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Home Chemistry An Endangered Hobby in U.S. 627

Posted by timothy
from the busybody-nannystate-nincompoops dept.
Disoculated writes "Wired is running an article entitled "Don't Try This at Home" discussing how that increasing paranoia about terrorism and liability is making it nearly impossible to become involved in any chemistry related hobby in the United States. Sure, the innovative will try to work around these types of limitations, but are we teaching our kids to be afraid of science?"
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Home Chemistry An Endangered Hobby in U.S.

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  • Digg + 2days (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 01, 2006 @07:31AM (#15443394)
    Is it just me, or is /. consistently a day or two behind digg?
  • Or Electronics (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @07:33AM (#15443402) Homepage Journal

    I recently looked into buying a dc-dc converter to run my laptop in a plane. These things are pretty expensive and my guess is that I could build one for $20 AUD or so.

    The problem is that airport security people are not going to believe that my bundle of components in a jiffy box which I soldered up myself is not a bomb, whereas the proper device from the shop at four times the price at least looks legit.

    Then I wondered what it is going to be like in the near future where the flight control system probably runs windows CE or similar and I rock up to business class and start some software which I wrote myself.

    Software may be a terrorist weapon soon. Will people who roll their own be viewed with suspicion?

    Which takes me back to a trip to Adelaide last year with my family. Coming back I put my laptop in the checked in baggage (inside a suitcase), probably not a good idea. I carry it on these days. Before boarding an announcement came on that they had to change a wheel or something. This is Adelaide and you can see the plane right outside the windows and I didn't see any wheel changing going on.

    To cut a long story short when I tried to boot up mandrake at home in Melbourne that laptop was flat as a 20 year old leaky dry cell. No way would it show any lights without a power supply.

    Now the airlines tell you not to run your laptop while landing and taking off. Did this laptop run for three hours in the terminal + plane + terminal + my place because some security guy didn't know how to shut down linux?

  • Re:Or Electronics (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrSquirrel (976630) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @07:49AM (#15443455)
    The TSA apparently thought my computer (in an Antec SuperLANboy aluminum case) was a bomb -- they ripped off the heatsink and processor and pulled the video card out of its AGP slot (while it was still screwed in). Not to mention the once-shiny case with an easy-to-see-through side window panel now has tons of scratches and dents on it from them improperly trying to open it (it appears they tried prying it open with a screwdriver -- there are 2 thumb screws on the back [can you say "duhhhh"]). Seems like airport security people are monkeys who couldn't tell a bomb from someone's mom. Still haven't seen any money for it either.
  • Chemistry sets (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sdo1 (213835) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @08:09AM (#15443545) Journal
    It was probably the early '80's or so when I think chemistry sets were at their peak of popularity. I used to get up on Saturday morning, grab my bike, and go yard-sale hunting looking for chemistry sets. In my mind, I figured no one set would give you enough stuff to do anything dangerous, but if I were clever enough to get multiple sets from multiple companies, then maybe I could actually find a good chemical combination that would be more interesting than turning blue looking water to green looking water. On a good day, I could come home with 2 or 3 nearly-complete sets.

    Sadly, I was never able to find a combination that was truly worthy. About the worst I was able to do was to give the bathtub a purple stain that no amount of scrubbing was going to get rid of (and believe me... Mom had me try).

    It is kind of sad to think that my son will probably never do anything similar (of course if he does, I'll smile and my wife will be making him scrub the tub).

    -S
  • by alexhs (877055) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @08:21AM (#15443614) Homepage Journal
    (perhaps China can soon fill this role of a worthy competitor?)

    Perhaps not... All your base allready are belong to them.

    You know that when you see "Made in China" on your typical US product. And they're putting Gremlins in those products, you know.

    That's why US government don't want Lenovo computers. They know that perfectly, but they're hiding the existence of Gremlins to the general public. I fear there's a bigger conspiracy than Roswell here...
  • Re:Awww =( (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hotdiggitydawg (881316) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @08:38AM (#15443698)
    Nice... I remember one of the questions in our chemistry textbooks was something along the lines of "Here is the molecular structure for cocaine. Find three different chemical mechanisms by which it could be synthesized."
  • by BigDogCH (760290) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @08:41AM (#15443714) Journal
    In the last year, I have done a few very fun "mad scientist" things with my siblings (no kids yet). At least once per month I try to come up with something that they won't get at school, or elsewhere. Anything to try and teach them to not fear science.

