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Magpie
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[*] posted on 29-9-2010 at 07:33


I agree that it is risky (if not downright stupid) to talk about your chemistry hobby outside of this forum. I know this sucks, but it is reality and you have to deal with it.

I never had a home lab until I retired from 40 years as a chemical engineer in industry. I always wanted a lab but job, family, and family oriented hobbies took all my time and money. I did as some are recommending: worked hard on my education and achieved a measure of satisfaction practicing chemistry on the job.

But there is nothing like having your own self-directed lab. Since I joined this forum almost 8 years ago I have vastly expanded my knowledge and field of interest from the narrow requirements of my former employments.

I also greatly admire the knowledge of some of the younger members of this forum. They are going to be so much better prepared for school and work because of their participation here. I can think of one young German participant who knew more chemistry at age 20 than I will ever know.

[Edited on 29-9-2010 by Magpie]




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spong
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[*] posted on 30-9-2010 at 01:32


Yeah I know it's not the best thing legally to have a lab at home but I'm 19 now and I've been mucking about with chemistry/physics/pyrotechnics for 11 years easily, I'd never give it up unless I really had to. It has helped a lot with my education too, I'll bet pretty much everyone on this forum has much more in depth knowledge than classmates or workmates in the same field. At uni, people will mindlessly recite what they heard a lecturer say and have no idea what it actually is. The lecturer was asking about hydrogenating a double bond and the answers are all things like 'H2PDC(in words)' but very few of them would understand what they've said.
I think I'll be fine with all this, I know they could easily get me in trouble if they wanted, hell, they could put me in jail for the rest of my life if they tried but I very much doubt they would. One of the chemists even said told mum they need someone like me working for them :P
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[*] posted on 30-9-2010 at 06:23


Quote: Originally posted by MagicJigPipe  
Quote:

not overly religious


I don't know about Australia but in the U.S. this is a good attribute to have if it is the "correct" religion (Christianity).

I would tend to believe that Australia is not much different than most of the Europe when it comes to this issue. In most (secular) countries of Europe it is not a good idea to express your religious ideas during a (secular) police investigation, regardless of which religion or church affiliation you are. If you even remotely connect any of your actions or behaviour within an religious context, then you risk of being considered by the police as someone who is not taking the secular laws equally or more seriously as religious believes. And since these can sometimes be in conflict... you risk ending up under the suspicion of being able of doing anything, from little things like lying to big things like mass murdering (Europe has a tradition of religion based mass murdering aka genocides, even in the very recent history - the fears about these things are imprinted in the modern culture and prejudices).

Quote:
Look, I know racism exists still but I don't think being of another ethnicity, in the case of amateur science, exposes one to more scrutiny than those of the dominant (and I use that word lightly especially nowadays) one. Also in this case, being upper class would almost certainly be an advantage (money for lawyers, court costs, bribes etc...) Most Americans associate "drug cookery" with the white lower class! Don't you? I'm sure there is a survey around that gives this conclusion.

In the wast majority of Europe, in some countries more, in some less, being part of an ethnic minority sucks big time when having whatsoever business with the police. I imagine it is a similar problem as being black and having anything to do with the police in the USA. In some countries in Europe it is even much worse if you are white, but of "wrong" ethnic origin, than it would be if you were black.

Quote:
And the last one; what? I realize that there are private citizens that hate gays but I'm just not seeing this one. I really don't think that, in general, federal agents give one shit or another about the sexuality of your parents.
...
What do you think, Nicodem?

I think that you should start using an English-English dictionary. It appears that even though I'm not a native English speaker I know more meanings of words part of this language than native speakers do:

Quote:
straight
   /streɪt/

6. honest, honorable, or upright, as conduct, dealings, methods, or persons.

The meaning of "straight" as "being heterosexual" is only a slang parlance, which might be common where you live, but it is nevertheless not a formal meaning of the word as though in schools elsewhere.




…there is a human touch of the cultist “believer” in every theorist that he must struggle against as being unworthy of the scientist. Some of the greatest men of science have publicly repudiated a theory which earlier they hotly defended. In this lies their scientific temper, not in the scientific defense of the theory. - Weston La Barre (Ghost Dance, 1972)

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psychokinetic
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[*] posted on 30-9-2010 at 12:10


Quote: Originally posted by Nicodem  
It appears that even though I'm not a native English speaker I know more meanings of words part of this language than native speakers do


Yeah, that's about par for the course.




