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watson.fawkes
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I would love a wiki associated with this discussion board. It would make it enormously easier to read back into various topics (once summary pages were collated, obviously). Generally, since a wiki acts as a reference, it would complement the discussions.

I have basically no idea of the IT infrastructure for this board, but my request is about function, not implementation.
Polverone
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The Home Chemistry Society has a wiki that I think can complement the discussion that takes place here: Wiki
If you want to compile summary pages on the wiki from posts here, I'm sure they would be appreciated by the HCS and other SM members.

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watson.fawkes
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The advantage of a wiki tied to this board would be common user names and single sign-on.
watson.fawkes
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I have taken Polverone's advice. I picked (semi-randomly) sulfuric acid to begin with. See HCS:Synthesis of Sulfuric Acid for the first draft.
Aurus
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I agree with watson. fawkes. I am a new member but I have been observing this forum for some time now, and searching the internet for home chemistry. The lack of dedicated resources on serious experiments was appaling. In fact, I came across sciencemadness in one of my searches. If members started working on a wiki, then that would be a highly useful resource. I recommend that members are alerted about it.
kclo4
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I don't really see a need for a wiki here when we have the HCS wiki. The inconvenience of having to sign in twice really isn't that big of a deal. It is also more work for people here to add to the wiki, and it scatters the information that could all be at the HCS wiki
Aurus
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The HCS wiki does not have much information in it
Polverone
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 Quote: Originally posted by Aurus The HCS wiki does not have much information in it

A brand new Sciencemadness wiki would have no information in it to start. I like wikis. I was considering adding a wiki here before the HCS wiki appeared. But if there isn't enough content for the HCS wiki alone I really doubt there will be enough to fill two wikis addressing very similar topics.

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woelen

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 Quote: Originally posted by Aurus The HCS wiki does not have much information in it

If you have good ideas and nice experiments, feel free to add more useful information to it. Keep in mind that the group of home chemists who is active and really does experimentation at home is not that large.

The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
MagicJigPipe
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Which reminds me... Oh I'm such a dumbass. I did a few experiments the other day and completely forgot to take pictures or even record detailed information.

However, I will have about 5 days starting Wednesday to perform all kinds of experiments that I can post on the HCS wiki. It can't be anything extremely "toxic" or hazardous as I will have to do it in a connected garage and I have a girlfriend and daughter that will be in the adjacent living area.

I haven't yet decided if something like Cl2 would be too much of a risk in this situation, what do you guys think?

"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
woelen

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I myself do quite some experiments with Cl2, in the attic of my house. Cl2 and Br2 are very toxic, so avoid inhalation, but they do not stay around. If you have good ventilation, then they have disappeared within minutes and are gone with the wind. So, I do not think it is too dangerous, as long as you don't make so much that there is an acute danger.

I strongly distinguish between toxics which can stay around (non-volatiles, e.g. toxic metal salts which can get dispersed in the air in tiny droplets of liquid) and toxics which quickly disappear when the wind is going through the house.

The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
Jor
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I can add some experiments as well. I think I will use the ones on my website, as not much people look at it anyway, because it is not really known yet:

About chlorine, I have never considered it really dangerous, like many people do. Same for bromine. Concentrations from 5-10ppm and up are unbearable, and unless you are trapped in an area and cannot escape, I think not much will happen. BUT, you can get pulmonary oedema, also when breathing low concentrations.
The big advantage over NO2 is that you get a really good warning, as it irritates as hell. When it irritates, it is time to get out.
Corrosive gasses wich cause immediate irritation do not scare me to much (except HF, and other real nasties), I'm very scared of things like H2S, HCN, NO2 to some extent, etc. And working with things like H2Se, COCl2 and AsH3 is a no-no, as these are extremely toxic. H2Se is one of the most toxic gasses known, being fatal at 2ppm in 1 hour.

[Edited on 13-1-2009 by Jor]
MagicJigPipe
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Sorry to zombify this thread but, what's up with homechemistry.org? How can I help get it back up?

"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
JohnWW
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What about roguesci.org and phrixus.org and todoquimica.net , then? Are they showing any signs of coming back to life?
quicksilver
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 Quote: Originally posted by JohnWW What about roguesci.org and phrixus.org and todoquimica.net , then? Are they showing any signs of coming back to life?

iDefense smacked the E&W forum long before the final push against the "ISP of the ISP". A great deal of money, time, & effort went into keeping that site alive. iDefense has been active toward certain web hosts that feature certain content. I have my own opinions that are not appropriate to discuss here about why they were so damn adamant but the result is still the same.
If anyone has a burning desire to discuss this please PM me rather than post.

