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The Chemical-Free Chemistry Kit

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the think-of-the-increasingly-stupid-children dept.

Education 296

eldavojohn writes "It's known that home chemistry sets are in danger of going extinct, which has spurred set makers to add the label 'Chemical Free!' on modern chemistry sets (NSFW warning — JAYFK stands for Journal of Are You *expletive* Kidding). The kit for ages 10+ provides 60 chemistry activities that are mind-bogglingly chemical free. The pedantic blog entry points out the many questions that arise when the set promises 'fun activities' like growing plants and crystals — sans chemicals! That would be quite the feat to accomplish without the evilest of chemicals: dihydrogen monoxide. While this rebuttal is done in jest, this set's intentions do highlight the chilling growth of a new mentality: Chemicals are bad. Despite their omnipresence from the beginning of time, they are no longer safe. Even real researchers are starting to notice the possible voluntary stunting of science education that is occurring in the name of overreaching safety."

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Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977610)

Laugh all you want, but that stuff is a powerful solvent that's highly reactive. It can promote corrosion in metals and bacterial growth, is used in making many deadly compounds, and even becomes explosive when mixed with common chemicals like sodium. I hear they're even spraying it on houses and cars now to strip away dirt and grease. It's THAT powerful a solvent. All that and yet our kids are exposed to the stuff every single day, and no one seems to care. These our OUR KIDS we're talking about, for christ's sake!

Sure, the EPA and numerous state agencies *say* they're monitoring the stuff, but do we REALLY know?

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1, Interesting)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977644)


That sounds like a horrible chemical! I would bet it's the cause of many vertebral subluxations leading to illness in people.

I was at a Chiropractic seminar a few months ago where one of the presenters had an interesting point: the more syllables in a chemical name, the more dangerous they are.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977666)

Most people have no idea how many people die each year from just getting this crap into their lungs.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (4, Funny)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977748)

I looked for that chemical on NaturalNews.com and Mercola.com and found nothing. Did you spell it right?
Will have to check after work or between patients.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

ivan_w (1115485) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977886)

Maybe look for hexane, or hydroxilic acid or Oxygen dihydride or something as such

--Ivan

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977966)

I'm almost as worried about the "chromatograohy" mentioned on the box. If the morons can't even spell relevant technical words correctly on the box, there is little hope for clarity in the instructions within.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978112)

hexane [sciencestuff.com] , or hydroxilic acid [sciencestuff.com] or Oxygen dihydride [sciencestuff.com]

Two of these thing belong together...

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

ivan_w (1115485) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978152)

I stand corrected (might because of reading something wrong - or a mispelling)..

Thanks

--Ivan

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (0)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977892)

I looked for that chemical on NaturalNews.com and Mercola.com and found nothing. Did you spell it right? Will have to check after work or between patients.

Well it's also known by it formula: H2O

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35978198)

Are you kidding? Dihydrogen Monoxide has ALWAYS been fatal. How many people have died after inhaling it? 100%!

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (2)

ivan_w (1115485) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978316)

Not really..

In it's gaseous phase, it's fairly harmless, and can be found in minute quantities in the air you breathe

Furthermore, even if one is to inhale and fill it's lung with the foul substance, one may eventually be saved by allowing one to breathe again normally - assuming it is within a reasonable amount of time, then it is not fatal.

So no : Not 100% lethal !

(I must be new here!)

--Ivan

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (3, Informative)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977818)

I guess that means lead, radon and fluorine are very safe. Fewer syllables than oxygen or nitrogen (or in the case of lead, even water).
OTOH, deoxyribonucleic acid, at ten syllables, must be awful stuff.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977974)

Proteins must be amazingly scary in that case.

Short=Safe (2)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978154)

I was at a Chiropractic seminar a few months ago where one of the presenters had an interesting point: the more syllables in a chemical name, the more dangerous they are.

 

So farts are perfectly safe?

Re:Short=Safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35978286)

Methane Dioxide is an incredibly syllabic silent and deadly killer.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977658)

Indeed, it's the universal solvent [wikipedia.org] . Pretty dangerous stuff.

Think of the Children!

