our faces!

It's nice sometimes to be reminded of the fun aspects of chemistry! Was also really nice seeing the looks on the faces of the non-chemists, particularly the children as various things were being exploded. Hopefully they've been inspired to take up science!