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Author: Subject: Society's Perception of Our Chemistry Hobby
CyrusGrey
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[*] posted on 2-4-2008 at 20:50


My school bookstore makes you pay through the nose for books, so I usually get them on amazon.

I was never trying to suggest that you shouldn't play sports... just that you shouldn't play the way the professional players play (It really seems to chew them up from what I hear). I prefer various martial arts for exercise. Even if your in great shape and then go and do something like jujitsu you end up very sore after even one night due to using the muscles you don't use doing other things.

As far as competative sports go, the college I am trying to transfer to doesn't play teams outside of the school. Its a very intellectual school, one guy I talked to there was doing an undergraduate thesis about enhancing prosthetic eyes! :o I hope I get in...

I guess all we can do is try and find a niche that has a good number of intellectuals and work from there at improving our society. Sciencemadness is one great place to do this from!
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MagicJigPipe
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[*] posted on 3-4-2008 at 01:26


I never bought books through the school bookstore. Even the "used" ones were way overpriced. I went to a store (I'm sure every college has one nearby) called Textbook Brokers and got most of my books for a fraction of the bookstore price.

At one point they actually had SOME used lab equipment but the last time I went (several years ago) they didn't have it anymore. Most certainly due to the.... well, you know.




"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
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MagicJigPipe
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[*] posted on 8-4-2008 at 22:35


Inspired by garage chemist's adventures with procuring CS2 from a pharmacy in the old "Carbon Disulfide Preparation" thread, I have decided to do a "test".

I shall call all of the local pharmacies in my area to see if they will order a chemical for me. The chemical must not be able to be used in drug or explosive syntheses and must not be any more toxic than something you can buy OTC. That is so if the pharmicist tries to say no or that it is "too toxic" or "that's too dangerous" it will be obvious that it's bullshit and he/she is just chemophobic or ignorant.

This might accomplish 2 things. It might help me get a chemical that I need and it will give more insight into the current social views of "home chemistry" even when the chemical in question is just as or less toxic than something that can be purchased by anyone in a grocery store.

Also, I will say that I am a "hobby chemist".

Which chemical should I try?

Phthalic anhydride?
Phenol?
DMF?
DMSO?

Or should I just do a test for Reagent Grade NaCl? THAT would be interesting. You know, to see how many actually don't know what "sodium chloride" is. I can see it now:

"I was wondering if you could order 500g of ACS Reagent Grade sodium chloride for me from a chemical supplier"

Pharmacist "What do you need that for" or "No, I won't do that" or "We don't sell CHEMICALS to the public".

I would seriously not be surprised if some of the pharmacists thought I was trying to make meth because of all the "meth ingredients" lists that the local police put out that include rock salt or "table salt".

EDIT
Speaking of which! I got one of those replies from a pharmacist when I tried to buy sodium benzoate from him. He said, "what are you going to use it for?" To his credit he did end up selling it to me.


[Edited on 4-9-2008 by MagicJigPipe]




"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
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[*] posted on 8-4-2008 at 22:46


Phthalic anhydride is a safe option. Phenol is quite toxic at high concentrations. I do not know DMF, but DMSO seems to be used in some drugs making processes.

Other fairly innocuous chemicals, with no relation to drugs (a.f.a.i.k.) are
- resorcinol (25 grams, this is a somewhat more expensive, but rather interesting chem)
- sodium sulfite (or bisulfite)
- potassium iodate (this is quite expensive, but otherwise fairly innocuous, mildly oxidizing, not suitable for explosives and pyrotechnic devices)
- hydroquinone (used as a photo developer, I see no use in illegal activities like drugs-making or explosives)




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Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
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Aurus
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[*] posted on 27-3-2009 at 12:14


In my country, the perception of chemicals is influenced by the fact that the police is cracking down on makers of small explosives which are used in the easter celebrations. They have withdrawn sulfur from the pharmacies and just about the only chemicals that can be found there are hydrogen peroxide and magnesium sulfate.
It is interesting how even my biology teacher asked me "are you going to blow up something?" when i just told her i was organising a chemistry club at my school.
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JohnWW
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[*] posted on 27-3-2009 at 12:50


Sulfur should be available, as a technical grade, from farm and/or garden supplies stores. Veterinarians may also have it. How about asking pharmacies for CS2 (for use as a solvent), or CCl4 or CHCl3 or CH2Cl2 (also for use as a solvent)?
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[*] posted on 28-3-2009 at 00:32


That seems familiar to me.
slowly but steadily the western civilization is turning in a good old "control state".
My hunt for chemicals is always going on, i turn around almost every bottle i come across.
But I can't help but noticing that more and more chemicals are disappearing.

