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The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review, June 1921

Science Jottings

page 35

Science Jottings

Sketch of man leviatating while holding a pipe

Science students this term have been mainly engaged in experiments on the "invariable procedure."

The Physics Department, as usual, has been the leading light, much (radio) activity having been observed. In this connection we note that the invariable procedure is for uraniuim to (u)rain on the floor, and pitch blende to pitch into the rubbish-box.

A very interesting discovery has been made by the mathematical section in connection with Bode's Law, it having been proven beyond doubt that 2-|-2 = 4.

Among the recent innovations is a special form of condensing apparatus, which the Biological Department obtained from Taranaki. This marvellous invention utilises all the vapours of benzene, xylene and alcohol, which escape from the chemical lab. Mr. Yeates is the sole owner of this plant.

The geology section has been very studious, imbibing some knowledge of rocks and crystals, and their habits. Dr. Cotton's tine lectures and picture-show are always appreciated, but the dissertations of a lesser, though eminent, geologist (Mr. Richardson) are n—. ('Nuff said!)

The chemical section has been at work, and some "epoch-making" experiments have been performed. Some "Nobel" apparatus has also been manufactured.

Sketch of science equipment

page 36

It has been discovered (Monro, J. C. S., 1921, April) that Erlenmeyer flasks, when evacuated, collapse with great gefoom. (Bang!!)

A small research on petroleum jelly titration has been undertaken, and some research work has been done on the "invariable procedure." Interesting results obtained are as follows:—
(1)Alkali fusions should be carried out in silver basins with unprotected thermometers.
(2)A thermostat is a simple device (?). It is essential for it to "therm," but on no account "stat." The chemical one does neither.
(3)Gaede air-pumps should be filled with mercury. This treatment vastly improves them (?)
(4)Gooch crucibles should be heated with the naked flame, and on no account be dried in the air oven. (Richard his Son.)
(5)All spurious liquids should be thrust down the sink with a glass rod. (See sketch.)
(6)Melting points should be taken in a bucket placed in a beaker of Ol Ricini (castor oil, extra dirty).

Standard thermometers should also be used, as this treatment renders them very accurate (?)

Many other examples might be given. However, with one more we must conclude: Following the "invariable procedure," Mr. McClelland was observed to have one shave during the term!

Geology for Beginners.

Geology for Beginners.