Sciencemadness Discussion Board
Not logged in [Login ]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
 Pages:  1  ..  3    5    7
Author: Subject: What is the most ignorant thing you have ever done while conducting an experiment?
DrP
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 625
Registered: 28-9-2005
Member Is Offline

Mood: exothermic

[*] posted on 14-6-2007 at 07:48


Quote:
Originally posted by Phosphor-ing
You very nearly got The Darwin Award!


My thoughts entirely!!!
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Protactinium
Harmless
*




Posts: 6
Registered: 22-7-2007
Member Is Offline

Mood: "happy I ain't the only one whose crazy"

[*] posted on 22-7-2007 at 04:24


Once (actually twice) I made diethyl ether from mixing ethanol and conc H2SO4 with only this information on how it's prepared, I used erlenmyer flasks, one for the mixture and the other (smaller) to catch the ether connected to each other via glass tubing. The first time was inside, at my neighbor's house who said I can do knowing what I was doing (mainly to piss his roommate off), anyways the reaction wasn't starting "to my satisfaction" so I begin to warm it up on the stove somewhere around medium and it took it off, the temperature shot from 60 C to 130 C before I knew it stopper popped off of the flask and the entire house filled with ether vapor. The roommate left and got help while I stood there until the reaction at least subseded (it wasn't all that bad) but the house had to be evacuated for a good 2 hours with the aid of exhaust fans from the fire department close by. Surprisingly the stove never corroded from what was noticed anyways. The second time was the same setup but outside using the same glassware which was not damaged before, the same setup was used but with a hotplate but this time when the stopper flew off there was flame with it and nothing was reusable. Luckily bith times I never got anything on me just breathed in alot of ether. That was sometime in the 11th grade.
Have any of you compared with your chemistry teacher the tastes of the different acids? Or their incresed bite with higher concentration? In my senior year I was in control of handling chemicals for different shows we did for schools, well once I was working with a solution of white phosphorus in Carbon Disulfide, I made the solution just before use in the CS2 bottle and shook it up to dissolve the phosphorus and some of the liquid had dripped down the side of the bottle. Of course I had to tell the teacher of the mishap, and the only he could think of was "did you taste it?", I of course happily replied with my observation because he always wanted to know. Whenever we "tasted" something it was a drop or two or to make sure you rinsed all of the acid off when you know you got some on you.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Zinc
National Hazard
****




Posts: 472
Registered: 10-5-2006
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 23-7-2007 at 03:37


A few days ago me and my friend were trying to cast a small bronze cannon. For the core we wanted to use a test tube filled with plaster. When the palster solidified we hated te test tube with a popane/butane torch to dry the plaster inside. A few seconds after we started heating it I thought: "Can the water escape?" and then the test tube exploded and we were hit by flying glas. We didn't wear goggles but fortunatley we still have our eyes. I could fell as the glass pieces hit me but they were so small that they didnt' penetrate the skin. After I found only one small piece of the test tube. Al the other parts were too small to find. Sometimes I am very stupid. Always think before doing something.

[Edited on 23-7-2007 by Zinc]




View user's profile View All Posts By User
Furch
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 130
Registered: 8-10-2006
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 2-10-2007 at 13:26


The most ignorant thing I've done? Oh... I remember this one time I got a yield less than 95%. Worst experience of my life. Never happened again after that!

Nah, I'm lying... ;) I guess that has to be when I was very young and wanted to evaporate acetone over an open flame. Also melting acetone peroxide in a metal spoon, over an open flame... Painful for the ears, let me tell you.

Other than that: drying HMTA-dinitrate at high temp in a distillation setup, a wide variety of suck backs when using the water aspirator... That sort of thing.




\"Those who say do not know, those who know do not say.\" -Lao Tzu
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Antwain
National Hazard
****




Posts: 252
Registered: 21-7-2007
Location: Australia
Member Is Offline

Mood: Supersaturated

[*] posted on 2-10-2007 at 16:14


When I was in high school I tried to make an incidery bomb by adding powdered sparklers and stuff into a container. Then I added some glycerine to get red of the air and make it gel. Then I decided that I should add some oxidising agent to make sure that the glycerine burned too, so I added some permanganate....... :o

Fortunately I felt the thing start to become hot in my hand, and realised that something wasn't right.

Unfortunately, this was done in my bedroom.

