Thursday, August 16, 2007

Murphy’s Scientific Law

“Nothing in the course of scientific discovery and experimentation will run smoothly.”

Take for example the respirometer. I have never had a smooth run with this piece of equipment. On Tuesday, I came in to discover that four out of five fish for a particular treatment had succumbed to death during the night, their bloated bodies floating on the water. I will have to repeat that particular treatment over again. Today, I came in to find that the power was off and had been off since 6pm the evening prior. So instead of gliding through the last two days of work before vacation, I have been beset with problems. Now I need to reset the whole 24 hour respirometry experiment and run it again. Add this to last year’s problem list of leaky seals and malfunctioning machinery, and you might begin to understand my pain. Total, I might have had one hassle-free run out of a dozen. Likewise, the bomb calorimeter refused to work or broke down. Until now…..when I don’t have the time to run my samples.

Scientific bad karma: that is what I have people. Some people really dig the stress of thinking on one’s feet and frantically brainstorming alternate plans and solutions. To me, that is the stuff of nightmares. Once again, I am faced with the truth about myself. I am not a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of girl.

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