Tuesday, August 04, 2009

It's official

Yes, that's right. Yours truly, while in the role of lab-monkey pipetter-extraordinaire, has managed to break the laws of physics!

So I went to the lab yesterday to finish with Friday's samples to find that the one and only set of keys for the room where we work with radioactive stuff was in the gently glowing pocket of someone who had left early for the day. Rather than pester the people who have been incredibly kind to me I went back to main campus and had an awkward lunch with the IT guy and went home to cook dinner and take a nap.

Oh and for the record: cycling 23km while listening to metal = good for the psyche when you've had a bad few days. Cycling 23km after eating dinner followed by ridiculously sweet toffee pudding (thanks Woolworths) = not so good. So I had a fun night of sore legs and nausea.

Back to the laws of physics... I went through to the lab this morning and started playing with the radiation measurers and getting data. Started with calibrations - looks good. Controls - look ok. First batch of samples - check. Max and min calibration - all good. About 80 samples in I got a result I didn't understand. There shouldn't be an answer higher than 100 % right? Like 7000 when the maximum possible is 3000...

So I recalibrated, checked the controls, checked a few of the ok samples, and went back to the tricky one. Still funky. The next 50 samples were weird (well the next 60 with one or two ok ones scattered throughout). So I went to the friendly Physiologist and asked him what was happening. He said:
"7000? That's not possible."
"Uh... but I rechecked and everything else was fine. I used the other counter, I remeasured-"
"What? But that's not possible. I've been doing this for long enough to have made every mistake possible, there's no way you'd get 7000!"
"But I did! On 7000 samples!"
"Oh. Maybe you- no... what abou- no... if there was- no...maybe the compan-no..."
Finally he shrugged.
"just remeasure the samples if you can. It'll be a mystery forever. You'll never know..."


Skinny Bitches in the Making said...

Don't judge but I know nothing about physics. So i don't know if you achieving that sample thingy was good or not. I did typing at school while everyone else was doing biology and science! that means I can write out an official letter but i know shit about litmus paper!
Ps. the move went really well, thanks!we're just trying to get the bedrooms in order. as soon as we're done we'll put up some pics.

po said...

Sounds familiar. Sigh. Biology bitch is a moody wench, huh? ALthough I guess in this case it is the fault of the Chemistry Cow or soemthing.

Leia said...

How frustrating... Cool, but frustrating... Good luck with re-measuring!

SuvvyGirl said...

See I've always said you are special :P

The Mutant said...

I have no idea what the fuck you just said, because anything resembled maths or science in high school saw me over in the back corner of the footy oval, smoking like a train.

What I hate is the "you'll never know" stuff. I want to know dammit... tell me, tell me anything, tell me it happened because of the planet's increased UV reflection, caused by Nicole Kidman's ever whitening skin. I don't care... I need an answer!

Helen said...

SkinnyBitches: Yay! I'm looking forward to the pictures! For the record, it's weird, and bad. But bad in a "wow, not my fault!" kind of way! I think typing is probably more valuable, the most valuable skill I got from school was how to write an essay (in history) or how to memorise lists of words (in French) I didn't even TAKE bio!

Po: The Physics... peon? I think there are evil lab-elves... should have worn stripy socks to appease them...

Leia: thanks!

Suvvygirl: Awww, good to see someone as faith in me! Even it is to create logic-defying substances in a test tube...

Mutant: I'm sure we could blame Nicole Kidman, anyone know if she went outdoors over the weekend?