I’m really bored. It’s Saturday, and it’s snowing. And I can’t go for a walk, which I really, really need to do but don’t want to because it’s snowing and cold.
So I’m going through old photographs today to post.
I have been talking about physics lately and I got to thinking about an acquaintance I made long ago.
In case you didn’t know this about me, I love going to historical re-enactments with my family.
Like seriously. L-O-V-E.
If I had a choice between a romantic candlit dinner and a chance to go to a historical re-enactment, I’d choose the latter. No question.
I think my all-time favorite re-enacter was this guy at the Civil war days event we went to in 2009 (gosh, that long ago already???).
In this picture he was developing old-fashioned tintype photographs. It reminded me of the days when I developed black and white film in my biology classes.
There was a lot of fun chemistry involved, that I won’t get into here. If you are REALLY that interested, you can read up about it here:
Just suffice it to say it also reminded me of the early days of PCR technology, when I was silver staining DNA fragments that were separated out using a vertical polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis procedure (yeah, boring shop talk, sorry). It was the first time since I’d quit my job that I got to talk science. I was really thrilled.
He’d take a picture then develop it using his chemistry magic…
…in order to get this nifty print on a metal sheet.
But I was even more fascinated was his “day job”. The tintype photographer was really a nuclear particle accelerator operator who worked at Fermilab.
I thought that was cooler than cool. I spoke to him about an hour…and it was really interesting. I wanted to know what exactly he did at Fermilab, because it seemed really amazing, but basically he said all he pretty much did was push buttons. I had almost half a mind to ask him how much he was getting paid to push buttons on a particle accelerator, but I didn’t.
So, yeah, if you hadn’t realized before, now you know I’m total geek.