chemistry

Agent Orange – The Synthesis of 2,4,5,-Trichlorophenate – #3

October 18, 2017 // 2 Comments

  The tactical herbicide Agent Orange, which was used in South-east Asia by the United States Department of Defence during the Vietnam War, was made from equal parts of the n–butyl esters of 2,4,5-T and 2,4,-D. For almost half a century, controversy has surrounded its use, mainly because it contained a highly toxic dioxin impurity (TCDD). Despite this impurity being thoroughly investigated, there is still a lot of confusion by the public regarding how it was formed and why it took so [...]

The Anarchists Cook Book Review – Chapter One: Drugs

September 14, 2017 // 6 Comments

When I was growing up, I remember hearing stories of a book that contained information so dangerous and controversial that to own a copy, even an electronic one, could get you in trouble with the authorities. This was because the book contained a set of instructions on how to, amongst other things, construct explosive devices and synthesise illegal narcotics. This infamous book, which has now sold more than 2 million copies, has been linked to countless acts of violence around the world [...]

11 Chemistry Tattoo Fails

December 1, 2016 // 8 Comments

Schadenfreude is a German word meaning “pleasure derived from the misfortune of others” and a word whose counterpart is missing from the English language. Although I am sure we would never admit in public to taking pleasure form others’ misfortunes, the awful truth is we all secretly snigger when we see bad things happening to others. This is probably why sites like Fail Blog have become so popular in recent years, forever immortalising the failures of people so future generations can [...]

FWS – Sparklers Underwater

April 3, 2012 // 1 Comment

Did you know that sparklers can burn under water? This is because they contain an oxidizer (usualy Potassium nitrate or Potassium perchlorate) as a oxygen source instead of getting oxygen from the air. As a result, they are able to burn even when they are placed in an environment where oxygen is absent as Myles [...]

Myles vs Randall Niles – Abiogenesis

December 12, 2010 // 2 Comments

Life from a rock eh? Randall Niles co-founder, operations director and CFO of All About God Ministries seems to think so. According to one of the “All About God” affiliated websites, Randall Niles spent nearly 20 years as a “practicing atheist” before finding God. He now makes youtube videos and feels he has the scientific knowledge to talk about abiogenesis. As you can imagine he gets it all wrong, Myles discusses the problems with his [...]