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charley1957
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mad.gif posted on 3-11-2020 at 17:56
Eye-opening lab seizure


I found this from 2008, in an online Worcester, Mass. newspaper. I know this is like beating a dead horse, but man it just makes my blood boil. :mad: As if this retired chemist didn't know how to store, use and dispose of chemicals. They used all these excuses to just wholesale carry away his lab. I'm so thankful I live in Texas where I can do thermite in my back yard in full view of all my neighbors and have no problems. As described elsewhere on this forum, I have invited the local sheriff to tour my lab, just to show him what I'm up to, with no permits for any of the glassware I own, as was required at the time. God Bless Texas!



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[*] posted on 4-11-2020 at 00:52


Quote:
None of the materials found at 81 Fremont St. posed a radiological or biological risk, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. No mercury or poison was found.
Some of the compounds are potentially explosive, but no more dangerous than typical household cleaning products.
All potentially hazardous materials were removed from the house.
...
Vessels of chemicals were all over the furniture and the floor, authorities said. The ensuing investigation involved a state hazardous materials team, fire and police officials, health officials, environmental officials and code enforcement officials.
...
“It is a residential home in a residential neighborhood,” she said. “This is Mr. Deeb’s hobby. He’s still got bunches of ideas. I think Mr. Deeb has crossed a line somewhere. This is not what we would consider to be a customary home occupation.


So nothing was really dangerous, he just had "too much stuff" in their opinion, well i gotta confiscate my GF's plushies, she has too many.

Quote:
Pamela A. Wilderman, Marlboro’s code enforcement officer, said Mr. Deeb was doing scientific research and development in a residential area, which is a violation of zoning laws


i think this is the real reason, he was doing research and publishing patents using his home as a lab, so here we go bois, just state that you are playing with chemicals and not doing scientific research in the basement. They were probably just pissed he wasn't paying taxes, insurance and all the bureaucratic stuff a real lab must do






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[*] posted on 4-11-2020 at 06:58


Folks at city hall asked me if I'd make some LSD yesterday when I voted. Absolutely in jest, but again, small town America, know everyone, hide nothing (well, not much anyway).

I would cry if my stuff got summarily seized and carted off like that.




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[*] posted on 4-11-2020 at 09:09


To this sad collection, Adrian's laboratory theft in 2012: https://youtu.be/7ZdPuNkjg-U

But I don't know many stories like that, at least not so many in the news.
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[*] posted on 4-11-2020 at 10:43


Quote: Originally posted by charley1957  
I'm so thankful I live in Texas where I can do thermite in my back yard in full view of all my neighbors and have no problems.

As long as you don't own a 3 necked flask...
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charley1957
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[*] posted on 4-11-2020 at 11:48


Dang it! Too late! And still no permits!



...it has often proved true that the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.

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[*] posted on 4-11-2020 at 12:36


"Not considered a customary home occupation..."
In other-words, "You have been accused of behaviour which does not conform to the thought patterns of civilized man, prepare to be reeducated!"




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[*] posted on 4-11-2020 at 15:48


How is it legal for them to confiscate stuff on the grounds of "that's not a normal thing people do in a house, therefore bad"? How is this at all legal?



Nuclear physics is neat. It's a shame it's so regulated...

Now that I think about it, that's probably a good thing. Still annoying though.
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[*] posted on 4-11-2020 at 16:33


Quote: Originally posted by Chemorg42  
"You have been accused of behaviour which does not conform to the thought


What do we do with witches ?
https://youtu.be/zrzMhU_4m-g






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charley1957
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[*] posted on 4-11-2020 at 17:49


@itsallgoodjames and Chemorg42. These were my questions exactly! What gives them the right to cart all his stuff away just because what he's doing is not something the average Joe does at home. So they were going to test a lot of his chemicals. So why does he have to forfeit his stuff pending testing? Testing for what? And to check and see if some of his stuff didn't "seep into the sewer lines"??? Give me a break! I know this is an old story, but it's new to me, and the thinking of the nanny state just appalls me!




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[*] posted on 4-11-2020 at 18:37


You need to be a good little boy who goes to college, uses the degree only for getting a job, gets a job, comes home and cracks a beer and watches the game with the wife, that's it.



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[*] posted on 4-11-2020 at 18:55


Quote: Originally posted by Cou  
You need to be a good little boy who goes to college, uses the degree only for getting a job, gets a job, comes home and cracks a beer and watches the game with the wife, that's it.


You shouldn't even go to college- book-lernin's suspicious.




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Write up your lab reports the way your instructor wants them, not the way your ex-instructor wants them.
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[*] posted on 4-11-2020 at 23:16


My point is, if is there only one case like that in the last 12 years it is very sad, but still there is no reason for generalization.

But if there were a lot of cases like that which never have appeared in the news, it is the real problem of the society.

[Edited on 5-11-2020 by teodor]
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[*] posted on 5-11-2020 at 06:24


Quote: Originally posted by teodor  
My point is, if is there only one case like that in the last 12 years it is very sad, but still there is no reason for generalization.

