Sunday, 29 January 2012

By on January 29th, 2012 in science kits, writing

08:51 – We should finish the manuscript today, with two days to spare. Barbara is cleaning house this morning and then heading over to her parents’ house for lunch. We’ll shoot the final images this afternoon.

While I was doing laundry yesterday I had a few minutes to spare so I decided to make up the eosin Y stain for the biology kits. Eosin Y stain sold by most lab supply vendors can be anything from 0.2% to 1% eosin in either water or alcohol. Normally, the only other component is a preservative to prevent mold growth, usually a pinch of thymol or a few drops of chloroform per liter. But I’d been doing some research, and it seems that acidifying the stain with 1% or so acetic acid gives much better results.

So I dissolved 5 grams of eosin Y in nearly a liter of distilled water. It formed a very dark red solution that was so intensely-colored it was opaque even holding the bottle up to a strong light. I added 10 mL of glacial acetic acid and was surprised to see a distinct color change to almost orange. I’ll have to do a comparison test with the acidified eosin Y against neutral aqueous and alcoholic eosin Y before I use this for kits, but I suspect it’ll work very well.

15 Comments and discussion on "Sunday, 29 January 2012"

  1. Chuck Waggoner says:

    Here’s something interesting, albeit not exactly polite. I just heard the song below on the boom box of the kids down the street, who constantly play loud music while honing their skateboard skills. Amazingly, it is in German, and also a good bit obscene.

    Don’t worry, — unless somebody in your office knows German well enough to pick up German slang, it is work safe.

    It was a really popular dance tune in clubs when I left Berlin, and apparently has since spread worldwide. I keep pushing to play it on the radio station, but I made the mistake of telling the big boss what the translation is. “xi” is “sie” or “her” in this context. Who in the US but a German tourist is going to understand that?

    If you feel you must know more, go to

    and scroll down to Cosmonaut’s first post. He claims it is a rough translation, but trust me, that is an exact translation.

    Song is by 2 guys from Frankfurt am Main, although they produced that track under an alias (no mention of Paxi Fixi in the bio link below)

    I really love that song, but if I were a kid, my mom would have punished me for listening to it — if she had known German (which she didn’t). Wonder if those kids down the street have any idea what the words mean?

  2. OFD says:

    Extremely doubtful. But Das ist sehr gut , probably.

  3. Chuck Waggoner says:

    I miss “oder?” (or) at the end of statements. In Berlin at least, people often make a statement, then say “oder?” to see if you agree with them. Jeri and I started doing that in English — just appending “oder?” to the end of an English statement.

    So you could say, “Das ist sehr gut — oder?”

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Kind of like the US English “or what?” at the end, which always drives me nuts. “Is that great, or what?”

  5. SteveF says:

    Yah, really?

  6. SteveF says:

    You know?

  7. Rolf Grunsky says:


  8. Miles_Teg says:

    It’s said that you can tell how far out from Brisbane a Queenslander comes from by the length of the “ehh?” at the end of their sentences…

  9. OFD says:

    Naturally Mr. Grigg has to say “eh?” And now Mr. Grunsky, also from our beloved neighbor to the north, oder?

    And another Canadian speech habit; even declaratory sentences end in an interrogatory tone, every statement a question somehow….not straight out and bold and brassy like us wonderful Americans, dammit!

    What is really a shame now is that our daughter, born and raised here in just the greatest country in the history of the world, of English, Irish and Scottish background, has been attending McGill and living up there in la belle Montreal. So now even SHE is doing this. Tres annoying, eh? Irritating, oder?

    But of course I am betting my nasty just-west-of-Boston and just-north-of-Rhode-Island accent must have been driving people batshit over the decades. Our most glaring example, of course, is removing the letter ‘R’ from words and inserting it in other words. Thus, a barn is a bahn. A car is a cah. But an idea is an ideer. A beer is a beeah, and Florida is Florider.

    Now can someone get me a frappe to go with my grindah?

  10. Robert(Bob) Phillips says:

    West’s Bakery(AKA; Hope Valley Bakery), Hope Valley, RI makes a delicious Grinder on their Own, West’s Baked,Grinder Rolls… Now, I believe they will also make a Frappe to go with that Grinder…..BOB

  11. OFD says:

    O Lordy, Lordy, I love an Italian grinduh and a coffee or mocha frappe! And for all you illiterates out there, Rhode Island is pronounced as all one word, thusly:


    Thanks for that tip, Mr. Phillips; I once in a blue moon like to travel down to the Ocean State and laugh to myself how the northwest corner is still so desolate and full of genuine Swamp Yankees, not to mention the meth labs out in the woods. Just miles from the horrors of 95 and NYC.

  12. Chuck Waggoner says:

    Yah drapped yah quahtah.

    When I could understand that, I knew I had learned the foreign language spoken by Boston natives.

  13. Chuck Waggoner says:

    One thing I noticed about native German speakers, is that they do not intersperse any equivalents of um, er, and, you know, etc. They speak without anything but an occasional dead pause, after which they say, “Na, ja” and go on.

    One of my speech teachers had a little bell, and as we delivered our debate arguments, anytime there was an uh, um, or whatever, she rang the bell. It worked. Her students had the best delivery in the state, and always placed high. At the time, she placed more radio and TV people than any other high school in the state.

  14. Robert(Bob) Phillips says:

    I’ve been in New Awlins since 2-06, after Katrina… Ha, poor-boys in every taste immagable, ha… Beinyeays(spelling) here are something “these people” die for, ha… OHHHHH, don’t forget the “crawdads”, ha… Crawdad boils everywhere, he, he, heeee.

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