Author: lokispeaks

Ridiculously smart and incredibly good-looking

Adventures in Marketing

There is a new market in town!  It is not a Large Market, but it is pretty big.  On one hand, it is going to tie up traffic on one of the few good north-south roads. I predict there will be a new accident every day.  On the other hand, all of the shopping carts still have straight wheels!  (I will be attending to that shortly.  Bending one wheel on each cart is a particular joy of mine.)

The Grand Opening crowd is huge.  The humans have already met four or five people they know.

newHEB-crowd

Sigyn is quite taken with the floral department.  The displays are sorted by color, and the white hydrangeas are “just so fluffy!”

newHEB-hydrangea

But nothing beats old-fashioned red roses.

newHEB-roses

I am checking out the produce section for anything weird.

Odin’s eypatch!  I haven’t seen one of these in a while!

newHEB-jackfruit

I think I will demand that the human female purchase one and learn how to prepare it properly.  (I don’t particularly want to eat it.  I just want to watch her struggle with it!)

Somehow we have ended up on the aisle with playthings for littles.

newHEB-dino1

Tsk! Goofy, and not at all to scale.

Augh!

newHEB-dino2

Unhand my beloved you phocomelioid menace,  or these will be your LAST moments!

Hang on, sweetie, Loki’s coming!

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The Other New, Fun Lab Equipment

The Zoology class has also outlined a new experiment.  I don’t quite understand it–something to do with surface area and cell size.  It involves cubes of bromothymol-blue agar, sculpting tools of various sorts, beakers of vinegar, and weighing apparatus.

Ah.  Weighing apparatus.  This is the choke point of the experiment.  The students, when faced with an old triple-beam balance, go all to delicate pieces.  Where is the digital read-out?!  How do we read it?  This is too sloooow!

The human female, wishing to reduce the “angst” from the exercise, ordered a whole flock of miniature digital scales for weighing those .

As you can see, the designation “miniature” was not applied in vain.  These things are tiny.

scale1

Still, they seem tough enough to measure my kingly mass!  Behold, my friends, 5.06 grams of pure majesty.

Sigyn, of course, is my butterfly, my fae, my will-o-the-wisp, my dandelion puff, my soap bubble.

scale2-sigyn

Three point eight four.  Remember that figure, minions.  It is the Number of Perfection.

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You Can’t Win, and You Can’t Quit the Game

There are Things of Import occurring at the human female’s workplace.  There are Omens. There are Portents of Change.  Sooner or later, there will no doubt be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

What’s afoot?  Not much, only the wholesale replacement of every single first-year majors Biology lab exercise.  You know—the human female’s job.

This new vision calls for two-hour labs rather than three, with much less teaching and less in-depth but more high-tech and “sexy” experiments, with much “cooler” equipment.  The new exercises will appear with the new semester, which is coming up fast.  Is the human female ready? Will the new labs be less trouble to prep?  Of course not!

She doesn’t have a lot of information, but she does know a bit about the new Cellular Respiration exercise.  The students have recently conducted the current incarnation of the exercise.  It’s my favorite exercise, because it involves lots of spilled sugar, sticky-foamy yeast slurries, breakable reaction vials, toxic chemicals, and various and sundry items that should never see heat becoming far too intimate with a toasty hotplate.  The lab rooms are always left a sticky, stinking mess, and I get the best belly-laughs messing with yeast packet totals, randomly making packets of yeast not work, crunching reaction vials, jamming test tubes in the spectrophotometers, and spitting in the bromothymol blue solution so that it turns yellow waaaay ahead of time.

Next semester, it will all be different.  The students will be using  a Very Scientific Apparatus called a respirometer.  The Lecturer whose brainchild the innovations are ordered fifty-some-odd of them.

They came in in dribbles and drabbles.  A few here, a few there, poorly packed, and quite a few in pieces. Here is a squadron of the intact ones.

respirometers2

There are twenty-seven ways of picking up one of these gadgets.  Twenty-six are wrong.  They’re designed in such a way that the glass tubing is held tightly in the plastic frame and sticks up above it, just begging to be snapped off.

As you can see on the instrument on the left:

respirometers

I think thirteen of them came that way, and a multitude of others didn’t have the rubbery tubing.  There have been Pithy Emails to and from the vendor flying back and forth, and though the human female is not part of the bickering dialogue, she’s still had the fun of figuring out where these things are going to live in the lab rooms.  How can something as delicate as a spider’s fart be safely stored?

Turns out, you can pack these little nuisances quite nicely into the boxes that the new spectrophotometers came in—and even use some of the internal packaging as well!

Something is always going on around here.  Honestly (ha! Loki being honest?!), it’s just like that pleasant Midgardian game, Whack-A-Mole.  Just when one problem is dealt with, another pops up.

I have created a………PERPETUAL MOTION MISCHIEF MACHINE!! 

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More Fun With Departmental Computers

Someone begged the Department Head for a new laptop that was much more expensive than their allowance.

Someone got the new laptop day before yesterday.

Someone spilled water in their computer bag today.

ashas laptop

You know, it’s amazing how gray the human male is going, and how quickly.

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It’s Just Something About Butler Hall (A Lesson in Physics)

I had such fun with the lighting in Butler Hall  the other day, that I thought I would spread just a little more Loki Sunshine in that building.

Today the human male, in his role as Computer Fixer, was summoned to one of the labs here.  Seems one of the computer monitors there had suffered a little bump and needed to be checked out.

Butlercabinet

It is a physics problem, friends.  If a bookcase weighing just suddenly falls off the wall from a height of approximately 1.5 meters so that it accelerates at rate a, what is the F when it lands on a monitor?

The solution is left to the student.

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There Is Nothing Like Fine Workmanship

A room in the basement of an adjacent building which, coincidentally, used to be the human female’s office before she moved into her current workgroup, has recently been renovated into a student study hall.  They’ve redone the floors, applied some paint, and added additional lighting.  I coached Slow, Silent, and Costly myself, since everything had to be done just so.

lights1

Note, if you will, that the light panel hangs from four chains (two of which are visible above).  Note also that, with incredible attention to detail, no two of the chains are the same length.

Well done, SSC, well done.

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How to Make the Human Female Lose Her Cool

What’s the best part of the work day?  Lunch, of course!

cooler1

It’s a pity, then, that the big cooling chamber in the break room has died in a cloud of burning-electrics-smell and that the human female and her staff have had to unload all the contents into two large coolers, borrowed from another building, filled with ice, and lugged down the hallway.

cooler2

(later) Good news!  The Department’s Instument Tech was able to repair the fridge, so everything was loaded back into it.

(still later) Bad news!  The fridge has declared, “No, really, I am MOSTLY DEAD.”   Back everything goes into the coolers!  Or, if people are feeling lucky, the freezer’s about as cold as the fridge should be and the fridge is, well, a few degrees off room temperature.

Guess who, armed with a departmental charge card, gets to go and buy a new fridge and arrange for its delivery?

Just try not to lose your ID in the store parking lot this time, eh?

 

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