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Author: Subject: Dumb from "he is no longer allowed to engage in chemistry experiments except under supervision in school labs"
Cou
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biggrin.gif posted on 11-11-2015 at 20:40
Dumb from "he is no longer allowed to engage in chemistry experiments except under supervision in school labs"


Read: http://io9.com/5119166/teen-with-home-chemistry-lab-arrested-for-meth-bombs

Really? The reason these kids build home labs is BECAUSE they can't do it in the school lab, where chemistry experiments are traditionally performed. Many reasons why: Lazy teachers don't want to supervise students after school, liability, or just plain distrust of "16 year olds playing around with acids".

Can you afford to lease industrial space in the rural for $3000 a month? No? Well, you're out of luck.

[Edited on 12-11-2015 by Cou]




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[*] posted on 11-11-2015 at 20:54


Well, all chemistry experiments in school labs should be supervised. They are around here. That is just basic administrative common sense and routine discharging of a school's duty of care. It is good when teachers provide opportunity for students to pursue interests outside of class time. That is why teaching is not a 9-5 job. (Well one reason.)

That said, it is pretty clear, if the report is accurate, that there has been a miscarriage of justice in this case. It seems that the police were in error here. The case should get thrown out (again, assuming that it is accurate reporting.)

I don't have an issue with the school's stand that his experiments should be supervised. But I think they erred by isolating him through their comments. The way they said it made it sound like he was getting penalised by the school. Really, the school should have simply stated to the media what their policy was on chemical experiments by students and left it at that.
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battoussai114
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[*] posted on 12-11-2015 at 05:04


He's 18 and majoring in Chemistry, I'm pretty sure he's already have had enough lab safety classes to be good to work in a chem lab without 24/7 supervision...
But I guess pretty much everyone here is at risk of going through some variation of what happened to him. (except Bert... his job is to blow up things)




Batoussai.
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Praxichys
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[*] posted on 12-11-2015 at 07:41


Quote: Originally posted by Cou  

Really? The reason these kids build home labs is BECAUSE they can't do it in the school lab, where chemistry experiments are traditionally performed. Many reasons why: Lazy teachers don't want to supervise students after school, liability, or just plain distrust of "16 year olds playing around with acids".


[rant]

Part of it could be lazy teachers but I see things from the other side as well, my significant other being a K-12 teacher. She would love to do these things for her kids, but the schools just don't have the budget to be buying extra supplies for the children that want to go above and beyond. The saddest part is that being a manager at Burger King pays more than being a K-12 teacher these days, at least in Michigan. Teachers are salaried and don't get anything extra for staying after school, even though they often do. It's exhausting to do the right thing, and there is no incentive. Hence, the quality of K-12 education in this country is piss-poor. My girlfriend has a master's degree and got a job offer for $24,000/yr when she was searching this summer. What she makes now is still barely enough to cover the student loan repayment. It's sad to say but she makes more on a calculated hourly basis during her summer retail job then she does teaching the future leaders of the country, with two degrees.

Consider this:

If you were a chem teacher, would you spend time with another child after school when your own child is at home? Would you be willing to accept the fact that if this kid gets hurt in the lab, you could be on the bad end of a nasty lawsuit? Would you stay a few hours late at work even though you don't get paid anything more to do it, and you're struggling in the first place? Would you be the one to look selfish at the board meetings, always trying to increase your own supplies budget? Do you want to be the needy employee who annoyingly goes above and beyond, constantly costing the department money and robbing its employees of potentially higher salaries over what little they make? Would you want to be the employee that makes everybody else look like they're not doing a good enough job?

The terrible thing is that there is no incentive to be a good teacher. The system just finds nice people who like kids and uses them until they burn out. Why is it that we have very few opportunities in place for kids who WANT to learn beyond what they are taught in school?

This poor kid is not alone among those who get chewed up and spat out by "the system." You can't do that at home, you can't do that at school. The kid gives up and trudges along through the system, and becomes a middle-class, mediocre, paper-pushing desk jockey rather than the research chemist he could have been. But apparently we're all safer that way.

