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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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December 9, 2010

The Escondido House of Explosives Goes Up - Live

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Posted by Derek

A reader has just sent me a link for a live video feed of the the (theoretically) controlled burn of the explosives-laden house that we were talking about here the other day. Word is that they're scheduled to start at between 10 and 11 AM PST (2 to 3 PM on the East coast, 1800-1900 GMT).

Prime viewing time! know that this answers the hopes of many people, and I'm happy to send this information along.

Update: well, it looks as if things were, in fact, pretty well controlled. The reporters on the scene did hear a few loud bangs from inside the house, but nothing roof-raisingly major seems to have gone up, which is probably all for the best. So until the next explosives-obsessed bank-robbing lunatic is reeled in, this will have to tide us all over.

Comments (23) + TrackBacks (0) | Category:


1. anonymous on December 9, 2010 12:51 PM writes...

i think the time would be 1 to 2 east coast?

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2. Susan on December 9, 2010 1:14 PM writes...

Yes, my daughter had to evacuate last night for the planned burn today. It was to be at 9 our time, but due to weather delayed a couple hours. Where is the news coverage on this house, the largest bomb factory found in US history?

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3. Curryworks on December 9, 2010 2:14 PM writes...

Did the city apply for the carbon credits to conduct this burn?

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4. J-bone on December 9, 2010 2:24 PM writes...

AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!! I was so excited to have seen this in time to watch that thing burn, then SO disapopinted when I realized that I would need to install ActiveX to be able to watch it (IT here is VERY strict and won't allow us to download anything, including the latest IE which is now 1 official version behind and 2 behind the latest Beta).

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5. Susan on December 9, 2010 2:46 PM writes...

Yes, my daughter had to evacuate last night for the planned burn today. It was to be at 9 our time, but due to weather delayed a couple hours. Where is the news coverage on this house, the largest bomb factory found in US history?

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6. Hap on December 9, 2010 6:12 PM writes...

That went better than I thought it would.

I guess the lesson is "don't rent your house to a bank robber with an explosives fetish, or it'll make a very expensive bonfire one morning." Another question for rental applications, I guess.

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7. Erik on December 9, 2010 7:15 PM writes...

Almost as if those in charge knew what they were doing! Experience and expertise are great things.

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8. Anonymous BMS Researcher on December 9, 2010 7:30 PM writes...

A Reuters story on this incident noted the Governor obtained an emergency declaration that will block the owner of the house from suing the State. Which means her only chance of getting back the value of the house would be from her insurance -- IF this sort of thing is covered. My State Farm policy has an exclusion for damages caused by terrorism or civil disorder; I expect the policy on this house would have similar language so whether they pay the claim will come down to lawyers battling about whether this incident falls under that exclusion.

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9. Hap on December 9, 2010 10:06 PM writes...

I would probably sue anyway - just because you say I can't sue doesn't mean that I can't, just as "We are not responsible for damage" doesn't mean that one isn't responsible. I can't really figure out how it would be legal to simply take and burn the house and bar compensation, unless the owner were actually complicit in the bombmaking, or reasonably should have known what her renter was doing.

Knowing what you're doing isn't always a guarantee for people dealing with such situations (*cough* Waco *cough*), though it's nice when it happens.

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10. dearieme on December 10, 2010 4:14 AM writes...

Who has volunteered to search the ruins for anything that didn't burn satisfactorily?

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11. Young Padawan on December 10, 2010 4:42 AM writes...

Our group is thinking about buying a hydrogen generator. Does anyone have experience with these things? They sound benign and handy and with all these cries for more safety, why not. But are they usable and useful in practice? Please share...

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12. Justthisguy on December 10, 2010 5:24 AM writes...

Hey! You say "explosives-obsessed" like that's a *bad* thing! No, it's just a boy thing. Bank robbing is a bad thing. Now, going after the high-level banksters themselves...

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13. Justthisguy on December 10, 2010 5:30 AM writes...

Padawan, to prepare hydrogen, all you need is some water, some lye, some aluminum foil, and a bottle. It ain't gonna be very pure, but it'll inflate a balloon, which will rise up into the air.

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14. Justthisguy on December 10, 2010 5:38 AM writes...

P.s. Lye has disappeared from the shelves at the local grocery stores. To get some, I had to go to the hardware store.

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15. Justthisguy on December 10, 2010 5:58 AM writes...

What did I tell y'all? A couple or 3 Kilos of HE won't even demolish the average house, unless it has been carefully placed. You really do need at least a quarter of a ton. Now, had that guy been into phosgene, or Sarin, or something...

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16. Young Padawan on December 10, 2010 7:06 AM writes...

@ justthisguy

We'll i work in a place, where they're going in safety overdrive and thus want to ban cylinders. So, the self-made hydrogen is not really an option, either. Thanks for the effort anyway. ;-)

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17. Anonymous on December 10, 2010 7:52 AM writes...

Padawan, we had the same issue at my university and we had to get a hydrogen generator. I don't know what you'd be using yours for, we used it for our GC. They work and do generate good purity H2, but they're expensive, both to purchase and to fix (pray that you don't have to do that). Setup of the thing is laborious, but once it's ready they're fairly easy to use (although if you have a lab doofus/doofi you should designate one person as the hydrogen generator person so they don't mess the thing up).

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18. MTK on December 10, 2010 8:41 AM writes...

Are gas cylinders really that much of a safety hazard?

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19. HappyDog on December 10, 2010 8:49 AM writes...

8. Anonymous BMS Researcher -

I think it's pretty standard clause in most policies that the insurer won't cover an act of war. This reminds me of a clause in my homeowner's and auto policies which further states that "the detonation of a nuclear device, either accidentally or intentionally, shall be considered an act of war" . . .

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20. Anonymous on December 10, 2010 11:04 AM writes...

MTK, my school didn't have a problem with cylinders, it was the gas in them that they were worried about. Nitrogen, argon, air, those were all okay. Hydrogen, no.

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21. hibob on December 10, 2010 12:54 PM writes...

@Padawan: when I was in grad school, one lab set up their hydrogenation rig (fed from a tank) several floors away from their main lab. I'm sure it was because that PI had the clout to grab space anywhere in the building as it became available and the rig just happened to end up in that room, not because the PI or one of his lab managers considered the secretarial pool next to that room (two layers of drywall away from the rig) more expendable than the main lab.

It was still creepy, though.

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22. Bored on December 11, 2010 10:14 PM writes...

How much H2 do you need? We had the same problem, the liability of having a cylinder of H2 stored in our building. Our solution was to buy several 2 cu. ft. lecture bottles. You can inflate about 15 good-sized balloons or 40 little ones with one cylinder.
We buy them from Matheson Tri-Gas.

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23. Anonymous on December 12, 2010 12:05 AM writes...

Perhaps another unfortunate example of hoarding LOL!! I could think of other things I'd prefer to hoard other than explosives. How about beer? If the Mayan calendar is indeed correct and the world ends on Dec. 21/2012, then there are a number things that should be the first order of business....

1. Load up on beer, wine, batteries, food, water etc...
2. Keep your money on hand, not in the bank.
2. Make sure your family and friends are OK
3. Have a filled prescription for benzodiazepines, ie: Ativan,Xanax or klonopin etc... LOL
4. Keep the pellet gun loaded (Cabela's has some really cool polymer tipped .177 pellets)
5. Make sure your car will get you from A to B. Check the tires.
6. Be prepared for the worst but hope for the best. That's where the benzodiazepines come into play...LOL
7. Keep a positive attitude

OK, you get the picture.....

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