Well… it’s about that time. You know, the end of the semester where you start every project you’ve had the semester to complete. At least that’s what I’m doing. I finally made some headway on my Neuro project during the past few weeks. I’m sleep depriving zebrafish; I had planned to devise a scheme using streams of bubbles that work on some obnoxious structure to generate a regular disturbance (alright it was PZ’s idea). However I finally admitted defeat about the same time I shattered a water heater and realized I had gotten nowhere.
Desperately I went to a local farm supply store to look for what I could only articulate as “a really really slow motor.” (I don’t want to hear any comments about torque or gears… A: I probably won’t understand you and B: at this point in the semester, it might make me weep.) I tottered over to what looked like the motor isle… although they could have been bombs or anchors because I wouldn’t have known the difference. I waited until my confused expression attracted an employee and asked if they had any of those “really really slow motors… to… um… turn a rod in my fish aquarium.” The guy actually looked offended like I asked for adult entertainment products. “We wouldn’t sell any of that here.” He replied stiffly. Fortunately his buddy overheard and offered, “You mean like a rotisserie?”
Brilliant! They tried to sell me a one hundred dollar rotisserie which I declined, but the idea was invaluable. Why didn’t I think of that? I was imagining a Rube Goldberg machine with a lot of hot glue. Anyway I found an old rotisserie motor for $5 and am quite pleased. Also, PZ put together a big black box in which I’ll hang a light on a timer. Not only will these fish be gently stirred but they’ll have the lights going on and off all night.
I would feel bad except I’m not sleeping either.