Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Crystal Method

The Kristal Space Age Crystal growing kit

It was sunny out today. Odd, as it's been pretty cloudy for the last few weeks. Actually now that I think about it, it's been warm all weekend. I didn't go out much. Evidence of the warm weather is the melted snow and the dry sidewalks. A nice change for sure.

I ended up at the beach. I wanted to get out to shoot something, anything. Being couped up inside these last few weeks has been driving me nutty. The exception being the time spent indoors playing Warcraft before my account expired in January. It was good to be able to walk outside without stepping in snow or better yet without stepping in slush. The choice of putting on boots or walking around in wet runners was unappealing. Yeesh.

Anyhoo, one thing led to another and before long I was standing inside Mastermind toys, a toy shop located in the beaches. Specifially I was standing in front of a section of science kits. From solar panels, to circuit boards for beginners, to microscopes.

As I kid I was given a microscope, I wonder what ever happen to it, but as for other science "toys" not so much. My cousin Bryce got an electronic kit and I remember helping him make a radio out of it (and a 9 volt battery). My parents never bought me one but I made up for it once I took applied computer science. I went nuts buying all my parts from a surplus store. I got about 3x more stuff for the same amount of money than the kits sold through Ryerson.

Before leaving the toy store I picked up this "Space Age" crystal growing kit. It was $6.95. A seemingly reasonable price until you discover that you need to get more things. More on this later. The other weird thing I noticed was the amount of warnings all over the box, instruction manual, and bag containing the space age sustance.

"Contains chemicals that may be harmful... blah, blah, blah... adult supervision... blah, blah...not recomended for children under 12". Okay I'm paraphrasing a bit here. You get the idea.

Another odd thing. The product is made in Canada but there's an American flag on the box. What's up with that? Looking more closely the American flag is in a box with the warning of usage. Does that mean the makers are targeting Americans specifically when they give the warnings of usage? Maybe they don't want to get sued as the American public, unfortunately, is known for suing the crap out of one another.

The contents - The magic powder, the plastic base, the instructions, and a popsicle stick.

Another odd thing. The black plastic pedestal has slots in the mold that looks like it was designed to hold specific things. Like maybe a bottle or test tube and a 9-volt battery. Did this kit have other stuff in it when it first sold? Perhaps over the years, due to money constraints, the manufacturers got rid of the extras and didn't bother to change the mold of the pedestal? Why bother including it? It looks pretty cheap.

Close up of the pedestal slots.

At any rate the kit looks like fun. I'll post more about the kit as I play around with it.

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