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Thread: Bunsen & Beaker

  1. #1 Bunsen & Beaker 
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    I sometimes come across references to "Bunsen & Beaker" when browsing threads here...usually the names are invoked with some trepidation, and a healthy amount of gloom and doom. I was wondering if someone could give me a quick run-down of this little bit of forum history ? I am really just curious as to what transpired...

    Thanks in advance !


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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    (In)Sanity, the founder and original owner of the site, sold it to two gentlemen, Bunsen and Beaker. These two treated many (most (all)) of the established, quality members like shit. I recall being told words to the effect, "your opinion doesn't matter to us, and your contributions to the forum are irrelevant." A significant number of members left at this point and established a new forum. B & B then sold the site to the present owner who took a quite different stance and won back the majority of the departed members. It was a nasty time, but interesting.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    (In)Sanity, the founder and original owner of the site, sold it to two gentlemen, Bunsen and Beaker. These two treated many (most (all)) of the established, quality members like shit. I recall being told words to the effect, "your opinion doesn't matter to us, and your contributions to the forum are irrelevant." A significant number of members left at this point and established a new forum. B & B then sold the site to the present owner who took a quite different stance and won back the majority of the departed members. It was a nasty time, but interesting.
    Interesting, thank you. What was that "new forum" you referred to ? Is it still in existence ? Again, this just out of curiosity...

    I am also curious as to how this forum finances itself ( hosting, domain registration etc etc - who pays for this ? ) ?
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    I vaguely remember the change of ownership and these two names, but I was not very active in posting back then. I do however recall there being a thread where the exchanges were rather heated if memory serves me well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Interesting, thank you. What was that "new forum" you referred to ? Is it still in existence ? Again, this just out of curiosity...
    I think the "new forum" is the .org site. I'm a member over there as well but it's generally very quiet...

    I did not know that there was another site with the same name but with a different extension.
    After I gave it a quick glance, I came to the conclusion that this site has a more beautiful lay-out.
    About the quality of its content, that is something I cannot say anything about.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Bunsen and Beaker were IT guys, and they were good at it. They moved the forum database from an older software to the current forum software we use now. They were like bulls in a china shop when dealing with the membership, though and did a lot of things to aggravate people. I don't think they did it on purpose, they just had no idea how people would react to what they did. They soon re-sold the forum for a profit. Maybe that was their intent all along, or perhaps they realized they were alienating too many members.

    The new forum that spun off had the same name as this one, except with a dot org. I don't know how that forum is doing nowadays.
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  8. #7  
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    Thanks guys

    I don't know how that forum is doing nowadays.
    I was never aware of the existence of that spin-off forum; just had a look at it, and I noticed that there are a few members there who were banned here, or left of their own accord. An interesting bit of trivia
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  9. #8  
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    I'd assumed Bunsen & Beaker flipped this over at a loss, because of the mutiny and exodus. Anyway I hear the new owner has no cares for money.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    just had a look at it, and I noticed that there are a few members there who were banned here, or left of their own accord. An interesting bit of trivia
    indeed - beggars can't be choosers
    the .org site was a good alternative under the B&B days (especially if, like me, you were given a connection from hell for being too vocal), but under the current regime it probably has less of a raison-d'être
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  11. #10  
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    Two fine posters who, I believe, have never posted here again are DrRocket (major hard case) and iNow.
    I don't think the good Doctor still posts on the .org site either, but, of course, there are a number of other Internet forums dealing with science subjects.
    I suppose one, or both, could be active here under different names.
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  12. #11  
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    iNow is active on a couple of fora. I believe Dr. Rocket 'threw a wobbly' at the .org forum and has not been sighted since.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Two fine posters who, I believe, have never posted here again are DrRocket (major hard case) and iNow.
    I don't think the good Doctor still posts on the .org site either, but, of course, there are a number of other Internet forums dealing with science subjects.
    I suppose one, or both, could be active here under different names.
    Another thing that I think led to the spinoff was that some members (including the two mentioned) thought we were too lenient with fringe posters and crackpots. Often, they would take it upon themselves to berate such members, and that led to some conflict sometimes. I think they did make some effort to weed out the fringe posters from the .org site, more so than we have traditionally done here.
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    The following thread should provide a decent synopsis of some of the concerned events; New Admin's Introduction
    DrRocket is a hard case, but a damn useful one. I haven't been able to find an active post of his in any forum I know about that is dated this year. He has been in to look at this site in June of this year. I think I'll try a few methods of messaging the Doc.
    Amazing that it's been like two years since that Bunsen\Beaker crap.

