Cold War Sodium Story

I keep revisiting your site from time to time and have great appreciation for all it offers and the underlying work. I just passed your torch to my my daughter (age 12) who is now getting exposed to chemistry.

I must confess that in the mid-50's, as a high school student, I liberated a large bottle of sodium (kids!) from the chem lab and took it to the lake underlying the approach to the main airport of the city I lived in. The results nearly half a century earlier than your party were exactly the same, except that we attracted unwanted interest from the airlines and the newspapers. Remember, there was Cold War paranoia then, similar to now.

I can also verify that chunks tend to be thrown back in the direction from which they were launched. I caught one just under an eye and got a nasty burn from it, which fortunately no one correlated to the missing item in chem lab, a clue that seems obvious to me!


Even though the statutes of limitations have run out, please keep my confession anonymous if you use it. If nothing else, just to preserve my status with my daughter as a serious person. Thanks!