Thursday, December 7

Automobiles (1955)


  • Ah, I often think about the “home experiments” we did as kids. Long, long before helicopter parents. Lots of close calls. Lots of cuts, burns and nosebleeds from chemical fumes. And lots of “spankings” (dads showing their kids friction experiments by using belts and butts).
    I remember my “little chemist, experiment sets” that contained stuff that would get you arrested and put on no-fly lists today, but back then, when you ran out of something, mom just told you to walk or bike to the nearest “hobby store” or pharmacy, to get more. Remember those cool looking, deep blue cobalt crystals? And how much of a mess they made when burned/dissolved in a toxic soup of randomly mixed, brightly colored other powders and crystals?

    I remember well, using our teacher’s exact recipe to make near perfect black-powder from scratch and using the pencil and match method to light it. On the front patio. I remember vaguely being told, afterwards, that I a) made too much, b) used a pencil that was about 15 feet too short, and c) once the burns heal, and the ass-swelling is gone, I will spend every waking hour cleaning and replacing every burned brick, tile, board and whatever else was in the way.
    My “excuse” that I only did what the teacher told me to do, basically homework, was met with more “friction experiments”… LOL.
    BUT: I have to admit that, while at the time I didn’t appreciate my parents punishment (and no obvious show if concern for me), I later understood why that was much more effective than “a discussion”. Look, I still remember it. The one and ONLY time I set a pile of homemade powder on fire, in an unsafe manner (at home, at least).
    Funny how that narrator reminded me of my old teachers and this story. And a little sad to see just how much everything has changed in the years since then.

  • Maybe someone will see my question. In the audio during the part about carburetion, they said the normal pressure over the body of fluid pushes the liquid up the straw where lower pressure is generated by airflow across the straw. I learned something a bit different, the low pressure over the straw (venturi) created a vacuum of low pressure which sucked the liquid out. Which one is correct? Or are both correct?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *