Month: May 2019

In Which We Learn Just How the Human Female’s Sick Little Mind Works…

In all of the excitement of discovering that deer are sigynivorous and that some monotremes have skulls that look like something straight out of science fiction, one important fact was overlooked.

Not all of the skulls came.  Six of the seven requisite deer skulls are on back-order, as are a few of the nightmare beasts.

Missing entirely are the cat skulls.

I have written before, at length, about the dearth of pickled cat cadavers for the Dead Cat Ballet, how I have conspired to make it nearly impossible for the human female to obtain stiff kitties at any price or within any reasonable time frame.  Well, this same shortage means that cat head-bones are just as hard to come by as the rest of the beast.  The seven cat skulls she ordered from the Purveyor of Head Bones are on indefinite back-order.

The human female has mulled this for a few days now, and she has come up with a solution that horrifies even me.  I, who will stop at nothing and for no one in my bid for conquest, would never have come up with such a plan.

You see, the human female does still manage to order a few dead cats from time to time.  The Anatomy and Physiology teaching assistants still dissect a few kitty cadavers as demonstrations for their students.  At the end of the semester, there’s not much left of Mittens, if you get my meaning.

Perhaps you can see where this is going.  I will spell it out, painfully, for you.

She has written to the POHB with the most bizarre notion ever to come out of her  twisted soul.  “What,” she asked, “if we cut the heads off a few of our used cat cadavers and mail them to you?  Could you process them for skulls?”

I don’t know which is more appalling—that she would suggest it, that the POHB would agree to attempt the procedure, or that two of the human female’s minions would leap at the chance to perform the decapitations.

So here we have it:

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A box of noggins.

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All boxed up and ready to send.  I’ve heard that preserved animals are difficult to process into good skeleton specimens.   This will either end glory and shiny skulls or in tears and recriminations.  I guess we will find out.

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To be continued…

 

More Adventures in the Room of Skulls

I was able to rescue Sigyn from the clutches of that murderous deer.  Horrible creatures, deer, really.  I prefer to think of them as merely the larval stage of roast venison.

There are more skulls here, and they are drawing a lot of attention.  The human female and her minions are showing them off to anyone who wanders by.

Sigyn is investigating the pronounced sagittal crest on this opossum.

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The human female says that is where all the jaw muscles are attached.  It certainly looks capable of eating anything it finds.  Opossums are strange creatures–tails like rats, huge rafs of babies which they tote about in pouches or on their backs, fur that always looks like they’ve been washed in the washer on the wrong cycle, and a predilection for rummaging about in compost heaps.

I am more impressed by the dentition of this male vervet monkey.

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This fellow looks quite up to the task of perforating anyone who tried to put him in a funny outfit or make him do silly tricks.  And the overall effect is of a toothy little human.

Great Frigga’s hairpins!  Look who has turned up!  Marty, that goggle-eyed menace, has dropped by to ogle the chicken skull.

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I don’t want to think about what Marty’s skull might look like.  Not much room for a brain, that’s for certain.

Oh, and here is Fisi, trying to sneak in a nibble on the oppossum.

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Shoo!  Bad hyena!  No biscuit!

Sweet Tony Stark on the half shell!  What sort of alien mutant nightmare beast does this one come from?!

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Don’t get too close, Sigyn.  I don’t trust this thing at all.

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poke, poke, poke.

No sirree. I do not trust this thing at all, at all.  Nor can I figure out its modus operandi.  No proper teeth to speak of, but what about these long pincer-like things up front?  What IS it?  Where does it live?  What does it eat?  What does the rest of it look like??

Oh, I am going to have bad dreams and flashbacks about this one, I can tell you.

(Reads label.)  Huh.  I never, ever would have guessed.  Log your guesses in the comments, folks, and we’ll see if anyone comes close.

