Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Running ragged...

I'm just now getting to a post I've had in my head since Sunday.  That's lame, but things have been rolling fast for the last several days.  It's been so pathetic that during the morning drive to work with the Mr., we had to itemize our evening. 

I've been kept busy ironing out issues with my anaerobic cultures.  Those who have worked with them know and understand the suckiness that goes with that...those who haven't worked with anaerobes will continue to live on in ignorant bliss. I was boiling media and dealing with syringes full of sodium sulfide, I was thinking this was FAR better than sitting next to Mouth-Breather-Boy with severe halitosis in the lab meeting for a solid hour.  I will not complain about making anaerobic media again.  Halitosis Mouth-Breather-Boy?  Or stinky anaerobic media?  Pick your level of hell. 

But on to my original idea for the post.  Cooking.
I love this.  You can buy this apron at  LOVE this comic.  Seriously.  Go to the beginning and kill a day reading up to what's current.  =)

In my household (again, it's just me, the Mr., and the spoiled rotten Cat), we love to cook.  Well, not the cat, though if we let him I'm sure he'd want to.  The Mr. and I take turns cooking though. feels like everything that I make that he likes, has onions in it.  Loads of 'em.  I'm one of the afflicted that if I make one slice into a raw onion, I'm in pain and crying my eyes out. 

I remember I was in Organic Chemistry II when my professor got to sulfenic acids, and in particular syn-propanethial-S-oxide which is released when you slice onions.  I loved that class...he was always telling us fascinating tidbits about every day organic chemistry.  I also loved his relaxed pace as he wrote out every equation on the chalkboard while we scribbled frantically to write everything down.  But I digress...

I loath the painful side of chopping onions, so I had an idea.  I won't claim originality on this.  Around 2007 I had a short-lived blog known as 1420Mhz, and on my blog roll was a fellow undergrad's blog known as 90%true or something.  (I should probably look that up.)  On one post, he was chopping onions with his lab goggles on.  I remember thinking at the time, "THAT is awesome...."  
So....during the most recent move from one apartment to another in the city my MRU is in...I stumbled across an old pair of lab goggles.  Normally I had some super awesome sleek lab glasses that I loved and need to find another pair of, but one day I forgot them, and bought the big bulky goggles out of necessity (have them or lose points on my lab grade).  Turns out that day I didn't even need them, and threw them in my backpack.
And this summer I found them again...and now they are awesomely used in my kitchen.  Technically, since they were never used in a lab that's ok.  
I even hang them up in the cupboard.  
The Mr. usually laughs at me for wearing them, but chopping onions is bliss.  I was preparing meatloaf without a care in the world, and I thought that this should be shared.  It's a very odd sensation to smell the onions without your eyes watering.  The smell almost triggers a Pavlovian wincing of the eyes, but after a while it's nothing but awesome.  I highly recommend it.  Just make sure you use them early in the day, and not ~1hr before entertaining:  those who have worn them know the super stupid outline imprinted on your face lingers after your lab class for at least 30 minutes. 


  1. What a great idea. I too love it when organic chemistry is useful in everyday life.

    For those of you with out goggles, cutting onions on a wet cutting board also helps a lot, since the sulfenic acid released from onions reacts with water (either the water on your eye or on the cutting board- you choose).

    Nice blog, I like the hyperbole pic at the top :)

  2. Thanks for the tip. I've heard rubbing lemon juice over the cutting board helps, but I also know that I can look at cut onions and my eyes react.

  3. After I read this, I had to try it. IT WORKS!!!! Granted, I used my steampunk goggles, but same effect.

  4. They actually make onion goggles. In pink, even!

    Really, though, I do it the really easy way: "HEY KYLE CHOP THE ONIONS!"

  5. Wow, I had no idea! It makes sense though.