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Magpie
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[*] posted on 9-11-2005 at 20:34
keeping a notebook


I just started keeping a notebook - have about 10 experiments recorded so far. My original reason for doing this was so that I could easily recover facts & figures that I'll very likely want sometime in the future.

But I also think it is important to keep a notebook for another reason - potentially far more important. If I get hauled into court (heaven forbid) for some trumped up or imagined crime involving my experiments I'll have a written record with dates saying what I did and when. This, together with my 500+ posts on this forum, should provide a powerful statement to the court. This should go a long ways in my defence.




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BromicAcid
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[*] posted on 9-11-2005 at 20:44


Definate agreement on that, it took me awhile to get used to using a notebook on a consistent basis though and I still end up writing on scrap paper a lot. I really like just being able to turn to the pages of the book though and having all my calculations and observations and references right there where they can be looked over together, plus there is the aspect that it is a log of what you have done (good or bad I guess) however I have a professional lab notebook that makes the carbon copies of pages and they are sequentially numbered, the problem being that when I need graph paper I cut it out of my book, hence there are several pages missing, that might be suspicious in the eyes of some individuals and my excuse is somewhat strange.

Really though I feel everyone should keep a log of some sort, just for your own purposes, it can really bite you in the butt to forget the amount of something you used in a previous run, or not make note of something you did wrong before only to slap yourself in the head when you find out you repeated the same mistake again!:P




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Darkblade48
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[*] posted on 9-11-2005 at 21:02


I agree with Bromic as well, keeping a log is a definite must. Even in my university, the lab courses I take insist that lab notebooking keeping is a useful skill (and I concur).

Keeping track of specific amounts of reagents you added is useful especially if you're doing the same experiment down the road again. Also, if the experiment doesn't turn out the way you think it would have, you have some kind of record to go back to and think about what went wrong, etc.

However, I still do maintain the nasty habit of writing on scrap paper...and then they invariably get lost :P
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Chris The Great
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[*] posted on 10-11-2005 at 19:53


I have a bad habit of doing the experiment, and then writing it down afterward, I think sometimes I forget minor details if it takes some time. But whenever I decide to write stuff down in the middle of reactions, I don't have enough time before something needs my immediate attention, and writing in my rubber gloves is really hard.
But I work out the quantities beforehand on scrap paper and include them as well as results and a good description, so it serves it's purpose.
It helps ALOT when I need to remember what I did when trying something again or posting a description of an experiment on the forum.

I think the only crime (besides explosives manufacture, oh wait, that was all a dream) I could be fined for would be enviromental destruction. My "acid patch" where I wash away used chems and clean jars is acidic enough to cause vigorous bubbling when I dump bicarbonate solution on it. :o
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12AX7
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[*] posted on 11-11-2005 at 09:21


Quote:
Originally posted by Chris The Great
I think the only crime (besides explosives manufacture, oh wait, that was all a dream) I could be fined for would be enviromental destruction. My "acid patch" where I wash away used chems and clean jars is acidic enough to cause vigorous bubbling when I dump bicarbonate solution on it. :o


:o Dig some lime into there! Gravel, powdered, calcined or straight from natural rock, something basic at least!




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Darkblade48
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[*] posted on 11-11-2005 at 13:39


Quote:
Originally posted by 12AX7
:o Dig some lime into there! Gravel, powdered, calcined or straight from natural rock, something basic at least!


Agreed. If I understand what you said, I'm assuming that you get fizzing on your acid patch when you pour on something like a sodium bicarb solution.

Must be tortorous for your lawn (if that's your patch) :P
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BromicAcid
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[*] posted on 11-11-2005 at 17:04


Regarding the 'acid patch', you can buy crushed marble for walkways and such, this works great, I put it by my faucet in my back yard so when I rinse out beakers and such the acid is reacted away.

Also, Magpie, your thread is definately different in goals then mine, maybe you should petition for a amputation of the old one from the Waldo thread to add back to this one. Mine was more whimsyesque, with the guessing game to the chemicals, whereas yours is a display of a nicely equiped home lab and how you've set up everything.

PS. Your lab looks very nice :D

[Edited on 11/12/2005 by BromicAcid]




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Chris The Great
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[*] posted on 11-11-2005 at 17:25


That is correct, it fizzes when bicarb is poured onto it (my lab bench does this as well but to a much lesser extend).

My patch used to be lawn. ;)
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chemoleo
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[*] posted on 11-11-2005 at 18:36


I thought about merging it - do you mind?

I thought whimsy was appropriate, it is somewhat password protected, and I thought it'd be better suited there as maybe not everyone would like their pictures to be available widely on the web.

PS I used to have a patch on the tarmak (asphalt?) where I used to run thermite-type reactions, it now has a decent little crater that just won't go away :D

[Edited on 12-11-2005 by chemoleo]




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Magpie
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[*] posted on 11-11-2005 at 18:52


Chemoleo you can merge my stuff as Bromic suggested if it is not too much trouble for you - it's up to you. I understand your comment about limited viewing and at first thought that would be a good reason to be in Whimsy myself. But I guess I have voted for the general audience with my last thread.



