Hello! Welcome to my personal web site, which has been around, in one form or another, for quite awhile now. After having to leave my academic position in January of 2007 due to my struggles with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD, aka CRPS), I found myself with much more time than I'd ever known existed, and have been concentrating on my other passions, most of which are tabulated below. Just click on any of the disciplines in the left row, and you'll wind up in that section of this site. I hope no one finds any serious navigational problems; if they do, I hope you'll let me know.

Experience (and site traffic counters) has taught me that there are certain pages visitors want to see much more than others, so rather than let anyone face the experience of figuring out in which broad area their quest lives, here are direct links to several pages that figure prominently in many folks' clicks.

High Traffic Pages
Title (& link) Description
My professional web page when still an active professor at EIU
A brief chronology of my chemistry career, written for a non-chemist audience in a (hopefully) entertaining style
This began as a nearly 100-pg monster given to new research students. This one's much easier to update, navigate, etc., but saves lots of trees.
A series of nine link libraries covering topics as diverse as acupuncture, molecular modeling, and researchers in organic synthesis.
One of the nine libraries mentioned above, designed to help folks be smarter healthcare consumers.
This music site became so huge and popular that it now has its own URL.
The lifeblood of my research group when it was operating. It was shut down in 2005. Still quite interesting to look around; many photos.
This link library ranks #1 in a Google search for "rsd links". RSD, aka CRPS, is the worst disease in the world. Check out the link collection if you need convincing.

This is a custom search engine that will search only this site, along with its subdirectories.

Discipline General Description, Images, Details of Major Sections
- Academic
- Industrial

    From my first chemistry set when I was 11, through 25 years as a Professor of Chemistry, I've been fascinated by chemistry, especially organic, since I can remember. This area has info about my chemistry career and chemistry in general, with special emphasis on medicinal chemistry. Most of this material was prepared specifically for students, not chemists, so don't let the name scare you away!

This section is narrative, and virtually free of technical jargon (although such information is referenced), and just tells a neat story. Take a look!

has its own URL now!

    Used to be the largest section of this site - so large, in fact, that in early 2010 it was moved to its own URL; clicking the "Music" link (or the URL below) will transport you to the new site, which can be found at the following URL: http://howardblackmusic.com
    There are major sections on practicing, finding other musicians, guitar maintenance, music theory, tablature sites, great technical data on everything from correct EQ to correct ordering of effects boxes. Huge compilation of guitar & equipment manufacturers; even pages on typical guitarists' injuries and medical organizations dedicated to musician health.

Link Libraries

    A series of carefully edited collections of links concerning a specific topic, usually scientific but at all levels of background. One is a layperson-oriented guide to medicinal topics and data sources; another is similar but much more advanced; another covers chronic pain illnesses like RSD/CRPS.

Two cover organic chemistry (introductory and research), and my library of webmaster utilities called WebTools, is linked as well. A library of Modeling & Animation links shows you how to prepare animated gifs of your favorite molecules.

Medicine, Pharmacology, Drug Devel.,
Cell Biology

    I wanted to be a doctor from the first time I knew what it was. Much of my time growing up was spent pursuing this. I was accepted at medical schools, but the draw of chemistry won, and then I discovered medicinal chemistry - and I had my calling.
     This section is not some dry treatise on some specialty - it covers topics of interest to everyone - how drugs are discovered & developed, pill I.D., medical tests explained, how to investigate health & disease, name brand vs. generic drugs, how to find your doctor's background. Very useful!
     Plus - everyone's curious about where drugs come from, how the body knows "what to do" with a foreign compound, why certain compounds act as they do.....satisfy your intellectual curiosity!


     My introduction to spiritual pursuits was pretty typical for many people my age - my folks took us to the geographically closest Protestant church for several years, until our growing rebellion ended the experiment. Unpleasant life experiences prompted me to pursue a spiritual path, despite my aversion to any fear-based, organized religions.

    This section goes through some of my spiritual questioning and exploring, which ultimately led me to realize that Taoism is the one religion that speaks most clearly to me. You may be surprised at what you discover!

- Motocross
- Road Racing
- Running

     My first inkling that I had a competitive instinct occurred when I started racing motocross in college. I started  because my partner was into it, but really dove into it big-time. My experience as an auto mechanic was handy, since anyone who races a machine necessarily becomes a decent mechanic or pairs up with someone who is.

     I love motocross racing, but it became too easy to break, stretch, or otherwise insult various parts of my body. Road racing is great, but I was tuning, not competing. When I discovered my talent for running distance, I knew I'd found an aerobic activity that I could get into for a long time. Unfortunately, my RSD had other ideas.

Physical Fitness, Bodywork

    I was a late bloomer when it came to taking care of my body. Despite being pretty active through graduate school, when  I left I weighed almost 200, and lost my breath going upstairs. For some reason, I started running, and within a few years found that I had some natural ability as a runner. Before the RSD struck, I was really pretty quick, and usually won the Masters division during competitions. I was even ranked nationally.
     This large section deals not only with exercise and sports, but also with bodyworking and its many modalities. I've been doing sports massage for around 30 years, and incorporate much Ortho-Bionomy® in my work. I've surveyed most common bodywork techniques including Alexander, Feldenkrais, polarity, acupuncture, acupressure, and others; the summary is presented here.

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