Dec. 6th, 2008

maradydd: (Default)
I had managed to run myself out of the petri dishes I'd gotten from AS&S lo these couple of years ago, so I hit up ebay to restock. Found a great price on 60mm x 15mm pre-sterilized plates in packs of 20, so I bought five of them.

Except ... I completely spaced on how small 60mm is. Ergo, I am now the owner of the most adorable little petri dishes ever. They are ever so slightly larger around than the bottom of a Red Bull can. [ profile] whimsywanderer snickered when she saw them. I feel compelled to reassure them that size doesn't matter, we are doing science here.

In the long run I think this will actually be a good thing, as in the very near future I am going to need to use, uh, just about all of them in rather large batches -- possibly 60 at a time -- and there's really no way I could fit 60 full-size plates in my teensy little incubator. It will also mean using up fewer consumables, which is in general a good thing for the budget-conscious citizen scientist.

Science Cat Sasha is, as usual, fascinated with the new arrivals. If he bites holes in the sterile packaging I will be very cranky.

I also snagged the economy size package of graduated 3mL disposable transfer pipettes. With 500 of them, I don't think I will be running out any time soon.
maradydd: (Default)
Courtesy [ profile] foxgrrl, ITA Trip Finder, the best flight search engine ever. It is not pretty. It provides no upselling tie-in deals with hotels, car rentals or cruises. It will not alert you to low fares to destinations you don't care about that you might have missed.

What it does do, and that right awesomely, is provide hands-down the best search interface for budget-conscious international travelers with some flexibility in their schedules (that would be me). Using their "month-long search" function, I can tell them "find me the best-priced flight of each day in a 30-day window for a trip approximately N days long." And it will do that. None of this "oh, we can only do this for the US and Canada" horseshit, anywhere in the world. After about a minute, you get a simple HTML calendar view, with the best price in that period highlighted:

Then, click on any day in the calendar, and you get a list of all flights found for that day and trip duration, sorted by price or whatever else you want to search by:

"But wait, Meredith," I hear you say, "that's got to be a gimmick, they're not actually showing you the real prices with taxes and everything, are they?" To which I say bullshit they're not:

Fare breakdown by leg, full breakdown of taxes, everything I could possibly want in a travel search engine -- including the exact booking codes so I can just call up the airline and say "oh hai, these two flights plz, kthxbai."

ITA, you're perfect. Don't ever change. I love you for your algorithms. Can we live the rest of our lives together like it's still Web 1.0?


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