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Author: Subject: is it time to refuse EU and UK help with EN?
NEMO-Chemistry
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[*] posted on 24-5-2017 at 02:25
is it time to refuse EU and UK help with EN?


I understand this will be met with alot of outrage, i am ok with that.
This is just the perspective of a 16 year old in the UK.

Yesterday a bomb was set off that killed a number of children, it appears the bomb was home made. In the UK and EU explosives for the general public are outlawed, the penalties are extreme if caught.

In the UK there is absolutely no reason to own explosives, anyone with a genuine need or excuse is licensed, trained and has access to professional explosives.
What i am saying is, there is no reason for amateurs to own explosives in these countries.

Unlike some countries, the EU and UK is under attack from extremist, it is far harder to stop the influx of these into the EU and UK. Is it time we as a responsible group refuse to give help to people wanting information on energetics in these countries?

Do we have a collective responsibility to do our bit and not help people in these places? I know some think its the person and not the explosive, but these people get the information from places like this, yes it wont stop them getting the info, but at least we wont be helping them. Seriously is a hobby worth more kids dying?

Do we as a group really want to be a part of the problem? I can see all chemistry being outlawed in the UK, TBH unless home chemist start to do something, i can understand the chemo phobia there is.

I just want opinions, mainly from those in the EU, no offence but i think America is a totally different place, i dont think anyone in the states can relate to our situation. I mean no offence by that statement, but your in a totally different situation.

Just so your aware, a cousin of mine was involved and is in hospital......... this is a deeply personal situation for me, so maybe my thinking is coloured by this.
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j_sum1
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[*] posted on 24-5-2017 at 03:13


Firstly, this probably belongs in Legal and Societal Issues.

Secondly, this is the internet. It really is not possible to know where a questioner comes from. You cannot limit information to people in the UK without similarly restricting everyone.

Thirdly, the board contains historical information. What you are proposing requires the removal of all of that to be in any way effective.

Fourthly, as you have rightly pointed out, this is not going to be effective anyway -- it is the internet and SM is not the sole fount of information.

Fifthly, one of the great things about this board is the responsible dissemination of information. It's part of the culture of the place and that culture has been carefully cultivated. Users are conscious of information that could potentially be abused and do not hand out that information willy-nilly to anyone who is clearly fishing or whose motives seem suspect. I am constantly impressed with how quickly ong-term members here cut through the crap and give kewls their marching orders. People are pretty quick to give warnings and safety information where it is needed. In short, this board presents a healthy and responsible perspective and its presence dilutes other crap that is out there.

Sixthly, any real progress against the kind of terrorism that has been occurring has to address the philosophical underpinnings that promote that kind of activity. Censoring information from a tiny corner of the internet is likely to be a mute protest. And even if it was effective at restricting one form of terrorism, it will do nothing to prevent other expressions of the same ideology.


I am as appalled as you are by the recent events. And I am by no means an EM enthusiast. But I am not seeing a workable action plan here.
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[*] posted on 24-5-2017 at 03:54


I would say this is politics... on which SM has a quite strict policy.
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NEMO-Chemistry
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[*] posted on 24-5-2017 at 03:55


Ok fair enough, i was probably wrong to post. All i can say with certainty is, my own opinions were like yours. But recent events have made this extremely personal, i cant explain the difference but my views have changed.

As much as i love science, if i thought it would help then i would support it being banned. I cant begin to tell you what it is like to have a relative, who is very close to my own age, in hospital and barely alive. As a family what makes it worse is, we are faced with a situation where it is probably better they dont survive.

I take on board what you have said, sadly i see the sense in much of it. If anything it just makes me feel like we can do nothing.

maybe the mods can delete the whole thread, never a good idea\ to post when your under alot of stress.
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[*] posted on 24-5-2017 at 04:07


Quote: Originally posted by Tsjerk  
I would say this is politics... on which SM has a quite strict policy.


I'd say politically inspired -- or more precisely inspired by current events. But the question itself is about an appropriate response by SM.

I don't actually see this discussion going anywhere but I would support a move to S&L to see how it pans out.
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[*] posted on 24-5-2017 at 06:22


I would bet dollars to donuts that the main charge in the attack yesterday was based on TATP. It's what they used in the Brussels attack. Making it is so simple and cheap that we don't even bother discussing it here. Also, TATP was first used and popularized all the way back in the early 1980s by Palestinian groups. The cat is out of the bag there.

If it wasn't TATP, it was a fuel-oxidizer mixture based on chlorate or nitrate, which would be even easier to make, since all that is required is buying the materials and mixing the powders together; no chemistry knowledge is needed, just a quick browse of fireworks formulations.

Plus, the EM sub-forum is crawling with FBI and MI-5 agents already. They may not post, but they damn sure watch. They're basically TOLD TO by the standard textbook in the field, Forensic Investigation of Explosions, 2nd Edition, chapter 12.

It was people like us digging up things like R-salt and ETN that led them to adjust their analytical techniques and improve detection technology, augmenting tools that can protect public safety for everyone. In 2000, a portable explosives detector based on Raman spectroscopy wouldn't have identified ETN or R-salt in its library of threats (though their high nitrogen content would make them detectable by other, easily-available equipment).

I doubt R-salt will ever be involved in a terrorist plot, but I wouldn't be surprised if it eventually happened with ETN.

[Edited on 5-25-2017 by Chisholm]
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[*] posted on 24-5-2017 at 07:03


There is much more to making a useable bomb than knowing how to make laboratory quantities of interesting energetics.

First, most of the explosive preparations that are on SM are unusable on the scale necessary to create this kind of devastation. At best, they would be time consuming and inefficient; at worst, the prep would result in a runaway and potential explosion if scaled up without proper knowledge of chemical thermodynamics and without special apparatus. Most terrorists gravitate towards cheap and easily made explosives (like the boston marathon bombing which was a pressure cooker filled with smokeless gunpowder or the Oklahoma City Bombing which was 5,000lb of ammonium nitrate, diesel, and nitromethane). No terrorist is going to follow an amateur prep of some tetrazoleate or even picric acid and get a usable amount of material for a reasonable price.

Secondly, we have a strict policy about discussing the applications of explosives. There is nothing here about the concealment of explosives into everyday objects or construction of suicide vests, belts, or backpacks. There is nothing here about effective shrapnel density and patterning, nor is there discussion about portability or timing/triggering mechanisms. We would probably be in jail if we discussed the best places to commit an attack like this with regard to crowd density, shrapnel coverage, and the ability to deliver some device undetected and trigger it at the right moment. There is a lot of knowledge and experience involved that does not come from the internet, let alone SM.

Thirdly, the restrictions already in place in the EU and UK undoubtedly make it difficult for a bomb of this magnitude to be assembled domestically. I'll bet any money that the Manchester bomb was brought in from abroad rather than assembled locally. The manufacturers of these devices are often university-educated chemists living in middle-eastern or slavic countries, who have been radicalized and have connections. These people do not need the internet to get the right materials and information to get a device like this to its intended target, as evidenced by thousands of attacks which took place in the 20th century prior to the existence of the internet.

Censorship of chemistry on the internet would only cripple the already waning interest in the sciences among young people, and would probably do little to actually prevent attacks like this.




Have something to sell? Need cheap chemicals or glassware? Looking for hard to find reagents? Be sure to visit SM's Trading Post at http://synthsource.proboards.com/
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[*] posted on 24-5-2017 at 07:54


The policy on politics was implemented mainly to prevent flame wars and ill-will arising from political discussion. While I could see how this thread classifies as politics, it certainly doesn't violate the spirit of that policy.

Actually, I think it is one of more difficult and important issues on a forum like this. Restraining discussion so as not to recklessly support terrorism and other people with malicious intent is crucial for morality's sake, yet retaining freedom of information is important as well, and is one of the things SM tries to accomplish. Chemistry can be, and often is, dangerous to the experimenter; evidence of this principle taken too far is the current state of mainstream "chemistry sets". There are countless discussions on here that would be taboo in other places simply because the information is "dangerous", yet SM intentionally has no restrictions on such information unless there is a good reason to. It's a fine line to draw between the two extremes, and overall I think it has been handled quite well thus far.

Unfortunately, I think a sweeping law would do little to prevent illegal activity, yet would further hinder those trying to do chemistry legally. Many of these laws are simple to circumvent, so long as the consequences down the road are not a concern. Or, as Praxichys said, materials could simply be imported from other countries where such laws will never be enacted or enforced.

My deepest sympathies to you and your family for being victims of this attack.


EDIT: Let's keep this thread on topic please.

[Edited on 5-24-2017 by gdflp]




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unionised
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[*] posted on 24-5-2017 at 13:32


What's EN?
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Metacelsus
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[*] posted on 24-5-2017 at 14:54


I think it's a typo, and was supposed to be EM (energetic materials).



As below, so above.
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[*] posted on 25-5-2017 at 01:51


Quote: Originally posted by Chisholm  
I'm still perplexed by the fascination of Middle East terrorist organizations with PETN. ETN is much simpler to make, and can be melt-cast into almost any shape.
[Edited on 5-24-2017 by Chisholm]


Shh !


[file]59311[/file]

It seems that in this case the terrorist and his family were supported by our government, as terrorists,
previously allowed to travel between UK and Libya freely as they were 'freedom fighters' ... our good guys.

Corrupt governments are far more dangerous to humanity than terrorists.

[Edited on 25-5-2017 by Sulaiman]

Shhh.bmp - 414kB




Still confused by Chemistry, Life, the Universe and everything.
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[*] posted on 25-5-2017 at 06:11


It was stupid to post, I cant explain what was in my head. Obviously there isnt much we can do or we would be doing it. I apologise, i simply ask you understand my intentions were well meant.

Having seen what explosives can do to a body, especially one I knew well, i have a irrational hatred of explosives and those that think its fun to make. A visit to the hospital suddenly stops this stuff being a toy.

Normal caveats apply, yes not everyone making them is a moron, yes some have real reasons to be involved with them. But seriously do people really need to explore this material just for laughs?

No offence intended and certainly no politics involved, what happened has nothing whatsoever to do with politics.

No point in continuing this discussion, i dont see how i can be rational on the subject at the moment.
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[*] posted on 25-5-2017 at 06:48


Best Wishes Nemo - I hope your cousin pulls through. :-(



\"It\'s a man\'s obligation to stick his boneration in a women\'s separation; this sort of penetration will increase the population of the younger generation\" - Eric Cartman
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[*] posted on 26-5-2017 at 02:37
TATP confirmation


It is confirmed, the explosive used was TATP again.

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/uk-news/...

This is one of my favourite bits:

"The chair of the US House’s homeland security committee, the Republican Mike McCaul, said the bomb suggested a “level of sophistication” that implied its maker or makers may have had foreign training."

What a joke, highly sophisticated? A well trained monkey could make the thing, you don't even need to make a detonator as it is a primary.

Heres someone a bit more clued on though:

"A former counter-terrorism specialist with extensive experience of bomb disposal and knowledge of the Middle East described the design as “unsophisticated”. “Making a bomb is not rocket science. You can find instructions on Isis forums and on the internet,” he said."

The most sophisticated part in the whole thing is the initiation mechanism used.
Heres another link with more details on that if anyones interested:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/05/24/world/europe/...

It is a good thing that they are not using more advanced explosives in a way I suppose, but how long until they start using them is the problem.

[Edited on 26-5-2017 by greenlight]




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[*] posted on 26-5-2017 at 05:07


Remember the terrorist attacks carried out using trucks in France and Germany last year? At least the guy cought in Germany was a very well known extremist, but authorities prefered keeping him as an informant instead of legal surveilance measures, despite there were urgent warnings communicated between the intelligence service and the police. Nothing substancial happend till it was too late. So it wasn't a lack of permissions the police suffers from, just really bad work.

Concerning energetic materials as a hobby, well I think there is an unlimited number of other interesting experiments one might do. The risk of self-harm is just too high, and probably often underestimated. That's at least my stance. On the other hand I'm not a friend of banning just everything which could be hypothetically abused or was abused by single individuals, turning it into a collective punishment. I'm still waiting for politicians calling for banning trucks.
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[*] posted on 26-5-2017 at 14:41


I would also like to note that EMs like nitroglycerin and ETN have uses besides being an explosive. Nitroglycerin is used for controlling congestive heart disease, treating chest pain, etc. ETN is a vasodilator (as are most nitrate esters), so it assists in lowering heart pressure.

But peroxides have no medical (but does have minor industrial) uses, and their main use is as explosives.
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[*] posted on 26-5-2017 at 16:56


@ninhydric1

I don't think this is about what it's good for. Amateur experimentalism isn't about application of the stuff made but for the joy of science. I'm sure nobody who has a choice wants to treat a heart disease by some backyard-made nitroglycerol. If it wasn't banned anyway, a ban wouldn't affect its application as a prescription medicine.

Quote:
But peroxides have no medical (but does have minor industrial) uses, and their main use is as explosives.


Much wrong. Starting from H2O2, a highly versatile oxidant, low toxicity, environmentally friendly reagent in numerous reactions. Followed by Oxone, cumene hydroperoxide, MCPBA, CF3O3H. All have their place as reagents in syntheses. Additionally H2O2 is a healthier disinfectant than hypochlorite used medically and as a cleaning agent. I'm not even sure acetone peroxide has any professional application as it's too fragile.

[Edited on 27-5-2017 by Alice]
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[*] posted on 26-5-2017 at 20:27


It is not practical to control the dissemination of knowledge on the preparation of explosives.

However, if the population can be educated, they can recognize the behavior of someone who intends to synthesize explosives and so can alert the authorities. Information is like the ocean: you can put things in, but you can't so easily take things out.