    We play with dry ice a lot. The kids are young (all around 7), so our projects are often very simple. Just having a pail of water with a few pieces of dry ice in the bottom bubbling up was enough to scare most of the neighbors and adult family members. They think I am endangering everyones lives. Luckily my elementary teacher wife explains to them all that everything is fine (in terms most of them can understand)

    Last week we played with borax and elmers glue. It makes for some fun textures. They are a bit young to fully grasp some concepts of what is happening on a molecular level, but I think they do get the general idea (I like Lego analogies).

    Now that summer is here, we can probably do some fun stuff outside. Maybe blow up some pop bottles with dry ice. Hopefully I don't end up in guantanamo considering it is now classified as a terrorist weapon. Lucky for me, my stay at guantanamo can be endless and without a trial! Wahoo....life in prison for playing with liquid c02!!!!

    Anyone have any other simple, cheap, and education little home ideas (for my crew targetted at age 7-10, though anything would be nice)?
  • Re:good morning ! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JTorres176 (842422) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @08:43AM (#15443729) Homepage
    You've seen their site, right? Radioactive isotopes, burning lasers, uranium, heavy water.... is this what you expect high school science teachers are buying, and Mom and Dad put in little Timmy's chemistry set?

    These people aren't selling black powder and aluminum shavings to make fireworks, they're selling some serious shit that I don't necessarily want my neighbor to have mail-order access to, thank you very much. If they want to shut down people who sell potentially deadly materials without a system in place to verify identity, I'd say that's not exactly limiting my freedoms, but protecting my life.
  • by mmarlett (520340) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @08:45AM (#15443738)
    In this same vein, I came across a torrent for a great book just a few days ago (perhaps on Boing Boing): 1960's "The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments" [mininova.org] -- which is a phenomenal read. It's just what it sounds like: a children's chemistry text book. But it tells you how to do all the basic science that freaks out the government. It's an interesting slice of the era, too. It's all "yea, pesticides" and the nuclear future. It is, apparently, the book that inspired that kid in California to try to build his own breeder nuclear reactor.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @08:49AM (#15443765) Homepage
    I view this with great alarm.

    One of the things that has bothered me for a long time is that educators and policy-makers don't seem to understand the crucial educational role of unstructured, unsupervised, childrens' activity, from, say, about age 7 to 14.

    Teachers think they're doing the teaching, when really they're building on a foundation that the child has laid on his- or her-own. You have to develop the readiness yourself Only when you're interested in something and have tried to figure it out for yourself and failed, are you ready to absorb "the answer."

    This applies to all fields, of course. Athletics coaches can't do much for a kid who didn't spend hundreds and hundreds of hours in the backyard tenaciously pitching a baseball over and over and over and over and over again.

    But it's particularly true in the sciences.

    A lot of the stuff kids do is dangerous and would be frowned on if adults really knew what they were doing. When I crushed vacuum tubes in bench vises, I could have cut myself on the broken glass or got something in my eye. God only knows what that sticky goop was--sort of combined the properties of Vaseline and rubber cement--that was inside some potted telephone transformers my buddy and I opened. We used to throw it at each other because it was so darned hard to get off.

    Even the stuff that is not dangerous, at the exploratory stage seems so non-educational and misguided that no supervising adult would be let a kid pursue it. I read the explanations of how a transistor worked in "Popular Electronics." From everything I read, it seemed to me that, well, a transistor was just two diodes back-to-back, right? And, well, a battery was basically like a diode, right? (Wrong, of course, but at a certain age it seems plausible. I mean it made current flow in one direction, right?) Like an alchemist or a perpetual-motion inventor, I spent literally weeks tinkering with 1.5-volt batteries connected plus-to-plus with 9-volt transistor radio batteries, adding resistors and so forth, and trying to get my lashups to amplify. I was certain that I was on the brink of a new discovery and that I was about to get it to work any day now. I even had a name for it. I was going to be the inventor that gave the world the "Chemistor."

    I probably learned more NOT getting my "Chemistor" to work than I did building Heathkits which did work.

    A few months ago NPR was doing a restrospective of "Fresh Air" interviews, and Terry Gross was interviewing Grandmaster Flash, the rap artist. Holy cow! He was a nerdy basement tinkerer just like me... sort of. He would prowl the alleys for thrown-out radios and audio gear, and spent a lot of time building his own audio consoles that had the features he needed for what he was doing.

    I often thing the most underrated social injustice is the different self-educational opportunities available to kids who live in a house with a basement versus kids that live in an apartment.

    Biology? I never really "got" biology. Why? Because I was doing my basement tinkering with batteries and wires.

