Thursday, 4 July 2013

By on July 4th, 2013 in personal, science kits
Happy Birthday USA!

As you celebrate Independence Day today, please take a moment to think about the men and women of our armed forces, past and present, who have willingly risked, and all too often lost, everything to defend our freedom. I worry about America, but there can be nothing very wrong with a country that continues to produce men and women like them.

13:21 – I got email this morning from a woman in Hong Kong who wanted to order a science kit or kits.

Will you be offering any of your science kits for sale to international customers at some point?

I am keen to teach my son some science at home, as he is a science buff but I don’t feel that his school is doing enough, especially in terms of lab work. I would hate for him to lose his interest because of this, hence my desire to bolster his studies with some home science.

Fyi, we are based in Hong Kong. If you cannot ship overseas and have no intention of doing so anytime soon, are you able to ship to Canada, as we have family there.



I typically get a couple of similar requests every week, and sometimes a couple a day. I really, really hate saying no to these folks, despite the fact that it’s a major hassle to ship kits outside the US and with the additional time and effort required we probably barely break even, if that. But I hate turning down these folks. I’d been seriously considering re-starting international shipments, so I replied:

Hi, Melissa

We recently discontinued shipping our science kits outside the US, mainly because international hazardous shipping regulations made it extremely costly to do so, but also because of the paperwork hassles. We even had to discontinue sales to APO/FPO (US military families) addresses for the same reasons.

We’re currently in the process of designing versions of our chemistry and biology kits that are legal for international shipping. There are some downsides to this.

o In order to make the kits legal for international shipping, we’ve had to remove several chemicals that are defined as hazardous for international shipping purposes. I’m attaching two PDF files that describe the differences. They refer to Canada, but in fact the same restrictions apply to shipments to any destination outside the US. In most cases we either supply a substitute chemical that is legal to ship, or recommend a locally-available replacement.

o You are responsible for determining whether it is legal for you to have a kit shipped to you. There are so many international jurisdictions that it’s impossible for us to do so. In practice, in the past many buyers have probably ignored this issue, and we’ve never had any problems with any of the many kits we’ve shipped internationally.

o Shipping costs are high to very high, depending on where the kit is being shipped. For example, shipping a kit to Canada may cost $40 or more in addition to the price of the kit itself. I just checked, and shipping a kit to Hong Kong would cost $60 or more additional. These figures do not include the additional costs listed below. On the plus side, if you want both kits or two of the same kit, the total shipping cost is usually considerably less than twice the shipping cost for a single kit.

o You may or may not incur additional fees, taxes, customs duties, VAT, and so on. So far, none of our international kit buyers have been charged such costs, but we’ve shipped only to Canada.

o Delivery times can be long. In the US, our kits generally arrive within 1 to 3 business days. For shipments to Canada and most other international destinations, 6 to 10 business days is common, and it may take longer. Also, although we normally ship kits to US addresses within one business day, shipments of kits to international addresses may require from three to ten days lead time. (We have to build these kits individually.)

o Because we have no control over or ability to track or follow-up on international shipments, all kits shipped to addresses outside the US are FOB Winston-Salem, NC, USA. In effect, that means our responsibility ends when we hand the package to the US Postal Service carrier. (You can purchase insurance, but in our experience it’s a waste of money. Although we’ve never had a kit we shipped internationally lost or damaged, we’ve been told that insurance on international shipments almost never actually pays if there’s a loss.)

If despite all these limitations you still want to order a kit or kits, please let me know. I’ll give you an estimate for shipping time and costs.

Best regards.


Robert Bruce Thompson

21 Comments and discussion on "Thursday, 4 July 2013"

  1. Chuck W says:

    Actual email footer from a broadcast forum I participate in. The forum is based on email as the sole originating source.
    This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential
    and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity
    to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email
    in error please notify

    The views expressed within this email are those of the
    individual, and not necessarily those of the organisation
    WARNING COPYRIGHT The Arthur Terry School 2012

    Where the contents of this e-mail and any attachment includes materials prepared by The Arthur Terry School the use of those materials is subject exclusively to the conditions of engagement between the school and you.