Suffice it to say that it cought fire and burned every bit as well as I hoped it would. It was only ~5cc but it glowed bright orange and turned into a rock which burned its way 1cm into my desk and churned out poisonous fumes. :(

Actually there was one more depressing twist to this where I told a 'friend' I never should have about it, and he thought he would try it out...... in a near new BMW (I wasn't there I or would have physically stopped this kind of dumbness, there are limits). He didn't to my knoweledge ever get caught, but did destroy a very nice car :(

[Edited on 3-10-2007 by Antwain]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Amy Winehouse
Harmless
*




Posts: 44
Registered: 4-10-2011
Member Is Offline

Mood: Saucy

[*] posted on 11-12-2011 at 14:19


I was trying to dry some EtBr I had just made with CaCl2, and I used way too much, but poured all the dregs down the drain. I also poured the K2SO4 and the rest of the H2SO4(500ml or so) down the drain, and it got a clog from hell.

Then I learned that Rooto 100% lye does "get the clog out!". It also, upon making contact with tons of conenctrated H2SO4, launches a giant volcano up to my ceiling and all over me and everything.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Lambda-Eyde
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 856
Registered: 20-11-2008
Location: Norway
Member Is Offline

Mood: Cleaved

[*] posted on 12-12-2011 at 03:13


I have a few ones...

Back in my pyro days, me and a friend experimented with KNO<sub>3</sub>/sugar smoke mixtures. I must have been about 13 at that time. We had prepared a 100 g smoke "bomb" from a cardboard tube and sealed it up pretty well with duct tape, but we forgot to insert a fuse. So we (I can't remember whether it was his or my idea) heated a tweezer with an alcohol burner and used it to pierce a hole for the fuse in the cardboard tube. Somehow we reasoned that the mix wouldn't ignite unless a flame was present. Oh, and did I mention we were doing this inside his living room? And both his parents were present? :P Of course it ignited in our hands, fortunately the reaction is slow in the beginning so we could put it in a beaker filled with water. We ended up filling the living room with smoke and covering our workbench with the remains. :P

For some reason his parents didn't forbid him playing with chemistry/pyrotechnics even after that. That happened when we filled a coffee pot with half a kilo of the mixture and firing it up in their driveway. The resulting 3-4 meter jet flame and impressive display of smoke..... The look on his mother's face, just casually enjoying a cigarette on the porch and watching her kid and a friend exploring science... PRICELESS. Of course, we deemed the experiment to be an unprecedented success.

That was those days... A little over a year ago, I was making ~25 mL bromine at school. I decided to make two ampoules containing 2-3 mL of the element; one for my element collection, and another for a friend. After sealing up one of the ampoules, I wanted to check if the seal was good enough (I believe those were the first ampoules I made), so I tilted the newly sealed tube to see if the bromine would pour out or not. Luckily it wasn't sealed so the bromine, vigourosly boiling from the contact with the still-hot glass could shoot out of the ampoule and into the fume hood. I ended up getting a sizeable amount of liquid bromine on my finger, fortunately a jam jar of sodium thiosulfate wasn't far away and my hand could fit nicely into it. Although it didn't hurt at all, my finger was yellowish and crispy for a while after that. Not to mention the smell...


When I made benzoic acid from sodium benzoate, I made three retarded mistakes. Not bad for one synthesis, and a simple one at that. :P

After filtering off the precipitate (which was quite voluminous), I put it on the hot plate to dry it off while I took a shower (this was right before school). I figured that neither benzoic acid nor sodium chloride would evaporate, so I cranked it up so it would be fairly dry before I had to leave for school. In fact, I don't think I even considered the possibility of the acid evaporating. You know, white crystals dont evaporate, right? Turns out they do. When I got out of the shower and went down to check on it, I was met by a haze of benzoic acid in the lab. My eyes and lungs hurt. So I ran in, turned the fan on and the hotplate off. Damning myself, I left it like that and barely caught the school bus. When I came home, I was about to survey the damage when I noticed the fan wasn't on. Just before I went up to shout at my mom for turning off the fan (I told her not to turn it off), I noticed a humming sound and saw that the fan switch was indeed on. The benzoic acid had crystallized in the fan and jammed it, the motor was hot enough to boil water and smelled really bad. That could have been a nasty fire... :o This is what the fan blade looked like.

After that I proceeded to add acetone (any sensible person would have used water). I popped in my largest stirbar and put it on the magnetic stirrer. I put a large crystallizing dish (I used a smaller one for the acid) on top of it to keep the acetone from evaporating and left it overnight. Next morning the solution had splashed all over the place and damaged my magnetic stirrer, of course made from all ABS. Luckily the damage was purely cosmetic.

After filtering off the salt, I had to remove the acetone from the solution. A rotary evaporator would have made this a lot easier. Using water would have eliminated the problem altogether. I set up a distillation rig with a 500 mL round bottom flask. I, like many others, have a habit of forgetting to add boiling stones. After heating a bit and watching grass grow, I remembered the boiling stone. So I popped in a small stir bar through the thermometer port. WHOOOSH! The acetone promptly boiled and deposited benzoic acid everywhere.
No wonder my yield was so pathetic from that simple reaction...

