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Author: Subject: What is the most ignorant thing you have ever done while conducting an experiment?
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[*] posted on 1-4-2005 at 14:29
What is the most ignorant thing you have ever done while conducting an experiment?


What is the most ignorant thing you have ever done while conducting an experiment?

EbC: spelling

[Edited on 3-10-2005 by chemoleo]
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Chris The Great
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[*] posted on 1-4-2005 at 15:53


I'd have to say my entire distillation of acetone peroxide dissolved in acetone, with a flame, in mayo jars, with plastic components and high pressure.

That, and when I stuck my finger into a reaction involving fairly concentrated HCl to see how hot it was.........don't ask me why, I can't remember. It hurt a fair bit.
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[*] posted on 1-4-2005 at 20:10


This is really not a chemistry experiment but related:

When I was young I induged in my share of k3wlish acts (we all have a little k3wl in us;)). I was firing marbles at a target with a pipe cannon charged with gunpowder. I did this right beside my house in a residential area as you could do that in the late '50s. This got boring so I decide to leave the ramrod in and fire it as the projectile. After lighting the Jet X fuse I ran around the sleeping porch on the back of the house. Just as I rounded the corner the cannon itself caught me in the calf. It had broke loose of its mounting and passed through both walls of the porch before intercepting me!

I could tell of other escapes but I'm not sure what the statute of limitations is on acts of k3wl. :o




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[*] posted on 1-4-2005 at 21:16


I think that would be having Caro's acid shooting all over me. I made a batch to see if would do something (dont remember what) and rode over with it to my freinds. It was summer time around noon and apparently from what I can guess my caro's acid decomposed somewhat and the rubber stopper shot off and landed all over my neck just as I got to his house.

I just ran in and poured baking soda over my neck lol. He was like wtf. Needless to say.... Bike + bad stuff --(light/hot)-> bad.

Luckily, my skin only started to lightly burn. And it was red for a long, long time. I can imagine concentrated h2so5 landing in your eyes. MMM....




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[*] posted on 2-4-2005 at 00:36
Armstrong's Mixture


31 years ago. Mixing red P and KClO3 together in a mortar and pestle. Blew my
eyebrows off !




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[*] posted on 2-4-2005 at 05:45


Didn't you guys spin those tales in Whimsy a long time ago? :D

I forget which thread, however.

sparky (^_^)




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[*] posted on 2-4-2005 at 06:23


Anyone filled a sep funnel with nasty chemicals while forgetting to CLOSE the stopcock? More than once??

Try it, its a good way to learn damage control. I'm quite good at that now. :D




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[*] posted on 2-4-2005 at 11:54


I mixed some calcium metal filings, that were very course, with some sulfur and lit it with a match. You can't pull your fingers back quickly enough. I had white soot all the way to my knuckles and blisters too. I'm glad I got tired of filing and only had a small pile of calcium. Other dumb tricks involved setting my bed on fire with a Tesla coil; the spark went to the bed springs, and shocking myself with the capacitors when I forgot I had widened the spark gap to "shut it off". I also made an arc furnace and melted nails, dirt, salt etc, while looking through some dark sunglasses. I can still see the image, how convenient that I don't have to rely on my memory. Sunglasses don't work as welder's goggles. The dumbest trick was heating Potassium Perchlorate with concentrated Sulfuric to distill off the Perchloric acid. I had added the acid and was adjusting the asbestos pad under the flask so the bunsen burner wouldn't hit the glass directly. The explosion happened as I was under the level of the flask and parts of the glassware ended up in the ceiling. The chemistry teacher, who had approved this madness came in from the other room as white as a ghost. Amazingly nobody was hurt. The second dumbest trick was making up an ammoniacal silver solution (not an approved experiment ;-) late one afternoon while at the college lab. I thought it was in a safe condition so I locked it up for the weekend. Next lab session, I opened my glassware drawer to see glass shards everywhere. Whoops! I came back after everyone else had left and carefully cleaned up the mess. It only cost me the price of the lab glass I had checked out, which was expensive to a poor student. Live, learn, and tell those who will listen.

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[*] posted on 2-4-2005 at 12:46


Long ago, when I only had my chemistry set, I tried to nitrate resorcinol with 30% HNO3 which I had boiled down to about 50%.
I added some resorcinol to the HNO3 (without H2SO4!) and it dissolved rapidly. I added quite a lot, about 2g to 4ml of HNO3. Nothing happened, so I heated it. Suddenly, it turned black and began increasing its volume. The black sludge became bigger and bigger and poured down the sides of the test tube and on my desk ( worked in my sleeping room). It began spewing large amounts of red gas which made me cough (I didn't know about its dangers then) and I left the room. A few minutes later, I came back and it still boiled and red gas was being produced. I had a very sore throat and lung pain for over a week and the burn mark is still visible on the desk.
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[*] posted on 2-4-2005 at 13:06


Dumping >10g of questionable quality cellulose into 100ml of HNO3 DCM extract. Mighty fine runaway that was...



