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Analysis by Accident

Analysis by Accident - Analysis by Accident In 1993 the...

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Analysis by Accident I n 1993, the wall of secrecy surrounding the chemical ingredients of the lava lamp was accidentally breached by a Chicago alcoholic. The 65-year-old man was taken to the emergency room at University of Illinois Hospital because he was unresponsive and lethargic. He had rapid pulse and respiration. Blood tests showed starvation, dehydration, excess positive ions, malfunctioning kidneys, and a blood pH of 7.32 (normal is 7.40). Although he was given intravenous fluids, his condition declined and, three days later, doctors began dialysis to clear his blood of some of the chemicals that his kidneys could not handle. At this time his family reported that, in an apparent search for alcohol, he had opened a cool lava lamp and drunk most of the liquid in the lamp and some of the solid. His doctors needed to know—immediately— the chemical composition of the lava lamp. The lamp was sent to Hinez Veteran’s Administration Hospital where chemist Ralston Reid promptly analyzed the remaining
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