    My wife, well, one day when she was a kid, her mother comes into the kitchen. There is a dead chicken on the kitchen table. There is a bottle of preserving fluid. My wife is using a pair of tweezers and is picking lice off the chicken and dropping them in the bottle. My wife's mother says, "Oh, dear. Sweetie, couldn't you manage to be interested in butterflies instead?"

    My wife, she "gets" biology.
  • Re:Awww =( (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dsci (658278) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @08:54AM (#15443800) Homepage
    Since when is sulfuric acid 'regulated?' It's the most used industrical chemical in existence, and I can get all I want from autoparts stores (or car batteries themselves). I've ordered cases of the concentrated stuff from suppliers and never had to fill out a form (though it has been a few years since I've done so).
  • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @09:07AM (#15443900) Journal
    I don't know how is the trend on the other side of the Atlantic, but here, in Paris, last time I went to a Fnac (a bookshop akin to Virgin Megastore, with less music and more books) asking for a mathbook (had to re-read some courses) I was given a strange look and redirected toward the 'science' books, in the 'philosophy' shelves. Gaaah!
  • Say what? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @09:11AM (#15443920) Homepage
    A multipurpose tool is being restricted for its potential use in illegal activities? Now where have I heard that before...?
    Oh right, every slashdot article ever.

    Bittorrent is not evil.
    Chemistry sets are not evil.
    Guns are not evil.
    Network analyzers are not evil.
  • by OldChemist (978484) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @09:14AM (#15443945)
    Yes, I made gunpowder. Went to the local drug store as a nine year old and got the stuff. Not sure if the pharmacist even knew what I was up to... Also threw calcium carbide in a paint can of water and set off. Boom! Played with benzene, mercury, and God knows what else. Gilbert chemistry set had a lot of interesting stuff in it. BUT - this was probably not a good thing, and I certainly wouldn't want kids doing this nowadays, given what I know about safety and missing body parts. HOWEVER - all is not lost. It is very possible to do things with "kitchen chemistry" type experiments. Inks (water soluble) can be chromatographed on paper towels. Lipstick (sic) can be chromatographed (components separated) on napkins... (There is an interesting story in Primo Levi's The Periodic Table about this.) So the bottom line is that clever highschool teacher science wannabes have to learn how to make the excitement of science clear to students by using a little ingenuity and thought about safer way to do this than in the good/bad old days.
  • Great Article (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 01, 2006 @09:27AM (#15444033)
    Reminds me of my youth!

    I think throwing around the terms like 'terrorist' and 'drug lab' are the only way to foist these 'laws' on the population. Every generation starting in about the 60's has had similar buz-words.

    The bottom-line problem in America is that we have become a nation that attempts to legislate stupidity (we aren't alone). Next time you read or hear about the enforcement of a law, ask yourself, "what stupid behavior is this law attempting to prevent stupid people from doing to themselves?" We routinely ban behaviors because 1-2% of the people that do it are injured. The stupid are protected and the rest of us are denied legitimate fun, learning, and teaching opportunities.
  • by cubes (152204) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @09:37AM (#15444106)
    The Fireworks Foundation [fireworksfoundation.org] is working to preserve hobbyist pyrotechnics, including funding legal defense against the CPSC in their efforts to restrict chemical sales.


    The Fireworks Foundation is an organization devoted to the preservation of the fireworks hobby.

    The primary purpose is to ensure, in perpetuity, the existence of hobbyist fireworks and clubs by:

    1) Funding the necessary legal defense, both civil and criminal, to protect and preserve our rights and privileges under existing law.

    2) To fund, create and develop teaching, outreach and training programs in pyrotechnic operator instructions and in seminars and publications on related topics.

    3) To be of aid and assistance to fireworks clubs in time of need.

    4) To work with individuals, governmental entities, business entities and communities as needed to further the cause of hobbyist pyrotechnics.


    If you want to preserve your ability to purchase chemicals (whether for pyro or some other use) without a federal explosives manufacturing license, please consider a donation to this organization.
  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @09:54AM (#15444278) Journal
    Why is that?? I believe it is because colleges have to compete with each other.

