Saturday, August 16, 2008

Guess that Gizmo

Way back when I introduced (somewhat prematurely) what I plan to have be a regular feature on this blog: Guess that Gizmo, I hadn't even convinced Baby Sibling to make an awesome graphic for me (check out that awesomeness, thanks Baby Sibling!!!!!). I've been contemplating how I wanted this to work and decided that I am going to borrow some concepts from The Roaming Southerner and have it be a contest where people earn points over a given time frame and at the end someone gets a nerdy piece of blog bling that they can display proudly if they so choose (the time frame will give me time to figure out how blog bling works...). So here are the official Guess that Gizmo rules:

1. Guess that Gizmo will follow an academic calendar give or take:
  • Fall Semester: Late August through Mid December.
  • Spring Semester: Mid January through Early May.
  • Summer Semester*: Mid May through Mid August.
2. The point system is as follows:
  • Wrong but amusing answer: 1 point
  • Right answer: 2 points
  • I will not be giving the right answer until the end of the semester so more than one person can be right, for multiples of the wrong answer(s) only the first person gets the creativity point(s).
3. There is currently no limit on the number of guesses, if a miracle happens and I get swamped I may need to revisit this one.

4. Guess that Gizmo is meant to be fun, don't take it too seriously! There are things I encounter in labs that I have no idea what they are and sometimes try to guess what it is/does, figured that it might be fun to see what other people might guess.

5. And since one never knows: I am not making any statement for or against a brand/product/company by including it or its competitor in Guess that Gizmo (though I will totally sell out for an anaerobic incubator**! I am NOT kidding!) and my employer has absolutely nothing to do with the content of this blog and it is written on my personal computer.

*As a grad student I do not get the summer off, school is year round for us, so why should you all get the summer off Guess that Gizmo? ;) (LiteralDan's use of footnotes amuses me greatly and so I wanna be cool like him and use them on my blog, citing my source makes it totally ethical to blatantly copy him)

**Anaerobic means without oxygen, the bacteria I work with are anaerobes and will not grow in the presence of oxygen so I have to put my cultures in airtight jars with expensive packets that convert the oxygen into carbon dioxide and/or water, pain in the butt and limiting. An anaerobic incubator is pretty much #1 on my wish list. I have come close to having that dream come true, once it was the wrong thing and broken anyway (that was soooo embarrassing, though it tricked Dr. M too) and the next Boss Lady decided we needed a food grade centrifuge (machine that spins samples so that the solids in a liquid go to the bottom and stay there as the liquid is poured off) more than we needed the most awesomest incubator in the world (she is right, part of the project calls for people to sample what I make and so I need equipment that has never been in the path lab to get the study approved by the ethics board, she is not cool with my idea that we could just recruit people we don't like for the taste panel...).

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