Day: July 10, 2013

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

09:09 – We now have just about everything we need on hand to make up batches of 15 each of the internationalized chemistry kits and biology kits. Well, other than work space. My work tables are currently piled high with bins and bags of chemical bottles and various miscellany. I need to get those relocated to the inventory shelves before I’ll have space to build kits.

We also have just about everything we need on hand to make up 30 more forensic science kits. The only exception is Kastle-Meyer reagent, which I’ve been making up frequently in small batches. Because KM reagent is by design unstable, we seal the bottles under an inert atmosphere and refrigerate them. When we ship a forensic science kit, we pull a bottle from the refrigerator and stick it in the box just before shipping. When I made up a batch a year or so ago, I pulled one bottle and set it aside unrefrigerated and without the inert atmosphere for later testing. I think I’ll open that bottle soon and check it. If it’s still good, I may start making up larger batches of KM reagent, at least a couple months’ supply.

Come to think of it, I don’t really need to test it. All I need to do is look at it. Fresh KM reagent is a straw yellow color. Oxidized (spoiled) KM reagent turns dark reddish brown. If the liquid in that year-old bottle is still pale yellow, I’ll feel comfortable doing larger batches of KM. I want at least a one-year shelf life. If the stuff that wasn’t covered with an inert atmosphere and wasn’t refrigerated is still good, that won’t be a problem. Using the inert atmosphere and refrigerating the reagent should extend its shelf life by at least a factor of four.

14:20 – UPS just showed up with the Canon HD Camcorder. It’s charging now. Even though I knew the dimensions–2.1×2.2×4.6″ or 5.3×5.7×11.6 cm–I was still surprised how small it is. Now to figure out how to get video files off it and how to edit them. It has a USB port, so presumably it’ll be recognized as a USB mass storage device. If not, I’ll just use a card reader. It records in AVCHD or MP4. I’m not sure I have an editor that’ll work with either one, but worst case I’ll use ffmpeg to convert it to a raw format, edit it, and save it as MP4, QT, or whatever.

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