Skip to comments.Felony Science - Making stuff explode is a seductive way to become a scientist.
Posted on 05/04/2013 4:32:31 PM PDT by neverdem
Sixteen-year-old Kiera Wilmots curiosity was apparently piqued when a friend told her that if you mixed hydrochloric acid and aluminum, an exciting reaction happened. So she did what countless amateur chemists before her have done: She went ahead and tried it. She mixed toilet bowl cleaneressentially colored hydrochloric acidand balls of aluminum foil in a small water bottle. The top of the bottle blew off with a satisfying bang, and there was even a puff of smoke. Unfortunately, Kiera got more excitement than she bargained for. When a teenage Oliver Sacks experimented with explosive reactions of aluminum in his basement 60 odd years ago, he got a life-long love of science and a best-selling book, Uncle Tungsten, out of it. Kiera Wilmot? She was expelled from school and now faces felony charges.
One key difference between Kiera Wilmot and Oliver Sacks lies in Wilmots choice of location and timing for her chemical investigations. She didnt try this in a London basement safely tucked away in a previous century, but on her high school campus a week after another teenager set off an explosion in Boston with catastrophic results. We may worry whether she was really driven by scientific curiosity, or whether this was an attempt to wreak havocor worseat her high school. Is Wilmot a nascent Oliver Sacks or another Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?
I dont pretend to have any insight into Wilmots motivations in this particular instance, but having once been a 16-year-old girl passionate about science, I can tell you that doing chemistry that pushes beyond the boundaries of the classroom can be the catalyst that turns a science student into a scientist. Its much like the difference between playing at a recital and getting a chance to perform your latest composition in a local jazz club, an experience that...
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...
Zero tolerance is for dummies. They want to try her for two felonies as an adult!
Good Grief, I would have been under the jail somewhere. I reached far beyond the limits of my Gilbert Chemistry set.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they banned chemistry completely. After all, everyone knows that the only thing today’s kids need to be educated in is diversity tolerance and how to make people’s genitals feel tingly.
We also lit the hydrogen released to make it "bark". (Not to be confused with a camping trip and methane).
I learned how to make nitrogen triiodide in the basement, experimenting with my chemistry set. When the stuff dries out, it is extremely sensitive. Just touch it and it bursts into flame or explodes if anything is compressing it.
I scattered little particles of it on the high school stairwell, with its metal treads. When it dried out, it made very satisfying bangs and pops when the students came bursting down the stairwell to their next classes. Great excitement was had by all!
I won’t explain how to make it, but it’s pretty simple to do.
But, that was then, and this is now.
Hm, I think some sort of vibrating, fast repeating low-level electrical shock device would do that...
The 50’s and 60’s were a period of near total kid freedom to experiment with Darwinian Selection.....
So we do not need future Scientists for knowledge in explosives. We do not need enchanted minds to further the explosive field and we know all there is to know about explosives. I doubt that! This Girl was just using her mind and knowledge to find more knowledge and was punished for it!
Liberals are quick to say expand the mind of youth but very fast to quash that same mind when it does not fit their PC world.
The Government, and by that I mean States attorneys and even the United States Attorney General love to make an example of people who screw up.
They believe it scares others into line.
It’s a damned shame she got caught in some States Attorneys headlights.
This is the Zimmerman trial in miniature. make an example even if it’s wrong. Poor kid is being Nifonged. One day this Lawyer will be running for public office.
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I guess I should turn myself in... Wow! What we did as kids.
Thank God for the statute of limitations.
No, Zero Tolerance isn't for dummies. It is a POWERFUL weapon being deployed by very smart Marxist educational leaders and aimed at students ( future voters) by armies of Useful Idiots ( misnamed “teachers”).
The carefully crafted goal?
Answer: To create a nation of **DEMORALIZED** citizens who are too befuddled to think rationally enough to defend themselves from the communism that is sure to come. Yuri Bezmenov warned us. We will see this this soon in 5, 10 or 12 years as these students reach voting age.
When will conservatives WAKE UP. Government schooling is a threat to our nation and our freedom. It is EVIL.
Yes, I am shouting, jumping up and down, and having a fit! Why don't others see the danger and feel the urgency to act?
I doubt it. I haven’t seen to much of them lately since their cannonball escapade remodeled a few homes and rebuilt a minivan. I figure the lawyers are trying to work out a settlement with the affected parties.
FWIW a few years ago I had a interaction with one of the principles. I believe it was Jamie the one with the beret and bushy mustache. It was sort of benign but basically I was driving to fencing class down in the Mission district during the early evening. I approached a intersection with no stop sign and I glanced to my left and saw group of people on the sidewalk approaching the intersection from my left.
As I approached they were all talking and laughing together and apparently not paying real close attention to the traffic. They then without hesitation stepped off the curb into the crosswalk right into my path. I hit my brakes and they all glanced toward me for a second, sort of surprised that a car had stopped abruptly. Jamie was at the tail end of the group. I just watched as they crossed my front and shook my head. Technically they had the right of way when they entered the crosswalk but that would have been small consolation if I had plowed into them and hurt or killed one of them.
They were just tempting fate as a lot of pedestrians do in San Francisco and I would have been labeled the bad guy who messed up one of the Mythbusters. Thank God for small miracles I guess.
“But, that was then, and this is now.”
There is no statute of limitations for terrorism.
I bought the instructions from the back pages of Popular Science. The stuff is so sensitive that it went off with a loud bang on the back porch when the front door blew shut! That was very cool stuff.
Also liked the exothermic reaction of glycerine and potassium permanganate. At first I thought it failed, so I tossed it in the HS lab trash. Big mistake! In a few minutes, the entire wastebasket was flaming. Great excitement, indeed.
Charged capacitors can be loads of fun! I’ve pulled off many great pranks with them.
Ah...memories of my 10th grade 'Technical Electronics' class.