Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I want to cry. I want to give up. I'm thinking maybe I don't need, and definitely don't deserve another degree. I'm looking over a collection of bottles--hard won, argued over, anticipated with the kind of feeling generally reserved for children (okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea)--and wondering if there's any possible way to identify them based on the few green and black smudges that are left on their otherwise identical faces. Is there some chemical analysis, other than the ones I've already planned, that will magically reveal the location from which the samples were collected? Is there some secret spy trick that I can use to ferret out the missing digits that were washed off the carefully made, but ultimately inadequate labels? Could I taste or smell some minute difference that will allow me to match these mystery samples with the waters they should be connected to? Alas, I fear the umbilici that should match parent water to brine shrimp offspring were cut long, long ago, and the matching ends shriveled and thrown off before I had any inkling to wonder at their connectedness.

It was such a beautiful day until I came into work.


  1. Oh Kristine, I'm so sorry!! That is aweful!! I can't tell you how my heart aches for you! All that hard work ruined by stupid lables! I'm so sorry! On the other hand - have you thought of using a spectrometer (don't know if I spelled that right - the thing that they use to read burned papyrus) I don't know if the school even has such a thing - but that's all I could come up with that could possibly read the lables.

  2. Sadly, I the labels are plastic, so I don't think a spectrometer would work. I'm going to try something I saw in another paper that might allow me to identify a few of the samples. The problem with the technique is it'll require a lot of brine shrimp, which I don't have for all of my samples. Thanks for thinking about it!

    I'm actually feeling better about this after a good meal (obviously skipping lunch today was a bad idea--hunger makes me a little overly emotional) and some sleep. I've been thinking about doing the experiment I'm now going to do, but have been putting it off because I've had other, more pressing things to work on. Now I'm going to have to do that experiment, though, and it might just give me some cool results! I'm crossing my fingers and hoping this will turn out to be a fortuitous accident.