A New York Times piece on post-9/11 chemistry sets, modified for the age of lawsuits and terror-noia: “Basically, you have to be able to eat everything in the science kit,” says Jim Becker, president of SmartLab Toys, "who recalled learning the names of chemicals from his childhood chemistry set, which contained substances that have long since been banned from toys." It's a good piece, though Steve Silberman pretty much wrote the same piece back in 2006 for Wired Magazine.
If you're into this as nostalgia, there are lots of cool vintage sets routinely available on eBay. Here's a neat midcentury specimen.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.