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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:59 pm 
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mac_d wrote:
In a decade of so total at Uni I've never used a naked flame (though a few people in the labs did) but at school we used them all the time. I remember using 22 mol/litre Sulphuric Acid that someone dropped and it was starting to dissolve the concrete floor. I wonder if they still let silly 17/18 year olds have access to that stuff or if Health and Safety have stopped it (and that would not be a case of H&S gone mad imo).


We use 98% Sulphuric, which is I think 19M, for making esters, but it still makes me uneasy about it. Making esters is a GCSE practical now, not an A Level one like it was when I was at school.

When I first started as a lab tech 5-6 years ago, my head tech used to do an experiment to show hydrogen production and gas pressure, by putting aluminium foil/HCl in a coke bottle and screwing the lid on and waiting for it to explode. Absolutely terrifying in retrospect, and amazing that no one ever got hurt. The concussive blast used to rattle all of the windows in the entire school.

Also, the thing that scares me the most is still the Van der Graaf generator. I know the science behind it, but still the shock of static lightning effectively when you discharge it gets me every time.


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:05 pm 
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huggybear wrote:
mac_d wrote:
In a decade of so total at Uni I've never used a naked flame (though a few people in the labs did) but at school we used them all the time. I remember using 22 mol/litre Sulphuric Acid that someone dropped and it was starting to dissolve the concrete floor. I wonder if they still let silly 17/18 year olds have access to that stuff or if Health and Safety have stopped it (and that would not be a case of H&S gone mad imo).


We use 98% Sulphuric, which is I think 19M, for making esters, but it still makes me uneasy about it. Making esters is a GCSE practical now, not an A Level one like it was when I was at school.

When I first started as a lab tech 5-6 years ago, my head tech used to do an experiment to show hydrogen production and gas pressure, by putting aluminium foil/HCl in a coke bottle and screwing the lid on and waiting for it to explode. Absolutely terrifying in retrospect, and amazing that no one ever got hurt. The concussive blast used to rattle all of the windows in the entire school.

Also, the thing that scares me the most is still the Van der Graaf generator. I know the science behind it, but still the shock of static lightning effectively when you discharge it gets me every time.



I went to school in the dark ages, and labs were fun. For instance, we all share a gas supply down the middle of 2 benches, and if you take a deep breath and blow down you tube, all the other burners would go out :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:35 pm 
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Life in the school laboratory used to be fun (and dangerous) before they decided to wrap everyone in cotton wool. I can't imagine what students get to do these days, if anything. Or is it just watching demos while a lab assistant in a sterile, fireproof, space-suit does the actual stuff behind a shatter-proof glass wall?


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:09 pm 
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chetan_rao wrote:
Life in the school laboratory used to be fun (and dangerous) before they decided to wrap everyone in cotton wool. I can't imagine what students get to do these days, if anything. Or is it just watching demos while a lab assistant in a sterile, fireproof, space-suit does the actual stuff behind a shatter-proof glass wall?


We get to do some things, but because the technicians are legally responsible for the safety, even if they aren't in the room while the experiment is going on, we tend to shut down anything too dangerous because the teachers (moreso than the kids in my experience) have absolutely no clue what they are doing.
You don't have to have a higher qualification than a GCSE in science to teach it to GCSE students once you have your degree, so you can get a Biology degree and not start teaching until you are 30 and teach kids chemistry without having studied it for 15 years. And most of them haven't. Subject knowledge is generally atrocious among teachers, as is their understanding of basic lab safety, and it gets worse the older and more 'experienced' they get, because they don't like to be told they are doing things wrong like a new teacher will.
My head of department who's been teaching for a decade only learnt that current is a flow of negatively charged electrons in June at some training we went to, and it hurt my brain to see it unfold.
So, with that level of subject knowledge holding our careers in their hands, we tend to shut down everything except the most simple experiments unless we are there to figuratively hold their hands.


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:18 pm 
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huggybear wrote:
chetan_rao wrote:
Life in the school laboratory used to be fun (and dangerous) before they decided to wrap everyone in cotton wool. I can't imagine what students get to do these days, if anything. Or is it just watching demos while a lab assistant in a sterile, fireproof, space-suit does the actual stuff behind a shatter-proof glass wall?


We get to do some things, but because the technicians are legally responsible for the safety, even if they aren't in the room while the experiment is going on, we tend to shut down anything too dangerous because the teachers (moreso than the kids in my experience) have absolutely no clue what they are doing.
You don't have to have a higher qualification than a GCSE in science to teach it to GCSE students once you have your degree, so you can get a Biology degree and not start teaching until you are 30 and teach kids chemistry without having studied it for 15 years. And most of them haven't. Subject knowledge is generally atrocious among teachers, as is their understanding of basic lab safety, and it gets worse the older and more 'experienced' they get, because they don't like to be told they are doing things wrong like a new teacher will.
My head of department who's been teaching for a decade only learnt that current is a flow of negatively charged electrons in June at some training we went to, and it hurt my brain to see it unfold.
So, with that level of subject knowledge holding our careers in their hands, we tend to shut down everything except the most simple experiments unless we are there to figuratively hold their hands.





as in - "He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches." GBS


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:52 pm 
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moby wrote:


as in - "He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches." GBS


I personally think of it as those who can, do; those who can't, teach; those who can't teach, teach PE.


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:58 pm 
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huggybear wrote:
moby wrote:


as in - "He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches." GBS


I personally think of it as those who can, do; those who can't, teach; those who can't teach, teach PE.


More often those who can, do; those who can't, teach, those who cant teach tell the teachers what to do. :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:26 pm 
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Didn't have the time or weather configuration (was drizzling sporadically in Glasgow this morning) to show my nephews the science stuff I wanted to show them.

