John @ GeekDad has a great review our new book! – The Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments.
Geeks everywhere weep for the modern chemistry set. There was a day when kids of all ages could perform all sorts of fantastic experiments. We were not unfettered by safety rules — guidelines were strict and clear. You do not mix certain things. This is flammable and that is acidic. And yes, some of us made gunpowder and other explosives. It was a magical time of daring and high adventure.
Then came the dark times, when set manufacturers bowed to the fear of litigation. Gone were the no-holds-barred outfits where nitroglycerine was seemingly a page-flip and beaker-shake away. No longer were we presented with rules and rationales, and expected to follow. Instead, manufacturers decided we were too dumb to be trusted with our own experiments, and tried to sell us “spa science” and “candy chemistry” and other pseudoscientific pap. Kit manufacturers no longer had the stomach for the real deal. And when they made that decision, they doomed themselves to irrelevance.
Today is the DIY era, and we don’t need a set to learn about chemistry. All we need is the internet and the Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments by Robert Bruce Thompson.