[Edited on 12-12-2011 by Lambda-Eyde]

[Edited on 12-12-2011 by Lambda-Eyde]




This just in: 95,5 % of the world population lives outside the USA
You should really listen to ABBA
Please drop by our IRC channel: #sciencemadness @ irc.efnet.org
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Adas
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 711
Registered: 21-9-2011
Location: Slovakia
Member Is Offline

Mood: Sensitive to shock and friction

[*] posted on 12-12-2011 at 07:37


Then I was younger, I was often playing with candles and wax. So stupid. I was doing all the smoky and smelly experiments in my room. Once I put aluminium foil ball into molten wax and lighted it up on a stick. however, the hell-hot ball have fallen off the stick on my fit-ball and made some damage on it, but luckily, it didn't melt through lol. I had lots of those small accidents, but my biggest mistake was doing it all in my room.

And few months ago, I was going to show burning TATP to my parents for the first time, but it was not completely dry = there were some "balls" of TATP, which confined it. When I lit it up on my hand, it exploded! It was nicely open, so I didn't feel anything on my hand, but my ears were ringing as hell. Since then, I always cover my ears. :P

While performing this kind of experiments, you must be especially careful. You never know - innocent experiment can turn out to be a disaster, lol.
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
Arthur Dent
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 546
Registered: 22-10-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: entropic

[*] posted on 12-12-2011 at 10:09


Here's an ignorant thing I did a few years ago.

I was attempting to keep some expensive camera equipment away from moisture, so I had bought some transparent plastic cases to store them, and I didn't have any little silica gel packs handy, so i decided to make a dessicant bag. My error was the chemical I used.

I saw at the dollar store these inexpensive moisture traps filled with anhydrous Calcium Chloride, so I figured these should do the trick. I filled a ziploc bag with the prills and poked a few holes with a needle, and dropped the bag in the camera box. Done!

I started using these little traps in my basement and after a few weeks, noticed that the bottom of the plastic containers were filled with water... :o It clicked in my mind and I went ... "Oh Shit!"

What I did not anticipate initially is that Calcium Chloride is quite hygroscopic and dissolves in thee water it pulls out of the atmosphere (didn't now it then) and as I ran upstairs to get my plastic case with my Nikon camera and my telephoto lenses, I saw that 1 cm of liquid had accumulated in the bottom of the camera case!!!

AAAARGH! Camera and telephoto lens were ruined since the liquid was a supersaturated solution of Calcium Chloride that crystallized partially and corroded everything in contact with it.

Dum dum dum...

Robert




--- Art is making something out of nothing and selling it. - Frank Zappa ---
View user's profile View All Posts By User
MrTechGuy1995
Harmless
*




Posts: 27
Registered: 21-9-2011
Location: Chatham, New Jersey
Member Is Offline

Mood: Lab Envy

[*] posted on 12-12-2011 at 10:52


Where do I even start?
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Wizzard
National Hazard
****




Posts: 337
Registered: 22-3-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 12-12-2011 at 12:06


I can't even count the number of times I've burned off my arm hair / eyebrows playing with Butane as a child ;) But no serious harm, aside from spilling bleach on the rug... Putting a carpet over it just doesn't work.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
zoombafu
National Hazard
****




Posts: 255
Registered: 21-11-2011
Location: U.S.
Member Is Offline

Mood: sciencey

[*] posted on 12-12-2011 at 12:27


Once I was heating up a flask making some nutrient agar for some petri dishes. I didn't have a glass rod to prevent bumping, so suddenly the entire mixture boiled over. It got on the hot plate and started burning, and then the flask cracked spilling even more liquid everywhere. The nutrient agar that I was making had malt extract as a nutrient, and it smelled horrible from the burning. for days in that room.



View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
Panache
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1290
Registered: 18-10-2007
Member Is Offline

Mood: Instead of being my deliverance, she had a resemblance to a Kat named Frankenstein

[*] posted on 6-1-2012 at 04:38


After buying some very expensive anarobic adhesive, $40.00 for five ml, that was to be refrigerated, i thought i could do better than that and as well as refrigerating it i'll blanket the headspace in the bottle with argon.



View user's profile View All Posts By User
Pulverulescent
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 792
Registered: 31-1-2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: Torn between two monikers ─ "hissingnoise" and the present incarnation!

[*] posted on 6-1-2012 at 04:54


Switching on an NST to see the arc heat the ends of the electrodes into melting, glowing globules of metal, blowing on them to cool them down and then forgetting to switch the damn thing off before putting my little pinkie on one to see if it had cooled to near RT!
Such fun? :o

P
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Bot0nist
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1559
Registered: 15-2-2011
Location: Right behind you.
Member Is Offline

Mood: Streching my cotyledons.