For example we had some dumb fuck minister who tried banning AN from our country (the poor fellow obviously did not know that it was the world's most used fertilizer. )
The reason for that is that he seemed to have heard that it can be uses in so called "bomb making" ( again not realizing that we all eat from the usage of it ).
At the moment you actually need ID to buy some, although nobody really is doing that
Another thing he did not seem to be aware of is that even with one trip around the city I could gather enough particular chemicals to make explosives, as in i would not even need the damn ammonium nitrate.
This stuff can make me pretty sad, seeing where once such a open minded country can Americanize within a few years.

Some times my hopes run out and i get out of my cozy old home to go to a pharmacy to gently ask for a substance ( that would be only if i exhausted every other possible source ) Many times i noticed a strange suspicion even thou I am a nice looking guy, they look at me as if I am asking them to commit mass suicide.
And maybe just because those people are being scared by mass media, they are no longer supposed to think for themselves.

On a chemistry forum on which i have been active for years i once joked " why not ban just all chemicals"
Let's go back to rocks and stones and drag every nice looking lady in ur cave, which might not be so bad after all.

I rest my case.
What do I know.



[Edited on 28-3-2009 by User]




What a fine day for chemistry this is.
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IrC
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[*] posted on 29-3-2009 at 01:12


"On a chemistry forum on which i have been active for years i once joked " why not ban just all chemicals"
Let's go back to rocks and stones and drag every nice looking lady in ur cave, which might not be so bad after all."


I am sorry but rocks can be used as boiling stones so we are going to outlaw them. Therefore to keep in line with the new world police state order you will have to make your caves from something else. We will form a study group to see if you can safely make your caves out of materials in the produce section of your local grocery store.

Should you choose materials from the dairy section instead be advised we will be watching you at all times.

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[*] posted on 29-3-2009 at 12:23



Quote:

Should you choose materials from the dairy section instead be advised we will be watching you at all times


We will be especially watching those who visit the butcher shops. All bones must be returned to the butcher for proper state monitored disposal, for they are rich in phosphorus.
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[*] posted on 29-3-2009 at 13:43


Beef bones, from which the meat has been stripped, are usually ground up to make "blood and bone" fertilizer, rich in P and N. It is a "green" substitute for superphosphate (sulfuric-acid treated ground rock phosphate), although lacking much S.
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benzylchloride1
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[*] posted on 12-4-2009 at 22:08


All the pharmacies that I have visited will not sell chemicals. Once I talked to someone who obtained anhydrous isopropanol from a practicular pharmacy. I visited the pharmacy and asked if they had it or could order it. They refused to order it for me. Pharmacies seem to be the worst place to obtain chemicals. Some health food stores seem to carry more chemicals and are also more helpful. One local health food store carries 35% hydrogen peroxide in 1 quart and larger quantites for a reasonable price. I wonder how long that will last? My home lab is probably safer then the college's chemistry labs because all chemicals are properly and neatly stored. At the college flammable solvents are sitting out everywere and many bottles of chemicals are labled poorly. The labs are usually a mess. My home lab is so clean that it probably would not hurt to eat off of the floor. I am considered unusual at the university because I work on research at the chemistry lab all day when I am not in classes. Faculty are complaining because I am using way too many chemicals. They have never seen a student fascinated with chemistry to this degree. Most of the chemistry majors at my university are pre-health care and do not really care about chemistry and would prefer not to have any labs.



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Magpie
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[*] posted on 13-4-2009 at 09:41


I also tried the direct approach with a local pharmacy. The pharmacist, or technician, said that he could order chemicals for me and asked which ones I wanted. I really didn't have a list but just to test the system I asked for chloroform. He went to his catalog and said it wasn't listed. I believe I then asked him to check another chemical - same answer. I got the impression that they do so little compounding that he could get very little of interest to me. To my surprise, however, I didn't get the expected response of "What are you trying to do?" or "What do you want that for?" Perhaps my senior status (grey hair, etc) helped. GC recommends that the pharmacist be approached with a written order to a chemical company. I don't have the balls to try that.

I, too, have had better luck at my health food store and find the personnel there very helpful. They also have the 35% H2O2, which simply amazes me. It wasn't too long ago that the "authorities" were talking about pulling 12% H2O2 out of beauty shops. I have noted that strong H2O2 beauty products don't seem to be available in grocery stores anymore.

Who are the customers for 35% H2O2 in health food stores? I'm pretty sure it's not for home chemistry use.
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benzylchloride1
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[*] posted on 13-4-2009 at 21:21


The 35% hydrogen peroxide is marketed to people who are growing plants via hydroponics for sterilizing their equipment.



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[*] posted on 14-4-2009 at 04:06


Quote: Originally posted by benzylchloride1  
The 35% hydrogen peroxide is marketed to people who are growing plants via hydroponics for sterilizing their equipment.

But is it "organic" h2o2? ;P
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