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Posted March 30, 2009
My best friend found this book when we were both in junior high in the early '80s and then found it here just recently. Back then we were able to perform several of the more exciting (hazardous) experiments with no ill effects to ourselves or our surroundings - except for the big purple iodine stain on the wooden box we set our contact explosive! This book has lots of fun experiments that bring excitement to chemistry. Unfortunately, it was written in a time when parents and teachers weren't so paranoid about kids playing "mad scientist" so a lot of the chemicals needed are very difficult if not outright impossible to acquire - even for an adult!
For example, one experiment demonstrates the topic of phosphorescence using white phosphorus. GASP - white phosphorus! You terrorists are going to make a bomb!! Hardly. Of course this stuff is dangerous, but perfectly safe if you know how to handle it and have adult supervision. The problem is it's now completely illegal to own at all. Big Brother to protect you once again! There are still lots of other less exotic experiments in the book one can perform with compounds that are still fairly accessible so there is still good experience and fun to be had.
If you are looking for some nostalgia in remembering your own "mad scientist" days as a kid or would like to introduce your own kids to the topic of chemistry, I'd highly recommend this book. It definitely brings back memories of fun summer days while in junior high, just like C.L. Stong's Amateur Scientist!
Posted August 21, 2003
Posted July 19, 2002