Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Shorties writing shorties 

Except I'm not short.

But I am busy today. I'm getting my CsCl gradient done today COME HELL OR HIGH WATER!

I'm also expecting a call from the insurance agent to come look at my car. (long story short: a while back I was a victim of a hit and run, from a guy riding his bike illegally on the sidewalk, and he rammed into me as I was waiting to pull out of a driveway.)

So jusk quick ones today. I'll probably just be adding on to this post, though, so stop by frequently. Like maybe every 15 minutes. Stalker style. I like do to all of you.

and the lion lay down with the lamb

can it be true? Religion and science...LIVING TOGETHER IN PEACE???


I hate...HATE using the ultracentrifuge.

what is it? Well, a centrifuge is a gizmo that spins things, right? Well, the ultracentrifuge is the mack daddy of all centrifuges (and if there's a faster one, shut up, I don't care). It's the size of a washing machine, and it can spin a rotor very very very fast. I've got my CsCl gradient in there at 55,000 rpm. fifty-five thousand...rotations per minute. that's 917 rotations per second.

That's fast.

So fast, you have to use a special tube to put your sample in. Shaped like a large capsule with a small tubey opening at the top, which you melt to seal closed. And you'd BETTER make sure that thing is sealed. Because if your tube leaks. YOU'RE SCREWED! AND A VERY EXPENSIVE MACHINE IS NOW BROKEN.

55,000 rpm...I don't even know how to do the calculation to figure out the g-force on those tubes. But it's ALOT. So if your tube leaks, then all of a sudden your rotor isn't balanced. And what happens to a rotor spinning at 55,000rpm when it's not balanced? I DONT' KNOW, AND I DON'T EVER WANT TO FIND OUT!!!!

I DO know, that the inside of the ultracentrifuge is made out of tank-grade metal. That's the metal the army makes tanks out of. In case the insurgents try to attack my CsCl.

So for the rest of the day, I'm going to be a little jumpy. I'm just waiting for the explosion.

I hate ultracentrifuges.

PS: I should mention that it spins for 18 HOURS! 18 HOURS OF WAITING FOR THE EXPLOSION!!!


Dropping a hunk of donut into liquid nitrogen and then flinging it to the floor is not as entertaining as we'd hoped.

Tomorrow we try the ice cream recipe.