Day: May 2, 2019

Beware! The Human Female is About to be Handy! The Outcome

You may recall that the human female was going to cut a bunch of pegs with a band saw attempt to build some racks to hold petri plates at a slant.  I was keeping book, and the odds were 4 to 1 against her finishing the project with all of her phalanges attached.

I lost money on that one, drat her.  (Do you see why I persist in trying to make her life a living Hel?  I’m just returning the favor.)

She has completed cutting all the pegs and assembling all of the racks.

arabidopsis racks2

The assembly was accomplished with much whacking, as the pegs are an exact fit for the holes drilled by her accomplice.  I nudged her a bit, hoping that hammer would meet thumb with hilarious results, but apparently someone has been sucking up to Thor, because, aside from a liberal coating of glue, she has emerged unscathed.

There are a LOT of racks!


They have been helpfully labeled, one for each lab section.  All that whacking, and no mashed digits!  I really do feel cheated!

Oh, well.  When the course has approximately DOUBLE the enrollment in the fall, she and her minions are going to have to build about forty-five more racks, so I will have further opportunities to alter the shape of her hands.

The students are going to be working with a plant called Arabidopsis thaliana, which has the advantages of growing from seed to flowering very quickly, being very small, and producing what Midgardians scientifically term a “metric butt-load” of itty, bitty seeds.

This is the seed from thirty-six plants.

arabidopsis seed1

Each brown dot is a seed, so there are approximately eleventy billion in this tube.  The human female harvested each one with her own still-ten-fingered hands, sifting out the chaff as she did so.  It has taken her most of the afternoon.  It was the sort of repetitive, mindless work to which her feeble intellect is most suited.

Now we are ready for the really fun part.  In order for all of the seeds to sprout at the same time, they have to have a four-day moist nap in the fridge.  Once they come out, the human female and one of her minions are going to have to try to put more-or-less twenty seeds in each of these little tubes.

arabidopsis seed2

Labeling the tubes was its own kind of tedium.  Aliquotting the seeds is going to be even more time-consuming.  (Keeps her off the streets.)  She’s thinking that if she mixes the seeds with a quantity of sterile water, she can swirl the tube and draw off a small amount of seed and water from the vortex and dispense it neatly into a tube.

Hmmm.  Human female plus micropipettor plus counting.  Yeah, that’s going to go well.  I will keep you posted.

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