[*] posted on 6-1-2012 at 05:52


Used to dip the back of matches into MEKP and touch fire to them while holding them. They would pop like crazy and me and my brother got a kick out of it. One day we decided to dip four matches in and hold them in a bunch and try it. Something very different happened when the flame was applied that resulted in ringing ears, bad hand bruises, and the lose of my desire ever make MEKP again.



U.T.F.S.E. and learn the joys of autodidacticism!


Don't judge each day only by the harvest you reap, but also by the seeds you sow.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Sedit
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1939
Registered: 23-11-2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: Manic Expressive

[*] posted on 6-1-2012 at 06:37


Not taking a leak before a complicated and needed to be watched reaction involving Lithium.... This story does not end well....


Perhaps its a story for the worst lab accidents thread :P

[Edited on 6-1-2012 by Sedit]





Knowledge is useless to useless people...

"I see a lot of patterns in our behavior as a nation that parallel a lot of other historical processes. The fall of Rome, the fall of Germany — the fall of the ruling country, the people who think they can do whatever they want without anybody else's consent. I've seen this story before."~Maynard James Keenan
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Lambda-Eyde
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 856
Registered: 20-11-2008
Location: Norway
Member Is Offline

Mood: Cleaved

[*] posted on 6-1-2012 at 06:54


Sedit: That's what you have those 1000 mL graduated cylinders for...!



This just in: 95,5 % of the world population lives outside the USA
You should really listen to ABBA
Please drop by our IRC channel: #sciencemadness @ irc.efnet.org
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Sedit
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1939
Registered: 23-11-2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: Manic Expressive

[*] posted on 6-1-2012 at 07:47


LOL, I was to worried about the Lithium coated in Ether catching aflame so I was trying to get it setup as quickly and completely as possible so that it could run on its own. I had an NH3 generator picking up steam and lithium coated in Ether being cut up on a tray... walking away from it was not exactly on the menu but once your body tells you there's no fucking way your going to hold it any longer you gotta just run and handle your business.

Learn from others mistakes, Priorities now when setting up are safety, making sure all materials are there and accounted for and last but definitely not least .... go take a piss.... Only after all of this shall the alchemy proceed.





Knowledge is useless to useless people...

"I see a lot of patterns in our behavior as a nation that parallel a lot of other historical processes. The fall of Rome, the fall of Germany — the fall of the ruling country, the people who think they can do whatever they want without anybody else's consent. I've seen this story before."~Maynard James Keenan
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Hexavalent
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1564
Registered: 29-12-2011
Location: Wales, UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: Pericyclic

[*] posted on 7-1-2012 at 14:09


I once had a massive hot water bath for distilling trichloromethane break and leak water all over my new hotplate . . . the bucket I used was made of metal but I soon noticed a hissing noise and a rather large amount of water flowing over the controls!



"Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill
View user's profile View All Posts By User
neptunium
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 974
Registered: 12-12-2011
Location: between Uranium and Plutonium
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 7-1-2012 at 14:43


i remember putting some mercury in my mouth just to see what it would taste like....
or lighting up a fire cracker inside liquid chlorine..

sometimes i have to admit that we are all very lucky and should all be thanksfull we are still here to talk about the dumb sh@# we did
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
Hexavalent
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1564
Registered: 29-12-2011
Location: Wales, UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: Pericyclic

[*] posted on 7-1-2012 at 14:51


What does mercury taste like?



"Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Hexavalent
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1564
Registered: 29-12-2011
Location: Wales, UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: Pericyclic

[*] posted on 7-1-2012 at 14:54


Excuse my childishness, but everytime I have my hotplate going I *have* to squirt the occasional drop or two of water on it to 'observe the leidenfrost effect' from my wash bottle . . .I learnt my lesson though when I nearly cracked my new 2-liter 3-neck 24/40 flask!!:)



"Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill
View user's profile View All Posts By User
neptunium
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 974
Registered: 12-12-2011
Location: between Uranium and Plutonium
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 8-1-2012 at 00:40


nothing! it just rolls on your tongur without any taste at all disapointing i know!
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
Pulverulescent
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 792
Registered: 31-1-2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: Torn between two monikers ─ "hissingnoise" and the present incarnation!

[*] posted on 8-1-2012 at 02:15


Quote: Originally posted by Hexavalent  
What does mercury taste like?

What? You've never bitten a themometer bulb?

P
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Hexavalent
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1564
Registered: 29-12-2011
Location: Wales, UK
Member Is Offline

Mood: Pericyclic

[*] posted on 8-1-2012 at 08:41


No, but I wonder what would happen if you let a load of alcoholics loose in a dyed-alcohol thermometer factory . . .



"Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill
View user's profile View All Posts By User
 Pages:  1  ..  3    5    7

  Go To Top