However, there is reason to believe there are some other sides to the story:

http://anarchology.org/index.php?action=printpage;topic=7858...

Content of iDefense:

http://labs.idefense.com/
NOTE: iDefense.com is NOT iDefense.org which is up for sale.

[Edited on 28-7-2010 by quicksilver]

carbonfeind
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http://www.roguesci.org

I have no idea what this is, what it means, who did it, or why they chose the remix of "she blinded me with science".
The original is far better.

A sign of E&W's return? Maybe..........
woelen

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 Quote: Originally posted by MagicJigPipe Sorry to zombify this thread but, what's up with homechemistry.org? How can I help get it back up?

It's offline since a few months. The hosting provider did an upgrade of the PHP engine and since then it does not work anymore. I however did not yet have a look into the cause of the trouble. The data still is there, it simply does not run anymore. Probably I'll have to upgrade the wiki-software. My available time at the moment is very limited, hence the lack of research in this direction

I'll try to investigate what is going on and whether it can be revived again. If someone has some suggestions or experience with upgrading the software, then please let me know.

The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
kclo4
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Since it was using Media Wiki, and probably had cpanel on for the admin of the host -- do you think it can just be updated via the fantasico deluxe thing? Assuming it was installed via fantasico deluxe?

If not, I don't know.. I assume the php database could be upgraded somehow without to much difficulty.

woelen

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Thanks to 'denatured'

The site www.homechemistry.org works again!

Credits should go to our member 'denatured' who took the time to analyse and fix the problem!

The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
watson.fawkes
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Many months ago I made a WikiMedia template to make it easier to refer to threads on this board from homechemistry.org. I never did document it here, though, and now seems as good a time as any. An incomplete example of what I wanted to accomplish is a page on the Synthesis of Sulfuric Acid. At the bottom of that page is a section called "Discussion Threads". Here's the wiki code used to generate one of those links:
 Code: {{Board/SM|727|oleum & SO3}}
To use it, do the following:
• Leave the braces and vertical bars in place.
• "<code>Board/SM</code>" is the name of the template. Leave that as is. The other two items afterward are the parameters for the template.
• "<code>727</code>" is the topic identifier in the SmDB board software. Look in a URL for an SmDB thread. It's the number following <code>&tid=</code> in the URL. You can copy-paste it from the URL.
• "<code>oleum & SO3</code>" is the title of the SmDB thread. You can copy/paste it from the title of the first post in the thread.
I did this because there's a persistent drumbeat of "UTFSE" and "been discussed here before". The problem is that forum software is bad at creating reference material, and a wiki is good at it. The template above gives a way of linking from there to here. What remains is a way of linking from here to there. Therefore, I propose a sticky thread in the section "Chemistry in General" named something like "References to Important Chemicals". Each post in this thread would use a standard format:
• The title is the full name of the chemical, with any common abbreviations in parentheses.
• A link to a page at homechemistry.org on the chemical.
• A link to the Wikipedia article on the chemical.
• Whatever other well-known, reliable, and general references might be appropriate.
A similar thread might used in "Energetic Materials" for the substances frequently discussed there.

The main benefit is that as new discussion threads about some aspect of a reagent occur here, they can be added to the reference page at homechemistry.org.
woelen

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@watson: This is one of the good uses of homechemistry.org. Indeed this is the way to make all kinds of interesting information from sciencemadness (or even other relevant forums or papers) available from one place.

The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
peach
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I wrote a reply to this, then deleted it and had a think.

The conclusion of my thoughts were, yes, I'd quite like that as well.

As there is a gap in the information available. Wikipedia states that it is not a guide. It less clearly states that it's not a good reference source or that much different to an actual book given the first statement.

I spoke to one of the 'higher ups' on wikipedia about the idea of having two articles for each bit of science or engineering, e.g. laying bricks. One would be the way it is now, the other would be more like a wiki compiled guide and linked to the main article through a tag. They weren't having that.

A problem with wikipedia is it attracts EVERYONE, so the guides and warnings are a fairly scrambled mess. Whereas here, it attracts people who have hands on experience.

The gap is defined by two extremes.

On one side, the journals. Way beyond what a lot of people are capable of in terms of some of the science and, more often, the reagents and equipment being used. I've had subscriptions to journals, paid for with my own pocket money, and I've paid for specific articles. At £20 a go, that can be a painful experience when the method and results turn out to the be inapplicable.