[/rant]

[Edited on 12-11-2015 by Praxichys]




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Mesa
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[*] posted on 12-11-2015 at 07:52


I think calling teachers lazy because they aren't willing to do extra/unpaid work in supervising adolescents doing activities that are guaranteed to become liability nightmares in the case of any significant oversight.


Offtopic: I swear I've seen you make a near identical post to that a few weeks ago praxichys.

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Praxichys
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[*] posted on 12-11-2015 at 09:16


Quote: Originally posted by Mesa  

Offtopic: I swear I've seen you make a near identical post to that a few weeks ago praxichys.

Eh, probably. Awareness is the first agent of change.




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James Ikanov
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[*] posted on 12-11-2015 at 12:39
huh???


sounds like he's a legal adult doing safe experiments on his own property.

what legal grounds could this restriction possibly be made under?
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[*] posted on 12-11-2015 at 13:10


Quote: Originally posted by Praxichys  

This poor kid is not alone among those who get chewed up and spat out by "the system." You can't do that at home, you can't do that at school. The kid gives up and trudges along through the system, and becomes a middle-class, mediocre, paper-pushing desk jockey rather than the research chemist he could have been. But apparently we're all safer that way.




That’s disturbing to hear. You see, I’m 24yrs old and in my generation things are already bad as it is with people not pursuing a hobby. Most people seem to be more concerned with gaming consoles, computer gaming, social media, watching the latest trash on MTV, VH1, or E. Now, I’m not saying playing games on an Xbox, PS, or PC can’t be a hobby but it seems like most people waste away doing so rather than engaging in something constructive that will expand the mind and further ones education. Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t some of the greatest discoveries made by amateurs and those dwelling into the unknown looking for the next big innovation?


Amongst my generation “I” will not stand to be “mediocre”.




"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" -Albert Einstein
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[*] posted on 12-11-2015 at 16:05


MMMM science bad, go to jail. World is flat, and sun not center of universe. uhg. Any one with a real brain would never want to make meth or other bad crap thats harmful.
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[*] posted on 12-11-2015 at 18:54


I'm very lucky in that I have a good relationship with my chemistry teacher. I've already taken AP chemistry, which is the highest level chemistry class that my school offers, and this year I'm doing an independent study with the same teacher. She allows me to do pretty much whatever I want to do in the lab as long as I explain to her what I'm planning to do so she can approve it (so far, she always has), and trusts me to go in the supply room unattended. She allows me to stay after school for an hour or so on some days if there's something I need to finish. She even lets me bring my own equipment and chemicals to school sometimes if the school doesn't have what I need. It seems like she's happy to at least have one student out of her 200 who has a real passion for chemistry.



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[*] posted on 13-11-2015 at 10:18


Quote: Originally posted by James Ikanov  
sounds like he's a legal adult doing safe experiments on his own property.

what legal grounds could this restriction possibly be made under?


The story is several years old. It seems that finally, with the help of his lawyer, all criminal charges were dropped. However, he had to pay a $3000 fine for violating some regulation. Not to mention what he had to pay the lawyer.

What a travesty.




Any other SF Bay chemists?
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[*] posted on 1-1-2016 at 01:29


I started my local lab when I was 15. I got a call from the RCMP 6 months later. That was regarding buying mercury, nitric acid, and a variety of solvents that I couldn't get locally. They thought I was buying explosives until they traced my IP address to this one small house with a 15 year old child with no convictions or history or anything. They were pretty cool as they told me I seemed like a "stand-up" guy.

Fast forward a few years and I was called in by the RCMP again on drug suspicion charges for buying 20 litres of n-hexanes which they mentioned could be used to produce methamphetamine. I invited them over to my house to clean up the smoke and the lead investigator for the RCMP actually looked like Dean Norris (the DEA agent from Breaking Bad). That was pretty funny.

Fast forward a bit more and now I have an open line of communication with them for anything regarding these labs - professionally and amateurism.

These are the kinds of stories you rarely hear. I've had nothing but good news from the police regarding all my hobbies and what not. And I'm sure many people on this board would agree as well.




