Endangered Species – The Chemistry Set

I feel sorry for today’s kids who won’t get to experience chemistry sets like we did when I was a kid. I had fun creating spectacular color changes, colored flames, explosions, and filling the room with noxious fumes. Unfortunately those days are gone.

What do Islamofacism, methamphetamine production, tort lawyers, and homemade fireworks have in common? The answer is that they are all part of the seemingly inevitable process of destroying the childhood Chemistry Set. A.C. Gilbert, in 1918 was titled the “Man who Saved Christmasâ€? with his innovative ideas of packaging a few glass tubes and some common chemicals into starter kits that enabled a generation to learn the joy of experimentation, and the basis for the scientific method of thought.

(thanks to kottke.org for linking to this)

High schools always had a well-stocked chemistry lab, usually with hazardous materials like phosphorus, mercury, metallic sodium, and uranium. Now it isn’t possible to buy even tiny amounts of those materials without an extensive background check.

The US is falling further behind in science & technology as it becomes more difficult for kids to get an education in science.

We really need to end our culture of fear and stop overreacting to threats and get back to common sense. The sad part is this won’t change even if Democrats are elected, because they’re all too afraid of being labeled “soft on terrorism” or “soft on crime” to change anything.

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