Lab Day 2; Jet Lag?

I woke up at 4:00am again today. I was wide awake so I decided to read. I’m reading Ignorance How It Drives Science by Stuart Firestein. I like how the book frames science as creating questions that are yet to be answered, rather than the accumulation of knowledge. The chapter starts out,

 “Is there anything harder to know than what’s inside another person’s head? What is he or she thinking, feeling, perceiving? Is my “red” her “red”? Whis is it like to be him? Is there anything we can know with less surety?

After reading for about an hour I walked in the dark about a kilometer to meet up with the Townsville road runners for their morning hill run. It was a 6-7 km run which climbed a hill was all I was told. The four of us ran together through the dark drizzle, and then we got to the base of the “hill”. Hill is an understatement. I walked up it as the grade was as steep as any road I have ever been on. The view of the lights of Townsville through the misty clouds and drizzle made the climb worth it. Cam was my running buddy and we shared stories of our wives, and travel, and running. When we were coming down from the last big hill Cam said in his 60 + years of wisdom, “Running makes me feel virtuous. I am up getting exercise, and an endorphin rush and kings and queens are in bed snoring.” I had to admit the run felt pretty good, maybe even a little virtuous.

Food Update:

This morning I had my first crumpet with vegemite. It is a concentrated yeast spread. (Note to self spread vegemite very thin, it is not at all like peanut butter.)

I also ate my first biltong. It in South African beef jerky basically. I felt a bit like a dog gnawing on a rawhide but the flavor was nice and it was not as salty as beef jerky.

South African Cured Beef

I still haven’t tried the black sapote, and it is getting pretty soft so I should eat it soon.

Nature Update:

I saw a squashed cane toad on the road on my run today. Still no live cane toad sighting. I have heard varying stories from they are hibernating under rocks, to keep looking they are out there. One suggestion was to start flipping over rocks and you are bound to find a cane toad… You are also bound to find a snake. I saw about 10 wallabies this evening on the edge of the cricket field. I tried to take a video. See if you can spot the wallabe hopping away.

They walked around on all fours and then bound away. They also have surprisingly small heads.

Lab Update:

Today was the second day in the lab. I am helping Kate with her project as she is presenting her poster next week at the Algae for the Future convention in Adeladie. The experiment we set up today looked at how concentration of KMnO4 affects algae and ciliates. What we hoped to find was a minimum concentration that could be added to the contaminated algae that would kill the ciliates and not effect the algae. Our initial experiment, which followed the recommended concentration from the literature, didn’t flocculate (clump up) the algae but also didn’t kill the ciliates. We then set up a dose response assay with a wider range of concentrations in a 24 well plate to see how the KMnO4 affects the algae. With our results from the dose response assay we will rerun the experiment tomorrow with different concentrations of KMnO4.

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Deep thought from the lab today. Fish oil is a second hand product. Where did the fish get the oil in the first place? The fish ate the algae that contained lipids. How did the algae get the “lipids?” Pretty cool huh!

2 Responses to “Lab Day 2; Jet Lag?”
  1. Dhara says:

    Mr. Chopp,
    I wish I’d known about your blog earlier; I didn’t receive an email and I just found out today about it. Australia is actually number 1 on my wish list of places I would like to go and this is a great way for me to find out more about it. I’m excited to keep on reading and finishing this before school starts!

  2. Helena Mills says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with your statements about feeling virtous after running in the early morning and also find the quote at the top very interesting because it is something I have often wondered. Is there a way to test if someone’s red is another person’s red?

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