Let Leaping Dogs Fly

Woman, mother, scientist, wife, human. I post occasionally about any and all of these things. Whatever strikes my fancy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

We avoided spontaneous cranial decompression

But only by the narrowest of margins.

Exam, blah blah, passed, blah blah, head hurts, blah blah. I have no language left that does not encompass some biological concept. I just said "compass" there instead of concept, but fortunately for you guys I have a snazzy in-line-editor feature as part of my non-decompressed brain that allows me to remove all my typing gaffes before you see them. It likes to roll out the big words at times when it's late and I'm tired, like right now, just so you're warned about that.

I'm happy to report that the exam did not take place in french as I had feared it might. When I arrived there were several non-committee-member professors milling about in the hallway with notepads in hand and I thought they might be there to enact some other version of the pre-exam nightmare. You know, the one where the department eccentric grills you on his favorite subject, about which you know nothing, and upon whose response to your answers your whole grade depends? It's like when you dream that you're a kid again and you show up at your old elementary school and realize halfway through the dream that you're not wearing pants, only worse.

My sentence structure is clearly getting the best of me here, I'm starting to write like an overdramatized Victorian novelist. Onward!

Now that I've cleared this hurdle, I'm back to the lab to film, film, film. You see, I've poked holes in the crania of my study fish, and I capture data by threading a pressure transducer through the hole into their oral cavity to capture pressure information while they eat. I simultaneously and synchronously "videotape" them eating, using a high speed digital camera recording 500 frames/second. There's a lot of information in 500 frames of data filmed over 2 or 3 seconds (saved data usually works out to about 1GB per feeding event), and I need to record about... 200 more feedings. That and maybe possibly apply for some PhD positions (quick, make sure nobody heard me say that). Oh, yeah, and that whole elopeme... er, wedding that we're having. I think the theme may be "come celebrate our elopement! (shh, it's really a wedding)", and everyone will receive party hats and noise makers at the door. If we pretend it's not really a wedding, it should be less wedding-like, right? Easy peasy. Right now all that activity sounds significantly easier than going to sleep, which is what I'm not doing as I sit here typing at midnight...

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