Saturday, March 22, 2014

Don't Say His Name

Here's a story sent in by a reader.  Some dumb kid at Georgetown made ricin in his dorm. He showed it to his R.A. who called in the authorities and now the kid is up on federal charges.

As the reader suggests, this guy was probably inspired by Breaking Bad, which featured ricin--in fact, we had to wait a long time on that show from the time it was synthesized to the time it was used.  This kid must be a weirdo, since most people who watch BB want to make meth.

Actually, making meth--or so I've been told--is a dangerous process.  Probably safer to make ricin, though I wouldn't recommend that either.  Now that I think of it, I've known lots of people over the years who have owned or made dangerous chemicals.  That can be fun but hazardous to your health.  A few of them had to deal with the government, and that's never any fun.

So is there a lesson here?  Yes.  When you make something dangerous, don't show it to your R.A.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

but if we outlaw ricin, only outlaws....

12:06 PM, March 22, 2014  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

The final episode clearly implies that if you put Ricin in your coffee instead of sugar-free sweetener, you won't notice anything unusual about the taste. Hopefully that's not true!

I think you're quite right about meth. Back in the 1980s, a couple undergrads at Harvey Mudd College -- which has an undergrad program comparable to Caltech -- blew up their lab trying to make meth. So if chemistry nerds can't do it safely, it's probably quite difficult, right?

8:37 PM, March 22, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You do realize the chemical in your illustration is nitroglycerin.

9:08 PM, March 22, 2014  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Yes I do.

9:22 PM, March 22, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


6:10 AM, March 23, 2014  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Crap. Now what am I going to do with all this unwanted nitro?

12:38 PM, March 23, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call the government. They'll know how to deal with it.

3:25 PM, March 23, 2014  

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