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It is Nine Kinds of Macabre in Here

The human female and her minions managed to make it through the first semester of new labs for Biology 111.  Now they’re facing all new exercises for Biology 112.  This course deals with evolution, phylogeny, and the many and varied organisms that inhabit this realm.  The instructor, with an eye to relating one notion to another, has planned an exercise in which the students will examine various vertebrate skulls and use their features, coupled with gene sequences, to come up with a vertebrate family tree.  It sounds both cutting-edge and ghoulish, and I must admit to being intrigued.

Sigyn, the human female says the skulls have arrived and are in room 313.  Let us see what has come!

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That is a veritable plethroa of crania!  And they’re from some outfit called “Skulls Unlimited.” Snort.  Of course they are.  I shall call them the Purveyor of Head Bones.

Some of the skulls are quite tiny.  This one is from something called a shrew.

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Sigyn is surprised at how tiny it is.  But as you should know, my diminutive princess, size is no indicator of fierceness.  A look at the teeth will reveal just what voracious predators shrews are.

The rat skull, on the other hand, just has long, orange incisors.

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And, according to Sigyn, “the cutest little molars ever!”

While the turtle has no teeth at all,

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though its bony jaw is quite capable of snapping up its prey.

Still, it is not always the carnivores that one needs to watch out for–

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Turn my sweetie loose this instant, you perfidious cervid!  Hang on, dearest, Loki’s coming!

Apparently white-tailed deer are not above a little snacking when the morsel is especially tasty.

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Yes, She Is Just. That. Clueless.

With the human female, the truly mysterious becomes clear in time.  The blatantly obvious takes longer.  Sometimes I take advantage of that when planning mischief for her.

Take, for example, the strange Case of the Reddish-Pink Menace.

The other day, the human female noticed a bit of what looked like reddish ink on one of her shoes.  She didn’t think much of it–she works in an office and around labs.  No doubt she’d run afoul of some dropped marker or spilled chemical.

Then she found a spot of a similar color on the living room floor, near the couch.  She pondered a bit and then cleaned it up.

Next, it was a reddish-pink spot on the bottom of her backpack.

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The cogwheels of what passes for her intellect began to turn slowly.  Perhaps she had a pen leak in the backpack?  Perhaps that red ballpoint she’s lost track of?  That would explain the spot on the floor, since that is where the backpack often sits at home.  (Yes, she’s a slob.)  If the shoes had been next to the backpack, that might explain that spot as well.   She looked through the disaster that is her backpack but found nothing.

This morning, however, rooting around in there for her keys, has produced a new clue.

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That is definitely ink–and it’s fresh.  I think she is about to finally discover the source of the stainage.

Rummage, rummage, rummage.

Aha!  The culprit has been apprehended!

Months ago, in one of his periodic fountain pen frenzies , the human male stumbled upon a package of  pens shaped like sharks.  He purchased a set, thinking it might be fun to give them out to friends.  The human female, being a surprisingly bloodthirsty wench, lost no time in seizing the white one and filled it with a reddish ink that made it look as if its innards were sloshing with the blood of its hapless victims.

She’s scary like that.  She didn’t use it much, because the ink was a little too pink and didn’t “look bloody enough.”

But she’s reaped the rewards of her actions, because look who was lurking in the depths of her pack:

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What with one thing and another and a little help from me, his cap had completely unscrewed and he was merrily leaving a bloody trail behind him.  Take a look in her backpack.  It’s all Sharknado vs. Cat in the Hat Comes Back down in there…

And that particular color may not be waterproof, but it sure does not like to come off skin.  Ehehehehe!  She’ll be flaunting the badge of her carelessness aaaaalll day…

My work here is done.

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It’s That Time of Year Again!

Odin’s eypatch, where does the time go?!   The grass on the roadsides is turning tawny, the mosquitoes are living it up, and the outdoor air has all the physical properties of a lukewarm bath.  I  have blinked once since last year’s festivities and suddenly it’s cherry season again.  Sigyn and I have been doing this for years—when the cherries come in, we have our annual cherry pull.  Sigyn usually wins, and I have my suspicions about last year’s results…  Still, it’s a Tradition, with a capital “T”, and Sigyn loves it so, and thus here we are.