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[*] posted on 2-4-2005 at 17:23
I have a bad habit...


The same as froot's

I tend to leave the stopcock in the open position, then commence to pour very carefully, whatever liquid I am washing, into the top of the sep funnel, and from thence, into my lap.
:(

[Edited on 3-4-2005 by Hermes_Trismegistus]




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[*] posted on 2-4-2005 at 18:32


When I was making ammonium chloride a few years back from janitor ammonia and muriatic acid, I left it on the burner too long and too hot and filled my entire house with sla ammoniac fog!! My roommate thought I was burning the house down!:P:D



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[*] posted on 3-4-2005 at 12:38


Chloric, have you noticed how it fogs the windows up for weeks after you get an ammonium chloride smoke?

BTW a straw broom soaked in NH4OH is a useful way of finding Chlorine leaks when you are in a protective suit and looking for the leak. You get the same white cloud, but I'm not sure what the white cloud is. Anybody want to suggest one. Maybe a mixture of NH4Cl and Hypochlorous Acid?




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[*] posted on 5-4-2005 at 08:44


Ah I just had a fun one last night. Making a standard batch of AP, but I had some stuff setting in the back that I was letting ferment for the DPPP experiment. HCl, and Acetone. Nice dark red and all that. Well I added the H2O2 to it, and started a very bad runaway reaction. All of the liquid boiled away, and the house filled up with a smoke like gas. Which I have since come to find out was Chloroacetone. I believe anyways. So I gassed my family out.!:P Thankfully I was the only one truly affected by it. And that fact alone got me off the hook with my family.

Ah the misspent times of youth.:cool:
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[*] posted on 5-4-2005 at 18:50


I wouldnt call it ignorant, I would call it redundant education.
Arc melting screw ups:

1. moved my arm too close to the upper metallic shell, while arc melting a sample. A wingnut was about 3 inches from my wrist when the electricity decided my arm was a greater drop. left a sizable scar on my wrist and scared the piss out of me.

2. the dumber thing. finished melting a Al, Mg, Zn alloy puck. To help cool things off faster, sometimes I take the chamber to 1 atm of Ar. (typically most melts are done under a -15atm vacuum). So I flipped the Ar valve and for some reason stopped paying attention. BOOM! one of the O-rings burst, spewing out smoke and a fire errupted inside the chamber. (could have been worse)
3. Even dumber. After the above event, I sparked out the inside of the chamber to burn up the remaining mg/zn dust and cleaned it out with ethanol and towels. Then used the same ethanol towels to wipe up the floor where the smoke had shot down onto. I never sparked the dust on the floor so it was still active. I almost threw it away and probably would have started the trash on fire, but instead I noticed the little crackling patterns of red dancing around burning up the active dust and lighting the kimwipe on fire in my hand.

4. my favorite. just finished arc melting a Tungsten-Ni button. Usualy wait about 4-5 seconds before sliding the #11 shade off the port hole, but I guess that wasnt long enough. I quickly looked away from the demon light but I was still blinded for a short time (longer than I am blinded when accidentaly striking an arc without a shade). This was the brightest thing I had ever looked at. Imagine looking at a lightbulb filliment 1 foot away, which was the size of a (AA) battery while it was white hot. that has got to be the most ignorant thing I have done.
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[*] posted on 5-4-2005 at 21:34


Uber luminal: you need to post pictures of your arc melting setup and regale us with more entertaining tales of alloy-making.

Here's something I did that was profoundly ignorant but not dangerous:

When I was seven years old, I was reading some science books from the library and trying whatever I could with household products snatched from the kitchen and the laundry room. I read about grain elevator explosions, and read that flour could behave in the same way on a smaller scale. Not really understanding the "dust explosion" concept, I wrapped some flour up in foil with a piece of string as fuse, added a dash of rubbing alcohol for good measure, lit the string, and ran away covering my ears. The expected bang never materialized. First I was fearful that it was just waiting to go off, then I was sad that it did nothing. When my dad got home he demonstrated a couple of real firecrackers for me, which cheered me right up and made me more determined to crack the mysteries of explosives.

