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
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"Listen, we clearly admonish viewers to 'not try this at home.'"
Exactly my thought but my best experiments where in the realm of stinky stuff.
Is the TV show “Sons of Guns” on their attack list?
I myself, and just about every other chemist or chemical engineering that I know, would have been barred from the profession by a criminal record if this stupidity had been the law when we were kids.
And the stupid government wonders why there aren’t enough STEM majors....
When I was ten years old my 14-year-old brother made a bomb out of match heads, paper masking tape and an empty soda can. It was the Fourth of July, and he was mad because our dad wouldn’t buy us the “good” fireworks. Bottle rockets, cherry bombs, and things that flew up in the air and went boom. So he put together this bomb with instructions out of a book from Loompanics. It blew out the side of dad’s tool shed and set a tree on fire. Needless to say, daddy gave him a serious whoopin’ for it. Took the belt to him big time.
And she’s BLACK. The dimwit leftists bitch and moan about the “shortage” of black and female scientists.... yet this budding black female scientist is under arrest for doing the SAME THING that just about every white male scientist I know, including myself, did as a child.
Haven’t these loons watched October Sky? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0132477/
Is that the same as the exploding mouse trap?
The Mythbusters always say: “Please, don’t try this at home. We are trained professionals.”
But they always leave out the important part: “However, we will give you step-by-step instructions on how to do it. So if you blow yourself up, your relatives can’t sue us. Because we already gave you the disclaimer, fool!”
Thanks for the link!
I don't care what she looks like, this girl is NOT GUILTY.
As would I have - messing with polybutadiene and ammonium perchlorate. However, where I went to high school was not far from Thiokol Reaction Motors (a.k.a. Morton Thiokol). Add to that my father’s business trips to White Sands.
You said it exactly right!
The prohibition on passing ex post facto laws is still part of the Constitution. Those of us who did that when we were in high school are not subject to recently passed laws that label ordinary high school chemistry as "terrorism" or "a felony".
There were all manner of reagents on the shelf that could have been "abused" when I was in my college chemistry, physics and biochemistry labs. Most of us decided earning the degree outweighed potentially lethal frivolity. The pathogens in the microbiology labs were likewise easy to abuse, but we didn't.
Even with all the care we did exercise, I witnessed a terrible accident in my o-chem lab. One experiment called for the use of chlorosulphonic acid. We needed an acid chloride for the reaction. We were warned to dry the glassware thoroughly as the heat of hydration was significant. Most of use dried out glassware, then heated it over a bunsen burner to drive off any remaining moisture. One young lady decided that level of care wasn't necessary. Bad move. As she decanted the reagent into her glassware, the acid hydrated and sprayed all over her arm. We had bicarbonate of soda to neutralize it, but she panicked and ran for the faucet. The burns on her arms were horrible. She never returned to class.
I certainly did not encounter any exceptions among my fellow chemistry students in college. The list of available noisy and fiery experiments I know have been conducted illicitly by chem students is too long to list -- [and I ain't gonna admit to having conducted any of them... '-) ]
And my interest in such experiments didn't begin in college -- or, even, high school, for that matter...
But, I do hear tell that, when I was in junior high school, a kid could walk into his local drugstore and buy bottles of "Flowers of Sulfur" and "Saltpeter / Potassium Nitrate" -- right off the shelf. And I recall reading in a book fromt our Jr. High library that, many centuries ago, the Chinese figured out the ratio of those two substances and charcoal to make the contents of their fireworks...
Pyrotechnic interest is the "seed" that creates many chemists -- just as "arrowhead hunting" produces most professional prehistoric archaeologists (if they will only own up to it)! '-)
IMHO, criminalizing such curiosity is likely to turn the gifted to criminal acts, whereas guiding and enlightenng that drive can lead to outstanding scientific careers.
IMHO, only lazy, incompetent and fearful dumb@$$3$ espouse "zero tolerance" academic policies.
No telling how many creative geniuses that "PC" idiocy has cost mankind!
The last step in that experiment was to "wash" the Silver Acetylide precipitate with Nitric Acid -- which, of course, destroyed the material.
The brightest students recognized that, if you didn't perform that last step, you had a silvery powder suspended in water that was perfectly safe and quiet -- as long as it stayed wet... '-)
My chemistry set, which I got for Christmas as a child, along with a work bench to set it on, included sulfur, potassium nitrate, and carbon black among the bottled chemicals.
So, I was soon making old-fashioned black powder, before one of my science-interested friends told me about nitrogen tri-iodide. In fact, one of my earliest explosive devices was a doorknob bomb. Easier to put together than a pipe bomb.
I believe there was also a bottle of magnesium powder in my chemistry set, which could be made to do interesting things.
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