Monday, 28 March 2011

Lab Mishaps #5: The Duel Threat

            I can only apologise once again for the lack of posting on my part, but I’m having one of those periods which I am sure happens to every grad student where very little works and I’m finding it exceptionally difficult to be too bothered about it for fear of a complete meltdown. This was proven to me today when a simple column with pretty good separation between the three spots crapped out on me completely and everything came out at once in the space of the first eleven fractions. I’ve had a think and there are in fact very few ways I would less rather spend half an hour or so. Cleaning vials, setting up the column, giving yourself minor silicosis, and then proceeding to fill vials with assorted rubbish which in my case has rarely if ever been what I was after in the first place. This is then repeated ad infinitum until something good happens. In my case, I’m beginning to think this may end up being on a geological timescale. Absolute nightmare.

            My esteemed colleague from earlier lab mishaps had a bumper week last week by having not one but two fires. The first involved a THF still. I don’t know many details about it although the immortal phrase “my hands were on fire but I had to think of the still” were used at some point. Following this, a fire extinguisher was utilized to great effect and an ungodly amount of pink powder found its way into the fumehood. Following excessive amounts of pointing and laughing, a line was drawn underneath this event and we all went on with our lives.

            Not 48 hours later, I receive a text saying our favourite culprit has been at it again. Whilst doing a small amount of spring cleaning in his lab, our esteemed colleague decided to wash out some old Winchesters. To cut a long story short, one of them contained about an inch of THF in the bottle along with a couple of feet of sodium wire. I am reliably informed there was then a geyser-type eruption out the top along with what can only be described as a blazing inferno. Unbelievable work there I must say. 

Anyway, there will hopefully be more from me later in the week. Stay tuned as well at where fingers crosses I will hopefully have a piece up this week sometime.