“If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search.
I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.”
-Tesla
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DDTea
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[*] posted on 30-9-2010 at 20:56


Quote: Originally posted by spong  
Yeah I know it's not the best thing legally to have a lab at home but I'm 19 now and I've been mucking about with chemistry/physics/pyrotechnics for 11 years easily, I'd never give it up unless I really had to. It has helped a lot with my education too, I'll bet pretty much everyone on this forum has much more in depth knowledge than classmates or workmates in the same field. At uni, people will mindlessly recite what they heard a lecturer say and have no idea what it actually is. The lecturer was asking about hydrogenating a double bond and the answers are all things like 'H2PDC(in words)' but very few of them would understand what they've said.
I think I'll be fine with all this, I know they could easily get me in trouble if they wanted, hell, they could put me in jail for the rest of my life if they tried but I very much doubt they would. One of the chemists even said told mum they need someone like me working for them :P


Let me give you a word of advice: don't ever get yourself labeled as "trouble" by either your professors or classmates. That kind of reputation is hard to shake, especially when you may need those people for recommendations in the future. It can undermine years of hard work.

It's much, much better in the long run to keep a very low profile and simply be known as, "that smart guy who always breaks the curve and gives amazing explanations in study groups."

Watch what you tell people also. It's like the game telephone: saying, "I like to make pyrotechnics," quickly becomes, "[blah blah] makes bombs!" If people are uninformed about someone/something, they have a nasty habit of filling in the blanks on their own to create the most "interesting" explanation.




"In the end the proud scientist or philosopher who cannot be bothered to make his thought accessible has no choice but to retire to the heights in which dwell the Great Misunderstood and the Great Ignored, there to rail in Olympic superiority at the folly of mankind." - Reginald Kapp.
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[*] posted on 1-10-2010 at 08:44


Quote: Originally posted by DDTea  

Let me give you a word of advice: don't ever get yourself labeled as "trouble" by either your professors or classmates. That kind of reputation is hard to shake, especially when you may need those people for recommendations in the future. It can undermine years of hard work.


Just my opinion, but that is one of the most valuable tid-bits of advice you could ever follow. The likelihood of that one aspect of social awareness can spell the difference between success and mediocrity in a variety of areas.

The implications are further reaching than many people imagine.

[Edited on 1-10-2010 by quicksilver]




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[*] posted on 2-10-2010 at 07:02


Well...

Spong, I'm worried you got pulled up by that. I might have a lot more things in my lab to worry about than what you have. In the given context, the word 'might' could also be synonymous with 'definitely'. Darn the attractiveness of energetic chemistry. Well, I think I should throw in the towel.
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[*] posted on 2-10-2010 at 10:30


Read this again. I changed my post and lowered the anger level. (walk away and count to 10)

Quote:
It appears that even though I'm not a native English speaker I know more meanings of words part of this language than native speakers do


You are acting like a pompous asshole. You know good and well that I know the various definitions of straight and merely assumed the incorrect definition.

Quote:
Yeah, that's about par for the course.


Really? REALLY?

You seem to just be pissed because I disagreed with you. What the hell is your problem?

[Edited on 10-2-2010 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 2-10-2010 at 10:38


Quote: Originally posted by MagicJigPipe  
You pompous asshole. You know good and well that I know the various definitions of straight and merely assumed the incorrect definition.

You have to admit that you have some suspiciously rapid assumptions when it comes to assholes and related topics!

Sorry, I could not resist the temptation. :P
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MagicJigPipe
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[*] posted on 2-10-2010 at 10:45


Yes, your suspicions are correct. I prefer coffee over espresso.

Wait, what were you talking about?

[Edited on 10-2-2010 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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quicksilver
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[*] posted on 2-10-2010 at 13:07


I think there is a bit of "putting your head in the lion's mouth" when talking about an energetic materials hobby publicly; principally because it's so damn easy to be misconstrued no matter how you try to cover your interest.

"I've done some reading on" and "I once knew and engineer..." all seem like safe ways to discuss some element of this hobby but there are people who WANT to believe that people with certain interests are inherently up to no good.

It seems similar to those who are obsessed with hidden meaning with the Bible or conspiracies; some folks just won't allow a superficial discussion to stay put. Those are obviously different realms but the broader concept is similar.

