Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday at the Museum

I don't actually work IN the museum, but in an adjoining building with labs and stuff. I can still get into the museum free, though, through back hallways. It makes me feel special.

Today the power went out about half an hour after I arrived, and stayed out for over an hour. Since a lot of people work in rooms with no real windows, they were kind of out wandering the halls or visiting the actual museum, which did not lose power. It's dino days, and I guess a lot of little kids are there wanting to meet real scientists. I was talking to one guy who said, "I'm not a paleontologist. I'm a geologist. But I can fake it well enough." OK, he didn't really say that, but that's pretty much what he meant.

Luckily (or not?) the computer I use sits right next to an emergency plug, which still has power when the power is out. (In 2004, when that blackout hit the whole eastern seaboard, I was in the middle of a Western blot. We used a bunch of power strips and extension cords to get the equipment I needed plugged in, since the emergency plugs are supposed to be just for things like freezers that always need to be on.) I guess paleontologists don't have much need for emergency power, because they didn't know that the red plugs would always work. But I plugged my computer in there, and poof! It worked.

The internet didn't, though. So when I ran out of work to do (which happens a lot here), the only way I found to amuse myself (besides talking to a geologist posing as a paleontologist in the hallway) was to play Mac Chess. I'm terrible at chess, I found out.

I saved a couple of files while the internet/power was out. The computer's clock uses the internet to get set, I guess, and it was set to 7:00pm, Wednesday, December 30, 1969. So those files were saved in 1969. That's cool.

When the internet came back on, the clock still didn't reset itself properly at first, so when I tried to open a secure website (like gmail), it said Bad Server Certificate! This certificate won't be valid for 38 years! That was funny.

Now everything is back to normal, and I've done all the work I can do for the day. I guess I could leave early, but I don't have anywhere to go. Hrm.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good day to me. When you visit Chicago, I'll see if I can take you to the specimen preparing room at the Field to meet the dermestid beetles and the freezers full of birds!