Wait... that's not so much funny as it is SAD

>> Saturday, July 24, 2010

From SMBC:







Y'know, you have to wonder how the next generation of scientists is going to be impacted by the fact that modern science kits suck. I don't think you can still get anything like the boss electronics kit I had as a kid, with all its little moving parts and bits that required solder, nor the aeronautics kit I had where the final project was a model rocket I never got around to building. And the kits I had in the late '70s and early '80s had nothing on some of the used up kits I'd find bits and pieces of in my grandmother's attic in Western Maryland. And then you see ads for even earlier science kits--ones containing caustic chemicals and mild radioactives.

Those had to be the days, y'know?


5 comments:

Skatĉjo Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 1:35:00 PM EDT  

I remember the chemistry set I got in the early '70's contained a several-square-inch piece of asbestos, useful for its flame-retardant characteristics.

I don't think its mesothelioma-causing characteristics were known at the time.

Old Man,  Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 1:27:00 PM EDT  

I was building my kits in the late forties and early fifties. One of them was a mercury barometer. It involved using the gas flame on the kitchen stove to seal the end of the glass tube and carefully pouring mercury into the tube. As I remember, there were 2 or 3 ounces of mercury included. It still does duty, hanging on the wall in my sister's house.

John the Scientist Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 9:14:00 PM EDT  

Well, if you have a kid and want a real kit, give me a call. :p

I think I had that same kit - came with a small can of helium, too, right? And you made a hot air balloon with a candle?

Only I made the model rocket. I, uh, well let's just say that I went on to making much more sophisticated ones, and when that one started looking expendible, well, let's say that a plug of home-made black powder in the nose cone can be set off if you use a first stage rocket, the kind that lights the second rocket in a multi-stage beauty.

The only difference between a chemist and a pyromanic in the larval stages is...well, there isn't much difference, is there?

Eric Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 9:42:00 PM EDT  

The can of helium! Yes! I'd forgotten about that!

Yeah, that kit was awesome. Heh. In the unlikely event I spawn, John, I may be taking you up on that offer....

Tom Monday, July 26, 2010 at 2:42:00 PM EDT  

"Tell Bobby to mix that water with some salt. Then it will be a solution!

We didn't need no kits! Was it lye and tin foil that generated hydrogen? Collect it in a balloon, and you get more bang for the buck than with helium.

We were EVIL!

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