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macckone
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[*] posted on 1-1-2016 at 09:31


Much of this is local. Some police departments make the german SS look warm and fuzzy while others are intelligent and respectful. I have mostly lived in cities so there is more of the former and not much of the latter. The small town i lived in last was of the intelligent and respectful variety. Big city police don't have time to get to know residents unless their police chief believes in community oriented policing (cop). If a drug task force gets a lab tip it is almost guaranteed to go badly as they tend to show up at three am itching to shoot people and break stuff. This may be different in other countries with different cultures but in the us, large city police are bad and 'task forces' are literally modelled after the german SS.
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[*] posted on 1-1-2016 at 12:46


I've never had such problems buying chemicals mail order, but I never under any circumstances buy any List 1 chemicals, no matter how bad I want some or how sure I am I could get away with it. It is *so* tempting to make a little phosphorus order or buy some iodine, but I know that if I did that, I'd get a visit from some well-dressed gentlemen, who would decide at their discretion whether or not to let me keep my lab.

I have had issues with buying chemicals locally before... I asked for benzene at the scientific supply store, and I was regarded as though I had just asked for some lysergic acid (this was by a lady who was on the edge of my social circles in the community). They didn't carry it. Of course, she had no problem at all offering me various far more dangerous chemicals that they did have in stock.

Another time when I filled my nitrogen cylinder, I was treated as though I had asked to have it filled with flourine, but they did agree to fill it after 10 minutes of grilling.
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[*] posted on 1-1-2016 at 13:37


At a local hardware store, there are three items coincidentally placed next to each other. Charcoal, Sulfur, and Potassium Nitrate. These are also known as please, make, a bomb. Interestingly, I've bought all three at the same time before with a mortar and pestle, and none gave a shit. However, I've been roasted for buying a 400ml bottle of drain opener, or asking for instant cold packs at the pharmacy (this was legit, for a pateller tendon injury, I was supposed to carry them around). How strange is this world huh. Or when I buy two gallons of misc solvents its fine, but a bottle of Acetone at the grocery store might as well be pure isosafrole.
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[*] posted on 1-1-2016 at 21:16


Quote: Originally posted by JJay  
It is *so* tempting to make a little phosphorus order or buy some iodine, but I know that if I did that, I'd get a visit from some well-dressed gentlemen, who would decide at their discretion whether or not to let me keep my lab.
Certainly wouldn't want to be booted from the salt mine.



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[*] posted on 2-1-2016 at 01:33


Quote: Originally posted by Hawkguy  
At a local hardware store, there are three items coincidentally placed next to each other. Charcoal, Sulfur, and Potassium Nitrate. These are also known as please, make, a bomb. Interestingly, I've bought all three at the same time before with a mortar and pestle, and none gave a shit. However, I've been roasted for buying a 400ml bottle of drain opener, or asking for instant cold packs at the pharmacy (this was legit, for a pateller tendon injury, I was supposed to carry them around). How strange is this world huh. Or when I buy two gallons of misc solvents its fine, but a bottle of Acetone at the grocery store might as well be pure isosafrole.


Wow....please make a bomb. Thanks for making me laugh.
Its nice in my area I have 4 chemists within a 4km radius and despite going in at least once a week to each to buy peroxide coldpacks and chem resistant bottles they don't bat an eye though they look at me suspiciously with the amount of disposable syringes I buy.

The only time I have had anything resembling trouble was when i went into the supermarket and bought six bricks of matches (each brick contains 12 boxes)
The lady at the counter called the manger who asked what I wanted them for.
I'm pretty shure I went bright red as I said...well I use a lot of matches.
Their now pretty used to me going in and buying a trolley full of flammable shit.
But seriously the people at the chemists must be wondering what I do with so many cold packs and bottles of peroxide




If your not on a government watch list by now you should be ashamed of yourself.
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[*] posted on 1-3-2016 at 21:24


poor casey, caught in a world of conformity -- where not being a very normal person is a crime itself, but not yet so on the paper
im still very disgruntled finding that its within europe illegal to possess below 200µm iron (Fe, ferrum, yes really) powder
i havent been able to find any composition in which the pyrotechnic composition solely uses iron as a fuel, and not as a additive to promote sparks, and mononitrate nitrocellulose, as known from ping pong balls glue and lacquer -- well thats an explosive!




~25 drops = 1mL @dH2O viscocity - STP
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