Thursday, 15 August 2013

09:50 – Mid-August and it’s currently 61F (16C) outside, with the highs over the next few days to be in the low- to mid-70’s (~ 22C). That’s more like October or even November weather for us. No let up in the rain, either. We’ve had 3+ inches (7.5 cm) since last Saturday, and the next few days have more rain in the forecast. A cool, wet August is very unusual for us. Usually, we’d be baking, with high temperatures in the 90’s or even triple digits, and worrying about the drought.

I’m still working on science kits. Today, I’m packaging some of the chemicals for that state virtual learning AP Chem order. For some reason, the AP Chem manual specifies a lot of anhydrous chemicals. The problem is, a lot of anhydrous chemicals are hygroscopic, which is to say they suck water out of the air to hydrate themselves. Many are deliquescent, which is to say they’re so hygroscopic that they’ll continue sucking water out of the air until they have enough water to go into solution. You can actually watch this happening with many anhydrates: pour some into a weigh boat on the balance pan, tare the balance, and watch the mass increase as the anhydrate sucks water out of the air. Trying to package these anhydrates while keeping them anhydrous is no fun at all. And it’s a losing battle.