08:11 – I just mailed off the state and federal estimated tax payments. Government should be just like any other product. If you want it, you pay for it voluntarily. If you don’t, you don’t.
I spent yesterday working on the front matter for the biology book and also on rewrite on the first group of lab sessions. I just re-worked one of those, on antibiotic sensitivity of bacteria, yet again. This is the third time, so let’s hope it’s a charm. In the first iteration, I based the lab session around antibiotic test papers, which is the usual method of testing sensitivity of bacteria to different antibiotics.
The problem with that was that I wanted to do a follow-up procedure in which we retested the now-resistant bacteria against the various antibiotics. That required re-culturing the bacteria in the presence of an antibiotic, which really meant I needed to supply the antibiotics in more concentrated form. So, several weeks ago, I rewrote that procedure to use solutions of the antibiotics rather than impregnated test papers, and respecified the kit contents accordingly.
The problem with that method is that it turns out that dilute solutions of some of the antibiotics I used are not stable in dilute solutions, even when refrigerated. So, yesterday I re-rewrote that procedure around different antibiotics, one of which I can supply with the kits in liquid form, one as capsules, and two as powders, all of which are stable.
That, of course, meant that I had to track down sources for the materials, put together purchase orders, and actually order the materials for the first batch of kits. Not to mention creating new labels for those components and creating new MSDS sheets for each. I’ve now done all that (other than the MSDSs), and updated the bill-of-materials for the kits.
14:12 – Wow. I just took a break to do a backup, and while the backup is copying to the thumb drives I was checking news sites. It appears that that Italian cruise-ship company has hit the rocks in more ways than one. The ship itself is a write-off, and I suspect the insurers will balk at paying a third of a billion dollars to replace the ship, given that the captain acted completely irresponsibly. I understand that he knowingly approached the rocks to get close enough to shore that his head cook could wave to a family member. Then the captain bailed at his first opportunity. The hell with his passengers, he was out to save himself. And now I see that the company has left the shipwrecked passengers stranded, literally. Most of the passengers lost all of their possessions, including passports, credit cards, and cash. Not to mention things like prescription medications. Ordinarily in a situation like this, one would expect the company to fall all over itself to help the people it dumped into the ocean. Buy them clothing and personal items to tide them over. Intercede to help them get temporary papers or replacement passports. Pay airfare to get them back home. And so on. Apparently, this company is doing literally nothing to help, not so much as buying the victims a cup of coffee. Victims who’ve asked for help have been told to sue the company. It’s not that the company is trying to avoid admitting responsibility. They’ve already done that. They’re just not willing to spend a cent to help the victims. Apparently, the captain was not the only miserable excuse for a human being employed by this company.