Oh yeah, speaking of Aqua Regia !!!

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 10/09/05-01:06:34 PM Z
Message-id: <Pine.NEB.4.63.0510091222330.7507@panix3.panix.com>

On Sat, 8 Oct 2005, davidhatton wrote:

> Quoting Dennis Fielding from his article in PF #4
> "Normally Aqua Regia is made from 3 parts HCL (Hydrochloric Acid)
> to 1 part HNO3 (Nitric Acid). I had only 50% solution HCL however so I opted
> for a 6 to 1 Aqua Regia solution, ie 60 ml HCL to 10 ml HNO3........"
> Apparently home-made Aqua Regia caused quite a stink (pardon the pun) on this
> board some years ago.

Actually, I've been recalling that, and am simply ASTOUNDED that
Richard-the-lion-hearted Sullivan has not dashed in to warn about the
perils of making Aqua Regia at home, as he did starting June 18, 1999 on
the alt-photo list, and for an adamant ETERNITY thereafter.

I will suggest a "theory" about the change in heart in a moment, but first
a few quotes. The proximate cause was Liam's article about making your own
gold chloride in P-F #3. Sullivan began with a full bore assault, subject
line -- "Home made gold chloride -- dumb dumb dumb" about the dangers of--
are you ready?... AQUA REGIA as "beyond the pale...totally
irresponsible..." No matter the MANY warnings in the article, folks might
"misinterpret 'good ventilation' to mean an open window in the kitchen."

And then proceeded, in typical sleight of mouth, to accuse LIAM of doing
this in *his* kitchen, inventing extras to suit along the way for YEARS,
about aqua regia as "deadly as cyanide gas", could cause "serious lung
damage" "dead bodies" and "a runaway reaction... room filling up with
brown deadly fumes...running down the countertop and cabinet fronts and
eating through the linoleum [even] following the plumbing pipes into the
apartment below..."

PLUS ... "If it were my journal I would send an immediate letter warning
subscribers of the danger... a dangerous invitation to get someone
seriously hurt or maimed." Not just a *legal* issue (I could get sued,
also baloney -- even if the information were FALSE I couldn't get sued, or
think of the fun we'd have with Intelligent Design -- though that's not
this e-mail)... but a "MORAL issue" !!

Sullivan said he'd "help out ... by publishing a warning about the article
on [his] web site." By June 22 he called it "a matter of ethics, plain
old ethics. I'm only wanting to protect someone from walking into harm's
way. [A] warning should be sent to subscribers [but] I don't have the
subscriber list available." [Editor's Post Script: "Duh"!]

No insertion of fact soothed this hypo-zeal for public safety...THEN !
Not Liam's citation of actual chemists' characterizations of aqua regia,
not his personal experience, not the actual warnings in the actual REAL
article, not even examples of equally or more dangerous substances listed
WITHOUT warnings in such places as, if you could believe, the Bostick &
Sullivan catalog (!!!) could stay this courier in his zeal.

So what happened NOW ? Not a single warning -- is the fellow asleep at
the switch? OK, here's a theory: When, about June 30, 1998, I declined
(offlist) to let Sullivan take subscriptions for the brand new
Post-Factory on his website (despite his weeks of sweet-talking
salesmanship), which may have suggested it wouldn't be a Bostick &
Sullivan subsidiary after all, he began the very next day by various
extreme means (as a review of the archive of the time should show if it
hasn't been excised to protect the guilty) to drive me off the list and
discredit Post-Factory, plus, if you could believe myself, as continued
onlist and off when an opportunity could be found or invented (STILL
filtering back from "the field"). By Issue #3 it was probably also clear
that P-F's "Sources & Services" listed many sources at half B&S price.

But the "Gold Flap" episode was so full of info, real & false, I felt it
should be preserved for posterity, which I did in P-F #4, in excerpts
titled "The Gold Flap, quote, Quote, QUOTE!"along with equally interesting
related matter such as Dallas Simpson's poetic "Beauty from Poison" and
Sandy King's "Mystery and Science of Pyro" (including, I believe, the
first appearance in print of Hydrocat, or at least the first under that
name, since I suggested it), plus Cor Breukel and Dennis Fielding on their
practically boring successes making their own gold chloride with Aqua
Regia, plus history, science, and Dave Barry, American genius.

But did I mention that Sullivan sold gold chloride at B&S -- actually I
don't remember that for SURE, but $30 a gram comes to mind. When Janet
Neuhauser did gold toning in Issue #7, she was getting it from Englehard
about 8 grams for $8/gram (tho "$30 shipping charge will make me look
elsewhere next time").

Which, interesting as all this is in itself, shows how strange it is that
current talk of Aqua Regia draws NOT ONE WARNING !!! However, because I
am such a public spirited and ETHICAL person, I'm going to give the
warnings from the original article (as soon as I've given my
post-operative hand -- the doctors acted like it was a head transplant --
maybe it was!) a rest.


Received on Mon Oct 10 00:05:11 2005

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