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Everything posted by nitroglycol

  1. Interesting; I can't think of any examples of saltwater amphibians either. There were definitely oceans, though. Probably they evolved from freshwater fish for some other reason. Maybe freshwater habitats test their inhabitants more and thus are more likely to produce a lot of evolutionary changes of all sorts, or maybe it was just that the land was there waiting for something to take advantage, and it just ended up being a freshwater species that took advantage. I'm inclined to believe the former, though, because it isn't just amphibians; very few insects live in salt water either.
  2. Presumably decomposers would use gelatinase on animal remains. Just a guess.
  3. I knew someone who said she once did some of that stuff at a friend's place, and her friend went to bed. She went down to the basement, where she eventually intended to sleep, but was unable to do so, so she sat up reading for quite some time. Some time later, she decided to try again to go to sleep, and reached to turn off the light... only to discover that it was already off. Upon discovering this, her brain realized that since the basement was pitch dark, all that she had seen was a hallucination... and suddenly she couldn't see anything. Presumably she had to reread the parts she had "read" as well. And now that I think of it, I recall an interview with the congenitally blind Joe Engressia (aka Joybubbles) in which he reminisced about taking LSD and having auditory hallucinations of aircraft dive-bombing him. No visuals though (at least none he was able to describe as such).
  4. In this article, about a sociologist's predictions for the future, I found this claim: Now, given that tuberculosis is a bacterial disease, I'm not sure how this is supposed to work. But maybe a non-sociologist like me can't understand these things.
  5. Nah, that's kiddie stuff. I'd be much more worried if someone said "How much gelatin would I have to wrap a kilo of caesium in so as to keep it dry when submerged for half an hour?"
  6. Absolutely. Probably the best approach would be to evaporate the water and bring the waste in as a solid. Perhaps you could even dump the solid in a half-empty paint can and take it to your local HHW depot.
  7. I thought Bolivia was also landlocked? Sounds about right to me. Maybe the ones on smaller cars are a bit less; I don't know. It's been a while since I actually picked one up, but they are heavy, and presumably most of that weight is lead rather than the plastic casing, the terminals, or the electrolyte. I don't see why they shouldn't be worthwhile to have a go at. The best kind to use would be the kind with the caps that you have to refill every so often (do they even sell those anymore?) And since they're heavy, pouring it out would not be the best approach (ever try to hold something that heavy in one place for the time it would take?) What I'd do, if I were going to do it (so far I haven't, so keep that in mind) is to first add [ce]NaHCO3[/ce] slowly (i.e. not so fast that the stuff foams too much out of the battery, and I'd remove all caps before doing this) until it's neutralized, then empty the battery by inverting it over a basin to catch the waste. It is likely to contain lead; dispose of it accordingly. That might take a while, but the most difficult part of the operation might well be breaking open the case; those things are solidly made (with good reason). (horrible thread drift) I saw the Jim Rose Circus in Winnipeg, in 1997 or thereabouts, and one of Mr. Lifto's routines involved attaching the terminals of a car battery by chains to separate piercings in his tongue and standing up, lifting the battery off the ground.
  8. Most dangerous stuff I've used was probably 31% HCl or solid NaOH (ok, pretty mild compared to some of the stuff listed above). I've seen way worse things, though, at a hazardous waste transfer station I worked at a few years ago. We got all kinds of lab packs coming in, often packed by non-experts (who else would have put white phosphorus, which has to be stored in water, in the same pack as metallic sodium?) Besides those things we got concentrated mineral acids fairly often, other nasty inorganic compounds ([ce]Na2S[/ce] comes to mind, though I think there were some cyanide salts at one point too) and flammable and toxic solvents (pyridine, for instance). Probably the worst I saw there was a bottle of HF (37% I think). Didn't open that bottle at all, though; we repacked it in a special lab pack of its own and shipped it off to parts unknown.
  9. Q: Why do the English drink warm beer? A: Because they have Lucas fridges!
  10. I know that these serve to transfer electrons from cytosolic NADH to the respiratory chain. I also know that the malate shuttle generates NADH in the mitochondrion, while the glycerol phosphate shuttle generates FADH2, meaning that cells that use the malate shuttle will get more ATP from a molecule of glucose than those that use the glycerol phosphate shuttle. What nobody's been able to explain to me, though, is why any cells use the glycerol phosphate shuttle at all. (And yes, I know that different cells in the same organism use different shuttles). Is it a problem with enzyme regulation perhaps?
  11. I don't think I've ever seen the Newton notation used, actually- just the Leibniz and Lagrange notations.
  12. According to the Wikipedia page referenced above, the colour of a copper flame is variable, dependent on whether or not the copper compound is a halide.
  13. Heck, I'm in my late thirties and still have the same problem. As regards the book, one message rang out loud and clear: I'm nowhere near as smart as Penrose. I was reading a bit, jumping back, trying the exercises, and generally feeling confused. Penrose is a good writer, but the material is really damn tough, and I've set the book down for now in favour of chemistry books (which I have a much easier time with).