But if there were a lot of cases like that which never have appeared in the news, it is the real problem of the society.

[Edited on 5-11-2020 by teodor]

Given the general public's perception of home chemistry, I bet it's more than likely that it's the latter. When I tell someone I'm interested in chemistry, without fail, their next question is "can you make meth?". It seems like the public thinks of us all as drug cooks, so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the cases of this went under the radar and didn't get widely reported.




Nuclear physics is neat. It's a shame it's so regulated...

Now that I think about it, that's probably a good thing. Still annoying though.
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[*] posted on 5-11-2020 at 06:31


Quote: Originally posted by itsallgoodjames  
Quote: Originally posted by teodor  
My point is, if is there only one case like that in the last 12 years it is very sad, but still there is no reason for generalization.

But if there were a lot of cases like that which never have appeared in the news, it is the real problem of the society.

[Edited on 5-11-2020 by teodor]

Given the general public's perception of home chemistry, I bet it's more than likely that it's the latter. When I tell someone I'm interested in chemistry, without fail, their next question is "can you make meth?". It seems like the public thinks of us all as drug cooks, so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the cases of this went under the radar and didn't get widely reported.


Exactly! I always get so pissed when I tell people that I'm an amateur chemist and interested in organic compounds. It always comes down to "can you make me some mephedrone?". The ABSOLUTE worst is when someone starts rumoring about me that I make drugs in my lab after I specifically say that I DON'T MAKE DRUGS. This is so irritating and stressful. I'm just waiting until the police show up to search my lab because some dumb shit is ignorant and loves spreading rumors.


End of the rant. Also what happened to the guy in the original post is sad and unjustified.
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charley1957
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[*] posted on 5-11-2020 at 06:39


This is Mr. Deeb’s hobby. He’s still got bunches of ideas. I think Mr. Deeb has crossed a line somewhere. This is not what we would consider to be a customary home occupation.


I THINK Mr. Deebs has crossed a line SOMEWHERE.

She thinks? She doesn’t know for sure? And WHERE did he cross that line, and what line did he cross?

This is not what WE would consider a CUSTOMARY home occupation.

This is a not what the nanny state considers a customary home occupation. Guess we’re all just supposed to build bird houses in the back shed. And I’ll bet there’s not a WORD in the zoning regulations about research not being allowed. And of course the local news takes everything the zoning people say at face value.




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charley1957
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[*] posted on 5-11-2020 at 07:05


Ok, I stand corrected and red-faced☺️ I went to the Worcester, Mass city page and researched their zoning regs. As far back as 1991 (as far back as their ordinances are published online) there has been a ban on Research, without manufacturing, in any form of residence. I guess the poor guy’s mistake was in calling his hobby research. It probably doesn’t matter though, as the moment he was found out doing chemistry he was doomed, given the state of chemophobia in this country.



...it has often proved true that the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.

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[*] posted on 5-11-2020 at 07:22


From the book "Lost at Sea" by Jon Ronson:

I RECEIVE a slightly alarmed e-mail from Jason Bobe, who runs DIYbio.org, an online community for home-science experimenters. I’d e-mailed him as part of my research. He says he’s worried my story may discourage home science. Maybe, he suggests, I should talk to Victor Deeb, whose experiments in his basement went disastrously wrong in a very different way and whose story might offer a counterbalance.
Deeb lives in a small Massachusetts town called Marlborough. He’s retired, in his mid-seventies, and although he’s lived in the U.S. almost all his life, he still has a strong Syrian accent, which gets stronger as he becomes more incensed over the phone.
Three years ago, on August 5, 2008, a policeman happened to be driving past Deeb’s house. “He saw smoke billowing from the air conditioner in an upstairs room, so he called the fire department.” Deeb speaks in short, exact phrases, as if he considers our conversation to be like a chemical experiment, requiring complete precision.
A plug had shorted in the bedroom. The fire department put out the fire, glanced into the basement, and immediately called for emergency reinforcements.
“The whole fire department came,” Victor says. “The FBI. Even the CIA was here. It couldn’t have been any more crazy. They went into the sewer system to see if I was dumping anything down the toilet.”
What they had found in the basement was a hundred bottles of chemicals. None was hazardous. There was nothing poisonous. “I was working on a coating for the inside of beverage cans containing no bisphenol A,” Deeb says.
BPA, he explains, is standard in beverage-can coatings. The problem is that it can seep into the drink and play havoc with our hormones, causing men to grow breasts and girls as young as seven to have periods. Back in 2008, he says, “there were few references in the media to the negative effects of BPA. Currently, there is a deluge of articles. So my desire to eliminate BPA was ahead of its time.” He pauses. “I spent an enormous amount of time with the authorities, trying to explain what I was working on, but they had no perception. No concept.”
And so he watched as they hauled away all the chemicals and test tubes in a truck. “I had a box full of files and notes and comments,” he says. “Twenty years’ work. They hired two Ph.D. chemists to go through the box, looking for confirmation that there were hazardous materials in the basement. When they couldn’t find anything, they left the box out in the rain. It destroyed all my notes. Twenty years of my life and work and efforts to help others down the drain.”
“When they realized their mistake, I presume they apologized and paid you a settlement,” I say.
“The opposite!” he says. “They’re suing me for the cost of emptying my basement.”
For America’s online community of home-science experimenters, the most outrageous moment of all came when the enforcement officer, Pamela Wilderman, explained her decision-making process to the local paper: “I think Mr. Deeb has crossed a line somewhere,” she said. “This is not what we would consider to be a customary home occupation.”
“Allow me to translate Ms. Wilderman’s words into plain English,” wrote Robert Bruce Thompson, the author of Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments. “‘Mr. Deeb hasn’t actually violated any law or regulation that I can find, but I don’t like what he’s doing because I’m ignorant and irrationally afraid of chemicals, so I’ll abuse my power to steal his property and shut him down.’ . . . There’s a word for what just happened in Massachusetts. Tyranny.”
Before I hang up, Victor Deeb says he wants to remind me of something. He says that for every David Hahn and Richard Handl, there’s a Steve Jobs and a Charles Goodyear. “They started at home. Goodyear developed the vulcanization process by mixing sulfur with virgin rubber on his wife’s stove in their kitchen.”
And then he is gone, to do—he says—what he spends every day doing. He’s going to try to remember what he’d written on the pages in the box that was left out in the rain.
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[*] posted on 5-11-2020 at 10:17