    This e-mail and any attachment is confidential and may contain legally privileged information. By the use of e-mail over the internet The Arthur Terry School is not waiving either confidentiality of or legal privilege in the content of the e-mail or any attachments. If you have received this e-mail in error please contact The Arthur Terry School on telephone number 0121 323 2221 or e-mail

    The Arthur Terry School may decide to communicate with you by e-mail but cannot guarantee the confidentiality, reliability or speed of the e-mails or any attachments. If you wish to send to the company any urgent, critical or encrypted e-mails please notify the company first by telephone on 0121 323 2221. The preferred format for receiving word processed documents is Microsoft Word.

    As the addressed recipient of this e-mail you must not copy or forward or disclose this e-mail or any attachment to anyone without the prior written consent of The Arthur Terry School. The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership, a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, company number 07730920. Registered office: The Arthur Terry School, Kittoe Road, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B74 4RZ.
    This message has been checked for viruses by the
    Birmingham Grid for Learning. For guidance on good
    e-mail practice, e-mail viruses and hoaxes please visit:

  2. OFD says:

    “… there can be nothing very wrong with a country that continues to produce men and women like them.”

    It’s not so much the country as the regime which has been running it. I have a couple of other quibbles but will leave them alone today and return some other time with it. The original intent and sentiment for this day stand, and my hope and prayers, along with those of millions of others around the world, are for that.

    High eighties here in Retroville today with the usual series of t-storms and high humidity; a flash flood warning remains in effect for the northern half of the state, which is all the weather people have to say, instead of listing the counties one by one. The pier on the Bay here has disappeared and the local creeks, brooks, streams, etc. are all overflowing their banks. A cow pasture up the road is now a small lake. We’d love nothing more than to ship most of it out West to our brothers and sisters there, and also remember with sadness and pride the firefighters who died there recently.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Oh, yes. My country and the federal government are not the same thing. Not even close. I consider our current government pretty much an enemy occupation. Tom Jefferson, Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, and the rest are probably spinning in their graves.

    Knowing Obama, he’s probably planning on spending trillions to develop grave-spinning as a low-emissions alternative energy source.

  4. Roy Harvey says:

    People do the strangest things. And so do people trying to stop them.

    No, you can’t call your baby Lucifer: New Zealand releases list of banned names

  5. OFD says:

    Another view, amazingly corresponding in large part with my own, and possibly that of others here:

  6. OFD says:

    My family and Mrs. OFD’s family have long had the boring old habit of naming babies with the same old English, Irish and Scottish names, along with a healthy smattering of names from U.K. royalty and the Bible. I have zero problem with this, as one might imagine. So we have my parents, Richard and Barbara; me=David Richard; brothers Philip Mark, Peter Charles and Richard Andrew; sister=Martha Ann. Mrs. OFD’s late dad=Edward; mom=Barbara; our son is Daniel Edward Gerard and daughter Marie Kathleen. Then we go back a ways and find stuff like Wendell, Eric, Ambrose, Sarah, Mercy, Patience, Peleg, Obadiah, etc. I defy anyone to find Lucifer or anything the least bit outside the parameters described above.

    My English forebears had another boring habit I like fah less; naming and re-naming towns and cities the same from the Maffachufetts coast all the way to Oregon. Within Maffachufetts itself we have Boston and New Boston; Salem and New Salem; and then you’ll see on the map the same town names from central MA running all the way up the CT River Valley between VT and NH, deriving from settlers who moved out after the failure of Shays’s Rebellion. Ditto way upstate NY. Boring.

  7. Roy Harvey says:

    Like Springfield.

  8. Chuck W says:

    The almost daily rain we have had here for the last couple months, has really been good to farmers. Spent much of the midday with one of the family’s farmer friends, who said the crops look better than he has ever seen them—all the rain has even washed them, so they are cleaner than he can ever remember them looking. We grow mostly corn and soybeans in this part of the world, and there’s going to be a bumper crop and prices are high. Everyone is hopeful they will recoup the up to 50% losses many suffered around here from last year’s drought.

    Farmers around me do not buy global warming, or even climate change. Long-range weather is just unpredictable, they say, but the guys my age say the good years always seem to outnumber the bad, so while life may be hard work with some bad times, in general, life is good.

    And the corn around here is way beyond knee high by the fourth of July—most of it is shoulder high.

  9. OFD says:

    A lot of the corn here is waist high by the Fourth of July this year.