    Added material;
    Yeah, Doc did throw a "wobbly", I don't hold it against him though. Normal eccentricity for his caliber of academic.
    The .org site hasn't ever really got many cranks. We're short serious physics and maths geeks. As far as I know, the only person ever banned has been the Doc.
    Last edited by GiantEvil; October 11th, 2013 at 01:12 PM.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    The following thread should provide a decent synopsis of some of the concerned events; New Admin's Introduction
    DrRocket is a hard case, but a damn useful one. I haven't been able to find an active post of his in any forum I know about that is dated this year. He has been in to look at this site in June of this year. I think I'll try a few methods of messaging the Doc.
    Amazing that it's been like two years since that Bunsen\Beaker crap.

    Added material;
    Yeah, Doc did throw a "wobbly", I don't hold it against him though. Normal eccentricity for his caliber of academic.
    The .org site hasn't ever really got many cranks. We're short serious physics and maths geeks. As far as I know, the only person ever banned has been the Doc.
    Don't forget Futilitist. What a buffoon.

    To be honest, I was a bit miffed that some long standing members so easily abandoned this forum, except where no alternative was available. Bunsen and Beaker did some damage, sure, but in the end I feel we are still standing strongly and, as always are in dire need of knowledgeable people in a variety of fields who are willing to share their expertise with the scientifically curious, such as myself.

    Sure, this forum has a (much) larger share of cranks, but that is what you expect from a site with quite a high profile. We as mods do our best to keep the cranks out of the main sections. Cranks in the Trash or Pseudoscience sections is not a detriment to this forum, as they are clearly sectioned off appropriately. We continue to ask for members to feel free to report any issues they find are problematic.

    In the end, this forum's purpose is to provide an arena where people can share ideas (in the appropriate sections), where interesting subjects can be discussed and where you can learn a great deal about people in general. I have personally learned a GREAT deal on this forum, as I am sure many others have. Forums like these are very important IMO.

    I am convinced that providing a nurturing environment for the curious benefits humanity at large, and I don't think I am being overly grandiose here. This is not just a place where people can come to satiate their egos, it is a place that exists in the spirit of a community in awe of nature and our place in it. I am proud to be a part of that.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    i just happened to read back to the events of the time as they unfolded - at the time of the take-over i created a facebook group Concerned for the Science Forum, which was initially was harping on about the glitches when we moved to the new forum software, but which quickly turned into a querilla commentary against Bunsen & Beaker (or Napoleon and Snowball, as i used to call them)

    anyone with access to facebook should be able to read it
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    i just happened to read back to the events of the time as they unfolded - at the time of the take-over i created a facebook group Concerned for the Science Forum, which was initially was harping on about the glitches when we moved to the new forum software, but which quickly turned into a querilla commentary against Bunsen & Beaker (or Napoleon and Snowball, as i used to call them)

    anyone with access to facebook should be able to read it
    Yes, and they tracked you down and found out about it somehow, then demoted you from your moderator position. Which I thought was kind of vindictive, but I didn't know you called them Napoleon and Snowball. Lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Don't forget Futilitist. What a buffoon.
    At the risk of appearing iniquitous, I appreciate the opportunity to harangue the occasional crank. Partaking in a socially normalized round of abuse is quite gratifying. Of course such methods should only be unleashed on the truly deserving. I also greatly value reasoned discourse, which can only be achieved with non-cranks.
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    still, it's not much of a discussion if everyone is on the same wavelength and oh so bloody agreeable
    you need some disagreement - but maybe not too much of it - for a forum to be truly alive
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  20. #19  
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    throw a "wobbly" ??
    explain please
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    throw a "wobbly" ??
    explain please

    It is an informal British and Australian expression.
    According to the Free Dictionary: to suddenly become very angry.
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    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    throw a "wobbly" ??
    explain please
    DrRocket was a forum bully plain and simple. He sported an angry bear avatar and he had a whole group of people that followed his every lead when it came to picking on others. In the simplest terms he was a real asshole that chased away new members with his attitude.

    Anyway that's how I interpret "wobbly" One of his favorite things to say about what others had to say was that's nothing but "word salad".

    I did read some of his stuff after he moved to the other forum and he changed his avatar to a softer look and feel and his posts were kept more to subject matter and less personal attacks on people and it was quite good. Had he been like that in this forum, he could have been a lot more respected for his knowledge.
    Last edited by Bad Robot; October 11th, 2013 at 04:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    throw a "wobbly" ??
    explain please
    DrRocket was a forum bully plain and simple. He sported an angry bear avatar and he had a whole group of people that followed his every lead when it came to picking on others. In the simplest terms he was a real asshole that chased away new members with his attitude.