Did take them out into my parents back garden and found some bugs with their bug jars. Wood lice (3 year old telling me they are cute made me laugh), spiders, snails, slugs, a daddy longlegs, worms (apparently scary to the 3 year old) and, the awesome bit imo - a millipede. Brought that millipede and looked at it in the big bug jar with the magnifying glasses at the top and underneath. Hard to count sections against legs but I'm fairly sure it was a millipede rather than a centipede. Bug hunt got cut short as we had a restaurant booking at a restaurant at 13:30. Still, oddly pleased at the millipede, that's relatively rare compared to the other ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:11 pm 
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mac_d wrote:
Didn't have the time or weather configuration (was drizzling sporadically in Glasgow this morning) to show my nephews the science stuff I wanted to show them.

Did take them out into my parents back garden and found some bugs with their bug jars. Wood lice (3 year old telling me they are cute made me laugh), spiders, snails, slugs, a daddy longlegs, worms (apparently scary to the 3 year old) and, the awesome bit imo - a millipede. Brought that millipede and looked at it in the big bug jar with the magnifying glasses at the top and underneath. Hard to count sections against legs but I'm fairly sure it was a millipede rather than a centipede. Bug hunt got cut short as we had a restaurant booking at a restaurant at 13:30. Still, oddly pleased at the millipede, that's relatively rare compared to the other ones.



You can get "endoscopes" to fit on to your phone or tab from Ali express for about £6, if the kids like that sort of thing wou can slip th e5mm end right into their home and watch ants and bugs. They come with an angle head and adjustable light

peep behind the boulder or stone wall and see what is there. You can even record it. I have one they are marvelous fun.


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:12 pm 
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moby wrote:
You can get "endoscopes" to fit on to your phone or tab from Ali express for about £6, if the kids like that sort of thing wou can slip th e5mm end right into their home and watch ants and bugs. They come with an angle head and adjustable light

peep behind the boulder or stone wall and see what is there. You can even record it. I have one they are marvelous fun.


That, sir, I think I will do. I award you 2 light bulbs for a good idea, and a thumbs up too. :idea: :idea: :thumbup:

Edit: Ordered one earlier. Water proof (I took my nephews to the beach recently), adjustable LED lights and all that gubbins. My dad has a spare tablet compatible with it (probably). Think the wee ones will enjoy this a lot. If not, I'm fairly sure I will.


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:39 pm 
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mac_d wrote:
moby wrote:
You can get "endoscopes" to fit on to your phone or tab from Ali express for about £6, if the kids like that sort of thing wou can slip th e5mm end right into their home and watch ants and bugs. They come with an angle head and adjustable light

peep behind the boulder or stone wall and see what is there. You can even record it. I have one they are marvelous fun.


That, sir, I think I will do. I award you 2 light bulbs for a good idea, and a thumbs up too. :idea: :idea: :thumbup:

Edit: Ordered one earlier. Water proof (I took my nephews to the beach recently), adjustable LED lights and all that gubbins. My dad has a spare tablet compatible with it (probably). Think the wee ones will enjoy this a lot. If not, I'm fairly sure I will.


:thumbup: :D


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:09 am 
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Completed a half-marathon hours after staggering home after celebrating a friend's 50th. I'd fortunately had the foresight to pack my running gear ready but did not wake as early as planned, and ended up walking to the venue in the same gear I'd collapsed onto the bed in.
I think it took me all of 9 miles to sober up, at which point my body rejected the notion of what I was trying to do to it. The last few miles were a bit of a grind but I made it to the finish. Strangely, I've barely moved since...

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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:17 pm 
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Had to give a talk in front of all my colleagues, despite having a huge fear of public speaking. Apparently I crushed it, and everyone's told me I did a good job. Which is nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:11 pm 
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huggybear wrote:
Had to give a talk in front of all my colleagues, despite having a huge fear of public speaking. Apparently I crushed it, and everyone's told me I did a good job. Which is nice.


:thumbup: Always hated public speaking, but it never goes as badly as everyone seems to think I find. Not that that stops me worrying.


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:10 pm 
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Won a signed Ken Block poster on Tuesday

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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:44 pm 
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Probably showing how boring I am, but I bought some new slippers at Tesco this morning and they are smashing.


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:16 pm 
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mac_d wrote:
Probably showing how boring I am, but I bought some new slippers at Tesco this morning and they are smashing.

:thumbup: Good for you, nothing better than some comfy slippers and a warm dressing gown :nod:

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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:56 pm 
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minchy wrote:
mac_d wrote:
Probably showing how boring I am, but I bought some new slippers at Tesco this morning and they are smashing.

:thumbup: Good for you, nothing better than some comfy slippers and a warm dressing gown :nod:


I have my dressing gown on over my clothes at the moment as my flat is a little chilly but not cold enough to merit the heating going on. Love a thick fluffy dressing gown too.


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:17 pm 
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mac_d wrote:
mac_d wrote:
Probably showing how boring I am, but I bought some new slippers at Tesco this morning and they are smashing.

Good for you, nothing better than some comfy slippers and a warm dressing gown


Why not? - It worked for Hugh Heffner


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:29 pm 
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Bought a broken PS4 off Ebay for £80, planning to fix it and get a cheap(ish) PS4. It's turned up, and works perfectly. So my fixing budget went on Uncharted 4 instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:41 am 
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reply numero 500 #awesum


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 Post subject: Re: Awesomeness
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:00 pm 
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My nephew turned 7 this week. Family lunch today to celebrate. I got him NERF-style guns (the foamy bullet shooty ones). My nephew, me (age 28) and my big brother (33) then had a pretty epic shootout at my folks house.


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