Loki and Sigyn on Campus

What’s Behind Door Number 302? Part IV: ‘Cause This is Chiller

There is more than gloves, Squiggly/Leggedy Things, and Planty Things in this room.  This is also where the human female and her staff keep the ultra cold freezer and the special refrigerator that can hold flammable things.  That last appliance doesn’t make any sense.  If something is on fire, it’s not exactly cold.

Let’s see what we have.

This is the inside of the ultra cold.  It runs at about negative 50 centipede.

ultracold

I know what you’re thinking, that I used the wrong word.  I, Loki, the Silvertongued, do not make errors of vocabulary or elocution.  This is where the human female’s staff puts the naughty, vicious centipedes after they are done observing them.  You thought I was joking about Centipede Valhalla, didn’t you?  By now they have probably run more than fifty centipedes through this thing.

The colorful blocky things are for holding test tubes of DNA and whatnot.  Congratulations, human female!  Now all your equipment has been contaminated with Jotun DNA.  Your next PCR experiment should be very interesting.

Oh, Sigyn!  You are shivering!  Let us move to the flammable fridge.  It’s bound to be warmer in there, one way or the other.

Some of these containers look very old.  Look at the dates!  They haven’t been used in years.  (I don’t think they clean out this fridge very often…)

ultracold2

Hmm.  Two jars of lanolin.  Greasy sheep paste!  You could have yourself some very soft skin, Sigyn.  But if I’m reading the labels correctly, the humans use this stuff as a carrier for plant growth regulators.  What do you think, my sunflower?  Shall we open the tiny container of indole-3- acetic acid, an auxin which promotes shoot growth, mix up a little batch, and see if we can make you taller?

lanolin

Just kidding!  You are perfect the way you are.

Sigyn is interested in these jars of green liquid.  “Chlorophyll extract.”  <sniff, sniff>  Whew!  Essence of spinach, with hints if diethyl ether, petroleum ether, and acetone.  Whiffy stuff!

chlorophyll

Yes, my love, chlorophyll is supposed to be healthy for you.  No, I do not think you should drink this.  I do not think the acetone would do you any good.

If you are still craving something green when this adventure is over, we can go and have a nice salad somewhere.

In the far corner of the room is the ice maker.  Sometimes, when the human female has been particularly vexing, I come in here to think and cool off.

There’s a big sign saying that the ice isn’t for human consumption,

loki-ice

but I’ve been known to nibble…

>|: [

 

What’s Behind Door Number 302? Part III: A Fern or Something

Room 302 houses not only Squiggly Things and gloves, it’s also home to a host of Leafy Bits.  This is much more Sigyn’s thing and the human female’s.  Flowers are somewhat interesting, but no flowers here.  All this all-green stuff looks alike to me.

fern

Nephrolepis?  Pteridium?  Adiantum?  Who knows?  Who cares!

This one’s a little more interesting.  It has very strangely-shaped leaves.

flytrap

Baldur’s biscuits!  The human female says it eats insects.   Apparently it flaps those eyelashy leaf ends and just snaps them right up!  Now, that’s my kind of vegetation!   Sigyn, do you suppose it eats crickets?  Could we try?  No?  Awww.

Ehehehehe!  Now this is actually my doing.  This tank is supposed to contain Nitella, which the human female uses as the example of “an advanced green alga, a member of the group supposedly the closest kin to land plants.”  She obtains this pondweed from the Alternative Purveyor of Squiggly things (the POST does not stock it).

nitella-not

There is generally some left over at the end of each semester, so she or her staff just dump it right in this tank.  If it survives, they don’t buy new the next semester, just use what’s here.  Thrifty, I suppose.

Except that, as one of the more astute Lab Instructors observed this semester when he put a bit of this under the microscope and up on the television for his class to observe, this isn’t actually Nitella.   Ehehehehe!  I was wondering when someone would notice.

You see, some time ago, I swapped out the Nitella for some other aquatic festoonage.  I don’t even remember what.  The human female has had it under a microscope, but she just scratches her scrofulous head and shrugs.  Near as she can figure, it’s some sort of aquatic moss.   It raises all sorts of questions.  Such as:

What is this stuff?

How long has it been here?

and

How come no one mentioned til now that it absolutely does not resemble Nitella in the slightest?

Instant gratification is a lovely thing, but sometimes the best bits of mischief are those which have to     ripen     slowly…

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What’s Behind Door Number 302? Part I: Leggedy Things

Sigyn, do you know what the human female is keeping in room 302?  No?  Neither do I.  It’s uncharted territory.  Like most unexplored places, it can be very difficult to get to.  Mostly because I magicked the card reader on the door and it almost never works.  The human female doesn’t even try anymore.  She just punches in the code —which I have managed to suss out.

So now, while the humans are sleeping off their enormous turkey dinners,  we can explore!

Aha!  This is where the human female and her staffers keep the living organisms.  I guess this is where all the beasties obtained from the Purveyor of Squiggly Things reside.

