Wednesday, February 24, 2021

I am Spending a Lot of Time on Youtube

I have a lot of need to think less; the use of my brain impairs my speech by tiring me out.

I have watched several amazing videos lately.  One is a sequence of episodes about precious metal recovery and refining.  The guy doing it claims to be a geologist,  but he knows a lot of very useful chemistry.  Episode 10 shows him recovering platinum from the shoulder of I-80.  Yes, it is coming out of catalytic converters.   From a small pile of dust smaller than your hand, he isolated and refined a bead of platinum.

Earlier episodes involve refining gold. If you remember freshman chemistry, you should remember aqua regia, the combination of nitric and sulfuric acid that dissolves gold. To medieval chemists, this ability to dissolve gold, the king of metals, is why they called it aqua regia. 

Just awesome.  Another amazing video is How to Make Nitroglycerin.  Don't try this at home kids, except perhaps with a single drop of glycerin and nitric acid. Even then,  it is a big bang.   Have some diatomaceous earth around to stabilize it, or perhaps sawdust to make your own dynamite. 


  1. Clayton, if you haven't watched videos on the Antikythera device (and even if you have), I'm quite sure you'll enjoy this series starting here:
    There are several videos on the device you'll probably enjoy by doing a youtube search of Antikythera.


  2. Check out Primitive Skills - he does such things as going out to find iron ore and refine it. Nice, long videos with no talking - and no need for it.

    1. But if you turn on captions, there is commentary from him that provides nice details.

  3. There's some good stuff being produced on YouTube these days. It's a shame Google has to be awful to content producers. I would recommend:

    Mark Felton Productions: He's a British historian that specializes in WWII. Lots of obscure stuff covered on his channel. Events I've never ever heard of.

    The History Guy: Very entertaining presenter, and also of obscure events in history none of us have really heard of.

    Food Wishes: Presented by Chef John, who taught at the California Culinary Academy before striking out as a YouTube presenter. Teaches cooking in 10 minute informative videos. Haven't tried anything he teaches that hasn't been good.

    PBS has a bunch of good stuff. Eons & SpaceTime channels come to mind.

    1. Sebastian: Mark Felton does some good stuff, with a nit of sarcastic wit in his warship series.

      KCSteve: Primitive Skills is remarkably simple in its presentation and quite amazing.