On the otherside, bomb cookery with terribly poor levels of science involved and using equipment that is below what's acceptable, and with better choices being in the possession of, or affordable to, the more devote home experiments (or... botherers of the universe, as I think of them).

I had a look at homechemistry.org, but it doesn't look that busy or up to speed.

There are lots, and lots of sites trying to do this kind of thing, but usually focusing too much on one particular element, because there's only a few guys working on them and gravitating towards that topic. E.g. how to make pyrotechnics. The UK has a pyroguide wiki, and it's not all that great due to the low numbers of participants and that they're mainly interested in one thing, getting the rockets into the air using one or two different methods.

I think science madness is at a significant advantage. There are numerous guys here who are actual degree trained chemists, or who've worked for 40 years as a lab or industrial chemist. And who have a vast level of experience, up to the journal standard, but who also don't mind publishing it for free or just mucking around at home and finding ways to do it at home. With some fairly extreme things or levels of care and accuracy.

For that reason, I think SM is a suitable candidate to make an at home chemistry wiki really work.

I also don't like having multiple logins.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Problems...

Some of the more committed members will NEED to moderate the wiki, or it'll go to bits and end up a scrambled mess of conflicting ideas and opinions.

It can't be a fully open wiki, or at least someone will need to be able to lock topics or roll back the edits.

It shouldn't just look like wikipedia, or normal site either. We should have a starting article about say, making sodium and the rough methods, then lots of links from that to more detailed descriptions of each method. Preferably with some table of links to other peoples runs of it and results, as sub pages. That is essentially the forum, but condensing down all the thinking and discussion in between.

It also conflicts somewhat with the publications idea already on the forum. I do like those. The single posts full of pictures and finished descriptions. But I think, rather than going alongside it, we should simply move those publications to a wiki format, with the original poster being in charge of that particular article and only them being able to edit that specific article; so they the people doing the publishing get the lock privilege for their write ups.

I would like to see it, but it needs people to oversee it and it needs good control of the editing; which needs to be free for some articles, but not for others.

[Edited on 10-10-2010 by peach]

watson.fawkes
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 Quote: Originally posted by peach Problems... Some of the more committed members will NEED to moderate the wiki, or it'll go to bits and end up a scrambled mess of conflicting ideas and opinions. [... etc.]
All of these problems are problems of success of too much attention, which always includes some amount of undesirable attention. It would be good if we had those kinds of problems. Alas.
peach
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Well, if you're willing to input some time Mr Watson, I'll help as well.

Now it just needs Polverone to download the code and host it.

I suspect ours may be more successful than the others. If not, no problems, just delete it.

quicksilver
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Yes, this has been said before but it's very true. It would be a great deal of work to simply delete and "Wiki" has a large collection of both utter BS and factual materiel; the biggest issue would be the blurring of the BS with the factual.

What would become of pre-existing articles that over-lap? Confusion would reign as there would be only listed references to dispel the idea that someone wrote off the 'top of his head" & occasionally those who don't know to look for sited references may make a serious error by assumption of truth, etc. I don't want to be a spoiler with this idea as it is geared in such a positive direction but the outcome may be toward confusion of fact with crap-book existing notes.

In other areas of science-hobby this has cropped up. I can think of the problems with High Voltage (Tesla Coils, etc) and lasers. A great deal of work was stopped in mid-stream because of pre-existing junk.
It may be a good idea to look at similar hobby-scholastic interest entries & determine where problems occurred & IF they could be stopped before a great deal of hard work was done.

In both chemistry and electrical engineering there is some very important math to be understood before the lab becomes a trial & error (or "recipe" fest).
In EE there is some calculus that needs understanding prior to building; especially high energy designs. In Chemistry there needs to be some mathematics understood prior to a lab being a learning experience.
What became a problem was that few folks wanted to write a (sometimes lengthy) introduction to the need mathematics & theory. It wasn't fun and it took some real fore-thought and time to keep it contextual & consistent.
One of the biggest problems is that the same math EXISTS (in Wiki)! But it isn't written in a complimentary style so that the individual could simply jump to that section and understand it in reference to the science at hand. It would need to be re-phrased or a (possibly large) preface written for it.
The same length would be needed to go from scratch (IMO).

[Edited on 11-10-2010 by quicksilver]

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 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Non-chemistry » Forum Matters » Science Madness Wiki? Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues   » Test Forum