April 24, 2007 7:50 PM   Subscribe

"UNTIL you experiment with chlorine, you have missed some of the biggest thrills your home laboratory can give you." Sound like fun? Bet you'll want to set up your own home chemistry lab and try it out. But don't stop there - the wonders of hydrogen and mercury await! Make a gas that gives you the giggles, then blow stuff up for more guffaws. And that's just part of only one section of Modern Mechanix - "Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today!"
posted by hangashore (13 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
People used to huff chlorine (In low quantities) to treat colds? Fucking crazy.
posted by delmoi at 7:56 PM on April 24, 2007

And it's not just chemistry!

Take THAT, religion!


Let's all live near the airport.

GPS proposed - a year before Sputnik.

Automotive heads-up display in 1933.
posted by hangashore at 8:23 PM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

Wow, this nitrous oxide experiment sounds like a lot of fun, to bad people might look askance these days if you buy a lot of ammonium nitrate.
posted by delmoi at 8:51 PM on April 24, 2007

Thanks! This is fascinating stuff!
posted by watsondog at 9:11 PM on April 24, 2007

It turns out you can get liquid nitrogen (a fun substance if you know what to do with it) pretty easily if you have a nearby ice cream shop that makes freeze-dried ice cream and a liquid nitro container. Really cold = really fun!
posted by lesseffective at 9:53 PM on April 24, 2007

hangashore, "THAT" is a pretty interesting link. Not only is the science incorrect and presumptuous, it seems that the writers of the article don't actually know what a galaxy is. To me it's fascinating to realize that less than a century ago people didn't have any idea how damn big the universe is.
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:33 PM on April 24, 2007

It's interesting that measurements are given in metric for such an early publication. Is this normal in chemistry?
posted by mattoxic at 12:04 AM on April 25, 2007

"If by any chance you should get a strong whiff of the free [chlorine] gas, you can relieve any unpleasantness by inhaling alcohol."

Wow. What could possibly go wrong?
posted by ikkyu2 at 4:53 AM on April 25, 2007

Way back when I was just a tiny little nerd I found a chemistry book in the elementary school library(!) that included recipes for several different kinds of explosives. Kids! Build your own fireworks and rocket propellants... through the magic of Chemistry!! It was the best book ever.

Nowadays you look at a chemistry set and they're so goddamn safe and boring. Kids! Turn pink paper slightly pinker... through the magic of Chemistry!!!

I've always wondered if university chemistry departments have seen a decline in admissions recently because of this trend.

(Not to mention that half the stuff twelve-year-old me was buying at the local pharmacy back then would probably get me put on a watch list if I tried ordering it now...)
posted by ook at 5:49 AM on April 25, 2007

I'll never forget the bit where the TA dunked the rose in liquid nitrogen for a few moments, then bashed it against the top of the lap table, causing it to shatter like fine porcelain. Here's how that looks, if you're curious.
posted by pax digita at 5:49 AM on April 25, 2007

mattoxic: It's interesting that measurements are given in metric for such an early publication. Is this normal in chemistry?

Just had a look at early volumes of some prominent chemical journals. Even in the first volume of the Journal of the American Chemical Society the units of measurement were grams, cm3 (as c.c.) and °C. For the Journal of the Chemical Society (London), papers from as early as 1862 (maybe even earlier) also followed the standard.
posted by hangashore at 7:21 AM on April 25, 2007

Aw crap. This is indeed a double - original thread here, courtesy of featherboa.

Flagged. m/c/j, please delete away.
posted by hangashore at 4:34 PM on April 25, 2007

MetaFilter: you can relieve any unpleasantness by inhaling alcohol.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:14 PM on April 25, 2007

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