Wow. I am literally speechless. I literally don’t know what to say. I am literally without words.
…OK that’s not really true. Actually I can think of a number of choice words to describe this situation, chief among which is “FUBAR.” At approximately 4 pm this afternoon, as I was gingerly weighing out potassium bis(trimethylsilyl)amide inside our drybox, the power went out. In the entire freakin’ building, and on the entire freakin’ campus. As soon as the lights cut I felt the gloves get limp and the gas circulation stop. Luckily I had managed to get the cap back on the bottle before the building breathed its last breath, although the weighed solid is still sitting on the balance under a flow of argon jerry-rigged to the box’s house vacuum inlet (kudos C-Buts, brilliant solution). And my to-be-deprotonated organic substrate is still sitting under argon in my hood. Of course, the most worrisome aspect of this whole situation is the fact that liters upon liters of chemical samples in freezers and under inert atmospheres are now getting the chance to bathe in oxygen, nitrogen, and water.
Incredibly, Roger Adams Lab doesn’t seem to have any sort of backup power system. Need supplies to hook something up to deal with the power outage? Too bad, the storeroom door is controlled by an electronic card reader! Granted, that building consumes massive amounts of power, and establishing a backup power system for it would be a pain in the butt as a result, but isn’t it worth it to keep the place from turning into a time bomb whenever the power goes?