A couple of years later, when I had a little lab in the garage, I was suddenly thrown into terror by a hissing noise I heard as I was mixing a pyrotechnic composition. Jumping away from the bench, I saw that a bag of sand had tipped over underneath the bench and was spilling its grains with a soft hiss.

Around the same time I read in some book about people making explosives with sugar and tropical bleach (special calcium hypochlorite grains). Not realizing that tropical bleach was a lot different from the stuff in the laundry room, I tried mixing Clorox and sugar outdoors and never saw anything interesting happen.

I discovered stronger (hair-bleach) hydrogen peroxide around the 5th grade. I enjoyed making it bubble with all sorts of things. Cobalt chloride worked well. Cobalt carbonate, made with a mixture of sodium carbonate and cobalt chloride, worked much better. I realized only a couple of years ago that it was probably the pH change, rather than the cobalt carbonate per se, that made the mixture work better.

When I was six I used to play with a bright red towel that my dad used when washing cars. I could set gray pebbles on it and after some staring they would start to look green, like the whole world did when I looked away from the towel. At first I thought the towel was somehow making the little rocks more green.

Also when I was seven, my best friend was fascinated by dinosaurs and fossils. I thought that if animals falling dead normally could leave fossils over millions of years, we might be able to do it in just a few months if we helped things along. So I took chicken bones from the trash and placed them at the bottom of a bucket filled with mud. The fossilization didn't seem to work, so later we just added urine and plant matter to the bucket until we had a putrid mess.

When I was eight, I burned a pit in a large desk and filled a classroom with smoke while trying to demonstrate the power of oxidizers for "Show and Tell." I was going to put KNO3 in a soup can and insert a burning wooden splint. I forgot the soup can, and instead of aborting I decided I could use a big heap of KNO3 on top of several layers of foil. I paid too much attention to the audience and melted right through before I noticed anything was wrong. In the same classroom, I later set everyone to choking and holding their noses while demonstrating the exothermic union of sulfur and iron. Don't ask me why neither I nor any of the adults watching me thought to do these little demos outside.

In math classes, in too many instances to remember, I found little formulas or shortcuts that were easier for me to use/think about/remember than what the teacher was actually saying. When it came time to do homework and tests, I got marked down because I wasn't showing my work properly. Later I went to finding and writing down the answer first, then scribbling the right sorts of things above it to "show my work." It was a rare instance where external, rather than internal, ignorance proved a problem.

When quite young, I thought that sexual pleasure must come from some sort of chemical exchange between partners (given that I read a lot about chemistry and very little about the body). There were chemicals excreted by the penis that could stimulate the vagina (I had no notion of the clitoris) and vice-versa. It was so perfectly logical! The penis would be inserted and then both people would lie motionless there with goofy smiles on their faces, enjoying the chemicals they were exchanging. I didn't have any notion of orgasm either. When I discovered the self-induced orgasm, I felt like I had uncovered a great secret and wondered if it had anything to do with sex. But how could it, when my hand surely couldn't excrete womanly pleasure-chemicals?




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Darkblade48
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[*] posted on 5-4-2005 at 21:41


LOL, Polverone, the last story is the best :D
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[*] posted on 5-4-2005 at 21:48


After seeing your post, Polverone, methinks this should be a Whimsy thread.

Your second to the last anecdote was cool. :cool: I had the same problem also. My untainted mind was thinking at the time, "Why aren't they teaching this stuff when things could be so much easier?" I found the sobering truth years later. ;)

That last one, however, was hilarious! :D

But hey, IIRC, there are chemicals in semen that stimulate some "noticeable reactions" in women.

sparky (^_^)




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[*] posted on 6-4-2005 at 02:55


Quote:
Originally posted by sparkgap
But hey, IIRC, there are chemicals in semen that stimulate some "noticeable reactions" in women.


You are probably speaking about prostaglandins which induce contractions of the uterus and fallopian tubes, which might case pleasure, in women obviously.

My first most dangerous 'synthesis' was the production of ammonia. I was still 12 and had read that on mixing any ammonium salt with calcium oxide and heating gave ammonia gas. I started looking aroun and got my hands on around 500g of NaOH prilled which according to certain other references said it would also work since all that is required is a strong base. Well I crushed Ammonium sulfate and NaOH and placed them in a soft-drink glass bottle, those with a narrow neck. To the neck I connected a pipe which led to an inverted funnel in water. On heating only a small quantity of ammonia was generated. I thought, well hell why not add some water to the mixture. That was it. I added approximately 150ml of water into the bottle at one go. Conc. ammonia and NaOH soln sprang out at me from the bottle. I was drenched in it. Had to go to hospital because a small injury on my eye but that was it, I was very lucky. The other injuries quickly healed, except a very small unnoticable patch of hair.

