Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Junior Scientist Club

Check out my essay about the dangerous "science" experiments I undertook in my childhood over on SFGate, the San Francisco Chronicle website.

Here's a taste to get you started:

According to the National Vital Statistics System, life expectancy at birth for an American boy born in the late 1950s was somewhere between 66 and 67 years. That number is an average of course. Factors that might influence it include diet, access to medical care, environment—and membership in the Junior Scientists Club.

The Junior Scientists Club is a name I invented in the second grade to give an academic underpinning to the “studies” of chemistry and physics I roped my best friend into. My friend’s name was Tommy, but he did not stay with the club long—or more accurately, the club did not stay long with him. Membership shifted as my family caravanned through various neighborhoods and school districts in 1960s Phoenix, Arizona. Throughout the moves, I retained a firm grip on leadership, recruiting new participants as needed.

Read the rest here.

(Photo by Joshua Dysangco.)

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