Thursday, 6 March 2014

08:03 – This is getting old. The forecast is for freezing rain this evening and overnight.

From the news reports, it appears that Bitcoin is imploding, with exchanges collapsing and questionable deaths and disappearances among those running the exchanges. Given how much governments, all governments, hate the idea of a monetary system that is outside their control, I have to wonder how much of the trouble is a result of governments working behind the scenes to destroy Bitcoin. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but this all does seem a bit convenient for governments, who are now trumpeting “we told you so”.

Science kit sales continue to be slow, given the time of year, but are still running at double last year’s rate. I’m still building subassemblies for inventory.

11:37 – I was just on eBay looking for a rather obscure chemical that my regular vendors are out of stock on. While I was there, I realized that I’m getting low on iodine, so I searched for iodine acs crystals. I ended up ordering 250 grams of ACS reagent iodine crystals for $39.99 plus $5.99 shipping. That was a pleasant surprise. I went back and looked for the last iodine PO, and found that I’d paid nearly $100 including shipping for 250 grams. We don’t use all that much iodine–maybe 500 grams per year–but nearly every kit we ship includes a 30 mL bottle of dilute Lugol’s iodine, and several of the other solutions in various kits also require iodine. Given that iodine is a DEA List I chemical, I’m always concerned I’ll have trouble getting it. So far, I haven’t, but I like to keep a reasonable amount in stock.

A couple of years ago, I would have hesitated to order from that vendor, who is shipping the product from China. Nowadays, I don’t worry about it at all. I’ve ordered scores of things from Chinese vendors over the last couple years, both on eBay and on Every order has arrived–although some of them took a couple of months–and every shipment has been correct.