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[Sparrows] In which Shane is a threat to the Establishment

December 9, 2012

[This is the twelfth in a series of posts on sparrow nest-monitoring over the 2012-2013 Austral spring and summer.]

Yesterday, a Saturday, I made a visit to the Auckland Museum to drop off my two sparrow hatchlings in ethanol. Today, I still have my sparrow hatchlings. Here is the story of how that came about:

I assumed, naiively, that the Auckland Museum opening hours were a good indicator of when its research arm could interact with me, and that if the place was open, it would mean I could find someone who could take my specimens from me. So, I neatly wrote up my metadata (where and when each sparrow was found, how old they were, how they were preserved, etc), bundled myself into my car, and drove off to the museum.

The research door (where I have previously gone to talk to collections staff) was locked, so I took myself to the information desk.

Myself: “Um. Excuse me, I’ve been emailing with your Land Vertebrates curator, and he’s expressed interest in these specimens. The research section seems to be closed, but is there anyone I could leave them with who will give them to him?”

Information Desk Staff: “Sorry sir, we can’t take those.”

M: “Um. Do you know anyone who can?”

IDS: “One moment, sir, let me call someone…”

IDS: [some phone conversation]

IDS: “What’s the liquid they’re in?”

M: “70% ethanol”

IDS: [more phone conversation]

IDS: “I’m sorry sir, but I’ve just been speaking with security, and no one on-site can take those today. Only the Curator can take them. They’re a bomb risk, you see.”

Oops.

Meanwhile, in the Batman universe: Boom! [manaical cackling]

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From → Scientist

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