Monday, September 29, 2008

The wrong way to start a week

Every other Monday our group has to partake in joint meetings in our institute. This generally means 9am talks, which used to drag along until 11am. Less sleep, less productive work hours and tons of in depth neurodevelopment, hard to comprehend in the early hours of the day.

Today was «slightly» different. Upon arrival at 8.45, the sirens of the fire-alarm greeted me and I saw hospital staff wheeling patients out of the wing. Strangely, no evacuation attempts for anybody else at that time. Very much to my displeasure all cafes were locked up, so I made my way outside to the evacuation point. The fire-brigade finally joined the party and things got more structured - shouting police men, hysterical fire marshals, the whole parade was out there.

It turned out that there was a serious explosion in one of the patient wards, two floors below our lab. Apparently and luckily, no-one got injured. Due to unknown structural damage, the whole wing is now off limits until an investigation can or cannot attest its safety. The latter case would be quite devastating for all the labs. I don't imagine the move of all the material to a replacement venue to be an interesting past-time [1].

Many people still have their personal belongings on the floor. They are now being issued petty cash, so they can at least make their way home. My current main concern is that the power circuits aren't cut, otherwise loads of precious samples in the freezers, fridges and cold rooms might go down the scientific drain.

Everyone has heard those stories about whole departments not recovering from fire, I just hope we won't be affected. The institute issued an emergency number, I got to call tomorrow morning to check whether the wing will be accessible again. Keep your fingers crossed.

[1] I just moved house and it was a huge pain in the neck - literally, because I did it manually.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Barefaced technician

After buying a simple USB print server from LinkSys for one of our USB printers:

The Linksys printer server is also a switch and we do not allow switches on the network except professional switches such as the ones managed by ISU. If you want to plug anything into the network or want to buy anything computer related then you need to speak to us first and we will tell you a suitable product that we will allow. I'm sure you wouldn't be too impressed if we bought your lab equipment for you.

Damn cheeky monkeys, they seem to forget why they have a job. That last statement should be printed as a book and whacked across their heads, several times. Besides, 30 quid for the LinkSys device or a ludicrous £170 for the HP print server our lovely technicians suggest?


Thursday, September 11, 2008

So you want an informative title as well?!?

Isn't it enough that I grace everyone with my blogging presence once more? Frankly, I'm bored, currently sitting in front of my new work PC with my new 24 inch Dell screen (yes I'm boasting, so what), waiting for my girlfriend to pick me up for dinner. Almost every sane person has left our floor, thus it's only me and the feaverishly completing research students. Nevertheless, it very quiet here at night and for once it's possible to concentrate in the office. Besides, at night no-one cares about time-slot at machines. Although, the other day the damn cryostat started its defrosting programme in the middle of sectioning.

Well, I just remember that I should check on my genotyping. Cheerio.

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