Chain Reactions

In school I had zero interest in science of any kind, particularly the physical sciences.  I filled my elective schedule with language, art, history, music and journalism classes.  In college I took Biomedical Ethics for my science credit because it didn’t have a lab.  It’s something I’ve come to regret because I’m now keenly interested in science and wish I’d have known what I know now because I would have taken a track that would have led me to medical school.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda.  Can’t change the past.

But, at the moment I wish I had more knowledge of chemistry.  Had I learned to properly balance chemical equations, I might be in the position to unlock (and therefore prevent) the formula for the chain reactions that lead Justin to decompose from a stable solid to an explosively reactive vapor with extreme rapidity.

According to Wikipedia (and we know how reliable they are), for a chemical to be explosive, it must exhibit all of the following:

Rapid expansion (Justin’s demand for more spaghetti.  Justin’s insistence that his fork actually belonged to his brother.)

Evolution of heat (Justin’s insistence that his replacement fork was “too hot.”  And that the next one was “too cold.”)

Initiation of reaction (Jennifer’s miscalculation of cutting up Justin’s spaghetti when he wanted it “big.”)

Rapidity of reaction (Justin’s flash overreaction to the above elements.)

This toxic mixture churned in a cauldron of pre-school irrationality and culminated in Justin being taken to a safe zone (his room) for controlled detonation (“come to Jesus” talk with his mother) and finally resulted in chemical stabilization and a (relatively) peaceful dinner.

My point is that in the future it would be nice to know that J4 S2(F+B)2J1 → J4 + Sf  + 1.5N + E before I have to call in the bomb squad every time.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2009


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