Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dampening an Infernal Curiosity?

Dec. 8, 2009:

A kid in New Bedford, MA is charged with "possessing an infernal machine." My first thought reading this was "Guldurnit! What in tarnation was he a' doin' with an infernal machine!?" After I turned off Yosemite Sam in my head, it seemed to me further that what the kid did-- mixed common chemicals in a plastic bottle,... which then burst as intended--not long ago would have been seen as a youthful science experiment.

He wasn't trying to blow anyone up, or destroy property, according to his lawyer. It sounds instead like he was displaying the curiosity shown by the likes of the team on MythBusters, or the youthful stories of Nobel scientists in their own early experiments... whether he knew these folks or not. I hope the courts throw this one out, and spare this kid any future edu-hype about the lagging nature of science education in the US. He's already getting his science education, 21st century style.