Nerds at the Park
When a bunch of chemistry geeks get together you might expect the periodic table of elements to get dragged into casual conversations and redox reactions to be discussed as if they were the flavor of the week. Perhaps your assumptions aren’t too far off but you may well be surprised by what else goes on when chemists gather. We don’t just enthusiastically gossip about the latest trends in silicones and quaternary ammonium compounds, as intriguing as those topics might be. Merely chatting about the functions of keratin is not enough for us; we scientists like to grab life by its keratin covered bones.
Last week Jason and I spent a couple days in Park City with my chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. Admittedly, there was some hardcore nerdery involved. During the seminar portion of our meeting we learned how to develop green actives that target cell receptors. Additionally, one of our presenters, Chris Kilham the medicine hunter, talked about sustainable harvesting practices in the Amazon. You may have seen Chris featured on The Dr. Oz Show or Fox News. Yes, we mingle with the famous.
After filling our heads with data we were off to Gorgoza Park to let our butts soak up the soggy snow. It was an incredibly pleasant afternoon. Most of our tubing group just wore light jackets or skipped jackets altogether. We geeks linked our tubes in a variety of geometric configurations as we traveled downhill at an accelerated velocity. Wahoo!
That night Jason and I headed off on our own to sample Reef’s Restaurant. We’ve long wanted to try their Middle-Eastern cuisine. Yum! The food there was just the right mix of spicy and surprising.
We couldn’t have asked for better weather the next day when we hit the slopes at Canyons. With a high near 57 degrees Jason didn’t even bother wearing more than a thin hoodie. I did sport my coat but mostly for its plethora of pockets; I unzipped everything to allow for massive air circulation. We hadn’t been to Canyons for a few years and I have to say that it was hugely gratifying to go on some of the runs that I distinctly remember having difficulties navigating before only to find their terrain super easy now. Yes, I suck less!
What a nice mini-excursion: celebrity speakers, fun snow activities, and warm spring sunshine. Geeks know how to have a good time, just ask anyone who’s attended a D&D party in their friend’s mother’s basement.