“Someone’s gotta help me dig…” (Day 3 @stcNCED @saflumn)

Been singing to myself this line from Father John Misty en route to the lab these past couple of mornings.

Today was one of learning systems. Chris Ellis found a rotameter, introduced me to thread-seal tape (Teflon tape), and gave me a plumbing problem to work out (I still managed to install it upside-down the first time) – now we can control flow into the tank by a means other than my intuition. Chris also found a working dye drip (it’s FDA-approved), which will lend the overwash flow more contrast visible to the camera.

(During a minor Eli-pours-water-all-over-himself-from-a-bucket-in-the-ceiling event, I managed to get a fair amount of the powered concentrate – left behind from a previous experiment – on the soles of my boots, and then tracked it around the floor. My own blue-man Arrested Development scene.)

And the process of prepping the tank for a new trial gets faster and cleaner every time – we leveled the berm surface to within a couple of millimeters three separate times today. (The screed, you’ll recall, is another Chris Ellis bespoke design.)

Almost got fans along the full length of the berm – almost. Plan for tomorrow is to lower the berm yet again by a couple more centimeters. Zen statement of the night: actions downstream must communicate upstream. Will begin hunting for the elusive negative feedback in the AM. (With someone there to help me dig.)

– EDL

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