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977860)

I hear sodium chloride makes it able to electrocute people too and give off dangerous noxious fumes.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978010)

Indeed, it's the universal solvent [wikipedia.org] . Pretty dangerous stuff.

Wow. That is wrong. So wrong, I tempted to think it is a joke. Water is not a universal solvent.

No, I will not edit the page.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978320)

There is no such thing as a solvent that can dissolve anything. That isn't what is meant by the term. Water dissolves more substances than any other liquid. That is all that is meant by the term Universal Solvent. Any intro to Chemistry course should mention this.

Thank you for not editing the page, btw.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978476)

There is no such thing as a solvent that can dissolve anything. That isn't what is meant by the term. Water dissolves more substances than any other liquid. That is all that is meant by the term Universal Solvent. Any intro to Chemistry course should mention this.

Really? When I hear "universal solvent" I think DMSO [wikipedia.org] , which dissolves polar and nonpolar compounds. There are just so many everyday materials which do not dissolve in water.

Whatever. Not the first time I've been wrong.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35978322)

It's the closest thing there is to one.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978418)

I think they might have confused water (aqua) with royal water (aqua regia [wikipedia.org] ).

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35977668)

Yay let's rehash old shit some more and laugh at it like a bunch of niggers at a KFC.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35977676)

am i supposed to reply haha

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

JS_RIDDLER (570254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977680)

I Still Like the taste. Its best a little chilled.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (2)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977878)

Not so much chilled, but instead blended with select compounds of ethanol and malt-barley-based cogeners.

This [wikipedia.org] is one of my preferred reagents.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977760)

Here's [fishersci.com] an example of Dihydrogen Monoxide's MSDS, courtesy of Fischer Scientific.

I find the thing to distressingly underestimate the hazards. "No special equipment required. No special handling indicated. No hazard expected."

There are hints of the truth in there, like an explicit LD50 given, so obviously toxicity is a problem.

I'd say that overall, regulatory agencies are falling down on this job.

Hot and cold running poison: (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978026)

Of course it's toxic. It's a CNS inhibitor. Lowers the ionic concentrations that nerves depend on to work.

So, you better tell that kid drinking at the water fountain that he's gulping down neurotoxin. ;)

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978102)

>like an explicit LD50 given

Water toxicity is an actual threat. People have died because they thought water is completely harmless when ingested in huge amounts, that you'll simply pee away the excess. You do pee away excess water, but the kidneys act only just so fast - 1 litre per hour for healthy kidneys.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16614865/ns/us_news-life/ [msn.com]

--
BMO

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (2)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977776)

all you need is a lead acid battery, some urine and some old vegetable oil.

Half empty first, dehydrate second.
mix,
do something (carefully... ohh stings)
collect red fuming
buffer with other half
render third
skim
mix with buffer
warm
titrare
add cellulose base product to help with stability.
set up Nobel prize fund.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

goltzc (1284524) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977846)

Did you know that it is also the main ingredient in acid rain!

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (2, Interesting)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977944)

Alright, I can't take it anymore. Even in the absence of a "common" name, I doubt that any chemist would refer to H20 as "dihydrogen monoxide", any more than aluminum oxide (Al2O3) would be "dialuminum trioxide". It's redundant, people. We call H2O2 "hydrogen peroxide" -- not dihydrogen dioxide -- and "hydrogen oxide" is all you need to distinguish H2O from that. If we're being pedantic, that is.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35978098)

I always thought it should be hydrogen hydroxide, since the single hydrogen dissociates in solution.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978254)

Case in point, no, just no.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978240)

Thank you. As a chemist, I often have to fight the urge to punch somebody in the face when they say "dihydrogen monoxide" or similar nonsense names for water. Don't use your own ignorance to try and illustrate somebody else's.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (3, Insightful)

Cillian (1003268) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978368)

That's not really the point. The point is that you can either make stuff up or be very misleading and lots of people will loudly go along with it (I believe a bunch of people went out and got a lot of signatures on a petition to ban DHMO). I'm sure if you made up something entirely nonexistent or found some other very obscure but pretty safe chemical you could get the same effect, but the fact that it's water makes it all the more amusing (And makes the fact that it's not actually evil more readily apparent to the informed reader).
"Oh well, I lost my moderations but I felt like saying this anyway. And don't blame me if some 'c's are missing, my key is a bit broken." -Cill

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (2)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978394)

It might not be the point, but it's still only slightly less asinine than referring to processor speed in gigabytes, confusing downloads with uploads, or any of the other inane mistakes that make most of us shake our heads and die a little inside.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978506)

Right. Besides, everyone knows that it's proper name is Hydro-oxidic acid. Sheesh.

