Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Author: Robert Bair

Finally I am ready… well, almost ready to start my experiments. Today everyone in the group that needed to receive training in the AAS or the TOC received training. I will be using the AAS to check the levels of Zn, Pb, and K that are absorbed by duckweed. I will be using the TOC to determine whether or not my desorbing solutions are destroying the plant cells. If the plants cells are destroyed there will be a spike in TOC.
It takes a full week for me to run all of the samples from an individual test, so I won’t start anything until Monday. For now I am enjoying the countless hours of staring at duckweed. That’s not true; I have plenty of research to do in the mean time. It’s in situations like these that I am happy the budget cuts haven’t affected our access to online databases.
Adapting to a new environment:
The bike I bought is already falling apart. No wonder it only cost me 45 euros. Luckily I have found plenty of spare parts throughout the city. Some person was throwing away a bike frame so I took it. I also found a luggage rack under a bridge, which I need to figure out how to attach to my bike. Most people would call this “being cheap and grungy.” I view it as being a creative recycler! I’ll take pictures of my “highly modified” bike when I am done.
I wish I had learned more languages when I was younger. Everyone I have met speaks around 4 or 5 different languages. I guess it is easier be isolated in the US. Here if you drive 2.5 hours to the south you end up in a completely different country.

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