    Maybe that is a factor. The larger factors are 1) Generally folks in college want to be in college. If a person doens't like school, he generally won't enroll in college, or will get himself flunked out quickly. 2) With college, it is your money, coming out of your pocket in many cases. My experience hass been that students who are paying their own way outperform (as a whole) over those who have mommy and daddy paying their way (as a whole). Competition, in my mind, is a tetrary reason for colleges getting a bigger bang for the buck.
  • Re:Or Electronics (Score:5, Interesting)

    by courtarro (786894) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @09:57AM (#15444318) Homepage
    It makes you wonder what their real goal was, given the guise of "we think it might have been a bomb". If you really think something in a mysterious (to you) box is a bomb, why on earth would you pry it open and start pulling things apart, clearly with no real understanding about electronic devices?

    If your job is to open things up and find bombs, then what's stopping you from simply opening up everything, even if every common sense bone in your body says "this is a legitimate product, not a bomb"? After all, this is just some traveller's crap, not mine. The whole thing reaks of undertrained staff who are not properly overseen and managed, and who have no deterrent from their superiors against unnecessary searches.

    Then again I think it's possible that they do this sort of thing as retaliation against travellers who confuse them; as punishment for people who try to travel with devices that they can't understand. They're subtly saying "if you want to be different, which makes our job more complicated, we're going to make your life more complicated. This guy thinks he's hot snot and probably makes more than me - I'll show him."

  • by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @10:16AM (#15444481) Journal
    I still remember hauling a new US Robotics modem in my luggage when I was in college. Can't say I remember why, but there you go, I'm hauling a modem through the airport. Now those modems back then weren't the kind of funky plastic boxes you get nowadays. This particular one was a sleek black steel box with LEDs and a switch.

    Let's just say that not only I got pulled to the side and asked to explain what that thing is. Then I hauled by the police to some machine that, as far as I can guess, was a sorta giant vaccuum cleaner supposed to "smell" explosives. Scared me silly first, because the way it was mounted and the way it sounded, it looked uncannily like one of those vertical drills. I thought they were going to drill a hole in my new modem.

    And if by now you're just about ready to start lamenting the US ignorance and post-9/11 terrorism paranoia... this was Germany, several years before 9/11.
  • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @10:17AM (#15444497)

    It's almost funny, reading this article and the comments today. Here in the UK, the media are making a big thing about knife crime just now, after a couple of high-profile stabbings. The comments in the forums on places like BBC News are full of people saying we should raise jail sentences for carrying/using/killing with a knife (what, again?) and other similar knee-jerk reactions. Those suggesting looking at why we have such a problem (and indeed whether we really do or it's just media hype) make up a small minority of those posting comments, as do those suggesting that there may be a better answer and proposing a response other than much harsher penalties for those caught in posession of or using a knife.

    I see clear parallels there with the discussions about home chemistry, and for that matter with discussions about writing computer programs for various purposes often mentioned in these parts.

    It's sad. We used to tell kids about being responsible, teaching them that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should, and disciplining those who abused their freedoms at others' expense. Then we'd know that most people would grow up to be responsible adults, and focus on those that weren't. These days, it's more about telling people they can't do something in the first place, and imposing draconian penalties if they even think about trying.

    We never used to deny people opportunities to learn about things and enjoy them for their own sake, just because they had some small potential for abuse. I remember being inspired at around the age of 14 by a public presentation at a local university, explaining how fireworks were made. I went along with my dad - a scientist himself by trade - and he found it interesting as well. I went on to study chemistry for several years.

    But today, that sort of thing is probably frowned upon. I drive a car that can go very fast, so obviously I'm a dangerous driver and need five speed cameras to check up on me on the way to work. (And yet friends who ride with me often describe me as one of the safest drivers they know, and I've never been so much as pulled over by a police car in over a decade of driving.) I've spent much of my life studying various martial arts, and lost count of how many ways I know to seriously injure or kill someone, so perhaps I should go register myself as a lethal weapon. (And yet the last involvement I had with a mugging was giving first aid to the victim afterwards - something I'm also trained to do.) Post-Dunblane, a friend of mine who used to shoot for sport had to give up his Olympic-style pistols and his hobby. (And yet, he never fired a gun outside a supervised range in his life, while gun crime in general has gone up since the ban.) You get the idea.

    What happened to everyone having freedoms and taking personal responsibility for exercising them in an ethical way? I'm not sure whether it's big brother, the nanny state, or some bastard child of both, but whatever it is, I liked society better the old way.

  • Re:Or Electronics (Score:5, Interesting)

    by erroneus (253617) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @10:54AM (#15444914) Homepage
    Speaking as a prior TSA screener, I must say I am only a little surprised, though, surprised just the same.

