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MIT student blogger Paul B. '11

A Brief Taste of Orgo by Paul B. '11

Basically, Sam Maurer is a prophet.

In today’s 5.12 lecture (in English, that’s organic chemistry), I couldn’t help but chuckle when I picked up the notes outlining the topics scheduled to be covered in the discussion. The list went something like this:

Outline for Today’s Lecture

  • Oxidation Reactions of Alkenes
    • Dihydroxylation
    • Ozonolysis
  • The Chemistry of Free Radicals
  • Addition of Radicals to Alkenes

Yes, you read that right. Ozonolysis.

And I didn’t even really choose to learn about it. It just sort of happened.

In case you were curious, ozonolysis is actually a lot more straightforward than the Wikipedia article would let on. Basically, you take a double bond and some fresh ozone, rip the bond in half to make two new double bonds, stick an oxygen on the vacant end of each double bond – and voila, ozonolysis. There’s much more going on than that, of course – including a lot of oxygens shuffling around and some funky interactions with reducing agents – but that’s the bottom line.

Works for me.

In other news, since I last posted, I have both seen the Brawl hack with my own eyes and engaged in more than my fair share of Brawl matches. It goes without saying that both the hack and the game are even more awesome than mere words can describe. Regarding Brawl specifically, although Pikachu remains my favorite classic character, I’ve found that I also fare pretty well as Ike. Perhaps you’ll disagree, but I have to say that the Smash Balls/Final Smashes are pretty ridiculously overpowered, so much so that my fraternity usually just disables them when we play. How about you guys? Who are your favorite characters?

Finally, have I mentioned lately how much I love xkcd? If you’re still looking for something to take your mind off of decisions and don’t happen to have Brawl, you should go read it. Seriously. Your brain will thank you.

25 responses to “A Brief Taste of Orgo”

  1. Michelle L. says:

    I love Kirby!! I’ve stuck by that little pink dude from when I had Nintendo 64 and one of the really old super smash brothers games smile

  2. Ryan says:

    I feel like a stalker…FIRST again!

  3. Ryan says:

    And yes, that was a very funny comic…I do believe I am becoming and xkcd fan…at least when they are posted on the blogs…

  4. Anon Ymous says:

    I would have to say that I agree
    The smash balls are uber-powerful. I mean just look at Snake. With his powerball, he gets to go offscreen for what I believe the rest of the match (I have not played Brawl yet) and he gets unlimited shots!
    And then 3 clones of Fox? Ridiculous.
    I believe some smashballs are really overdone, while others are just….wimpy compared to the others

    Can’t wait till Saturday!

  5. Laser says:


    Do you have your own wii? If so, I want your brawl code!

    My fave is Meta Knight so far. But Sonic is REALLY fun.

  6. Laser says:

    Nope, not second lol.

    And yes, Final Smashes are awesomely over-powerful, but I think its a necesary evil smile.

  7. Alvin says:

    Haha, today’s lecture was one of my favorite yet. I actually understood most of what was going on.

    Lucky you! I haven’t had a chance to play Brawl yet. I’ll have to get back to you about my favorite character, but my favorite in Melee is Marth. We ought to play sometime, when you’re here in Simmons.

  8. Craig says:

    Seriously, Paul, are you a clone of me????
    XKCD, Smash, Bioengineering….all the same.
    (Except I play as Yoshi)

  9. Anonymous says:

    I love xkcd! I gave my physics teacher this comic and he cracked up. Today’s comic made me laugh quite hard, and actually succeeded in taking my mind off the number 2 DAYS, 11 HOURS, AND 21 MINUTES.

  10. Anonymous says:

    5.12 was pretty amazing today. After all of what seemed to be pointless stuff for the past few weeks (week? I think I’ve lost track of time), we got a list of reactions, and it was pretty cool to know that we can make all of these cool things with the mechanisms we’ve learned, as complicated as a few of them can be.

    As for final smashes, I feel that part of the fun is in trying to knock it out of whoever has it, evading death almost. The Fox “clones” aren’t clones in the same way it was in the previous two games. Falco is my favorite of the three, with Marth being my other favorite character.