When you can show actual property damage that is caused by unlawful action on a lawful matter, suing for compensation is much easier than for "emotional distress".

People have won millions from as stupid things as traffic stops.

I have actually been part of few complaints and I've noticed that once you start pushing something seriously that can carry on, a settlement is more often offered than going to actual court. So don't just whine online, complain on the PD but do actual legal action with precise numbers and items and request for a compensation. Fun case: my friend got raided because of some mail got scrammed at the border and they opened it, saw white powder and concluded that he is gonna blow something up. They confiscated everything that they could rip off his apartment. It dried up as fast as it had started and they released him the next day after finding zero illegalities, but they still kept the stuff. He argued as long as he got everything back, and I was visiting at his parents the day police showed up behind their door, because they brought back a scale they had confiscated that my friend told was property of his mother's. They drove all the way down there just to bring it back. It was old, 3$ el cheapo scale that barely worked. But well, it was her property. We did laugh a little, after all.

[Edited on 5-11-2020 by Fyndium]
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[*] posted on 5-11-2020 at 11:09


Zoning regulations for R&D ?

In some people's mind Archimedes should have been drowned in his bathtub and Newton... well, stoned to death with apples for overthinking while in an orchard ?




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[*] posted on 5-11-2020 at 12:54


Funny thing though, I tried to ask my gov't chem office about restrictions on storing and handling chemicals in accommodations. There are clear limits on fuels and flammable liquids, pressurized gas, explosives&ammo, fireworks and radioactive materials, but there are no factual limits on poisonous, toxic, reactive or other categories. They gave rather vague answer regarding to common safety matters, but when I asked is it actually illegal to keep 25kg barrel of sodium cyanide lying around my living room, they only stated that it must be kept locked away from other people.
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[*] posted on 5-11-2020 at 18:48


Nothing says "sticking it to the man" more than legally keeping a barrel of sodium cyanide in your bedroom because you weren't allowed to keep one dime bag of cannabis. x)



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[*] posted on 5-11-2020 at 19:44


Quote: Originally posted by itsallgoodjames  
Quote: Originally posted by teodor  
My point is, if is there only one case like that in the last 12 years it is very sad, but still there is no reason for generalization.

But if there were a lot of cases like that which never have appeared in the news, it is the real problem of the society.

[Edited on 5-11-2020 by teodor]

Given the general public's perception of home chemistry, I bet it's more than likely that it's the latter. When I tell someone I'm interested in chemistry, without fail, their next question is "can you make meth?". It seems like the public thinks of us all as drug cooks, so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the cases of this went under the radar and didn't get widely reported.


"of course I CAN make meth, any idiot could, but why bother" is my reply. Not. Even. A Challenge. To. Make. Meth.




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[*] posted on 6-11-2020 at 01:48


I like to state that chemistry is much like a puzzle where you have to figure a way to assemble different molecules which interact differently with each other. There are no boundaries between different substances, hence, yes, conceptually most chemists probably know well how to make your example meth. Many people drive cars as their jobs, and they can easily imagine how to roll over people with them, but do they?

100% of matter you touch is a subject of chemical reaction, so it's an understatement that chemistry is a niche thing.
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[*] posted on 6-11-2020 at 02:07


It's not so simple. Many years ago I asked my friend's wife who worked in a laboratory as a professional chemist whether she can get some chemicals for me. She became very angry and said "never". Her husband made excuse and said me that several people "terrorised" her and asked for chemicals, those people were actually meth cookers, but now she has opinion that everybody who ask chemicals is a meth cooker. So, this was an opinion of professional chemist, not a member of general public, you see.

[Edited on 6-11-2020 by teodor]

[Edited on 6-11-2020 by teodor]
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