Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Rearranging the Schedule: Tuesday Is For Science

Tuesday is for science. Hah.

Which is to laugh. The Baron suggested it since my other topics are so…so Dymphna. I think he thinks I ought to expand my horizons. I do, too, but you have to be able to see the damn horizon, don’t you?

A doctor once asked the Baron’s Boy if he was majoring in chemistry in order to study medicine. The Boy was horrified. “Lord, no. I hate blood. I just want to blow things up.” I don’t think he had bombs in mind so much as great, colorful explosions. Which is probably the result of too many Mid-Summer Eve parties where the pyrotechnics were quite spectacular. Generous friends would travel to another state and buy incredilbe fireworks. They had names like Chinese food — “A Thousand Blossoms,” or some such name. I always expected the sheriff to come and tell us to quiet down, but they never did. Some of those colors rose so high I'm sure they could see them for some distance. Maybe that kept people from complaining?

For me, I loved the pinwheels, the scars of which are still on the mimosa tree fifteen years later, long after we moved the fireworks to another part of the yard where it was more open. The longer we live here, the more the forest encroaches on the yard...

I wonder what insurance rates you pay if you own a fireworks company? I wonder if you can even get insurance? Are all the companies located in China? According to one fellow, the fireworks companies in the US are for the most part privately owned, family businesses. Hmm...sounds like a way to lose a family to me. But then I'm not a guy and if there is one field that appears to be largely guy-driven, it's pyrotechnics.

There's a Journal of Pyrotechnics but it only comes out twice a year, at $25.00 a copy. Obviously not for the dilettante. Just glancing at it, the origin may be the UK. Who'd have thought Britain for fireworks? A lot of heat under that cool English veneer?

Well, perhaps the Baron's Boy will sink his teeth into this one. On the other hand, if I don't order it, maybe he'll just use his chemistry major to be a vintner. Though I suppose those vats can blow up, too.

Damn, why did I ever let him have that Periodic Table when he was nine? I thought he just liked the colorful boxes.



At 11:19 AM, Blogger Gryffilion said...

You didn't let me have it, Tina gave it to me. Obviously she sensed the latent scientific prowess deep within my soul and wanted it to be fully realized.

Unfortunately, realizing it involves Physical Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis.

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Actually, it was Jet's idea, him being the chemist and all...

But you used to pore over that small one in the encyclopedia long before that...it's what gave me the idea.

You think I didn't suggest it, my man? Little do you know of the machinations of mothers. And that's just as well.

At 9:42 PM, Blogger Bill said...

He would have done it regardless. I was reading pchem books on the Rutherford atom at 12 and copying the orbital tables by hand with a ruler to build the grids. And I had no encouragement.

Explosives were an interest of my friends and I for a couple of years in high school. That was back when you could still buy the makings for gun powder, etc.

I don't practice as a chemist now, but it gives me a wonderful inside knowledge of what goes on in things.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Gryffilion said...

I was 8. Jett wasn't even in the picture yet. At least, not as far as I know. Like I said, she sensed who I wanted to be and gave me an impetus towards it.

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Okay...I give. It was your childhood, after all. But I do remember the book illustration and your early fascination.

Meanwhile, they're asking for you on Gates for the discussion on hydrogen...


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