The other dangerous experiment was due to my adventurous way to go about chem when I was young. On my old school books I had found out that strong oxidizing agents under acidified conditions could oxidize various compounds, such as alcohols. The only oxidizing agent I had was hydrogen peroxide, so I used that, acidified with dilute sulfuric acid. I first tried ethanol and I noticed no rxn. I then tried propanone just for fun, since I knew it wouldn't be oxidized being a ketone. But wonder of wonders a white precipitate occured. I was amazed and thrilled. I started 'mass producing' the stuff, and had as much as >50g of it, if not more. I went about to test what the hell this stuff was, by NaOH etc.... All of the tests gave a negative result until I heated the stuff on a spoon! Damn it did it give me a fright (and thanfully on that).

Those were the most dangerous experiments I have done although there are others. Btw polverone, those stories of yours are great :D

[Edited on 6-4-2005 by Esplosivo]




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Mr. Wizard
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[*] posted on 6-4-2005 at 07:39


This may not be exactly the right forum, but if any of you haven't stumbled upon this site before, it might make a humorous read:
http://www.armory.com/~spcecdt/pyrotech/doap/

Maybe in the K3wl category, but those without sin can cast the first stone. This guy makes plenty of mistakes.




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[*] posted on 6-4-2005 at 13:55


Explosivo: You meant ammonium sulf<b>ide</b>, right?

Well, I might as well add my 2 cents. I can think of two things right off the top of my head.

One day, I had to boil down a solution of an alcohol containing a lot of dissolved magnesium sulfate. So, I put the thing in a flask and heated that over an open flame. I didn’t have any boiling stones at the moment, so I decided to just let the thing boil on its own. Well, it went without problem at first. As the salt precipitated, though, it coated the rough surfaces present and…well, the flash boiling shot ~150mL of EtOH out of the flask. 3 foot flames aren’t fun indoors.

Recently, I was playing with my Bi crystals and noticed that I always had 50mL of liquid Bi left over that I wanted to put into a form that could be easily remelted. So, I made a plaster mold for this purpose. Unfortunately, I hadn’t counted on the rapidity with which plaster dehydrates at this temperature and quickly got a small steam explosion. I’m currently waiting for the burn on my wrist to heal… Lesson to be learned here: always dehydrate the inside of the mold <b>before</b> pouring liquid metals into it.
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[*] posted on 6-4-2005 at 14:38
silly thing you done


i was once distilling benzyl chloride not long started heating and forgot to put in the boiling stones in didn't think it was as hot as it was when i dropped the boiling stones in i blew the benzyl chloride
right out out one of the necks.

its then called run lab run like all fuck !
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[*] posted on 6-4-2005 at 18:11
Again with the stories - LOL


Dropping a few drops of absolute alcohol onto a petri dish containing liquid Chromyl Chloride. Whoooosh! Big flame!

That was just the stupid part, the (temporary) ignorant part was attempting to put out the flames with water. Ke-bang! Fortunately the chemicals were on the other side of a small concrete barrier.
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[*] posted on 6-4-2005 at 19:09


These are all good stories.
One of the most dangerous thing's i've done is to load firecrackers into a metal pneumatic spudgun... but that's not reall chemistry. Oh my good lord, how awesome is it to have your very own artillery piece! :) :):D :D :o
Even Mister Policeman asked if he could have a go! I love my country.

The stupidest thing I've ever done is to boil sulphuric on a metal hotplate. stupid stupid stupid.
Later that week, I was boiling (this time WITH boiling stones) ~93% H<sub>2</sub>SO<sub>4</sub> over a bunsen - boiled to aezotrope, then let it cool for 'a bit', because I was afraid of the acid absorbing atmospheric moisture too much... I came out later, and picking it up with oven mitts (stupid again!), ferried it over to a cork board for decantation into my glass stoppered 1L flasks. I decanted it straight into the flasks - bad idea. The first one litre flask cracked off completely at the base at about 3/4 capacity.
My beautiful brick porch!
My beautiful soft, fleshy feet!!
I at least had the common sense to have a couple of kilos of bicarbonate sitting around.
That would have to be the most careless thing I've done. :cool:




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[*] posted on 7-4-2005 at 04:38


No neutrino, I did mean ammonium sulfate. It reacts with bases to give off ammonia, although in a solution most is absorbed by the solution the reaction is taking place itself so that little gas is released, especially due to the very high solubility of ammonia in water.



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