What is a feather?

Yes, I enjoy birdwatching but no, this is not some ornitho-existential question on the existence of birds. I just returned from the National ACS conference in San Diego, where I spoke about my feather-chem project. As this was the first time I’ve talked extensively about the project to someone who wasn’t a student or my wife, I realized there are still a number of concepts that I take for granted. One of those is related to the feather microcontroller development board created by Adafruit. Here is their 3-minute video introducing the product line:

I decided to use a feather microcontroller for my instrumental methods project because of the advanced microcontrollers used, the diversity of featherwings (and you know what those are because you watched the video, right?), and the small form factor which makes prototyping and creating custom featherwings pretty cheap. Plus, “feather” can be spelled with chemical symbols from the periodic table, which is something I like to do. That’s why you’ll see my project called FeAtHEr-Cm.

Now that you know what a feather is, head on over to the documentation for my project and learn a bit more about how I’m using feathers.

Promotion time

After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, we were able to bring Judo back to SUNY Brockport this semester. It did involve limiting membership to those who were willing to show proof of vaccination and wear masks during the workout. Nonetheless, we had a core group of students and community members who were just itching to get back on the tatami.

This semester was especially noteworthy for me. As the faculty advisor for the Brockport Judo club and assistant instructor, I had the honor of awarding my first students with their yellow belts. Congratulations to Glen and Jo for their hard work during the semester. I’m looking forward to more training sessions!

Glen (left) and Jo (right) just started Judo this semester, and have progressed very nicely in the sport.

Mandy at night

Rozenn and I went to the SUNY Brockport choir performance the other night; it was very enjoyable. Afterwards, we walked by the department to see what Mandy (the LED periodic table you can speak to) was up to. Still as bright as ever. It makes me wonder how many students walking the campus at night look up to my office and wonder what the heck is going on?

Happy Thanksgiving, 2021

This year, we decided to try something a little different. I was a bit bored with our traditional fixing so we went with (almost) all new sides. To top it off, we even decided to make it a vegetarian meal.

The main dish course (which is squished to the side) is a caramelized onion and squash tart. Sides include (clockwise from the tart): Brussels sprouts with mostarda, brown butter mushroom pilaf, apple and fennel stuffing, broccoli quinoa salad and my traditional shaped dinner rolls, served with a side of black garlic gravy. Not shown are the apple pie – since it’s still in the oven – and the pumpkin pie – because that never lasts long enough for a photo.

Wishing all(!) of you a very happy holiday.