Tuesday, 1 May 2012

09:18 – I did go ahead and make up one liter of the 0.1 M IKI solution from solid iodine and potassium iodine. A tenth mole of each in 20 mL of water forms a brown-black sludge that looks like tar. So, with the IKI I already had on hand, I now have enough to make up 40 or so 30 mL bottles. Once the other liter finally goes into solution, I’ll have enough for 30 more.

I almost finished the glass and plastic analysis group of lab sessions for the forensics book yesterday. I’ll finish that today and start on the fingerprinting group. That’s a pretty large group, but I should be able to finish it this week.

Speaking of forensics, Barbara and I recently started watching Crossing Jordan again. We’d already watched the first season, which was released on DVD some years ago. But there was then some issue with music copyrights that for several years made it impossible for the studio to release seasons two through six. In March, all six seasons showed up on Netflix streaming, so we started watching it again where we’d left off.

The cast is good. The writing is generally competent, if not great. Sure, they put their characters in a lot of unrealistic situations, but that’s TV. What’s interesting is how they present forensic science. Unlike Bones, with its imaginary forensics, with minor exceptions Crossing Jordan sticks pretty much to the real deal. Yeah, they sometimes do things that are imaginary in 2012 and would have been really imaginary in 2002, like putting two blood samples into a desktop gene sequencer, punching a button, and four seconds later having Southern blots show up on the computer display, which flashes “DNA MATCH!”. But overall they get the science pretty much right. They also get the personality traits right, particularly with Bug (a forensic entomologist) and Nigel (a forensic technician).

We’re also well into season three of Heartland, which a lot of people think of as the Canadian version of McLeod’s Daughters. We liked the first couple seasons of McLeod’s Daughters, but it quickly went down the tubes after they killed off Claire. As long as Heartland doesn’t make the mistake of killing off Amy, they should be good for a 10 or 15 year run. The cast is first-rate, as is the writing.

Over the years, I’ve rated several hundred series and movies on Netflix, and given fewer than a dozen of those five stars. Heartland gets five stars, at least so far.