I finished my poster. It ain’t pretty, but it doesn’t have to be. My boss was actually suggesting that I sex it up a bit, add some pictures, trim some text, etc. This would be a good idea, for most posters. But not this one. It is a subject that 99% of people just won’t care about no matter how many pretty pictures you have. Alkali background reduction in routine laser ICPMS analysis is not a catchy title. There is no data on the poster- all 360-odd measurements are of backgrounds- so it isn’t the sort of thing that a clever field picture will reel people into. However, anyone who can’t do their research because of these backgrounds will get sucked right in. I did this project because the backgrounds were kicking my butt, and hampering the research progress of one of our PhD students. It is one of those things where, if you do have this problem, you’ll crawl over broken glass, withstand blinding radiation, and read a square meter of 6 point font in order to get a handle on it. So that is exactly what I will make those people do. Now excuse me, but I need to break a few more bottles.