Sigyn needs rescuing

An Uncountable Multitude of Tiny Shinies (In Which Sigyn Demonstrates Some of Her Many Skills)

I hear that the human female has received a box today and that it is in room 313.  Let us explore, beloved (and see if any mischief can be made.)

Inside the box there was a bag, and inside this bag there appear to be a number of smaller bags…  Whatever it is, it’s not getting loose in a hurry.

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Great Frigga’s Corset!  The contents of the bags appear consist entirely of tiny beads! Has the human female finally found a way to make the University pay for one of her hobbies?

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I can’t imagine a biological use for them, unless she’s going to make the gravel in the bottoms of the fish tanks a wee bit more colorful.

Ah.  Sigyn has reminded me that “The lab exercise uses the beads to simulate organisms, with the white “animals” being homozygous recessive for some trait, the black ones homozygous dominant, and the red being heterozygous.  The students scatter them into various colored rugs and then do “natural selection” by picking beads (predation) at random out with a pair of tweezers.  The survivors, unplucked, go on to form the next generation.  This is done for several generations, and the students do the math about changes in allele frequencies, using the Hardy-Weinberg equations.”

Sigyn!  When did you become so familiar with Population Genetics?!  I am impressed, to say the least!

Oh, Sigyn says she doesn’t know what all of that means, she just remembers hearing the human female say it, because the words are “silly and fun to repeat.”  Sad to say, that sounds more like my sweetie.  She is clever in her own right, but she is in no way the next Darwin…

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Yes, this is much more her style.  Beloved, if you wish to make bead angels, you will need to take them out of the bag.

I find myself rather vexed.  Sigyn has her red beads to roll around in, but there is nary green bead to be seen.

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Perhaps if I look through the catalog, I can find some to order.  With the Department’s money, of course.  (I’m not stupid!) In the meantime, I do like black.

(A bit later.) The human female has demonstrated her one brain cell.  Each color of beads needs to be divided into six equal portions, one for each lab room, plus a spare.  Acknowledging her pathetic lack of skill in counting that high, she concluded that it was easiest to weigh the bags, then divide the contents by weight and put equal milligrammage into each of six jars.  This she has done.  The jars of white beads and black beads are all tidily apportioned.

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But I suspect the weight of one of the red jars is going to be a little off…

Sigh.  Hang on, Sigyn, let me get you out before you smother…

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A New Yule Tradition–Day Three: In Which Sigyn Runs Into the Usual Trouble

I am SO glad we decided to go on vacation this year.  It is six kinds of restful, this being away from the humans and the felines!  We are enjoying our cozy camper (last night I magicked up a ball pit and Sigyn had the best time, swimming around and giggling.)

Still, it wouldn’t be Yule if my beloved didn’t get a dose of glass somewhere, so today we have arranged to tour a glass factory.  I’m not quite sure what sort of glass objects they make.  Sigyn is hoping it’s glass paperweights, since those are her favorites.  I just hope it is not something yawn-inducing, like peteri dishes or those razor-edged rectangles of death that come in dollar store picture frames.

Great Frigga’s corset!  This bodes ill.  This is a candleholder factory, and Sigyn has a bad, bad record with these…

Well, this is not too bad.

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Ehehehe.  Peekaboo, indeed.  You cutie, you.

Uh, oh.  I knew it.

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Sigyn, my love, come out of there!  I’m sure the nice factory workers would really rather you not put nose smudgies on their wares.

Even if it is a very cute nose.

Aaargh!  Right from one predicament to another.

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I swear to Gungnir, I turn my back for one minute…

This hangy-dangle globe is going to take more than a little work to get you out of.  I’ve got to figure out what needs to happen first.  Does the globe lift off or twist?  Is there a way out of the bottom, or have we got to get you out of the top?  And how did you get in there in the first place?

Hang on, sweetie.  Loki’s coming.

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A Bag O’ Swag, Part II: A Whole Lotta Adventure in One Little Bag

Sigyn and I are still working through the bag of SWAG (Sure, We Are Greedy).  We haven’t found anything edible yet, but I’m still hopeful.

Looks like we have some centrifuge tubes.  I approve of the cap color.  There are some 15 mool…

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… and some of the bigger 50 mool kind.

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We’re nearing the bottom of the bag, and still no munchables.

Great Frigga’s corset!  There’s a monster in my bag!

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But he’s the friendly, puffy sticker sort, so it’s all good.

Aha!  This looks promising!

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Ack!  No!  Sigyn, don’t worry about what fetal bovine serum is.  Just read the other part of the label.

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The part where it says these are actually m&ms.  Score!

This is turning out to be a very good bag o’swag after all.  And the best part about it is that there has been no glassware samples that Sigyn can get trapped in!  I feel we’ve really “dodged a bullet” on that one, as the human expression goes.

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Or maybe not.

Sigh. Hang on, sweetie, Loki’s coming.

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Les Tubas, Ils Sont Arrivés

The human female was finally able to order her snorkels.   I made it a little hard for her, because she finally found some affordable ones at Rampartmart.  She had to order them online, because the local bricks-and-mortar store didn’t have as many as she wanted to buy.  I mean, who buys THIRTY snorkels all at once?

Now the human female and her Prep Staff have a tax-free card to use when they shop at the local Rampartmart, but of course they could not be allowed to use that number online.  Oh, no, no!  The human female had to set up an account and choose a password and send them a copy of the Department’s State of Taxes tax-free status before they’d even let her buy them.

They just arrived.  Sigyn, let’s see what we’ve got.

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They’re green!  I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t green.  I approve.

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There are a lot of them— a whole mountain for Sigyn to climb, but I don’t think there are thirty here.

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Eleven, twelve, thirteen…. Nope. Not thirty!  Looks like the internet is no better than bricks and mortar.  The human female is hoping that when she finds the packing slip it says that more are coming from somewhere else.

Sigyn has never used a snorkel.  It’s easy, my love.  One end goes in your mouth and the other sticks up above the water into the air.

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This is not how I imagined this would go…

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(later)  A lot of huffing and puffing and a little dab of Vaseline and some steady traction, and I finally have my sweetie back.

Oh, now you want to try on the included goggles?  Didn’t I just rescue you?  Be careful with these! They’re not like lab goggles.  These are for diving and the nose bit is covered. They’re kiddie sized, and if they fit tightly, you’re not going to be able to breathe.

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Yeah, somehow I don’t think that’s going to be a problem…

>|: [

Revenge of the Flora, Part 9

“Hey, Cap!  Heard you over the comms.  Need some help?”

“Sure thing, Widow.  I’ve got giant fruit bears over here and who knows what they’re capable of.”

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“Rocket!  Good job taking that rose-headed bear down!  Can you rescue Sigyn?”

“On it, Cap!”

“Cap–where do you want me?  I’m feeling a real need to wipe some smirks off some vegetation over here.”

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“Keep the daisies busy, Hawkeye, or see if you can get a handle on that giant peach.”

“You got it.  Man, stone fruit just should not be that big.”

“All right!   Time to make some masa out of this corn guy!”

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“And, um, Widow, did you do something new with your hair?”

“Yeah.  Not sure I’m going to keep it, though.”

“Looks good.”

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“We can swap beauty secrets later, Cap.  Right now I think I’ll whip up a little fruit salad. Хорошо, идиоты, кто из вас хочет умереть первым?”

(to be continued…)

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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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