    Procedures call for opening and searching baggage. Equipment is tested only on the outside and if an alarm cannot be resolved the situation is escallated to someone who can make further decisions on the matter. Dismantling equipment is NOT part of TSA training or instruction. That said, I don't recall that they are instructed to NOT do that either. I think perhaps making them understand a list of things NOT to do would be pretty effective in such situations.

    The personalities of the people in TSA are quite varied but I tend to limit them to a few categories:

    1. I just want a government job [so I don't have to work...] AKA I don't really care

    These people are the least threatening to property, freedom or anything else. They don't care. Not much more to say about it than that.

    2. I'm a patriot and I'm the first line of defense against terrorism!

    These people are confusing "first line" with "most important line." The TSA, at least as far as airport security is concerned, should act only as a loose filter to help ensure air travel safety. These people really think they are searching for Bin Laden in baggage and in people's pockets! "Overzealous" would be the best words to describe these people. The most positive thing I could say about them is that they would do their job for free.

    3. Wannabe Cop!

    This is a separate category from the #2 group in that they look at everyone as if they were a criminal with criminal intent. They wear their cloth badges and patches with pride and only feel weakened by not be allowed to wear a firearm. If they were qualified to actually BE a cop, they would... so we already know they have some inherent deficiencies that would disqualify them from actually BEING a cop. Let your imagination go wild and you're still probably not too far from the truth where it comes to their psychological disposition.

    4. I'm just doing this because I can't get any other jobs

    I was a member of this category. I did my job. I did it as well as I could under the circumstances. I mostly just followed rules and tried to mind my own business... I learned to do this only after I attempted to assert myself when I saw things that were "wrong" for correction and failed. After learning how pointless it is, I continued my job search and eventually got back into my career. I knew a lot of people in the same boat back then.

    Now as far as personal property damage and such, I have to say that it's not as common as you're making it out to be. However, you do need to keep escallating the issue if it's important to you. There is always someone higher to contact about the issue until, frankly, they are tired of hearing from you and will eventually resolve the situation to your satisfaction. I don't know how the denial of claims is determined only because I've never seen a denial before.

    It also helps to question them about their documented procedures. They will claim that their procedures are not available for public disclosure. That's essentially true. But if you catch them in a lie, you've got some leverage. You can ask specific questions about whether or not something they did was part of standard operating procedure or not. They will either confirm or deny whether it's part of procedure... you might have to press the issue. I'd be a little surprised if they didn't answer the question and resorted to "we can neither confirm nor deny..."

    Good luck to all who reported similar problems. And YES, don't trust valuables to your luggage. That has been true since before the TSA was conceived. Frankly, when I'm travelling overseas and I want to bring some snazzy souvenirs or products home with me, I'd just as soon SHIP it to myself. It's often more reliable and less prone to damage and needless inspection. Plus, there are more definite ways to insure your shipment against theft and damage.
  • by Doug Coulter (754128) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @11:02AM (#15445014) Homepage
    Seems you can't do chemistry anymore. We were the target of "profiling" and had a large team of machine (and other) gun toting guys come and bash the place up. After all, I have money (I run a successful consulting firm from here), am skinny and wired (genetics) and have a chemistry lashup -- must be making Meth, right? Luckily they made so many mistakes that the little weed they did find here was sort of forgotten about -- only cost me a few grand in legal fees to make them see how stupid they'd look on TV, which is evidently where they "learned" their trade. www.coultersmithing.com I'll have the story up there later on. We've become friends with our new masters...DHS has lots of money and sometimes needs consulting help. We ARE on the same side of the street most times. Even BATFE didn't mind our experiments with small amounts of HE once they found out we were OK -- we had the opposite of the Ruby Ridge experience with them. When DEA didn't find the meth lab they expected, we ASKED for the BATFE to make sure we were not doing anything they'd be worried about, and indeed they came a couple of days later for a pleasant chat. It was DEA with the jackboots. The whole time the local cops were shaking their heads -- small town and they knew us already as good guys.
  • No kidding! 10 years ago, I got carded for buying dry ice at a grocery store. Just recently (the past year or so), Red Devil Lye, a staple for home soap makers, has gone missing. Both are purported to be victims of the Neverending War On Drugs. Ditto the behind-the-counter report-too-many-bottles-sold of that cough supressent (robetussin?).

    To be fair, you can still buy dry ice (and usually not get carded) at grocery stores around here, and you can still by pure lye online, but the latter just irritates me. I hate leaving a paper trail for any of my purchases, and leaving one for a "watched" substance bugs the shit out of me. I'm surpirsed goddamned gasoline doesn't require a permit to purchase!

