24 January 2007

Fortitude and Rebirth

I was in lab today and I needed to obtain some ant samples from the nest. The nest is a plastic, transparent box with a removable lid. Every time you touch it, or jostle it, or remove the lid, the ants come screaming out of there, looking for new territory to populate.

Today, I decided to try something new. I got a green tray whose inner walls were specifically designed to be slippery and put the nest-box inside this tray and opened the lid. As expected, the ants scurried out of the nest and started to explore the tray, slipping off the sides without a hint of experience.

'Great!' I thought, I'll just scoop them up and dump them into the nest, cleanly close the lid and no ant shall be harmed in the process, except the ones who are going to fry tonight in the CHELEX buffer. I finished up and realized that they were still scampering around, still amnestically exploring the tray. How troublesome.

Then I remembered someone talking about how the ants slow down in the freezer (or any temperature less than 30deg. C). I took the long green tray and stuck it in the freezer for 10 minutes. After dawdling on YouTube, I took the tray out and all the ants were motionless.

Today has been an interesting day. Biochemistry was fun and even though a lot of it was review, there's a peculiar charm to taking notes in OneNote on a T60.* Yin made quite a few mistakes in lecture today, though. For example, Cystisine doesn't bond with Guanine, that's Cytosine. Even still, I know that in the near future, I will receive a couple of fated letters which will send me in a downward spiral of depression and despair. Anyway, I've still got to rally up the troops like a warrior and push on with life. Fortitude.

O shit! I killed off a colony! But they're ANTS! They can't die so easy. FORTITUDE! COME ON! I took an ant and cupped it in my palm, gently blowing hot air on it for it to revive. After a couple of seconds, the antennae start moving, then the legs, then I start regretting picking up this creature and throw it back into the tray where it finds its friends frozen (or cryogenically hibernating).***

They'll wake up. I took the nest out, banged on the tray at an angle until all the ants were in a corner, then emptied this corner of ants into the nest**. Working on another nest, I did the same. 30 minutes later, both nests were bustling. Rebirth.

I went to dinner with some (strange?) people and due to some reason (...) I didn't eat much and spent most of the time cooling the maelstrom. This caused me to become hungry and I bought some leanpockets for later consumption. Getting back to my room after lab, I decided to bust one out and eat it, except my room was (as usual) incinerating. I opened a window, sat on the ledge and started thinking. While the spinach, turkey and cheese were being mashed into a bolus, the bushes were only 10 meters or so below me, 10 meters to.. rebirth.

*: I believe this is a kickaess charm.
: First time I showed emotion towards these..creatures...
***: This scene reminded me of, I could be a doctor, somehow. Replace ant with patient, 'blowing hot air' with defibrillator and palm with operating table. CLEAR!

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