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12. the mad scientist vibe

May 13, 2011

I downloaded the instructions for harvesting hookworms from the internet, and made up a list of items to get. Most of them were home-depot purchases, but one stood out. I needed an incubator. The instructions discussed a jerry-rigged styrofoam container and a desk lamp, but that seemed to be inviting a fire hazard. So I went to the local reptile store and inquired about a terrarium, outfitted with something that I could measure the temperature and humidity with.

What I found was amazing! A reptile egg incubator, which had everything ready to go in one package. And it was titled (get this) the “Reptibator.” Visions of a cartoon crocodile masturbating float through my head whenever I say the word.

So I took my Reptibator home and set it up. I also ordered some lab equipment from amazon: a microscope and some slides, etc. By now I’m getting the mad scientist vibe and I’m kind of digging it.

I experimented with the Reptibator for a few days, making sure the temp and humidity were optimal. I was wary of the foam cushion I was supposed to dampen to keep the humidity up, thinking that with what I was planning to humidify, that foam would be a crawling bacteria factory in no time, but I had trouble keeping the humidity high enough without it.

Finally, it was poop in a bucket time. I scooped the feces into a small plastic cup (the kind you serve champagne in at a BBQ), and then also into a slightly larger tupperware container. I’ve never done this before and I’m not sure how much is optimal, so I thought I’d experiment with two different sizes.

I mixed the poop with vermiculite, as per the instructions and broke two plastic spoons in doing so. Apparently, I have misjudged the viscosity of my own excrement. Who among us cannot say the same?

Then I lowered the lid on the Reptibator and sighed. A week of waiting, and those little containers will be crawling with gut-buddies. Well, let’s hope they will be.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Carole Parmeter Dyer permalink
    May 13, 2011 11:56 pm

    John you are a wild man! Love your posts! Good Luck!

    • May 14, 2011 12:10 am

      Thanks for following my weird worm-journey, Carol! I miss you!

      • Carole Parmeter Dyer permalink
        June 2, 2011 4:28 am

        Miss you too!.

  2. Michael permalink
    May 14, 2011 12:56 am

    I am so thankful, both for the belly laughs I get from each of your posts, as well as from the priceless information. I am pretty close to deciding to take the treatment.
    Thanks again.

    • May 14, 2011 3:27 pm

      I don’t think you’ll be sorry if you do, Michael. I was scared, but needn’t be. We’re SUPPOSED to have these critters in our gut, and we’re only sick because we don’t.

  3. Mickey permalink
    May 14, 2011 1:05 am

    About time you got your shit together.

  4. May 14, 2011 1:06 am

    wow! Good luck!

    Can you post youtube videos of your experiment or at least high-res photos? Also, can you post links to all the equipment you bought to help others replicate your deeds?
    Thanks a lot.

  5. lynne permalink
    May 14, 2011 3:15 am

    fascinating stuff! … ditto .. re equipement and how to guide! given the possibility that we made need to source our own in the future.

  6. May 19, 2011 10:47 pm

    go, john, go! i am rooting for your new old friends. lol

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