Re: Cyanide and almonds
Luis Nadeau (email@example.com)
Fri, 30 Jan 1998 00:09:52 -0400
At 10:07 PM -0500 98/01/29, SCHRAMMR@WLSVAX.WVNET.EDU wrote:
>According to my source (Dr. Watson ala A. Conan Doyle), the breath or mouth
>of a victum of cyanide poisoning smells like almonds.
>I assume that not all cyanide compounds are equally poisonous. The chemistry
>department at my college has ben giving me stuff for a number of years that
>they don't want anymore. Thus I have acquired uranium nitrate, and ammonium
>dichromate and other goodies that I can use. But last year they found 3 lb.
>of potassium cyanide in an old safe and tried to give it to me. I declined
>since 1. I had no use for it and 2. I estimate that that would be enough
>cyanide to wipe out a city the size of Pittsburgh. I do recall that potassium
>cyanide is useful in making up an electroplating solution for silver plating.
It was used in photogravure and is still used by the ton in some gold
>So if one were into makeing their own Daguerreotype plates it might be of
>some value. Anyway, they also found a platinum crucible in the safe which they
>gave me. Its very pretty but I have yet to figure out how to make platinum
>prints out of it. ;-) Oh yes, this same safe contains a bottle of Picric Acid!
I seem to recall a news item here about the bomb squad going to the
chemistry department of a local university, to dispose of a bottle of
picric acid. After aging it becomes unstable and explosive.
Picric acid was recommended at one point as a yellow pigment for a carbon
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada