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OCTOBER 2020 Edition

‘Sup Spooky Season!

Hello Chemists! πŸ‘»πŸŽƒ

Welcome to the October issue of our newsletter! We hope you enjoyed our September 2020 issue and that you’ll have just as much fun reading this one!

Quarantine Games

How have you been loving our Quarantine Games?

Our next event is coming up soon! Book off the evening of October 28th to join your chem pals in playing City, Country, River and Boggle!

Keep an eye out for the Facebook event!

Quarantine Clues

Throughout each issue of CUSSwords are clues! πŸ”Ž Keep track of them, and see if you’re able to solve the mystery by the end of the newsletter!

The sooner you crack the case, the more points you’ll score for the Quarantine Competition! πŸ•΅πŸΌ Happy clue hunting!

This month’s mystery: Use the underlined & bolded letters throughout this issue to unscramble and spell out the name of a spooky season classic film!

Email mcgill.chemistry@gmail.ca with your answer for a shoutout and extra points in the Quarantine Competition!

Meet Your CUSS Execs!

President

Name: Andrew Martins

Year: U4

Hometown: Kingston, Ontario

Fun Fact: I’m currently learning 4 different languages!

Hi fellow chemies! My name is Andrew and am unbelievably ecstatic to serve as your CUSS President this year! A couple things I’m most looking forward to this year is working on new and innovative projects CUSS hasn’t pursued before. I’m also super excited to be leading a team of extremely wonderful, dedicated, and hardworking individuals, who will make your undergraduate chemistry experience 100% better! Can’t wait for a great year!! πŸ™‚

DIY CHEMISTRY

In case your assignments and labs aren’t immersing you in enough chemistry, this section has just the thing for you!

Does the idea of having a colourful, flaming jack-o’-lantern excite you? πŸŽƒ

Follow this link for the instructions on how to use ethanol (hand sanitizer), boric acid (roach killer), and some methanol (gas-line antifreeze) to add some fun to your pumpkins this halloween!

As always, CUSS asks that you please use caution and take all safety precautions when performing experiments at home!

Get to know your professors!

We ask the teaching staff of the McGill chemistry department a few questions!

Professors are randomly featured each month, so be sure to check back!

Mitch Huot (Lab Coordinator)

I’m the instructor of CHEM 110, 120, and 392 labs. In CHEM 392, we try to help students learn synthetic chemistry techniques and academic research skills.

What sparked your interest in Chemistry?

I think the first time I made a molecule no one else had ever made before, I was hooked.

What is the best place you have visited?

Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My beautiful wife’s famous Risotto!

What is your favourite part of McGill?

I think McGill Chemistry is one of the most tight knit, friendly and inspiring groups of people I have ever met.

Prof. Karine Auclair

This year I teach Org 2 (CHEM222/234) and chemical biology (CHEM332). I might also guest teach in a few other courses.

My research has 2 aspects: 1) harness enzymes to develop sustainable methods for making useful products from wastes (e.g. biomass, plastics and others) 2) discover new antibiotics as well as molecules that help the immune system overcome infections.

What sparked your interest in Chemistry?

I felt that it was a great tool to understand biology and life in general.

What is the best place you have visited?

Hawaii’s Big Island.

Do you have a hobby to pass the time outside the academic world?

I have many hobbies! Mostly outdoors activities. Many sports, including horse show jumping. I also have a small agricultural business.

In 10 years, what changes do you hope to see in the world?

Less violence and more environment-friendly behaviors.

~Spooky~ Riddles

(a) A zombie, a mummy, and a ghost move into a house that is missing one room. Which room is missing?

(b) How do you spell “candy” with 2 letters?

(c) The Smith family is very wealthy family and lives in a big, circular home. One morning, Mr. Smith woke up and found his mirror had been shattered. He knew it was one of his employees who had done it. So he asked them what they were doing in the morning, and he got these replies:

Driver: β€œI was outside washing the car.”
Maid: β€œI was dusting the corners of the house.”
Cook: β€œI was starting to make lunch for later.”
From the replies, he knew who it was. Can you guess who it was?

(scroll for answers)

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(a) the living room | (b) C and Y // (c) The Maid (a circular house doesn’t have corners)

Hidden Message

Solve the hidden message by determining which letter should replace each number! (Hint: A song often heard this time of the year πŸ‘»)

7 7 6 6 5 9space7 2 2 7 9

7 5 3 5 3 8 6 6 7 !

Email your answer to mcgill.chemistry@gmail.com for a shoutout in the next issue!

Last Month’s Answer: It is finally sweater weather!

That’s all folks!

See you back here next month!  πŸŽƒ

If you have anything you want featured in CUSSwords, email mcgill.chemsitry@gmail.com!

SEPTEMBER 2020 Edition

Hiya Folks!

Hello Chemists! Check it out! It’s the first edition of CUSSwords! This newsletter is jam-packed with CUSS updates, puzzles & games, and fun facts about your professors!

Check back each month for our latest edition! (And for clues to score points in the Quarantine Competition!)

Quarantine Games

The Quarantine Games have begun! Kobi, our VP Social, has been working very hard to organize plenty of online events where you can hang out with your chem pals! He’s turned these events into a semester-long competition for prizes!

We’d love to see you at the next event on Wednesday, September 23rd! πŸ™‚ Click on the photo for more info!

Quarantine Clues

Throughout each issue of CUSSwords are clues! πŸ”Ž Keep track of them, and see if you’re able to solve the mystery by the end of the newsletter!

The sooner you crack the case, the more points you’ll score for the Quarantine Competition! πŸ•΅πŸΌ Happy clue hunting!

This month’s mystery: Use the 2 clues in this issue to determine the common name of a molecule! Email mcgill.chemistry@gmail.ca with the correct IUPAC name of this molecule for a shoutout πŸ“£ and extra points in the Quarantine Competition!

CUSS Updates

Hello, nice to meet you, we’re CUSS! As your elected representatives, we’re here to bring you an amazing year and an overall great time in chemistry at McGill!

Come back each month to get to know the members of our exec team a bit better! πŸ™‚

Our U1 Reps are also about to join our council! Keep an eye out for some new faces!

DIY CHEMISTRY

In case your assignments and labs aren’t immersing you in enough chemistry, this section has just the thing for you!

Turn potatoes πŸ₯” into a fluorescent non-newtonian fluid! Using starch and some tonic water, this “Magic Mud” will act solid when handled, but leave it alone and it turns into a liquid. Follow this video for the instructions!

Get to know your professors!

We ask the teaching staff of the McGill chemistry department a few questions!

Professors are randomly featured each month, so be sure to check back!

Sam Sewall

Currently Teaching: CHEM 267, 367, 493 Lab, 377 Lab, CHEM 120.

I did ultrafast spectroscopy on semiconductor nanocrystals for my PhD research.

What sparked your interest in Chemistry?

I liked the general nature of it as the central science, and also for whatever reason I really like thermodynamics.

Describe yourself in 5 words:

A rockNroll vegetarian chemist.

Do you have a hobby to pass the time outside the academic world?

I enjoy playing guitar- mostly rock/blues. I was once in a Funk band that beat the Arcade Fire in a battle of the bands back in 2001.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Bob Dylan in his first 6 albums philosophically, Mitch Huot practically.


Prof. Maureen McKeague

I am jointly appointed in Pharmacology and Chemistry. This means I do research and teach in both departments! I love my new joint CHEM/PHAR 540 course – where I talk about how chemistry and biology contributes to innovation in industry for the production of pharmaceuticals and materials.

My research involves almost anything to do with nucleic acids (DNA, RNA etc). My diverse and awesome team tries to work on a variety of challenges at the interface of chemistry and the genome – these projects span green chemistry and precision medicine.

What sparked your interest in Chemistry?

I always loved all science – but 2 critical memories of chemistry stand out. First, I remember thinking liquid liquid extraction (in my organic chemistry lab) was the coolest thing ever (side note, it’s still pretty cool)! Second, I worked in an inorganic research lab the summer following “U1”. Here, I was able to make never-made-before compounds and I loved that there was a “reason” for it (in this case for optical coatings). After this, there was no doubt that chemistry was the best!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

busy; mentor; outreach; step-mom; cat-mom

What is your favourite part of McGill?

McGill is my IDEAL combination of awesome scholarship and research, while maintaining collaboration, friendliness, fun, enthusiasm…

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My mom. She finished her PhD (in Economics – yuck) despite having 2 children – in particular the 2nd one was born so sick (my younger brother, not me) that she had to take a whole year off her PhD to live with him in the hospital for 200 days while he nearly died. That’s commitment and perseverance to the max!

10^6 ~~~ πŸ“ž ~~~ 10^6 ~~~πŸ“ž ~~~ 10^6 ~~~ πŸ“ž ~~~10^6 ~~~ πŸ“ž ~~~ 10^6 ~~~ πŸ“ž ~~~ 10^6 ~~~ πŸ“ž ~~~ 10^6 ~~~ πŸ“ž~~~10^6 ~~~ πŸ“ž ~~~ 10^6

Riddle me this…

a. What did the angry electron say when it was repelled?

b. What would you find at the centre of gravity?

c. What do you do with chemists after they die?

(scroll for answers)

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a. Let me atom // b. “v” // c. Barium

Hidden Message

Solve the hidden message by determining which letter should replace each number!

4 8space4 7spac 3 4 6 2 5 5 9

7 9 3 2 8 3 7space9 3 2 8 4 3 7 !

Email your answer to mcgill.chemistry@gmail.com for a shoutout in the next issue!

That’s all folks!

See you back here next month! πŸ‘‹πŸ» 😊

If you have anything you want featured in CUSSwords, email mcgill.chemsitry@gmail.com!