The humans, bereft of magic that can make anything be anything, spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out why things are the way they are and how they get that way. Hence, next week’s biology lab will address the subjects of genetics and heredity.
I confess I do not know much about this subject, just that if you cross a mortal with another mortal, sadly, you will probably get another mortal. There seems to be no way around it, which is why Midgard is so backward.
Since there are laws regarding the obtaining, studying, and disposing of humans, the students will be examining an even less intelligent organism — corn. Apparently if you cross corn having some big letters with corn having some other, smaller letters, you get a crop of corn that has mixed big and little letters. This excites the mortals for some reason, as does the fact that if you take those mixed-letter corn plants and let them make plant whoopie, you get some specific ratio of big to little letters.
I know. I don’t get it either.
Thus, the students are to be presented with several dry ears of corn that supposedly illustrate some of these phenomena. The corn is useless for anything else, including eating. Why? Well, first, because it is not “eating” corn. Also, it is very dry, and very old.
And also bug-ridden. You see, there is a small, reddish-brown beetle that has made its life’s work, its noble contribution, the eradication of all this boring, alphabetic corn. It is quite persistent and completely tireless. It seeks out dry corn wherever it may be found and gobbles it right up like Volstagg at a feast. It leaves behind quite a lot of powdered corn starch mixed with beetle poop. This makes the ears unpleasant and messy to work with.
I may or may not have shown it where all the corn is stored…
At any rate, I have arranged that last week and this, the human female has had the task of cleaning all of the corn ears, brushing away all the fecal fallout, dusting out the display boxes, and re-shrink-wrapping all the ears.
Let’s drop on on her progress, shall we?
Here’s a really messy display box.
Those little beetles have been very thorough. This one’s even worse! Look at all that frass!
After some vigorous thumping and brushing, the box now looks like this:
I suppose it’s an improvement, but now the poor students will actually have to study.
The bagged and/or shrink-wrapped ears are just as infested.
Look at all those sad little corpses of beetles who gave their lives for the cause. I bet the human female doesn’t even stop to mourn.
She’s dusting off the ears, putting them in this plastic tubing,
and using this tool to shrink the tubing to fit the corn.
It is currently off, which is why I can bear to be near it. Heat guns and Frost Giants are non-mixy things.
Here’s an ear all ready to have its diaphanous cocoon shrunk to fit.
The close-fitting plastic sleeves will keep the kernels from falling off the cob and keep the beetles from re-attacking the ears.
Right up until the point I poke holes in all the plastic…