mm182: It’s Chemistry, baby!

November 1, 2007

MUDGE’S Musings

Newest member of the L-HC blogroll is The 12 Angry Men Blog, a very much more accomplished, established and widely read (no gimmicks — it’s on merit!) fellow WordPress resident. With their hoped for indulgence, I reference a recent article I found there.

The post in question was particularly timely, as literally just the other day I was thinking about chemistry sets as I perused a wonderful toy catalog seeking out gift ideas for the official grandchildren of MUDGE and his better 7/8. (More below about the catalog and site.)

I distinctly remember musing: a chemistry set — together with a slightly better than toy-like microscope, the source of countless hours of education and entertainment during my own childhood — is it too soon to think about it for my (totally objective evaluation here) genius seven year old grandson?

No chemistry set. In a catalog full of really interesting and educational toys and games.

Angry Political Optimist fit the pieces in place for me, and when I encountered the post today it was a true forehead-slapping moment. Of course (slap!).

What grabbed me originally was the reference to the buzzword of the month, Islamofascism, as noted in this space last week.

But it’s so logical.

12angrymenblog

Endangered Species – The Chemistry Set

What do Islamofascism, methamphetamine production, tort lawyers, and homemade fireworks have in common? The answer is that they are all part of the seemingly inevitable process of destroying the childhood Chemistry Set. A.C. Gilbert, in 1918 was titled the “Man who Saved Christmas” with his innovative ideas of packaging a few glass tubes and some common chemicals into starter kits that enabled a generation to learn the joy of experimentation, and the basis for the scientific method of thought.

Go ahead and read the post on site — there’s even a terrific shot of a couple of classic chemistry sets.

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

Endangered Species – The Chemistry Set « The 12 Angry Men Blog

MUDGE does not often wax nostalgic for his childhood. It wasn’t idyllic, but not overall bad. It was the fifties and early sixties, one had plenty of toys and games, but few that stick in memory as well as that chemistry set and microscope. And I learned.

I’m not a scientist by any means and I don’t play one on TV (a seventies reference for you, free of charge). But I work in an organization that performs science and I like to think that the fact I can understand even 2% (now who’s the optimist?) of what goes on is a credit to that chemistry set of my childhood. I give no credit at all to my high school chemistry classes — they weren’t speaking my language at all.

So the fact that I can’t do much for my seven year old, or later on for his now four year old sister, chemistry education/entertainment wise, is disappointing.

Another saddening symbol of the decline of our way of life, as exacerbated over the past seven years by the neocon religious fanatics who control our government.

Thanks, Angry Political Optimist at The 12 Angry Men Blog. You made a connection that makes sense, and that doesn’t happen every day. Your site will be a regular read from now on.

And the toy store? It’s called toys et cetera, and undaunted by the lack of chemistry sets we did some holiday business there this week. Worth checking out, in my opinion. And I emphasize that no commercial relationship exists — this is simply a worthy small business fighting for its life in shark-infested (big box infested) retail waters.

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE

Note!: the link to toys et cetera used above is for the convenience of faithful reader and represents no commercial relationship whatsoever. Left-Handed Complement should be so fortunate as to ever collect remuneration of any kind for this endeavor. I can link, so I link. It’s technology. It’s cool. Deal with it.