  14. I recall reading somewhere that while gallium is generally benign, it is handled with particular care when being transported by air. The problem is, if it were sitting in a hot plane on a tarmac for a few hours, and wasn't properly contained, it could melt and start to alloy with the fuselage skin, creating a weak spot which could have spectacular results when the aircraft is pressurized at high altitude.
  15. Well, actually they're not mild at all, weight for weight; it's just that the amounts are tiny compared to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
  16. Well, I guess it would be using gravity if the electricity used to produce the hydrogen were produced with a hydroelectric plant... I wouldn't say it's garbage, but it's got a long way to go before it's practical for everyday uses. One proposal is to use solar and/or wind energy (or hydroelectric, nuclear, or what have you) to electrolyze water and ship hydrogen via pipeline. Maintaining a good seal would be essential, though, and extremely difficult. Not only would leaks be expensive and possibly dangerous, they might be a new source of trouble for the ozone layer, at least according to this article. Furthermore, the most obvious source of water would be the sea, and electrolysis of seawater would produce lots of chlorine- which would be problematic to say the least.
  17. Suppose you were to electrolyze HCl solution with a gold anode. Would that work?
  18. 1. A (yes) 2. B (element) 3. Can't answer (is that cents per litre? US gallon?) 4. B (evaporation) 5. B or D (solar or wind) (note- this question is misleading, since hydrogen would have to be produced by one of these things anyway) 6. Can't answer (see my comments to question 3) 7. No (once in place) 8. B (a little less) 37/M
  19. I always found that one funny, but yeah, it's technically true. One definition of a strong acid is any acid with a pKa greater than that of the hydronium ion (-1.74).
  20. For some places, nuclear may well be the way to go. For others it's not. In addition to the concerns about accidents and waste, there is another major problem with nuclear- it's expensive to build and run a plant, and even getting one up and running takes a long time. The same money could buy huge numbers of windmills and solar panels in much less time. Of course, the major problem with windmills and solar panels is storing the energy (large numbers of batteries are really expensive, and some kinds present significant disposal problems when they reach the end of their service life). However, on a grid that has a lot of hydroelectric plants, you have a ready-made solution- you close the sluices of the dams when you're getting a lot of sun and/or wind, then if you need more power later you can tap the extra head you've been building up while the sluices were closed. So in some places (in Canada, for instance, this should be doable in Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec, at least) we shouldn't need to build any additional nuclear plants (though there's little point in shutting down existing plants). However, not everywhere has enough hydroelectric capacity for this to work. In places like that, additional nuclear plants may indeed have to be built to meet energy needs without burning significant amounts of fossil fuels.
  21. Nicely done! As a teenager, I tried to make an electrolysis cell by melting holes in the bottom of a plastic peanut butter jar and epoxying carbon electrodes into there so you could invert a test tube over each and collect the gases. Unfortunately, something (either the electrode itself or the epoxy) was porous enough that when I tried electrolyzing salt, the chlorine produced was able to seep through to attack the copper wire attached to the anode. The wire was weakened enough that it broke when handled.
  22. I was referring to the specific molecule shown in bascule's post. Lysergic acid diethylamide is, well, an amide of lysergic acid. Thing is, lysergic acid is also a tertiary amine, thanks to the nitrogen in the top right of the picture; the acid itself would form a zwitterion in solution like amino acids do. And when you inactivate the acidic part of the molecule by forming an amide, you leave the basic part of the molecule intact. The result is that LSD acts as a base, not an acid; its conjugate acid would be the above molecule with that nitrogen protonated.
  23. There's also Home Science Tools, who will send you a free catalogue if you request one online. Since you're in the US, you can order anything in the catalogue; unfortunately for foreigners like me they will not export most of the chemicals in the catalogue. The only thing is, it's aimed at homeschoolers, and at the back of the catalogue are a whole bunch of "educational" books from Bob Jones University Press. If you live in the US and are not worried about giving your money to some fundie whackos, there's some good deals to be found there, at least on equipment. Chemicals are sold in small quantities with what look to me like big markups (why pay $3 for 30 g of sodium carbonate, when your local grocery store will sell you a hundred times that much for the same price?) However, they do have plenty of neat chemicals that you won't find in a typical store.
  24. Not the same kind of lattice as sodium chloride, though. Salt crystals are ionic; diamonds (and graphite, for that matter) are covalent, so they could be viewed as giant molecules, though the article I linked seems to be less than keen on describing them as such:
  25. That's not what it says here: Emphasis mine. I realize Wikipedia is not the last word, but this is consistent with what I've read elsewhere. Now, there is a situation where the term "molecule" is used in a looser sense, according to the same article: However, this has little relevance to the topic at hand.
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