Monday, July 20, 2015

Minon glasses: Part 2

I promised I'd update you once Sentry's plankton sampler had a name, and it finally does now! The sampler is officially called SyPRID, which stands for Sentry Precision Robotic Impeller-Driven sampler. Clever, right? Well, I'm personally pretty excited about this name, for two reasons:

1) Cyprids (spelled with a C) are a larval form, and they grow up to be barnacles. The SyPRID sampler can be used for a lot of things, but I think it's neat that the name reflects its origins in larval biology.

The Young lab in our Sentry shirts.
2) OIMB came up with the name! We had a brainstorming session in our lab, so deciding on the acronym and the meaning was a group effort. Carl, the leader of the Sentry team, told us some of the words he wanted to have in there, and we went with it. It was quite satisfying to see our name win.

Because OIMB came up with the winning name, Carl offered all 7 of us free Sentry T-shirts. He travels with a large box of merchandise to sell or give away, so we all got to pick our favorite design and color. When Craig came on board, we showed off our shirts to him, and he responded by pulling out his own! He had packed a Sentry shirt in his bag, so we all matched!

Since getting its official name, the SyPRID sampler has been very busy. We've had a Sentry deployment almost every night for the past week, and we've spent our days sorting the larvae. It's exciting for me to see what larval forms are present in the bottom water. We've had a lot of visitors stop by the lab to see what kinds of things we've found, and we actually talked about rigging up a fluorescent sign. Kind of like Krispy Kreme has their "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign that attracts humans to their shop like flies to a lamp, we could have a fluorescent "New Larva Now" sign in the main lab of the ship. We'd hook it up to a switch in our lab so that anytime we found a new, interesting larval form, we could turn on the sign and tell others it was a good time to visit. If only I had thought ahead...

One last comment on Sentry: she has a face! One of the technicians used electrical tape to create a mouth on Sentry's facade, so the vehicle now looks like a real minion.
Sentry has a face! To the left is Andy, the Minion Commander,
one of the main minds behind the SyPRIDs.

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