Google has recently partnered with a leading manufacturer of e-cigarettes to produce the first ever “e-cig mod”. The mod is targeted at those K12 youngsters who, despite their best efforts and burning desire to learn, might have been deprived of an elementary Chemistry education because of the scarcity of good introductory Chemistry resources on the web. The mod includes an attractive, multi-media, educational package explaining the Chemistry of the concoctions that go into e-cigs, plus 7 yummy nicotine additives (chocolate, Fuji apple, Bombay mango, Island coconut, vanilla, cherry, peach) that a budding scientist can experiment with without danger of poisoning him or herself, as they have been thoroughly tested by the nice Google staff, which is so wise and can do no wrong.
A Google spokeswoman said: “e-cigs are phenomenally popular among middle and high school kids. About a third of those kids are already using them. So we believe, aren’t we brilliant, that e-cigs are the best way to introduce those kids to Chemistry, and thereby produce the scientists of the future.”
When asked about Chemistry sets, the spokeswoman said: “Oh, but those are so passé. Besides, they are too dangerous. What if the kid poisons himself or puts an eye out? Do you want to have a little pyromaniac in your hands, one that revels in loud explosions and devastating stink bombs?”
(This blog post was inspired by qCraft, a mod produced by Google and Caltech of a video game called MineCraft that is currently very popular among the K12 crowd. Qcraft is intended to teach little kids quantum mechanics. Spiros posted about qCraft in the Caltech blog Quantum Frontiers. My comment to his blog post elicited quite a few thumbs-down. That’s okay. I call the up-and-down-thumbs widget in blogs, “standing on the shoulders of worms”)