There used to be a "code" that some people used almost like a Masonic handshake but since the problems with terrorism and other serious issues it's fallen into disuse because we really DO live in times of a serious nature & genuine concern appears to have more validity as each year passes.

IF you do want to know the secret code, PM me with the number of carbon atoms in Butyl Nitrite and I will show to you on the condition you use it with wisdom & continue it's secrecy.




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psychokinetic
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[*] posted on 2-10-2010 at 16:40


Quote: Originally posted by MagicJigPipe  


Quote:
Yeah, that's about par for the course.


Really? REALLY?

You seem to just be pissed because I disagreed with you. What the hell is your problem?


Uh? I don't recall you saying anything to me at all.




“If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search.
I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.”
-Tesla
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MagicJigPipe
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[*] posted on 2-10-2010 at 18:12


Sorry, the second sentence was for Nicodem.



"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 2-10-2010 at 21:43


Quote: Originally posted by Nicodem  

The meaning of "straight" as "being heterosexual" is only a slang parlance, which might be common where you live, but it is nevertheless not a formal meaning of the word as though in schools elsewhere.


I disagree with your assessment of the increase in likelihood of person x being subjected to unusually intense police scutiny or harrassment without justification as a function of skin color y and sexual orientation z. You suggest without justification that if spong were a handicapped Jamaican transsexual, for example, he would be facing proportionately increased legal difficulties as a result.

I could argue contrarily that being a handicapped Jamaican transsexual would work in his favor because if his case were to generate publicity, his minority status would garner increased sympathy from civil liberties organizations and media outlets who are already accutely atuned to the demographics of criminal activity. Minority crime is essentially bad publicity for the Justice Department and PD public relations departments.
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[*] posted on 3-10-2010 at 01:25


Quote: Originally posted by manimal  

You suggest without justification that if spong were a handicapped Jamaican transsexual, for example, he would be facing proportionately increased legal difficulties as a result.

Fellas I my be in a spot of trouble... :P
And yeah I've given up on trying to talk about my hobby unless I really trust someone, when I was younger I was known as 'the kid that makes bombs' because I was into pyrotechnics. Urgh.
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thumbup.gif posted on 3-10-2010 at 08:21


stay safe man



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-Vogels Textbook of Practical Organic Chemistry
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Magpie
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[*] posted on 3-10-2010 at 08:31


Quote: Originally posted by manimal  

I could argue contrarily that being a handicapped Jamaican transsexual would work in his favor because if his case were to generate publicity, his minority status would garner increased sympathy from civil liberties organizations and media outlets who are already accutely atuned to the demographics of criminal activity. Minority crime is essentially bad publicity for the Justice Department and PD public relations departments.


I agree. I often purposely leave a box of my mother's Depends (adult diapers) in plain sight in the back of my car. My purpose being that if I get pulled over by the cops they'll back off assuming I have enough trouble already.




The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
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[*] posted on 3-10-2010 at 09:53


Quote:
being a handicapped Jamaican transsexual would work in his favor

Fuck I wish I would've thought of this earlier. I'm definitely going to start wearing my fake dreadlocks, fishnet t-shirt with leather skirt and high heels, along with my helmet and blackface more often from now on.
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[*] posted on 3-10-2010 at 10:27


Quote: Originally posted by manimal  
I could argue contrarily that being a handicapped Jamaican transsexual would work in his favor
You could argue it, but then how would you explain the fact that 14% of young men are African American, but 40% of young men in prison are African American?
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cool.gif posted on 3-10-2010 at 11:02


time to take up crossdressing



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[*] posted on 3-10-2010 at 11:36


Quote:
how would you explain the fact that 14% of young men are African American, but 40% of young men in prison are African American?


I believe it's more like 44%. However, this is primarily driven by the fact that young African American men commit violent crimes at around seven to eight times the rate at which young white men do (check out the NCVS data on this if you think all the FBI UCR information is somehow the product of a racist system). Of course there may be law enforcement discrimination on top of this; as I recall, studies suggest that while being black does not increase the chance of being convicted of a crime at trial (ceterus paribus), it does result in harsher sentences than a similar white defendant would receive.
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[*] posted on 3-10-2010 at 15:54


Quote: Originally posted by Magpie  
I agree. I often purposely leave a box of my mother's Depends (adult diapers) in plain sight in the back of my car. My purpose being that if I get pulled over by the cops they'll back off assuming I have enough trouble already.


