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28 June 2011 @ 08:04 am
Scent memory is a strange thing.  
Bigelow's "Lemon Lift" tea has a scent disturbingly reminiscent of the hot plastic used in a '60s vintage Mattel Vac-U-Form, which my father used regularly in his plastic model-building hobby (and probably still uses today on his ever-evolving train diorama; that thing was built like a hot metal brick).


 
 
 
Araquan Skytracer: Sciencearaquan on June 28th, 2011 03:40 pm (UTC)
Because [safety hazard that's only a hazard to the careless] were easily accessible to a child (or adult) playing with the toy, it probably could not be sold today.

Sigh. Like so many other things I wish I could have had when I was growing up...
Your Obedient Serpent: Warning: Existential Threatathelind on June 28th, 2011 07:37 pm (UTC)
Okay, reality check: the Mattel Vac-U-Form was DEFINITELY a hazard to ANYONE. That thing would scar you for life and burn down your house if you gave it half a chance.

Even if you were SCRUPULOUSLY careful, you'd wind up with the occasional burn. The plastic was softened atop a SEARING HOT ALUMINUM HOT PLATE that was COMPLETELY EXPOSED, and the plastic itself got pretty damned hot, too. If you let it soften too long, it would occasionally sag down enough to catch you unawares while you were flipping the holder from the hot plate to the vacuum plate.

Oh, and you had to work very quickly, so the plastic wouldn't cool -- which means you had to push down on the vacuum-pump lever with a non-trivial degree of force while the hot plate was still on and blazing hot.

If the pictures don't make it clear, the whole assembly was MAYBE 4" x 8", which means you were pushing down on a lever that was RIGHT NEXT TO THAT HOT PLATE.

The only way it could have been MORE dangerous would have been if it had an OPEN FLAME. My father treated it with the same respect and caution he would any industrial-grade power tool, and taught me to do the same. While he griped about the fact that it was so hard to find supplies for it twenty or thirty years down the road, he never, EVER considered it a "toy".

Edited at 2011-06-28 07:38 pm (UTC)
Araquan Skytracer: Creativityaraquan on June 29th, 2011 01:56 am (UTC)
I respect that, but you're commenting at someone who was building electronic items with very real soldering irons and building mechanical things with very real power tools while in elementary school, so... I still wish I coulda had access to one of those, and I'm 85% sure I would have been able to operate it with the respect it deserved.

Others' mileage may vary.