Let us greet the denizens in order of legginess.  First up, with eight apiece, are the tarantulas.  They all have names.  This one is called Rose.   No need to be frightened, Sigyn.  She can’t get out.

tarantula

I think…

Actually, if we are going by order of legginess, by all rights we should start with the crickets, which are the tarantula equivalent of Chex Mix.  Crickets have six legs, but they’re boring and smelly, so that’s why I skipped them.

Next would be the centipedes, but they’re fast and bitey, and intent on escaping, so they get to go to Centipede Valhalla soon after the students look at them.  There aren’t any live ones this late in the semester.

So that brings us to millipedes, which have more legs than I can be bothered to count.  They don’t do much, just crawl around slowly and occasionally munch on some potato slices.

centipede

They like to nap curled up like little watch mainsprings.  You know, if watch mainsprings had legs and antennae and were detritus feeders…

Then there are the hermit crabs.  I’m not sure how many leggies they have, because they seldom venture out of their borrowed shells long enough for anyone to get a good count.

Just to make the human female’s life a little more surreal, I think I’ll leave this Broken Equipment Report Form in the crab enclosure.

crabnote

Start the clock—let’s see how long it takes for anyone to notice.

>|: [

Well Done, Fenrir!

Fenrir, the great wolf who will swallow the sun at the time of Ragnarok, is making a pretty decent practice run today.

This part of Midgard should see about 68% of the sun’s disk swallowed up.  Of course, I have also arranged for it to be about 68% cloudy.  (It is a true fact that, if there is anything occurring of astronomical interest, be it a comet or a meteor shower or a large canid noshing on the primary, the local skies will almost always be overcast.)

The human female was too cheap to buy me a telescope and, no doubt, too stupid to know how to use one, but she did consent to do the bare minimum and poke a hole in a piece of cardstock so that Sigyn and I can use the old-fashioned method of tracking Fenrir’s snack.

Here we are.  It’s fairly near the beginning of the event.  (Notice that the human female had to weigh down the paper with her big, ugly eyeglasses.  It is breezy AND cloudy today.)

eclipse1

See, Sigyn?  The little sun spot is still mostly round.

We’ve all walked over to the plaza in front of the student center.  The Astronomy Club has several telescopes set up. The lines are long, but we have hopes of getting a peek.

eclipse2

(Some time later.) Well, that was a rip-off.   The human female saw something, but Sigyn was too short to peek in, and my horns got in the way.  We’ll just have to make do with our cardstock apparatus.

Look!  It’s working!  Our spot is more of a D- or crescent shape! 

eclipse3

Here’s a close-up.  I must admit— I am impressed.  Fenrir should be able to swallow the whole thing when the time comes!

eclipse4

(I am also a bit surprised that the human female’s cheap card trick actually worked, but don’t tell her that.  She’d get a swelled head and it’d take me a week to get her good and humble again.)

>|B [      (approved eclipse glasses)

Exploring New Digs

While the Great Carpet Caper is happening, the human female is lodging with Prep Staff who, as you may recall, currently number only three.  I’ve been in here a few times before, but now I’m taking a good look around and noticing that a few things are a bit lacking in the up-to-snuff department.

Take this phone junction box, for example:

prepoffice2

Why, a body could just tug on one of those exposed wires and who knows what might happen?  (Hello, Taipei?  It’s hot here; how are you?)

I am also discovering the answers to some long-standing mysteries.

Such as where all the pens off the clipboards go.

prepoffice1

>|: [

Eww…

The Powers That Be, deciding that having to deal with laboratory finals, preparing for lecture final exams, trying to hire a new Prep Staffer, and training the two new Prep Staffers is not enough to keep the human female and her coworkers busy, have decreed that the whole office is to be recarpeted!  With four working days’ notice and three days to get everything out of the offices.

Cue the frantic emptying of bookcases, the sequestering of files with sensitive documents, and the filling of lab rooms not in use with everything that cannot simply be shoved into the hallway by movers.

What’s left behind is a sort of post-apocalyptic wasteland of dirty carpet.

Here, under the front office secretary’s desk, we have the Ghosts of Lunches Past.

carpet1

Also breakfasts and snacks.

It’s easy to see where the copier was.

carpet3

It’s…it’s almost too gross and gruesome to explore!

carpet2

Except I’m finding money, so…

>|: [

I’m Not Going To Try It. YOU Try It!

The human female has gone to some sort of fancy reception on campus.  Someone retired or got an award or was executed or something.  I don’t particularly care.  I do care that she brought back some goodies from the reception.  She has left this rectangular comestible in plain view.

goodie

Sigyn is excited.  I’m…  Let’s say I’m giving it the good old Jotun side-eye.  

(poke, poke, poke)  On the one hand, it might be some sort of sweet shortcrust pastry full of luscious cheesecake and topped with lovely pastel pink chocolate curls.

On the other hand, it could just as easily be pizza crust, full of yummy mashed potatoes and topped with little bits of savory ham…

Or cardboard, full of caulk and topped with rolled up snippets of band-aid.

It’s outsourced campus food services so, really, the odds are about even…

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