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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index S > Category: Suffocation

Suffocation Quotes (2 quotes)

Bread has been made (indifferent) from potatoes;
And galvanism has set some corpses grinning,
But has not answer'd like the apparatus
Of the Humane Society's beginning,
By which men are unsuffocated gratis:
What wondrous new machines have late been spinning.
Don Juan (1819, 1858), Canto I, CXXX, 35. Aware of scientific experiments, the poet refers to the animating effects of electrical current on nerves of human corpses investigated by Professor Aldini (nephew of Galvani) on the body of Forster, a murderer (Jan-Feb 1803). Potato flour can be made by grinding dried grated potatoes.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparatus (18)  |  Beginning (71)  |  Bread (7)  |  Corpse (4)  |  Electricity (82)  |  Galvanism (4)  |  Gratis (2)  |  Grin (3)  |  Machine (56)  |  Nerve (53)  |  Potato (3)  |  Spinning (3)  |  Wonder (64)

While reading in a textbook of chemistry, ... I came across the statement, 'nitric acid acts upon copper.' I was getting tired of reading such absurd stuff and I determined to see what this meant. Copper was more or less familiar to me, for copper cents were then in use. I had seen a bottle marked 'nitric acid' on a table in the doctor's office where I was then 'doing time.' I did not know its peculiarities, but I was getting on and likely to learn. The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words 'act upon' meant... I put one of them [cent] on the table, opened the bottle marked 'nitric acid'; poured some of the liquid on the copper; and prepared to make an observation. But what was this wonderful thing which I beheld? The cent was already changed, and it was no small change either. A greenish blue liquid foamed and fumed over the cent and over the table. The air in the neighborhood of the performance became colored dark red. A great colored cloud arose. This was disagreeable and suffocating—how should I stop this? I tried to get rid of the objectionable mess by picking it up and throwing it out of the window, which I had meanwhile opened. I learned another fact—nitric acid not only acts upon copper but it acts upon fingers. The pain led to another unpremeditated experiment. I drew my fingers across my trousers and another fact was discovered. Nitric acid acts upon trousers. Taking everything into consideration, that was the most impressive experiment, and, relatively, probably the most costly experiment I have ever performed.
F. H. Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen (1940), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (9)  |  Act (22)  |  Adventure (19)  |  Air (84)  |  Biography (199)  |  Bottle (6)  |  Change (133)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Cloud (22)  |  Copper (8)  |  Cost (15)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Finger (14)  |  Fume (5)  |  Impressiveness (2)  |  Liquid (12)  |  Meaning (52)  |  Mess (3)  |  Neighborhood (3)  |  Nitric Acid (2)  |  Observation (264)  |  Pain (49)  |  Peculiarity (11)  |  Reading (25)  |  Spirit (52)  |  Table (8)  |  Trousers (3)  |  Window (11)


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