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12AX7
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[*] posted on 11-11-2005 at 22:20


Quote:
Originally posted by chemoleo
PS I used to have a patch on the tarmak (asphalt?) where I used to run thermite-type reactions, it now has a decent little crater that just won't go away :D


I always run my thermite reactions on firebrick.

Did I mention I need to cast a lot more firebricks?

:)

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[*] posted on 12-11-2005 at 17:09


I hate to think things have turned so bad that magpies original comment would be a needed one but it seems to me that the protecting yourself in court one day may be one of the best reasons for keeping a notebook. I think this is an extremely good reason, while I also think it sucks that we would ever need the notebook just to save out asses from a false legal action. You never know.
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[*] posted on 14-11-2005 at 13:53


Quote:
Originally posted by Chris The Great
But whenever I decide to write stuff down in the middle of reactions, I don't have enough time before something needs my immediate attention, and writing in my rubber gloves is really hard.


One thing I can't recommend enough is to have a whiteboard in the lab. It's the perfect thing for all the hectic, mid-reaction, glove-clad scrawlings you are likely to make and it doesn't blow away, dissolve or get lost too easily! These days, I write down most of my experimental details on this and then write them up in full in my lab book later. Saves a lot of mess and frustration. :)
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[*] posted on 14-11-2005 at 18:25


Wouldn't it make sense to have a microcassette recorder with VOX? You could just set it up to only respond when you spoke loudly to it, and write down your notes later.
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[*] posted on 20-2-2006 at 00:11


I don't see how a notebook would protect you in court.. Wouldn't they just say that you left out the bad stuff?
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Magpie
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[*] posted on 20-2-2006 at 10:18


Quote:

I don't see how a notebook would protect you in court.. Wouldn't they just say that you left out the bad stuff?


I suppose technically you are right. For patent disputes the notes must be signed by a witness.

But managers are encouraged to document problems with their employees in a notebook. This becomes a powerful tool when the dispute goes for resolution.

Also, I think for the most part people are what they do. If you keep an organized, clearly written, and logical notebook it should be persuasive in court. I think it would be much better than having nothing.




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Chris The Great
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[*] posted on 20-2-2006 at 16:21


So what happens if you write your "bad" stuff in your notebook as well?

Write all that in a notebook you keep next to the paper shredder or fireplace?

"Oh, hello officer, nice warrant you have there, I'm just shredding/burning some old ..... bank statements..... yeah..... bank statements, so my personal information remains secure..... ;) "
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[*] posted on 21-2-2006 at 21:03


Quote:

Also, I think for the most part people are what they do. If you keep an organized, clearly written, and logical notebook it should be persuasive in court. I think it would be much better than having nothing.

Yes, that does make sense. But it will only work if they are fair and want to actually think first and then decide whether you're guilty or not. It won't work if they just want to prove you guilty simply because they haven't anyone else to blame for the bombings (or whatever else).
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Magpie
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[*] posted on 22-2-2006 at 10:15


Quote:

It won't work if they just want to prove you guilty simply because they haven't anyone else to blame for the bombings (or whatever else).


Who is "they"? A jury of your peers? I sat on a jury for a week one time. We were very reluctant to send an innocent person to jail.




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[*] posted on 22-2-2006 at 21:38


Not all countries have juries.. Around here, most, decisions are made by a single judge that tends to lean towards the heaviest briber.
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[*] posted on 1-3-2006 at 06:50


Is this not like a burglar keeping a diary and presenting it to the police as evidence that he didn't do it?

Even if you think not, it will still be presented to "A jury of your peers" as such.

Mike.
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Magpie
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[*] posted on 1-3-2006 at 09:23


Burglary is illegal. Chemistry is not.

What is the point of your 2nd sentence?




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[*] posted on 2-3-2006 at 06:12


Quote:
Originally posted by Magpie
Burglary is illegal. Chemistry is not.

What is the point of your 2nd sentence?


Drug making is illegal. Keeping a diary is not.

If the police decide to prosecute someone, they will claim (to a jury) that a note book is just a smoke screen. The jury will most likely believe them just as we would find the burglars diary laughable.

Mike.
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Magpie
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[*] posted on 2-3-2006 at 08:51


Doing chemistry is not drug making anymore than shooting a gun is murder. You obviously think that a jury of your peers is too dumb to see the difference.



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Chris The Great
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[*] posted on 2-3-2006 at 17:36


Well, lets think about it.

Every day the government rams down peoples throats how there are evil drug makers everywhere, who look like normal guys but are dangerous and will kill everyone and consume their unborn children, because THEY ARE JUST THAT EVIL.

So, the general population, aka your jury, is substantially biased towards you from this massive propaganda-fest we call "news", especially if the police tell them that you are just trying to be nice so they let you off. And they'll remind them about all the children your fictional drug lab could have killed.

Also, guns not murdering people hasn't stopped people from freaking out because Frank or Bob owns three machine guns and a couple boxes of ammo. Why is all this gun control crap going on other than that people blame guns for shootings?

5 years ago I may have been a cynic, but now I'm a realist. Soon, I will be an idealist. Things are getting really bad if you want to do anything than get force fed electronic soma all day (read Brave New World).
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