Friday, February 23, 2007

Well Said.

Best Chief Illiniwek Debate Quote Ever:

"I will say this about the Illini: I'm appalled they would display something this offensive for so long—and I'm talking about the football and basketball teams."

- Chicago Tribune Red Eye Columnist Whizzer

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Call Me Ish.... Gargamel

I've been doing some unpleasant work in the lab lately. Nothing too disgusting but I've been working on a lot of protein blots and yesterday I had to make a new protein buffer that contains one of my least favorite lab chemicals ever. It's not anything noxious smelling, radioactive or toxic but it does have quite the crazy color. This oh-so-favorite compound of mine is called Bromophenol Blue. And yes, it is very Bromophenol and very, VERY Blue. It comes in a powdered format and a little goes a long way. No, let me rephrase that - an extremely little, an iota even, goes a long, LONG way. The true joy of this chemical though lies not in it's ability to turn solutions shades of cornflower to indigo, or in the fact that it reacts strongly to proteins (any proteins... including those on human skin, yes, my dear blog readers, this is called foreshadowing). You see, the true joy of Bromophenol Blue lies in the fact that as a powder it camouflages perfectly to the color of a standard lab bench. Needless to say the stray grain of it inevitably winds up where it is least expected - usually on the hands of the unsuspecting lab tech who removed her gloves after what she thought was a thorough cleaning of the counters. And really, is there anything more complementary to a long hard day at work than leaving the office with palms and fingers the color of blueberries? I seriously looked like I'd been running around all day squashing Smurfs with my bare hands. If I had the black robe and malicious kitty I could've done a great Gargamel impression because certainly my annoyance at the incident brought out a long suppressed evil Smurf-killing countenance that I didn't even know I had in me. After a dozen washings (and Smurf curses muttered under my breath) my hands had only faded to a dark cerulean shade and two days later, two days of excessive hand-washing later, my skin was still resembling a speckled robin's egg. And truthfully, if that was the worst of it, I could cope. But as it turns out as I got to work today - on the verge of regaining my normal-for-me bleached chalk skin tone - Bromo-Blue Buffer was back on my to-do list. Regardless of caution - double gloves, paper towels, triple cleanings - I once again am the not-so-proud bearer of six out of ten blue fingers. I'll get you Papa Smurf if it's the last thing I do!

Monday, February 19, 2007

End of an Era

So the University of Illinois (my esteemed alma mater!) has officially retired Chief Illiniwek. You can read all about it in the Tribune or at U of I's official statement website. Personally I think the whole thing fizzling out seems like something of a joke. [Not that any part of the issue can be more of a joke than 2002's infamous Plummer report stating "the Board of Trustees has but two alternatives – retain the Chief or retire him." Uhhh... no shit, Sherlock!] However in light of the upcoming last dance, those that support the Chief get no type of honorable retirement for their "beloved tradition" and those that see him as nothing more than a point of contention lack the apology and denunciation of labelling him a "racist mascot". Perhaps this is the only way to achieve a compromise in which case I will concede that it is, in all ways, for the best. But when I look at the efforts of those that have argued the dilemma for the past decade or more, it seems quite the anticlimactic end to things. What has long been painted as a war between alumni dollars and Native American interests has come down to no more than the simple matter of hosting post season sports.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Chocolate Covered...Finger?

"I suppose it went unnoticed because there were nuts in the chocolate and it was hard to tell the difference,"
- Police spokesman from Mainz, Germany
on the finding of a fingertip in a chocolate treat

Maybe it's so gross it's funny or maybe it's just too gross to be funny but the forensic fan in me couldn't resist sharing this article from Reuters online this morning. Consider it something to think about next week as friends and loved ones are passing around the Valentine's Day assortments.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

60 Second Super Bowl

"OH! Devin Hester!!! We love you!!! Devin is Heaven!! AWWWW YEAH!!!"

"Ugh - what was that?? Hello?!?? Where is our Defense?? HA! They bobbled the snap! Yes yes yes - Bears are still on top!!"

"And let's just tack on another seven points for good measure!!! Bear Down Chicago Bears...."

"This is gonna be a high scoring game! These teams are so equally matched! What?!? Where is our defense at and WHAT is with all these turnovers?!??? At least they held them to a field goal..."

"Now can our offense PLEASE put something together??? Do I hear first down??? WHY am I not hearing anything about first downs????"

"AGHHH!!! I WISH they had held them to a field goal!!!! This is NOT the way to end a half, people!!!!"

"Okay new half. Hopefully they got a good pep talk and why the heck are THEY SCORING AGAIN?!???!!"

"AND AGAIN??!??!"

"Come on guys... let's get the ball down the field... Can we get a touch down??? PLEEEEASE??? PLEEEEAASE???!!! *sigh* At least we all remember why we love Robbie Gould...."

"Now let's see our defense is finally stepping up to the plate now if we can just hang in their and - OH NO!!! Was he out of bounds??? Was he *please* out of bounds??? Let's see a few more replays maybe just maybe...."

"Good night folks, time to go cry ourselves to sleep with dreams of next year."

"Better to have Super Bowled and lost than never to have Super Bowled at all."

"And remember, we'll always have that amazing first quarter."