b3ta.com user FailedScientist
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Profile for FailedScientist:
Profile Info:

He wanted a Nobel Prize. He became a manager.

Recent front page messages:


Best answers to questions:

» Home Science

A story from when I used to actually work in the lab....

We were bored one day, just after the weekly radioisotope delivery, nicely packed in dry ice.... So... Fill a sink full of boiling water. Add some dye (we used Coomassie Blue which is a dye for visualizing proteins, but you could use food colouring), and some detergent (Triton X-100 for preference, but Fairy liquid will do at a pinch). Then, whilst standing at a judicious distance, lob in about 2 kilos of dry ice. Result? A sink-diameter snake of blue bubbles will boil its way out, and crawl along the lab floor... Record distance about 4m.....hypothesis tested and confirmed.

Can you try this at home? Oh yes. Just take some dry ice home....
(Sat 11th Aug 2012, 20:54, More)

» Guilty Pleasures, part 2

Not very original I know, but I work for a large biomedical research organisation and really should know better. Most of my colleagues are either PhDs or medics (or that most unfortunate of combinations, both) and practically all of them are health-fascists. Smoking is not just literal, but also social and professional, suicide. Still, the gossip you get from the various technicians, Russian scientists and the odd French doctor out behind the bike sheds does make up for it.

For some reason, it's OK to smoke if you are French or Russian, even if you are a medic.
(Tue 18th Mar 2008, 20:59, More)

» Public Transport Trauma

Tube of doom
On the tube from Kings Cross, about 7pm on a Friday, prime time for the guys who have been down the pub since lunchtime to think about moving.

Bloke in a cheap suit gets on, clearly the worse for wear. It becomes quickly obvious to all in a ten metre radius that eight pints of gassy lager and an ill-advised kebab are about to make a sudden reappearance. The guy is holding on for dear life, staring at the door, willing the train to stop so he can run and puke somewhere more discrete (don't you love drinkers with class?). But....as the train slows down at Russell Square, it stops but the doors don't open. The train starts to move again.....and now our hero can't hold it, and out it comes. Fucking everywhere......

Being English, no-one says anything, and as the train pulls into Holborn, he does a runner, leaving about 40 people pretending that there isn't a pile of puke all over the floor and/or their trousers.
(Tue 3rd Jun 2008, 18:52, More)

» Blood

Swords and scars
Aged about eight, I and my then-best-friend Peter decided to play swords with some big bits of metal we found in the local scrapheap otherwise known as the back of his parents garage.

Having (then, as now) the reaction times and physical coordination of a blind orang-utang on barbiturates, this resulted in me getting twatted on the face. Blood all over, rivers of it.

This made me happy - everyone at school had a nosebleed, and now I had one too. Result! So proudly off to Peters mother...who called my mother...who to my bemusement turned up in the car (despite it being only 100m from our house)...because of course I hadn't got a nosebleed, I had sliced open my upper lip and it was flapping in the breeze.

A number of stiches at the time, and, despite 30+ (..eep...) years having passed, I still have a very handsome scar. Particularly visible if suntanned or unshaven. I like to think it makes me dangerously attractive.

Which is only one of a number of scars accumulated over the years, due to said lack of co-ordination and reaction - which really ought to have taught me to try more appropriate hobbies, but never has.

Second place of honour in my personal blood-everywhere competition was when I sliced open my knee during a fall when on a climbing trip in the Alps. In those balmy pre-mobile phone times (remember those?) getting help would have required a wait of fuck-knows-how-many hours whilst someone took themselves off the mountain....so I allowed my mate, who fancied himself as a paramedic, to stitch it up on the spot with the suture kit he just happened to have with him. Funnily enough, of all the times I have been stitched up, this hurt the least - as in not at all.
(Thu 7th Aug 2008, 21:11, More)