Hydrogen peroxide is a preferable oxidant whenever it is applicable in chemical industry and synthesis. Unlike eg ClO2, HOCl, HNO3, etc it produces no byproducts, is synthesized easily, and can be stored as a stable aqueous solution.

Acetone on the other hand is a shitty solvent that I wouldn't miss if it disappeared. If you really need it you can make it from calcium acetate but that significantly raises the barrier to entry for terrorists.

[Edited on 27-5-2017 by clearly_not_atara]
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[*] posted on 26-5-2017 at 21:48


Quote: Originally posted by clearly_not_atara  
It is not practical to control the dissemination of knowledge on the preparation of explosives.

However, if the population can be educated, they can recognize the behavior of someone who intends to synthesize explosives and so can alert the authorities. Information is like the ocean: you can put things in, but you can't so easily take things out.

Hydrogen peroxide is a preferable oxidant whenever it is applicable in chemical industry and synthesis. Unlike eg ClO2, HOCl, HNO3, etc it produces no byproducts, is synthesized easily, and can be stored as a stable aqueous solution.

Acetone on the other hand is a shitty solvent that I wouldn't miss if it disappeared. If you really need it you can make it from calcium acetate but that significantly raises the barrier to entry for terrorists.

[Edited on 27-5-2017 by clearly_not_atara]


What would be a solvent you would recommend as a substitute for acetone? I ask because where I am, acetone is indeed restricted and I would like to find something else with similar properties.
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[*] posted on 26-5-2017 at 23:23


Quote: Originally posted by clearly_not_atara  
Acetone on the other hand is a shitty solvent that I wouldn't miss if it disappeared.


What?

Let me repeat, what?

WHAT????
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Rosco Bodine
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[*] posted on 27-5-2017 at 05:48


The danger is not science. History has already identified what is the actual factual danger.

William Gladstone and Winston Churchill were noble Englishmen who had no difficulty with intellectual honesty about accurately identifying the basis for what has historically been well demonstrated to the entire world is an evil extremist ideology that no honest men of their time or any other time have denied is true, and shown true by exhaustive evidence that is factual history.

Such noble men speaking the same historical truth today would be persecuted and arrested and prosecuted for "hate speech" simply for speaking the same truth as once free men of the same mother land where freedom of speech was a tradition and for centuries had been the protected right of any man.

Who were before and who today still are the more "enlightened" and more "noble" English men?

[A] those free men who would honestly speak the truth that history has shown by many evidences identifying where the evil and where the enemy is found ....

or...

[B] those brainwashed drones, spineless pussies of today, who are so well trained by "political correctness" they would not dare to speak the same truth of Gladstone and Churchill as would now be incorrectly labeled as "hate speech", not because there is anything hateful about the same true words, (but simply because the once free thought and free speech that boldly and correctly identified evil for what it is, refuses to submit to the suck of dhimmitude inflicted and enforced today on a population of what were once free men, who would call a spade a spade and tell all the quislings of evil to be damned).

[file]59369[/file]

[Edited on 5/27/2017 by Rosco Bodine]

Courage-lewis.png - 1MB
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[*] posted on 27-5-2017 at 09:03


Quote: Originally posted by Rosco Bodine  
The danger is not science. History has already identified what is the actual factual danger.

William Gladstone and Winston Churchill were noble Englishmen who had no difficulty with intellectual honesty about accurately identifying the basis for what has historically been well demonstrated to the entire world is an evil extremist ideology that no honest men of their time or any other time have denied is true, and shown true by exhaustive evidence that is factual history.

Such noble men speaking the same historical truth today would be persecuted and arrested and prosecuted for "hate speech" simply for speaking the same truth as once free men of the same mother land where freedom of speech was a tradition and for centuries had been the protected right of any man.

Who were before and who today still are the more "enlightened" and more "noble" English men?

[A] those free men who would honestly speak the truth that history has shown by many evidences identifying where the evil and where the enemy is found ....

or...

[B] those brainwashed drones, spineless pussies of today, who are so well trained by "political correctness" they would not dare to speak the same truth of Gladstone and Churchill as would now be incorrectly labeled as "hate speech", not because there is anything hateful about the same true words, (but simply because the once free thought and free speech that boldly and correctly identified evil for what it is, refuses to submit to the suck of dhimmitude inflicted and enforced today on a population of what were once free men, who would call a spade a spade and tell all the quislings of evil to be damned).


You realize that "Muslims are evil" is exactly what ISIS wants you to internalize? If the West is made to hate all Muslims, then Muslims will have no choice but to join ISIS.

Black and white thinking like yours directly aids ISIS. And treating ISIS as if it speaks for Islam gives them an authority they do not deserve.
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[*] posted on 27-5-2017 at 09:27


And this thread turned political. What a surprise.



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