Hmm.  This year’s fruit looks a little smallish and under-ripe.  It is a little early.   Perhaps someone jumped the gun a bit with the harvest.

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Come, my love.  Let us get my humiliation over with.

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1…2…3…  Tug!

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Gnnnngh!  Idunn’s little apples!  The stems this year are most monstrously strong!

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Pull pull pull pull, pull ……..

<Snap!!!>

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Heels over horns!

Ow.  Sigyn, light of my life, are you all right?  You’re sure?  Well, thank goodness for that.  No, I am not injured either.  Let us examine the results.

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Is that…?  Do my eyes deceive me?   We appear to have tugged to a draw!  We both have an intact stem and a bit of the connector.  I didn’t think that was even possible!

I suppose we shall have to wait for another double cherry to come along and go best two out of three.   

Stay tuned!

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Suspicious White Powders…

You’d think the human female and her staff have enough to do, looking after their own students, but nooooooo.  Several times a year, the building plays host to visiting high school students for various enrichment programs or the Science Olympiad or some such.

Usually, this just involves making sure that the visitors don’t get up to any mischief with the rooms or their contents.  And no, the human female doesn’t trust them not to, hence this treatment of every unlockable cabinet in the rooms loaned out.

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A few rooms were used the other day by the most recent Science Olympiad.  There were rocks in one room, fossils in another, problem solving in a third, and Odin’s Crummy Depth Perception, what did the Thermodynamics students do in here?!

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What is this mysterious white powder all over the benches?

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What a mess!  Someone (I vote not I!) is going to have to clean that up.  The human female, not knowing what it is, has advised her staff not to tackle the task until someone from the Science Olympiad can tell them what they are being exposed to.  Sigyn, you may want to effect a precautionary retreat.

I, on the other hand, am unaffected by most substances.  Plus I don’t think that the S.O. coordinators would let high-schoolers play about with anything truly dangerous.  Therefore, I think I will indulge in a bit of mischief…

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And give the humans some footprints to clean up as well…

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Ehehehehehe….

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The Grunt-work Behind The Scenes

The human female–and Sigyn–are still squeeing about the glowy seedlings.  It’s fun when an experiment works the way it should.  Consider, however, how much effort goes into the preparation for an experiment, all the lowly, menial labor that has to be performed before the students can have their two hours of fun in the lab.  Tasks ideally suited for the feeble intellect of the human female.

Take, for example, all of this pipetting that has been going on.  Each action has to be performed with a fresh, new pipette tip.

Folks, that is a LOT of tips.*  Lower Division Biology used to stuff their own tips into the boxes.  Longtime readers may remember the purchasing gymnastics performed by the human female last fall, when she pitted vendor against vendor to secure the lowest price on refill tips that come helpfully already stuffed into replaceable inserts.   Let us catch up with Prep Staff and the human female and see if the investment has paid off.

The new refillable boxes are clean and sturdy.

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The inserts are super easy to snap in full and snap out when empty.  Here’s one whose useful life is over.  It looks as if it ought to be good for something else, doesn’t it?  So far, though, no one has been able to come up with any good ideas.

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Great Frigga’s hairpins!  The empties do pile up, don’t they?

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The program is going to go through thousands of these every semester.  The human female, loathe to just toss so much plastic cavalierly into the landfill, is going to have to lug them across campus and put them in the plastic recycling.

But still, it’s a significant time and labor saving over buying loose tips and stuffing them.  And let’s address the REAL issue.  With these new tip boxes, is Sigyn any less likely to—

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And that would be a “no.”  Hang on sweetie, Loki’s coming.

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*The scientific term is “metric crap-ton