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A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing

Discussion in 'Science' started by physics_suits_you, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. QUOTE " Potassium is highly flammable so you have to store it under water!! UNQUOTE
    That was a comment on Jeremy Vine this lunchtime, when he was discussing the sad story from Wednesday's accident.
    Clearly the contributor thought that transparent liquids are automatically water. She was describing an accident in a Science lab when the teacher knocked over the bottle and large pieces of potassium were scattered across the bench.
    WARNING: Potassium is stored under OIL, in case you didn't know. [​IMG]
     
  2. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Did somebody correct the comment?
     
  3. What happened in the incident? Was someone injured?
     
  4. From Daily Mail :
    A teacher was caught in a 'ball of flame' when an experiment back-fired at a secondary school in front of six-year-old boy.
    The
    Health and Safety Executive have launched an investigation into the
    explosion at Hazeley Academy in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
    The
    35-year-old teacher's clothes caught fire and she is said to be in a
    stable condition after being airlifted to hospital with burns to her
    face and body.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2068780/Science-teacher-sets-burns-face-boy-routine-experiment-goes-wrong.html#ixzz1fOct8SQm
     
  5. No - it was right towards the end of the topic.
    Add to that, Jeremy Vine is a bit of an idiot (the programme is much better whenever he has a holiday). He wittered on about "...we had Bunsen Burners which came out of the table and had a hole thing that you twisted to get more oxygen in .... surely they've been banned because they're so dangerous". [​IMG]
    He also said (to his credit?) "if you have an incompetent teacher, you want him in English or History; not in Science"
     
  6. bogstandardcomp

    bogstandardcomp New commenter

    Time for a little anecdote.
    I worked in the middle east and was doing the standard reactive metals expt. The techhy gota container of water for me. I dropped the potassium in and BANG.
    Thank God the kids all had goggles on.

    I forgot the water came from a storage tank on the roof and the temp of it must have been 50+ deg.

     
  7. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    A metallurgist of my aquanitance once displayed a terrible knowledge of Chemistry. He somehow managaded to break a bottle of sodium by knocking it into a sink! The sodium began to react with the small drops of water. He later claimed that he had heard that sodium dissolves in alcohol and so emptied a large amount of the lab ethanol into the sink! Cue huge ball of flame but better yet as the alocohol drained away and ran down the pipes each sink in turn down the bench also got its own tower of flame!
     
  8. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I wonder if I can engineer that occurance at my school from a safe distance? [​IMG]
     
  9. Ah, Jeremy Vine. The audio equivalent of the Daily Mail.

    Listening to his show, even briefly, has the same effect on your brain as a night of binge drinking.
     

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