Lighten up, Francis.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

bziman (223162) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978518)

To be even more pedantic, it's Hydrogen Hydroxide, since the way it bonds is actually H-OH. This seems to make particularly sense when viewed from an acid-base reaction perspective where you neutralize an H-something acid with a something-Hydroxide base, you get a something-something salt in a Hydrogen Hydroxide solution.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978522)

If we're being pedantic, that is.

Oh we are... and of all things, chemicals weren't around since the beginning of time either. It took a non-zero amount of time for the energy in the universe to expand and cool enough for molecules to form. (I believe it's non-zero amount of time for even atoms to form.)

Statistics Show (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978130)

That 100% of people who ever died on the earth were at some point in contact with this substance.

This should be more than enough proof.

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978192)

and yet our kids are exposed to the stuff every single day, and no one seems to care.

Did you know that some parents actually sneak this stuff into the foods they give their kids! I've seen them dump large quantities of it into rice they are cooking! They'll even sneak it into breakfast omlettes and oatmeal! Farmers actually feed it to their cows, and it shows up in the milk! It's actually hard to find milk without this contamination, but the concentrated milk seems to be less affected!

Re:Dihydrogen Monoxide *is* a serious threat (1)

thousandinone (918319) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978248)

You think Dihydrogen Monoxide is bad? Hydrogen Hydroxide has all these dangers and more, and is JUST as common as Dihydrogen Monoxide!

what is a chemical anyway? (1)

andcal (196136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977678)

Will someone please define the word "chemical" for us?

Re:what is a chemical anyway? (1)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977762)

Noun: Chemical: A substance with a distinct molecular composition that is produced by or used in a chemical process.

Re:what is a chemical anyway? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978260)

Well that was useful. The dictionary might as well say: "Chemical: everything"

Re:what is a chemical anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35977832)

Here you go: from the Wikipedia page on "chemical" [wikimedia.org] :

In chemistry, a chemical substance is a form of matter that has constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. It can not be separated into components by physical separation methods, i.e. without breaking chemical bonds.

Re:what is a chemical anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35977840)

Something that scares 95% of Americans?

They're going completely backwards when it comes to education (protect the children! Religion is better than science!) and at the same time digging their own grave in the history books.

Re:what is a chemical anyway? (1)

nu1x (992092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978000)

> protect the children!

NEWSFLASH !!!

Children are made of chemicals.

Also, children are known to cause hair loss to the state of California.

It is only a matter of time until THEY (whoever they may be) figure out that human spirit is made of chemicals and shit really hits the fan.

Re:what is a chemical anyway? (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977862)

For the purposes of people who are afraid, maybe "anything that you could find a MSDS for". That leaves out vinegar, but includes acetic acid, for example.

Re:what is a chemical anyway? (1)

nu1x (992092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977952)

So Mother Gaias Spunk is ok, but Dihydrogen Monoxide is industrial evil ?

Re:what is a chemical anyway? (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977984)

Water has a MSDS.

http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/w0600.htm [jtbaker.com]

MSDSes are fun.

Learn something. Learn what to do when you get superglue in your eye:

http://www.rockler.com/tech/RTD20000394AA.pdf [rockler.com]

In other words "nothing, put a patch over it and it will come off the eyeball on its own in a few days."

--
BMO

Re:what is a chemical anyway? (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978042)

True, but it's waste of time, as it says N/A for everything, basically.
  It's for people who'd think, "Gosh I have this bottle of DI water with a J.T.Baker label on it I paid a bunch of money for. Hey, they make chemicals! I'd better have an MSDS!"

