It is always fun (as a sci-fi fan) to find things in the RBCM’s collection which take me away from tasks like fish vat inventory, to allow a brief respite in geekism.
Sure there are simple things – like finding specimen 2187 and making the nerdistic reference to Finn’s stormtrooper number and Princess Leia’s jail cell. In the vertebrate collection, 2187 is the catalog number for a Columbian Ground Squirrel collected in 1937, and a Mallard Duck from 1915. There is no reptile or amphibian with that number – the highest catalog number in the herpetology collection is 2007. There’s also no fish with that number; fishes have complex catalog numbers which reflect the year the specimen was collected, the sample lot in that year, and the nth species in that specific lot. I plan to simplify the fish catalog numbers – so eventually there will be a fishy 2187 and it will have a fin.
But in January, while sitting with my head in a vat of fishy alcohol, counting far too many flatfishes, I found a few little gems that made me snicker. The same cannot be said for my volunteer – she just rolled her eyes – and said “Nerd” (or something like that…).
The following photos are of some flatfish I found in vat 16. This Arrowtooth Flounder (Atheresthes stomias) is number 7 of 9 in its respective sample (980-00573-004). Cue the snickers from the Trekkies. Resistance is futile.
Another fish, the Pacific Sanddab (Citharichthys sordidus) – the genus is pronounced Sith-a-rick-thees – Yes, it’s a Sith-fish… it has a dark side and a light side… and the Star Wars fans go wild with excitement. Smiling now? It just goes to show that with nerdy humour, a little dab’ll do ya.
Yes, there are days where work is frantic and the day flies by – no complaints there. Then there are days where 4:30PM seems like a lifetime away. On those days, doesn’t matter where you work – little moments of levity go a long way. Nothing beats a slow but productive day punctuated by silly humour. Life is too short to be serious all the time. Seriously.