I suggest instead that you put on blackface and don a pair of spectacles and a tweed ivy cap and claim to be a prestigous black professor. That way, if the cop arrests you, the POTUS will put him on the spot by jetting him out to DC for a couple of beers and some televised sensitivity training.

Quote: Originally posted by entropy51  
You could argue it, but then how would you explain the fact that 14% of young men are African American, but 40% of young men in prison are African American?


My point is that the rhubarb about ethnicity has little to do with the legal circumstances of the OP, so speculation on how things might play out differently for different individuals can be used to make a case that supports either stance. Frankly, I have no idea why the topic has swerved onto this particular offramp, but I will proceed anyway unless Polverone says it is off-bounds.

Evidently, you are concluding that because members of group A are criminally indicted X percent more frequently than members of group B, then a random member of A is ~X percent more likely than a random member of B to face indictment in similar circumstances, all else being equal. But this argument commits a logical fallacy, known as false cause. That is, that correlation does not imply causation.

Consider an analogous example: Soup manufacturer ABC fails to properly sterilize its equipment, and as a result, its quarterly soup shipment to stores is contaminated and causes food poisoning among consumers at a rate 5X that of ABC's main competitor, and is subsequently recalled. Brand ABC ships its soup in red cans, and those of its competitor are blue. The recall effects 20% of all soup brands packaged in red cans at the supermarket chain that is ABC's principle customer. Conclusion: A third soup brand that is sold at the chain, which also comes in red cans, is approximately 20% more likely than the competing brand of blue-canned soup to be removed from the shelves. Obviously, this argument fails to account for some crucial details.

However, it's not outside the realm of possibility that the authority overseeing soup recalls, or, to return to the original topic, the police, will exploit the circumstances described above by singling out one of the parties in an unjustifiable manner. To pursue this tack would require substantiating this.

[Edited on 4-10-2010 by manimal]
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[*] posted on 3-10-2010 at 16:52


Quote: Originally posted by bbartlog  

I believe it's more like 44%. However, this is primarily driven by the fact that young African American men commit violent crimes at around seven to eight times the rate at which young white men do
Most of them are not in prison for violent crime, but rather for drug offenses. See crack disparity. Drug offenses are the reason that we lock people up at a rate much higher than almost any other country.

It's not about canned soup, it's about people who are punished more severely for drug offenses because of their ethnicity. Anyone who believes minorities get a pass from the cops isn't paying attention.
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[*] posted on 3-10-2010 at 17:14


just so you know, in the u.s., whites are not treated any better that blacks as far as drug offense is concerned. there just happens to be a much higher percentage of blacks that think they are above the law and they idiotically flaunt how"ghetto" and "tough" they are by pursuing these activities in public, around children without regard to how their actions negatively affect said children. i don't need figures to back me up. i've been locked up 3 times for for simple marijuana offenses in my much much younger days and i am white. if you are low-key and keep your activities a secret from people who would use it against you then chances are you won't have to be statistic. it just happens to be a part of that culture that if you don't show the world how bad you are, you get ostracized by the ghetto gangsta i'm badda den you n got mo gold in my teef crowd. why would they want that any more than we want to be criminalized for acts of science just because the spoon-fed dumbed-down masses can't understand where the world goes when they close the drapes?



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[*] posted on 3-10-2010 at 17:16


"Black" names reduce résumé call-back rates by 50% even for identical résumé contents.
Police officers are multiple times as likely to mistakenly shoot an unarmed black as an unarmed white.
Minorities are disproportionately likely to be stopped and frisked by the NYPD, even after correcting for estimated crime-participation rates.

If you need more studies, you can find hundreds on Google Scholar.

If you prefer anecdotes, here's one. A colleague from work was leaving a technology conference with 2 other men. As the 3 were walking to a parking garage he was stopped by two police officers on foot who wanted to know if he knew anything about a nearby carjacking that had taken place earlier that day. His two companions weren't addressed at all.

He was black and his companions were white. The carjacker was black. So of course he, a Stanford graduate, a clean cut upper middle class professional dressed in business attire, was expected by police to know something of local crimes, no doubt via the telepathic black hive mind if not direct involvement.




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