Re: Waterbaths (& lotsa other simple things)

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From:"J. A. Kiernan" <>
To:Histonet Mailing List <>
Date:Wed, 19 May 1999 10:45:03 -0400 (EDT)
Content-Type:TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Tue, 18 May 1999, Jim Staruk wrote:

> Yes, a GE skillet from Wal-Mart.  Costs about $19.00 and keeps a perfect 42
> degree C temperature year after year!

   This kind of common sense approach needs to be much more
   widely publicized. Scientific supply houses might then
   have to bring down some of their ridiculously high prices
   for simple devices and chemicals.

   The domestic equipment is often better too. An electric
   heater intended for a saucepan is at least 10 times as
   fast as a cube with a glossy white top, and if you need
   to heat some distilled water why not buy the most expensive 
   stainless steel kettle in the shop, and have a litre
   boiled in 3 or 4 minutes?

   Have you noticed how expensive aluminium potassium sulphate
   has become in recent years?  Alum from a bulk-barrel store
   in the local mall is about one fiftieth the price. No, it's
   not reagent grade (though its clean crystals look just the 
   same), and it certainly works just as well for making up 
   alum-haematoxylin solutions. 

   Vendors of scientific apparatus and chemicals are essential
   and we couldn't do our work without them, but they do charge
   far too much for some of their products, and with a bit (or,
   preferably, a lot) of thought it is possible for us to avoid
   being overcharged. It's always easier to buy from the lab
   vendor, especially when (as is almost always the case) the
   payment is made by an employer or a granting agency.
     John Kiernan
     London, Canada.

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