Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Please Pass The Bunsen Burner....

  There it is, the Periodic Table of Elements.  Anyone that took Chemistry in high school will see it and groan.  Actually it is a fascinating piece of architecture when you think about it.  Everything known to Man is comprised of molecules made from these basic elements, so far.  I say that because things change, including how many elements we have discovered.  When I took high school Chemistry in 1965, there were only 104 elements, now look, there are 118.   The worse part of the class was having to memorize the valence tables, ugh, what a pain, but Mr. Trefethen was big on hydrocarbons and made us do it.  There were fun parts, however, things like making Phenolphthalein colourless by changing its pH or learning about ketones which smelled like different fruits or getting partnered with the pretty girl in class for lab.  But you always learned important stuff that would help you in life, for example, the chemical formula for table sugar was C12H22O11 or table salt was NaCl.  And if you should happen to have a piece of pure sodium, never put it into water.  Actually there was good stuff to know; I always remembered the little ditty Do As You Oughta, Add Acid To Water.  That was helpful to know when working with car batteries or cleaning bricks.

3 comments:

  1. I remember memorizing that table although I don't remember any of them now. Fun at how important they are and I don't remember them. :)

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  2. I actually liked chemistry, I thought it was all interesting. Despite my false idea that salt cooled food. I liked to memorize back then and was much better at it then. I also remember doing a science project in 8th grade using litmus paper and showing the different pH levels in different things. I was not aware their were that many new elements, I will have that be the new thing I learned for today!

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  3. I was looking for my favorite line by Don Grady in "My Three Sons." That's it - "Please pass the Bunsen burner." Robby was picked for a film role in science class because he didn't cut up in a practice session, but simply asked for the flame. However, he got socked in the kisser before actual filming and mangled the line with his mangled mouth. For years after, my brother and I could crack each other up simply by imitating Robby's mooshy delivery of "Please pass the Bunsen burner." Did you have that show in mind?

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