Re:what is a chemical anyway? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978280)

Not really a waste of time, the MSDS has more than just safety data, it also has physical data (e.g. boiling point, melting point). Of course, if you don't know the boiling point of water, you should probably step away from the chemistry bench. So really, it's only next to useless.

Re:what is a chemical anyway? (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978188)

Will someone please define the word "chemical" for us?

Everything.

Re:what is a chemical anyway? (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978566)

Will someone please define the word "chemical" for us?

My college chemistry professor defined a "chemical" as everything .

Literally.

The dictionary definition I remember seeing was ridiculously all-encompassing like "made of molecules".

Clever (1)

OECD (639690) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977722)

It's really an end-around the ridiculously litigious society we live in. The kit isn't quite chemical free. It doesn't ship with any, but the experiments utilize common household chemicals.

Re:Clever (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977902)

>It doesn't ship with any, but the experiments utilize common household chemicals.

So does the Anarchists' Cookbook.

BRB, I'm going to market the Anarchists' Cookbook as a "chemistry set" and make millions selling it to kids.

Completely legal, but this would troll so many people. To troll Nancy Grace with this shit would be hilarious.

--
BMO

Re:Clever (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978358)

To troll Nancy Grace with this shit would be hilarious.

I thought Nancy Grace was a troll. You don't mean she is serious do you!!?!?!???

Re:Clever (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977910)

It should be banned anyhow.
It it is every revealed that chemicals exists in homes the government will have to be called in to clean them out.

Just because they are useful doesn't mean they are safe.

From the: To be dumb Is to be cool Dept. (2)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977724)

"in the name of overreaching safety" You mean overreaching litigation? Right?

Re:From the: To be dumb Is to be cool Dept. (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977904)

"in the name of overreaching safety"
You mean overreaching litigation? Right?

Both, really. Not just a demand for personal safety leading to litigation when anything goes wrong, but also the idea that anyone who's indulging their curiosity about chemistry must be either making drugs or bombs that threaten homeland security.

And, needless to say, if you want more people to invent new stuff in your society then making curiosity a crime is a bad idea.

do it yourself chemistry set (1)

IceNinjaNine (2026774) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977788)

I wonder how difficult it is to get all of the chemicals needed by the Golden Book [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:do it yourself chemistry set (3, Informative)

dustymugs (666422) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978212)

Quite easily. Just buy everything from Sigma-Aldrich (http://www.sigmaaldrich.com) as they've got almost everything a home chemist could want :-).

Re:do it yourself chemistry set (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35978390)

The first trick is to get hold of a copy of the book.

I had one when I was a kid (loved it) and it might still be buried in a box somewhere, or maybe my little brother appropriated it when I was at college. Sigh, I'd love to pass it on to my boys.

Most of the chemicals in the book were from household sources. Granted in these days of alkaline or NiMH batteries, disassembling a carbon-zinc dry cell for the zinc and manganese dioxide might not be so easy, and you might have to get a little more creative about locating sources of sulphur and potassium nitrate (saltpeter) (stuff I could and did buy by the pound at the local drugstore when I was a kid), but Clorox still contains chlorine and (some) drain cleaner still contains sodium hydroxide.

Safety? (4, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977800)

I don't think they're particularly worried about safety. What they are worried about is the perception that science kits can be used for making poisons and explosives. Today's political climate does not distinguish between having uncommon knowledge and having the intent to use it to do harm.

Re:Safety? (2)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978294)

I don't think they're particularly worried about safety. What they are worried about is the perception that science kits can be used for making poisons and explosives. Today's political climate does not distinguish between having uncommon knowledge and having the intent to use it to do harm.

Today's political climate? This garbage being spewed out of your fingers... i don't know where to begin. Poisons and explosives? Who cares? Yeah, i'm worried about someone using a chemistry kit to make a poison when they can just use bleach or hundreds of poisonous substances which are widely available at almost every store out there.
This squarely falls into the category of too much hyperbole and no danger involved.

This is a very paranoid country (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35977812)

When is doesn't have an external enemy, it begins searching for one.

This didn't start with 9/11, it goes back way before then.

If it can't find an external enemy, it looks within.

That's why we have >1% of our population in jail -- more than any other industrialized country.

