The liability-phobic dilution of kids' science has reached its apotheosis with "CHEMISTRYâ€¯60": a chemistry kit that promises "60 fun activities with no chemicals." Kids are expected to supply the chemicals from their parents' kitchen cupboards. As Sean at Make points out, this is a moderately clever move on the part of the manufacturer, as most of their competition have such inoffensive materials that this is a kind of end-run around the overlawyers, bubblewrapped status-quo for kids' science kits.
I'm certain many Newscripts readers learned to love chemistry during childhood as they experimented with science kits in tin boxes that contained real chemicals. The Chemical Heritage Foundation, in Philadelphia, has a wonderful collection of those kits. A recent article by Rosie Cook in the group's spring 2010 Chemical Heritage Magazine mentions a number of such chemistry sets for kids, including Gilbert, Skil Craft, Handy Andy, and the Porter Chemcraft kits.
Like reader Paul Johns of Washington, D.C., who pointed out the "chemical-free" chemical kit to Newscripts, I had a chemistry set growing up, too. It had an alcohol lamp for heating up solutions. Imagine giving that to a nine year old today.
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]