    Anyway that's how I interpret "wobbly" One of his favorite things to say about what others had to say was that's nothing but "word salad".

    I did read some of his stuff after he moved to the other forum and he changed his avatar to a softer look and feel and his posts were kept more to subject matter and less personal attacks on people and it was quite good. Had he been like that in this forum, he could have been a lot more respected for his knowledge.

    I think you're wrong to call him an asshole. Who bullied and chased away new members. I got some stick off him for not accepting that .999... = 1.0, put it didn't scare me away, only showed me how accepted this idea is. He was very informative and gave me plenty of great links in my limited discourse with him. You should show his like more respect if you prefer a science forum to a samaritans forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    still, it's not much of a discussion if everyone is on the same wavelength and oh so bloody agreeable
    you need some disagreement - but maybe not too much of it - for a forum to be truly alive
    I don't agree.
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    I recall in DrRocket's time regular members often formed football huddles to plan their defense against stupid. DrRocket advocated a system of barriers and gibbets, against the tide of unredeemable dunces he so gallantly hacked down. I can't help noticing we've none of that since his time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Another thing that I think led to the spinoff was that some members (including the two mentioned) thought we were too lenient with fringe posters and crackpots. Often, they would take it upon themselves to berate such members, and that led to some conflict sometimes. I think they did make some effort to weed out the fringe posters from the .org site, more so than we have traditionally done here.
    One of the fringe posters was DrRocket. While his expertise in physics and math were unquestioned, he was horribly uninformed about much of the rest of the sciences (like he hadn't learned anything other than physics since about 1960) and an arrogant prick that made discussion all but impossible when he'd show his backside in those areas.

    Lurked for a long time on the other forum, especially in the first half year trying to decide whether to jump over, but decided the new owner here wasn't going to wreck the China shop; I also didn't have the time to put into moderating another forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    still, it's not much of a discussion if everyone is on the same wavelength and oh so bloody agreeable
    you need some disagreement - but maybe not too much of it - for a forum to be truly alive
    Completely agree. Forums thrive on the rough and tumble (And I've moderated several over the years as time allows). My personal opinion is it would be preferred if we'd delve closer to the edge of science more often--there's certainly a lot of issues where science has competing viable hypothesis, but we seldom get that in depth, and instead most discussions are about established science. My other vision is this forum remain approachable for younger people and newcomers to science (regardless of their age), where they can ask questions, explore and learn more about science without being stomped on. Those two objectives don't necessarily attract the same people.
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    Did you know:

    Bunsen (burners) and beakers, being classed as "Lab Equipment", cannot be legally purchased, sold, or possessed in the Great State of Texas, without first obtaining a Texas Department of Public Safety PERMIT, the requirement being thus for individuals, companies, and institutions.

    The next place I would love to live in! jocular
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Did you know:

    Bunsen (burners) and beakers, being classed as "Lab Equipment", cannot be legally purchased, sold, or possessed in the Great State of Texas, without first obtaining a Texas Department of Public Safety PERMIT, the requirement being thus for individuals, companies, and institutions.

    The next place I would love to live in! jocular
    Guess they are trying hard to cut down on the meth labs. By the way have you ever lived in Texas before? I lived in the Dallas/ Fortworth area by the airport. Can't recommend it for anyone. The traffic is nasty, and the weather is even worse and then you have fire ants and a whole list of biting stinging bugs that live there. But then I grew up in California close to the beach.
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    glad I don't live in such a "free" state than... my house has a fair amount of lab equipment...I rehearse science I teach and fiddle around a lot looking at water, bugs etc.

    I always assumed the two owner just picked the Jim Handon muppet names because they thought it would be cool or something....sadly I don't think their knowledge of science went any deeper than those Muppets--ironic
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    I am so confused!!

    Bunsen BURNER?

    BEAKER .....like the things you use in a lab, for measurement.....

    hell even I remember that stuff
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    Yep, they were so sick and twisted as to use muppet avatars.

    View Profile: Bunsen - The Science Forum

    http://www.thescienceforum.com/members/beaker.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    glad I don't live in such a "free" state than... my house has a fair amount of lab equipment...I rehearse science I teach and fiddle around a lot looking at water, bugs etc.

