Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Two things

First thing:
One of the students in the lab is studying hagfish. She just came back with some new ones from deep in the Atlantic ocean. Hagfish look like skinny, shiny, pickled penii. They get into dead fish and eat their way out. Sometimes the fish is not dead yet but that doesn't stop the hagfish. When you irritate a hagfish, it creates an astonishing amount of slime. You could fit the hagfish in one hand but the amount of slime it produces in two seconds is more than you can fit in both. But it's 90% water and so shrinks pretty quickly as you are holding it, which I did. Thankfully it is not like slug slime in that it doesn't stick. Hagfish slime would work great if you wanted to pretend-sneeze on someone.

Second thing:
When I emerged from a labyrinthine basement filled with jarred fish that aren't for eating I heard some odd clopping and a grandma voice but I kept walking. Away from the sounds. When suddenly (but zombie-suddenly) there was an elderly lady with a walker and a man in front of me, asking me where something was. I told her what floor the something was on, and pointed her in the direction of the elevator. At which point I saw the source of the original clopping grandma sound: A second elderly lady with a walker and a man. She was rounding a corner at the other end of the hall at the same time as the first elderly lady. Soon a not-elderly lady appeared and apologized for losing the walker twins. At which point I thought how in the heck do you manage to lose one slow-moving person, never mind two?


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