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(The New York Times)   New York Times insists modern chemistry sets are superior to the ones of days gone by, because they teach children modern-day skills like writing turd-polishing articles about nancified chemistry sets for the New York Times   ( nytimes.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, chemistry, polishing, beakers, test tubes, history of science, writings  
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2301 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Dec 2012 at 12:27 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-12-25 12:34:24 AM  
2 votes:
I'm sure that in 1985, plutonium is available in every corner drugstore, but in 1955, it's a little hard to come by.

instablogsimages.comView Full Size
2012-12-25 08:04:50 PM  
1 vote:
haha i've got a bottle of 3.7% HCl cut with 18 MOhm water in my bathroom. sometimes i use it for cooking in the kitchen, but store it in the bathroom to keep it safe from the son.
2012-12-25 01:59:36 PM  
1 vote:

utah dude: formic acid smells just use HCl.

Can't smell it without opening the vial.

The correct answer is to observe that there's no rule against convincing someone else to open either vial. Choose a vial at random, find someone you don't particularly like, and ask them to chug the contents of said vial. If they keel over in horrible "my organs are melting" pain, that was the acid. The moral of the story is that all things are possible with a sufficient disregard for human life. Not a chemistry lesson as such, but still an important one for the kiddies to learn.

(Yes, I suppose you could determine properties like the melting point, boiling point, or density without opening the vials, but I don't trust semiotix not to have dissolved other substances into the vials specifically to fark with those properties.)
2012-12-25 01:02:27 PM  
1 vote:

SnarfVader: The chemistry kit I had as a kid specifically stated that I should ask my Dad for some Everclear to fuel the burner. Good times. Good times.

I remember that!

I thought it was weird that they mentioned your dad specifically by name, but he was great. Didn't even bat an eye at all these 9-year-olds asking him for hooch.
2012-12-25 06:29:23 AM  
1 vote:
imgs.xkcd.comView Full Size

//probably the only time this one will be obligatory, so might as well.
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