Round Peg in a Square Hole

A repository of reference material on a variety of subjects

Monday, March 12, 2007

Lab Supplies

Was just sent this site and REALLY want to qualify for the "inappropriate nocturnal use of lab equipment in the name of alternative science experimentation/communication" badge, so I'll tell you a little story about me and fleas........

The summer between my freshman and sophmore years in college, I worked at the NASA Ames Research Center, in a high vacuum lab, and shared a house with 4 other students and my then-boyfriend Biker Guy. The adventures involved in actually getting a place to live were many and varied, so, by the time we finally got the house that we stayed in for most of the summer, it could have been next door to the Manson Family and we would have taken it. As it was, it was a pretty nice house, for about two weeks. Then, the flea eggs that had evidently been in the carpet hatched and life became insane, for me, at least.

For some reason, some people are more susceptible to flea bites than others. My dad and I are on the "yummy" end of the flea's taste spectrum, while Biker Guy and most of the other tenants fell into their "won't bite on a bet" range. This meant that, while I was literaly covered in bites, they were not being bit. Being the only female in the house didn't add to my credibility; they just felt I was whining, even BG, who was not very sympathetic.

After a month or so of this, I was going a little nuts. Nothing kept the fleas off, nothing seemed to kill enough of them to make any difference. I was getting desperate. So, I hatched a plan with a friend. We smuggled a dewar of liquid nitrogen out of the lab and spent the evening pouring it over the carpets in my bedroom and the living room, trying to kill both fleas and eggs. Didn't work too well, but we did have fun freezing and shattering stuff. And my friend got the dewar back on lab the next day, with no one the wiser.


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