I sat down to write a blog post yesterday, only to have my day derailed by two bombs exploding by the finish line of the Boston Marathon. An attack like yesterday's isn't just about harming and maiming as many people as possible as it did in killing three and injuring more than a hundred people. It also knocks the rest of us off our psychological tracks. I spent the rest of my afternoon distracted and glued to my computer searching for answers. Reasons. Rationalizations for what happened. More information. Always looking for more information. Judging by my Facebook and Twitter feeds, I wasn't alone.
Invariably, you think about 9/11. About where you were, what you were doing. This time was different. New York City felt close. This was my backyard. I've sat a countless number of times on the steps of the Boston Public Library. Had drinks at the Mandarin. The shock I was feeling wasn't the same as it was 11 years ago. It was the sobering realization that that thing you were quietly fearful of happening again...was happening. And maybe that it took this long.
I thought of my organic chemistry professor, who refused to cancel class just hours after the planes hit on 9/11. His rationale? "If we let them disrupt our lives, then they win and we lose." But I didn't have it in me to write what I had wanted to write yesterday. Even if I had my professor's resolve, it would have been lost in all of the din of yesterday's explosions.
Which is unfortunate, really, since it was a message of appreciation (unrelated to the bombings) that I had sat down to write. And when the smoke cleared from the explosions and victims were shuttled to hospitals, I started seeing that same spirit of appreciation as people were thanking the first responders, volunteers, doctors and nurses. Everyone who tended to the needs of the injured. Everyone who was opening their homes to runners and others who needed places to stay for the night. Thank you.
Here is what I wanted to say yesterday:
Earlier today, DM sent out a tweet thanking US taxpayers for funding science research:
Thank you, US taxpayer, for the ~$100 you are providing to the National Institutes of Health for basic and applied biomedical research
— Drug Monkey (@drugmonkeyblog) April 15, 2013
I was preparing cell culture media at the time and thought to myself, "$100? That just about pays for a case of powdered cell culture media that lasts me about 10-12 months." While buying it in powdered form means there's added labor in dissolving the media and sterilizing it, it's a hell of a lot more economical this way since it's about 1/10 the cost of premade liquid media (hey, I'm looking out for you, US taxpayer!). More importantly, it allows me to customize the media for my purposes (e.g. pH, other nutritive supplements, etc.).
$10 worth of cell culture media
Anyway, the media is used to grow cells derived from fruit flies (Drosophila) and has been instrumental for my research. So, let me take a moment and join DM in thanking you for your support!