Archive for December, 2015

December 25, 2015

Dogs like Christmas, Dog-Mom.

by Janie Jones

Are those small brown packages dog presents?  Oooh, I bet they are!

July 2015 004

I smell dog bones….

December 24, 2015

Oh, Hanta Claus. Oh, Hanta Claus, how infectious are your microbes.

by Janie Jones

This has been circling through the emails from people in my labs… 


Twas the night before Christmas and all thru my house,
Not a specimen was stirring, not even a louse.
The test tubes were capped and the rat cages closed,
The mold cultures fuzzy, the mice in repose.
The oven kept warm the ebola and pox,
I still need to locate my last pair of clean socks…
But that has to wait till tomorrow, I know;
My microbes still need that much more time to grow.

When from the kitchen came a massive explosion,
I leaped from my bed in perpetual motion.
Grabbing my lab coat I pulled on my pants,
Struggling into them a sick sort of dance.
With fury and haste I put on a shirt,
Running out of the bedroom on feet black with dirt.
Buttoning my lab coat and donning a mask,
I ran into the kitchen holding an Erlenmeyer flask.

I nearly passed out when the man who I saw,
dressed in containment gear sealed without flaw,
Held high a huge sack with his arm stiff and straight,
I could tell he must have a hard time with his weight.

Through the mike from his suit he said without pause,
“Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas, I’m Hanta Claus!”
Over his shoulder he hefted the sack,
We walked into the living room, I offered a snack.
He took it and smiled, placed the sack by my bench,
Instantly I noticed the Clostridium stench.
Brimming with joy, I cried out with glee,
“Did you bring all of these germies for me?”
“Oh yes,” said Hanta, “I must show propriety;
By bringing you microbes, I’m saving society.
“You are the only one who loves these diseases.
Therefore I’m glad to oblige who it pleases.”

Delirious with excitement I sat by his side
While he gave me a year’s stock of microscope slides,
And pasteur pipettes, drug resistant bacteria,
Such as staph, strep and cultures from the genus Neisseria.

The gleam in my eyes caused the house to be lit,
The moment he gave me a gram-staining kit,
Clostridium tetani, perfringens and sporogenes,
Salmonella typhi and Streptococcus pyogenes!
Plus viruses known to produce hepatitis,
Herpes, and rabies, yellow fever and meningitis!
But that was not all, he had parasites too,
Plasmodia, trypanosomes and schistosomes true!
Tapeworms and roundworms, plague-carrying fleas.
How sincerely generous, Hanta did aim to please!

At long last he said he must now go away,
His sled was experiencing radioactive decay.
“Thanks for the presents,” I said, shaking his hand,
“They’ll keep me off the streets, you understand.”

Hanta Claus smiled and bid me goodnight,
Shouting “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good blight!”


Hope you all have a happy, healthy Christmas filled with whatever delights you most!

December 23, 2015

A little biochemistry on the brain

by Janie Jones

You know you’ve been studying a little too much when you start seeing obscure science-y stuff in every day life.

Take this advertisement for boots I got in my email:



I don’t know why the company calls itself UGG Australia.  But after 16 weeks of biochemistry, genetics and virology, when I see UGG my mind immediately goes to the DNA sequence abbreviation for Uracil, Guanine, Guanine which is the codon for the amino acid tryptophan.  But that’s just me.

16 weeks earlier, my mind would just have gone from UGG to ugg-ly.  And that context is perhaps more fitting.


December 22, 2015

Do you think my tractor’s sexy?

by Janie Jones

I recently heard this joke, but have been too busy to share.  So, now, instead of a Christmas joke, you get this:


Ole went to see his friend Sven.  But when he knocked on the door Sven’s wife Lena answered.

“Hey-der, Lena.  Is Sven around?”

“Ja, Ole, he’s out in da barn working on that stupid John Deer tractor.”

So, Ole went to look for Sven in the barn.  As it was getting late in the day it was rather dark, but he thought he saw Sven in the barn leaning up against the John Deer, rubbing the hood and whispering. 

Curious, Ole stepped into the barn and heard Sven saying softly, “Oh, ja, yer such a good John Deer.  What a beautiful, steady John Deer.  Do you know, I couldn’t get by without you.”

“Sven!”  Ole cried, “What are you doing?”

Sven stepped away from the John Deer and blushed in the dim light.  “Hey-der Ole.  Well, you see Lena and I’ve been having some marital problems so I went and saw this counselor.  He told me if I want things between me and Lena to improve I have to learn to say complimentary things to a tractor.”



December 9, 2015

The mastodon of doom

by Janie Jones

Sorry I have been a very lame blogger recently.

Sorry I missed Tuesday Titters!  I’ve been feeling quite, um, well, like this I guess:

Wooly mammoth squash comic


The semester is coming to an end and while there are moments when it feels like the mastodon of doom has been lifted from my shoulders the relief is but short lived before the pterodactyl of looming doom swoops in and carries me away to a new and equally soul crushing project.

Attack from the skies.

Hopefully I will be back soon.



December 1, 2015

Tuesday Titters: Another Great White North Winter

by Janie Jones

The weather reports predict big snow falls today, so we’re getting in the mood…

Where does a polar bear keep its money?
In a snow bank.

Why don’t mountains get cold in the winter?
Because they wear snow caps!

What do snowmen eat for breakfast?
Frosted Flakes.