  10. Miles_Teg says:

    Chuck wrote:

    “Farmers around me do not buy global warming, or even climate change. ”

    I’m a GW skeptic, not a denier, and I wonder what the Algore types are smoking. The weather I am seeing isn’t consistent with GW, but the evangelists keep pushing it and at many sites (e.g. Jerry C’s, the NCSE) it’s a litmus test issue: deny and you’re on the outer.

  11. Miles_Teg says:

    Hm, a comment I made after Chuck’s on Monday has simply disappeared into the ether. No error message and no comment. When I tried to repost it it said something like “It looks like you’ve said that before.”

  12. Miles_Teg says:

    Oh, I almost forgot.

    Down with the rebels! Long Live Her Majesty!

    Bon appetit:

  13. Rolf Grunsky says:

    My alligence is to the Canadian nation, not to the Canadian state. I was thinking about this on Monday, Canada Day (although I still prefer to think of it as Dominion Day.) With the appropriate change in citizenship, I would expect this this sentiment to be common here.

    I wish I could remember who I heard that from originally. In any event, it was more than 50 years ago now. It might have been Scott Symons (a Candian writer and an overall scurrilous fellow), I don’t know if it originated with him. In any event, it’s important to distinguish between the nation and the state.

  14. brad says:

    “My country and the federal government are not the same thing”

    This. This is exactly what far too many people fail to grasp.

    Hey, we expat’s made mainstream Swiss news last night: the Swiss ambassador let the secret number slip, namely, that 900 Americans in Switzerland had renounced their citizenship in the last year. They interviewed one guy, who said it was all about the feeling of “freedom” he had, not having to worry about the IRS anymore.

    Not to mention, no one will hire Americans any more. Why? Because if you are in any sort of position of responsibility, the newest American rules require the company to send full financial accounts to the IRS. No Swiss company is going to do that, so…no more American employees in upper management.

  15. OFD says:

    That sounds about right; traitorous Merkans who leave this nation-state empire for other countries need to be pursued and punished accordingly. We have no shortage of bureaucratic clerks, legions of them, who can make that happen, daily. They’re just following orders, of course. From high above, people who only find out what these low-level drones are actually doing from reading the newspapers, etc.

    The guy who puts out the Sovereign Man blog and sells information via his site looks around at countries all over the world as places to consider for Merkan traitors and Switzerland has not been one of them. He likes Chile, and is a big proponent of getting your savings, investments and retirement dough outta this country to banks in Singapore, etc.

  16. Lynn McGuire says:

    I’m a GW skeptic, not a denier, and I wonder what the Algore types are smoking.

    I am an AGW denier and a GW skeptic. So there! In fact, I may even be in agreement that GW is occurring. My problem is the cause of GW. And I have a BIG problem with the methodology used to measure the temperature of the Earth as it looks like people are manipulating the raw data.

  17. Lynn McGuire says:

    And the corn around here is way beyond knee high by the fourth of July—most of it is shoulder high.

    Our corn is head high and white. All burned up since no rain in months. No husks.

  18. brad says:

    Even he is fooled by the statistics that the State Department releases. He writes: “679 individuals renounced their US citizenship in the first quarter of 2013”. I am 99% sure that represents the number of official tax fugitives, i.e., those whom the IRS says expatriated for tax reasons. These are people a lot richer than you and I, with an average tax liability of something like $150,000 per year.

    The US is very careful not to say how many people total are renouncing their citizenship. The Swiss ambassador let slip that 900 people in Switzerland expatriated in 2012. Consider: if 225 Americans in tiny Switzerland expatriate every quarter, then 679 is just not believable on a worldwide scale.

    To name just one example: there are more than 5 times as many Americans in Germany as in Switzerland, and they are just as affected as those here. So there could easily be 1000 expatriations per quarter out of Germany alone. One estimate I’ve read puts the number of expatriations at 15000 annually. Still a drop in the bucket, but a lot bigger drop than the US admits.

  19. Lynn McGuire says:

    One estimate I’ve read puts the number of expatriations at 15000 annually. Still a drop in the bucket, but a lot bigger drop than the US admits.

    Don’t worry. We probably get a half million illegal immigrants XXXXXXXXXXX undocumented future voters per year here in the USA. Maybe a million.

  20. OFD says:

    Yeah, we’re losing Merkan traitors to foreign countries, of course, but we’re getting solid-gold future voters and hard workers and patriots by the millions every year, not to worry. Remember, you fascists, xenophobes, nativists and haters; our own ancestors were immigrants, too!

Comments are closed.