That's why there's a camera on your street corner, and your cel phone tells the cops where you are, etc.

What do you call a government that does not trust its own citizens?

kitchen chemistry (1)

cygnwolf (601176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977850)

This is me, wishing I still had mod points..... That being said, following the links back to the mfr's website here [elenco.com] seems to indicate that it's a kitchen chemistry kit. So, it's a Mr. Wizard book with come cheap "glassware" and safety equipment. Saves the company the problem of properly packaging and labeling the reagents, they can leave the warning labels to other manufacturers. Still, a bit of a cop out.

I think it uses household chemicals (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977856)

In looking at the picture, it's possible that the kit really doesn't come with chemicals (except maybe for some litmus strips or something like that).

The experiments sound like something you'd do with household chemicals like water, salt, soap, baking soda, etc.

So it's fair to bash the kit on the lack of interesting chemical experiments, but not fair to bash it only for the "Chemical free" label.

Though to be honest, even my old-school chemistry set with real chemicals with hundreds of "experiments" wasn't all that exciting for me and didn't do anything to give me good lab habits. Plus the powdered chemicals often congealed into a solid chunk and you had to scrape them off of the chunk. It was fun playing with the alcohol burner, though.

Re:I think it uses household chemicals (1)

nu1x (992092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978122)

> it's possible that the kit really doesn't come with chemicals

I rather think it is very impossible, as it cannot avoid coming with a staple chemicals of complex carbon chains that are usually not very fit for human digestion (cows would do ok tho, except for maybe mild poisoning).

Also, if seems to contain some silicium dioxide. It is known (in very small doses) to cause extreme irritation, it can also cause death by making you bleed internally (potentially).

ALSO, if I cause said chemistry set to enter the state of rapid oxidation, the fumes that result may or may not contain trace amounts of potentially hazardous chemicals, that are now floating free in your neighbourhood atmosphere (if it has plastic coverings of any kind).

Re:I think it uses household chemicals (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35978304)

Uses gousehold chemicals eh? Like chlorine bleach and ammonia? Safe!

CH3CH2OH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35977898)

Is that "bad" now?

The real reason behind this (1)

stopacop (2042526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977900)

Everyone knows you can cook up military grade high explosives and/or crystal meth with those chemistry kits.

"Chemical" now a synonym for "toxin" (4, Insightful)

ewg (158266) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977962)

"Chemical" has become a synonym for "toxin" in modern vernacular. Regrettably.

Re:"Chemical" now a synonym for "toxin" (1)

Rotten (8785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978072)

When insecticides and agrochemicals in general got labeled as BIOCIDES, it was the first warning signal that our society was dumbing down at extreme pace.

When the sole mention of uranium or arsenic (in natural state) started to sound alarms for some guys who started to "look for the culprit for that dangerous chemicals to be present in the water...must be the mining industry!!!" [of a remote hydrothermal area and the water in question was surging just meters of a volcanic system]...that day i lost all my hope. Society is stupid...or science has a comunicational problem w/society...or it's just the whole human race is doomed to be stupid forever.

Fear....always fear....do you know a better control tool than fear?

Allow me to be the first to say.... (and a story!) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35977978)

Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

The terrorists have won.

When I was a kid I spent months playing with my chemistry set and microscope.

It was a huge learning experience for me. I almost feel like I should try to buy up a few kits now before they're outlawed completely in case I have kids in the future.

Even after I had used up most of the reagents, I dumped all the remaining chemicals into a plastic pencil box and set it on fire. Then as a loving older brother, I convinced my little brother to stomp out the colorful flames with his foot in sandals and he got major burns as the molten plastic/chemical concoction combo. I then learned how pissed off parents get when you do stuff like that. The learning never stops.

lazy parents to blame? (1)

shop S Mart (755311) | more than 3 years ago | (#35977990)

Maybe it's just me but my first thought was this sounds like some parents didn't want to have to supervise their kids while the kids used the chem set. Rather than suck it up and supervise them or not buy it in the first place they complain until it gets changed.