    I always assumed the two owner just picked the Jim Handon muppet names because they thought it would be cool or something....sadly I don't think their knowledge of science went any deeper than those Muppets--ironic
    When I heard of the "lab equipment ban", I immediately began asking whether things such as my wife's Pyrex measuring cup in our kitchen, might be called a "beaker", as it is just that word, along with "flask", condenser, etc., which is called out in the Texas law; I took the time, finally, to read it, and learned they evidently do believe that constraints on "lab equipment" will reduce illicit drug-making. Or perhaps drive it elsewhere, thus requiring such a law nationwide.

    Personally, I believe such a law borders on absurdity, for reasons I mentioned above. joc
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post

    Personally, I believe such a law borders on absurdity, for reasons I mentioned above. joc
    absurdity seems to be the stock in trade of politicians

    did you expect something else?
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    You are correct PHDemon. I am guilty of not being aware of all of the Muppets.
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  36. #35  
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    nor I
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  37. #36  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    glad I don't live in such a "free" state than... my house has a fair amount of lab equipment...I rehearse science I teach and fiddle around a lot looking at water, bugs etc.

    I always assumed the two owner just picked the Jim Handon muppet names because they thought it would be cool or something....sadly I don't think their knowledge of science went any deeper than those Muppets--ironic
    When I heard of the "lab equipment ban", I immediately began asking whether things such as my wife's Pyrex measuring cup in our kitchen, might be called a "beaker", as it is just that word, along with "flask", condenser, etc., which is called out in the Texas law; I took the time, finally, to read it, and learned they evidently do believe that constraints on "lab equipment" will reduce illicit drug-making. Or perhaps drive it elsewhere, thus requiring such a law nationwide.

    Personally, I believe such a law borders on absurdity, for reasons I mentioned above. joc
    My daughter took her 9th grade year of high school online and they sent her a home science kit. She got a set of beakers, pipettes, and lots of other stuff, but no Bunsen burner. You would have to have a gas valve available to use it properly.

    And we are in Texas.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    glad I don't live in such a "free" state than... my house has a fair amount of lab equipment...I rehearse science I teach and fiddle around a lot looking at water, bugs etc.

    I always assumed the two owner just picked the Jim Handon muppet names because they thought it would be cool or something....sadly I don't think their knowledge of science went any deeper than those Muppets--ironic
    When I heard of the "lab equipment ban", I immediately began asking whether things such as my wife's Pyrex measuring cup in our kitchen, might be called a "beaker", as it is just that word, along with "flask", condenser, etc., which is called out in the Texas law; I took the time, finally, to read it, and learned they evidently do believe that constraints on "lab equipment" will reduce illicit drug-making. Or perhaps drive it elsewhere, thus requiring such a law nationwide.

    Personally, I believe such a law borders on absurdity, for reasons I mentioned above. joc
    My daughter took her 9th grade year of high school online and they sent her a home science kit. She got a set of beakers, pipettes, and lots of other stuff, but no Bunsen burner. You would have to have a gas valve available to use it properly.

    And we are in Texas.
    If you are into making meth, you are talking large glassware. Not what would be sold in a high school science kit. As far as gas goes, it wouldn't be much of a challenge to rig a propane tank to do the job.
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  39. #38  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    glad I don't live in such a "free" state than... my house has a fair amount of lab equipment...I rehearse science I teach and fiddle around a lot looking at water, bugs etc.

    I always assumed the two owner just picked the Jim Handon muppet names because they thought it would be cool or something....sadly I don't think their knowledge of science went any deeper than those Muppets--ironic
    When I heard of the "lab equipment ban", I immediately began asking whether things such as my wife's Pyrex measuring cup in our kitchen, might be called a "beaker", as it is just that word, along with "flask", condenser, etc., which is called out in the Texas law; I took the time, finally, to read it, and learned they evidently do believe that constraints on "lab equipment" will reduce illicit drug-making. Or perhaps drive it elsewhere, thus requiring such a law nationwide.

    Personally, I believe such a law borders on absurdity, for reasons I mentioned above. joc
    My daughter took her 9th grade year of high school online and they sent her a home science kit. She got a set of beakers, pipettes, and lots of other stuff, but no Bunsen burner. You would have to have a gas valve available to use it properly.

    And we are in Texas.
    If you are into making meth, you are talking large glassware. Not what would be sold in a high school science kit. As far as gas goes, it wouldn't be much of a challenge to rig a propane tank to do the job.
    oh well I'd have to reinstate relationships with family members I have disowned to learn the details of meth making. And I just don't see any of them worth the trouble.
    sculptor likes this.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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