Thursday, October 04, 2007

Gaping dorks in vendor shows

All major campuses around the country have major product/vendor shows every few months. Here companies big and small, from Invitrogen and Sigma to little-unknown-biotech all have their tables and flyers and product displays of the latest and best in lab technology.

But what's hilarious is that most of us scientists are such loser dorks that what attracts us most to the displays aren't super-efficient pipette displays, but bouncy stress relieving squeeze balls, fluorescent orange pens, permanent markers that have caps and tips on both ends, and the lure of the odd T-shirt. We're like kids in a candy store.

That, and the attraction of free food. Nothing can bring together a bunch of graduate students and postdocs better than tables filled with donuts, cookies, bagels or more.

There I was, bright and early this morning, lining up to collect my supply of utterly useless items, and gawk at freebies. I ended up with about a dozen pens, a floaty for eppendorf tubes, a weird box to keep "suff" in, and a T-shirt (yes! I will advertise anything for free).

And then there was the highlight of my day. I got the most fascinating freebie of them all, a ball point pen that has a transparent liquid gel at the other end, filled with little floating balls, and a little on-off switch that turns on an led that changes colors.

Life couldn't be better.


Anonymous said...

Hey - I have that pen too except that yours has made a significant technological leap: mine doesn't change colours! But there is a Homer Simpsonsesque satisfaction in staring at glowing lights :)

The floaties are well worth it though. Especially since I keep losing the old ones.

Sunil said... pen rules!! I can spend hours mesmerized by the changing colors. Six colors!

I'm practically an advertising board t-shirt, pen, line yard, stickers on my fridge.......:-)

Madhuri Sinha said...

Hey you didnt mention the FREE samples of DNA and protein markers.
But I do have an assortment of envelope openers, key chains and once i won a beautiful painted glass paper weight.
I love the vendor shows.

Sunil said...

madhuri........painted glass paper weight sounds fantastic.

Drool :-)