Another dangerous chemical (1)

sensei moreh (868829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978046)

Once upon a time, I mixed equal parts (by weight) hydronium hydroxide and dihydrogen monoxide. Poured the resulting product into a paper cup and drank it.

Geezus f*ing Christmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35978048)

I got my first chemistry set before I was seven (just before -- my birthday's a few days after Christmas). With real (*gosh*) chemicals. And glass test tubes. Yeah, it was probably just an excuse for my dad to buy it and play with it, but hey... it was the first of quite a few. And I'm still alive, with all extremeties intact, fifty years later. (I skipped first year chem in high school -- wrote the final for it and went straight into AP chem.)

A generation of candy-assed wimps, that's what we're raising.

Wow ... (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978108)

So, in 10 or 15 years, when everyone has grown up being kept away from anything remotely dangerous, not allowed outside, and being pandered to to be sure we don't hurt their feelings as we try to teach them to spell ... why do I foresee an entire generation of children who are too stupid and sheltered to do anything, and too spoiled and coddled to understand why they're not magically having the world care for them and give them everything they want?

I mean, OK, sure ... when we were kids, you could get cut, or break something, or maybe even really poke someone's eye out. Surprisingly few people actually did, though. Only the really psychotic kids, or the ones who really did need the helmet and the short bus were ever actually kept away from this kind of thing.

We already know that kids don't really understand basic science well enough to go into university and not be completely wrong about how things work. Chemical free chemistry sets? Wow ... let's wait for the generation that is raised entirely with safety scissors, glitter, and nothing but comforting reassurance that it's OK to spell words any way you please, and who cares what 2+2 is?

"Doomed as a species" comes to mind. At the very least ... the places that aren't intentionally educating their children to be simpletons will have an advantage.

How much of this is fear of litigation, and how much is fear of children becoming terrorists as they learn how to make pipe bombs?

Re:Wow ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35978350)

I don't think it is a fear of chemicals that is the issue, I think it is the fear of lawsuits. We have parents who see every kid's boo-boo as a chance to win the courtroom lottery. Unless we reign in our mentality that not only should the world be free of any possible risk but that if something does happen you deserve to become rich for it we will live in a world with diminishing potential and freedom.

Oddly enough though, we won't let them touch any chemical that is remotely reactive but in lots of US states folks are happy to put a gun in their kid's hands. I guess bad things have never happened with guns and kids but don't let them touch cobalt chloride.

Re:Wow ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35978356)

Depends on the age group. I dunno, this looks like something I would trust with my five year old. Ten-twelve year olds I would start giving access to real chemicals.

My family would never let me have such a kit, but when I was eight I tried to make a potatoe battery light. Lacking a potato, I used an extension cord that was cut in half. I think they were justified, maybe.

That is what people said about you (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978404)

Seriously, do you think is new? Did you hunt? Help a cow deliver a calf? Helping build the house? Make bread? Fix your own car and fully understand it, not clip in a new chip? Build your own radio?

I will tell you something very simple. My mother knew vi (no, not vim) better then I. To me it is the editor of choice in the shell, for her it was the latest tech. Used it NOT to edit some config files but to do office work in. Mail.

You are the pandered child to the generation before you.

And yet, it still works out.

Re:Wow ... (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978436)

As a society, be have become to over protective of kids, (Wont' someone think of the children.) that when they finally get out on their own they will simply not be equipped to survive. I expect we are only a few years away from a massive increase in the number of deaths due to stupidity.
I am so glad I do not have kids.

Re:Wow ... (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978450)

Let's be specific and honest here. It's going to result in generations of dumber American kids, whose economic overlords will originate from other countries.

Re:Wow ... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978492)

So, in 10 or 15 years, when everyone has grown up being kept away from anything remotely dangerous, not allowed outside, and being pandered to to be sure we don't hurt their feelings as we try to teach them to spell ... why do I foresee an entire generation of children who are too stupid and sheltered to do anything, and too spoiled and coddled to understand why they're not magically having the world care for them and give them everything they want?

And eventually, the Morlocks will rise up and eat those Eloi. I've heard this story before>. [wikipedia.org]

Really guys (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978134)

If you buy a "chemistry set" "without chemicals" to your kid you are:

1 - A Moron. EVERYTHING is a chemical.
2 - A darn overprotecting parent.
3 - Someone without the slightest idea of how the world works

Really, enough with the BS

They're ruining the childhood of kids!

