Chemistry Honors

I came upon the following video of an exploding gummy bear and after reading the details of the “experiment” they were conducting… I realized I had done the exact same experiment in high school… Chemistry Honors with Ms. Lei. I specifically remember Bryan was my partner and for our final lab/project we picked something out of the Anarchist’s Cookbook (all Bryan’s idea).

We didn’t use molten potassium chlorate but did something similar with some potassium compound, sugar (aka the gummy bear) and something like 18M (= molar .. you remember moles don’t you??) hydrochloric acid (HCL). Now that I think about it, it seems odd that they would let two high school juniors play with 18M HCL… that stuff is really strong. Anyway, by adding the HCL to our mixture of unsuspecting white powder… we got the same reaction as seen above. Luckily, we wore gloves and had this all in a controlled vent area. Afterward, Ms. Lei did give us a disapproving look not to mention a pretty crappy grade on our report. Oh well.

My Dad Uses YouTube

I received an email the other day from my dad which to my surprise included a link to a YouTube video. I was surprised simply because it wasn’t the typical business article or “How to Save for Retirement” type advice that I am used to. At first, I couldn’t imaging my dad using YouTube because pictured him using it the way I do… watching humorous home made videos or a new music video featuring a scantily dressed singer. It finally dawned on me that there are a ton of videos on YouTube that my dad would be very interested in watching and that YouTube became a household name when Google bought it.

Which brings me to the video my dad sent me. The subject of his email tells it all: “Armless lady – a MUST VIEW”. I don’t think he wrote the email but here were the contents:

Turn off the volume if you don’t understand Cantonese; it’s just as impressive without the commentary. For those of you who are “Cantonese-challenged:” this woman was born without arms. Her mother wanted to throw her into the ocean but the father wanted to keep her, as a puppy, if nothing else. She eventually learned to do just about everything with her feet (the most amazing portion is towards the end of the clip) and happily married her husband who was too poor to marry a normal girl. They have 3 children.


The next time I send out a link to YouTube, I’ll be sure to consider cc-ing my parents…

How to Achieve Happiness

I was watching this TV show the other day… I don’t have any idea what the show was called or any of the actors in it, but I thought this simple formula for happiness was interesting.

There are four aspects to achieving happiness. If you have 0 of 4, then you have nothing to lose and can only get happier. If you have 2 or 3 out of 4 consistently, you are doing pretty well… and if you have 4 of 4, you should be grateful that you are happy. I know this is over simplified, but maybe that is the reason I enjoy it…

Here are the 4 aspects in no particular order:
1. Health
2. Love
3. Career
4. Money