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Quote of the Day: Baltasar Gracian

Inspiration Bot

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15 hours ago, Inspiration Bot said:

"Dreams will get you nowhere, a good kick in the pants will take you a long way."

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Actually, I think you need both at times.

I dreamed of being a chemist since the age of 12 and was motivated to struggle and work my way through college where I reached the position of getting a D-minus on my first Organic Chemistry test and three friends and I kicked ourselves in the pants, suddenly grew up a lot, and admitted we needed to work much harder if we were going to achieve our dreams.

There's August Kekulé's famous-among-us-chemists dream, for example.  In the later 1800's, the structure of the benzene molecule was a mystery. The formula C6H6 didn't make sense because no one at the time realized that carbon can easily form a ring with  -C=C-C=C-C=C- where the first and last Carbon bond to each other to form a hexagon shape and each Carbon atom needs just one Hydrogen atom to complete it's electron shell, making C6H6 (see the stamp below)!

One evening Kekulé, one of the researchers spending years to figure benzene out, fell asleep in front of a fire place.  He dreamed of snakes jumping out of the fire and GRABBING THEMSELVES BY THEIR OWN TAILS.  Kekulé awoke and in 15 minutes figured out benzene's structure!  To this day, it's called the "Kekulé Structure."

He won a major international chemistry award and he ended his acceptance speech with the words every chemistry major in the world is taught today, "We must learn to dream gentlemen. Then, perhaps, we shall learn the truth!"

Kekule Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

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