Nope. No chemicals: (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978150)

It just contains all natural arrangements of protons, electrons and neutrons. Not a nasty chemical in sight.

Oops. Wait. Those are subatomic and nuclear particles. Nuclear is an even worse word. Can't have that.

Teach your children (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978158)

I bought a gallon of hydrochloric acid (muriatic) at Lowes last week and had loads of fun with the kids, seeing what reactions occur with common household objects (ammonia, sodium bicarbonate, pennies, eggs, etc.). The Lowes guy asked what I wanted the acid for, and I said we were going to make hydrogen (react with metal). He asked again, because he obviously thought his ears were malfunctioning, but dropped the subject when he got the same answer.

What!?! (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978314)

But that box? It's made of......chemicals!!!! Argghhhghghgh!!!!

life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35978338)

Life without chemicals is. . . impossible!

Yellow goggles (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978340)

Did anyone else notice the silly looking 1975 looking swimming goggles that this kit comes with? I guess they'll keep you from getting a soap bubble in your eye or something, but why bother. Or the Pink plastic test tube rack?

Solution: The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978380)

Chemistry as a kid (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978410)

Unless you've played with potassium permanganate and glycerin in your parent's basement you haven't experienced the joys of (non-narcotic) chemistry based juvenile delinquency.

The war on drugs also killed chemistry sets (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978490)

The war on drugs also killed chemistry sets

Drug Free Pharmacy (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978494)

Coming soon, to a street corner near you!

a good chemistry set (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35978496)

Fortunately, it is still possible to get a real chemisty set:

http://www.amazon.com/Thames-Kosmos-645014-C3000-Chemistry/dp/B000BPL4Z4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1304105600&sr=8-2

This one is sufficiently advanced that adults seeking a refresher will enjoy. Why, it even has you deal with sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, and silver nitrate (although you have to buy these separately).

For a younger audience, there is the C2000 and C1000 sets, which also have an instruction book aimed at younger readers.

A lot of homeschool families use these sets. They're quite a bit more advanced that what most kids get in high school these days.

The Idiot Trend (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978528)

It is quite a problem to fist identify a trend towards idiocy and then figure out how to change society into something healthier.
                      Right now parents worry about their kids having any kind of future as excessive population and technology continuously devalue human labor. The pressure will accelerate as technology displaces more and more fields of endeavor. In some ways basic values will be assaulted and the danger of social chaos collapsing all progress is very real. If we no longer need labor and even jobs requiring thinking in depth then we must arrange pay checks for all people and they best not be token pay checks. Right now we see the issue modeled in land line telephones. With less and less homes having a land line it becomes ever more pressing for the phone companies to run wire and maintain poles with less and less people using the system in an area. Soon we are likely to see the same issue with power delivery. Power companies will raise rates severely as less and less homes are on the grid.
                      Likewise, conventional society will fail when less and less people are employable due to technology and excessive labor availability. As we bring the incomes of those who no longer work who will soon be the majority, closer and closer to the income of those that do work or invest for a living conventional ideas of right and wrong will have to be changed. The majority, who do not work, should easily be able to vote in laws and regulations to have the system work for them and against the former barons of wealth. Some southern towns fought this issue in the 1950 era. The situation was that in some towns the black population was the majority and jobs simply did not exist for them. The great fear was the vote could enable the poor, black majority to tilt the system on its ear and apply massive taxation to those that owned property or businesses. Every force the whites could muster was used to prevent the black population from voting. The whites lost with those tactics. Their grip eroded. Now we are seeing another form of the same type of behavior. The right wing pushes absurd doctrines designed to mislead all voters. By crippling education a dumbed down population can not sort the lies from reality and more conservatives can grasp control of the system. In the end violence will be the tool used to equalize the system. Suffering produces anger and anger produces violence.

Possible Johnny Carson quote (3, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 3 years ago | (#35978560)

"Remember when a dangerous toy was one that could poke out more than one eye at a time?"
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