  • by John Courtland (585609) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @11:09AM (#15445092)
    Come on. Uranium is hardly a weapon of mass destruction. Using the logic that since you can kill someone with a specific property of an object, the object should be banned from public use is dumb anyhow. You can kill anyone with anything, as a close example, smoke detectors contain radioactive Americinium. Get enough and not only can you severely poison someone, but you can make an atomic pile. Put that in someone's offie and they will die too. People die, people cause other people to die, welcome to the harsh reality of planet Earth.
  • by Pchelka (805036) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @12:58PM (#15446325)
    I am acquainted with a couple of people who live in rural areas and grow orchids in their basements under lights. This is actually a pretty common practice for hobbyists and professional growers, as basements provide a nice, controlled environment and they are often humid. Apparently, the police have showed up at their homes on more than one occasion because someone in town noticed their basement lights are on nearly 24 hours a day and that they have a huge number of plants down there. Apparently, growing high quality blooming plants to exhibit at shows sponsored by your local garden club is now a suspicious activity, while sneaking around in the bushes and peeping into your neighbor's windows at night is okay.

    If you grow orchids from seeds, you need to have a laboratory setup because the seeds are microscopic and difficult to propagate. You need stuff like an autoclave to sterilize your tools and agar as a growing medium. Sales of some of the tools you need, like flasks in which to start the seedlings, are being restricted now according to the article. I know other people, myself included, who grow orchids in semi-hydroponic media. All perfectly innocent and harmless uses of these materials. I worry that thanks to people who grow other, less innocent plants using these methods, gardening and having houseplants are soon going to be considered criminal activities.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 01, 2006 @01:00PM (#15446344)
    my wife had a cold a few weeks ago and I was shocked when the checkout clerk said I had to show my drivers license to buy cold medicine (anti-meth measure, I assume). not only did I have to show it but they wrote down several pieces of information in a log book. I don't see how this is kosher w/HIPPA (yes, I realize that, like most US laws, is a joke) since it was a highschool kid at the front checkout, not a pharmacist but that's another topic.

    the thing I find interesting about this at this same pharmacy we (wife/I) regularly pick up perscriptions for each other w/o any scrutiny and my aunt even picked up some vicodin for me after a minor surgery a couple months ago. so... you can walk up to the pharmacist, ask for John Doe's vicodin and that's not a problem but try to get out of there w/over the counter cold medicine and it's the Spanish inquisition.

    go figure...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 01, 2006 @01:21PM (#15446543)
    I was thinking more along the lines of

    stop selling bulk circuit boards, instead get a propane torch and remove the logic chips and learn electronics, if you see computers on the side of the road, pick them up, recycle anything, radios, tv's, tubes, chips, power supplies, microwaves, stereos, washers, driers, cars... oh man strip the hell out of cars before you get one towed away, a full car wireing harness is excellent to maintain your current car, and now they have computers under the seats, lightbulbs, led's

    chemistry is dying but old school electronics is dying too, and i used to have one of those metal chemistry sets that you can't get anymore. I do remember watching them become scarce, at one time you could buy them at a sears on christmas

    watch the CODEX that controls what suppliments you get your hands on now.

    food, genetics, alcohol, meat radiated, it's no wonder we are sick and once your sick good luck finding a hospital that you can afford. Not that they would teach anything about diet. not that the fda or ama would care about that, just big corporate patents and secret backroom deals. part of the problem is the cry baby mom and pop that has to have a lawsuit for everything, so the government perfected the courts to feed their gameplan, it wasn't the parents fault really it was a combination of their brainwashing, and the system setup to over-react with sweeping chilling effects. However these new parents need to be more educated before allowing these things morph into self-fulfilling prophesies. now electronics is into your voting booths, and you've been told they have serious problems, how do we fix it? by buying more of them and making them more secret, more vulnerable, instead, a pad of paper really would be cheaper and more secure!

    government into everything there is to CONTROL YOUR LIFE
    this shit has got to be stopped

  • Crazy old Lazar (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PhotoGuy (189467) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @02:34PM (#15447317) Homepage
    Odd that the Wired article (and no /. comments so far), have commented on Bob Lazar's [wikipedia.org] colourful history.

    He's the dude that claimed to have reverse engineered UFO's at Area 51, and claimed to have advanced degrees from MIT and CIT (which no one can substantiate). He's on all the UFO conspiracy shows.

    A colourful character for sure, and a go-getter, but anything coming form him seems that it might be taken with a grain of salt (errr, sodium chloride).

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken

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