  11. bunny says:

    Fortunately, I’m successfully keeping my mind off decisions without playing Brawl. On the other hand, this is because I have so much homework that I haven’t really slept in about 2 weeks x.x *runs off to start a pset due in 2 hours, then finish yet another paper*

  12. Anonymous says:


    He only gets 2 rounds of 6 shots, they aren’t super-powerful unless you have high damage, and there is a limited time frame in which to use those shots. Sure, the smash balls are powerful, but I like that element of chance that is added to the game!

    I also really enjoy lots and lots of items. Personally, I think the tournament settings get kind of… boring. No items, limited stages… Like I said, I like elements of chance in the game. Shake things up a bit, y’know?

  13. asm says:

    Further testament to the fact that Sam is indeed a deity. wink

    I actually lol’d at that xkcd comic — xkcd is awesome, and I find most of it very funny, but I usually don’t find myself succumbing to uncontrollable laughter. I was at school too, and the guy next to me gave me a strange look…

    The most recent one was also amazing.

  14. Paul says:

    Laser – Sorry, I don’t have my own Wii (yet) – I just use my fraternity’s for the most part, although there’s a few people in Simmons with Brawl as well.

    Alvin – Just knock on my door sometime, you know where I live. wink At some point I need to indoctrinate, I mean introduce you to the glory that is Starcraft…

    Anon #1 – That’s a classic, definitely. I’m considering showing this one to my 8.022 prof… wink

    Regarding Brawl in general, good points made by all. The Pokemon Trainer’s Final Smash is absolutely hilarious (it’s super effective!), but some are just incredibly annoying (Lucas comes to mind). It’s still an interesting change, though. We’ll see if it sticks around for the next incarnation of Smash. wink

  15. KelseyK says:

    xkcd is pretty much the most amazing comic in existence.

  16. Hank R. says:

    “WE LIKE IKE!”

    I’m more of a classic character person myself, but Metaknight, played right, is ridiculously overpowered as he can basically hit in front and behind him at the same time, since he’s so fast.

    A thing my hall does is set the match to slow motion, and maybe set it to heavy gravity.

    Sonic’s “You’re too slow” taunt is my favorite, especially in slow motion.

    The Final Smashes are ridiculous, but we leave them in.

    A guy on my hall was playing as Sonic, and somebody else was using Snake’s Final Smash, and kept trying to hit Sonic, and missing.

    “Listen, I’m the fastest hedgehog alive, just stop trying.”

    I wasn’t ready for the dynamic-ness of the levels at all, however.

  17. Sam says:

    Diddy Kong is seriously so amazing that he makes me cry. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for all my life.

  18. Anon says:

    Ike is a BEAST. My second favorite character next to Wolf, who is like a speedy fox on steroids, though I don’t like that they have so many characters who are essentially the same. Lucas and Ness and Fox, Falco, and Wolf are the ones that come to mind.

    And the super smashes are incredibly overpowered. But it is funny when someone gets the smash and then misses with it.

  19. Aditi says:

    I *heart* xkcd! =)

    I have a chem exam tomorrow and I have to leanrn ozonolysis and a bazillion other things.
    I quite like ozonolysis though =D

  20. Krypton says:

    So pwetty.

  21. Shruthi says:

    I am sure that it would be another year till Brawl even gets a mention in India. And I’ve never played Starcraft either :D Is it good? :D

  22. Anonymous says:

    Sonic definitely is better than people make him out to be even though he IS ridiculously fast. Olimar and Pokemon Trainer are also fun to play, but I have to admit the worst part about that game was the schizophrenic storyline that is Subspace Emissary. Not to mention the Great Maze was superfluous to say the least…

  23. OmarA says:

    I still need to play brawl…I’m so behind the times.

  24. Karen says:

    My XKCD-inclined friends have a tendancy to nerd-snipe me:

    “Karen, can you help me with this calc problem?”
    “No problem!”

    *twenty minutes later*

    “…we were supposed to be in class ten minutes ago.”
    “Shh, I just have to solve for C and I’m done.”

    Another nice distraction from decisions is to have one of your MIT ’11 friends explain Monday’s XKCD to you. Apparently I now stand a far better chance of admission that I understand why the drivemaker’s kilobyte is only 908 bytes smile

  25. maithreyi says:

    haha. i loveeee brawl! =)