16 February 2015

Back to hospital

I would be going to hospital the next day, so I started to prepare. I thought I'd be on the safe side so I stuffed 20 core sections into the back of the car. Twenty sections, that's almost twenty meters, so you don't X-ray that in a jiffy. I thought. But as a matter of fact, you do!

My contact in hospital, Jenna, told me this time we had a different room from the time before, with a different X-ray machine. In the other room, we had to lay the core sections on top of a cassette; every time you take a new picture you have to move the cassette. It tends to take 4 pictures to cover an entire section. It's a lot of faff. But in this room, you don't need cassettes, so you just plonk down two core sections (the pictures are wide enough for two), and move the X-ray machine that dangles above it, from a movable frame. So taking the four necessary exposures takes no time at all. Take X-ray, move machine, take X-ray, move machine, repeat, done. Next! And there were no casualties being brought in (they have priority, of course) so we had the entire hour.

We managed all twenty sections in the time we had. Amazing! Now I can go and scrutinise all these pictures; where are the tasty shells we can date? And in some two weeks we can go back and do another batch. This is moving so fast! It's such a big help to our project. And Jenna told me she is encouraged to do research-based side projects. Everybody wins! And let's hope we get amazing 14C dates from this!

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