It took three of us to work out how to get liquid out of this stupid bottle of lab disinfectant, which is plugged permanently with a purpose-built green plastic thing where you’d expect the opening to be. Instead, you have to allow the liquid to flow into the little side tunnel which dispenses only about a milliliter at a time, with the operator having to tip it all the way back and all the way forward again at a precise angle to reload it. At this rate, it took me five minutes to milk out 50 mL.

My question is, why? What crazy control-freak designer thought it would be a good idea not to allow users to pour exactly how much liquid they wanted to all in one go?

“I’ll make them do it in tiny aliquots – the more hurry they’re in, the more diabolic it will be! I’ll show them! I’ll show them aallllllll!”

In other news, in a real “who’s on first” moment later on this afternoon, one post-doc kept asking another, “Have we got heaps?”

“Heaps of what?”


“Heaps of heaps?”

After a few more rounds of this, it transpired that they were actually talking about HEPES buffer.