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Archive for January, 2012

Have we mentioned our line of Lab Furniture lately?

At Spectrum Scientifics, we carry a lot of products for kids, as well as serious equipment for lab workers and scientists. One of the more important lines we carry is our Lab Furniture. This line is built-0n-demand, usually made of chemically resistant PVC or other plastic materials, and are all made in the USA!

Equipment ranges from this rotating lab shelf

To this light duty lab cart

Up to this huge 8′ mobile Lab ‘Island’

These are just examples of desktop and ‘desk’ styles however, this line also includes Bio-Hazard shields to keep the zombie-making liquids* away from you!

* Zombie -making fluids do not actually exist.

Other popular products in this line are the 108 Compartment HPLC cabinet, used to store analytical HPLC columns ( a chromatography item).

This Lab Furniture line truly has ‘something for everyone’ – from simply filling some storage needs to full on lab-top workspace. There is something to take care of your needs!

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

New Information Intensive Poster – Understanding Earth Science

We’ve added a new entry to our popular information intensive poster series: Understanding Earth Science

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This gloriously colorful poster shows the Earth  in several ways, from a view from the International Space Station, to an imaging on global vegitation, or a the sea level. This poster has lots of great imagery and detailed explanations of each image.This poster is a great and informative wall hanger!

The poster measures 24″ Wide x 36″ Tall and is laminated for survival in the toughest classrooms. Printed in the USA.

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

Oh, little scammers, how you do amuse.

About once a week we get an email that reads like this:

“I will like to order some of your products and I will want it shipped to our place as follows :

<shipping address redacted>
Therefore, i hope to hear from you soon regarding my inquiry and to know where i can view products you have presently in stock and if there is any special pricing i need to know about. Lastly regarding payment i will be sending you my USA Valid credit card to charge for my order to avoid delays but can you let me know the type of credit cards you accept?Can you work hand in hand with my client freight personal agent? so they can Pickup the products directly from your location down to my client address in <redacted>

I hope to hear from you as soon as possible.
Regards.

Fred

NOTE IN TERMS OF SHIPPING THAT CAN BE ARRANGED WITH THE RIGHT SHIPPING COMPANY AND PAPER WORK AND ONCE YOU CAN WORK WITH THE SHIPPING COMPANY PROVIDED ,SHIPMENT WILL GET TO OUR DOORSTEP IN NO TIME.

Of course, this makes us roll our eyes as yet another lazy scammer is trying to get our attention.

The meat of this is in the middle paragraph of course. Let’;s break it down:

“Therefore, i hope to hear from you soon regarding my inquiry and to know where i can view products you have presently in stock”

This is the part that pretty says “scammer”. Whoever they are they are too lazy to even look at our website. Not once is there any mention of any specific inventory that we carry.

and if there is any special pricing i need to know about.

’cause you know, if you are trying to con someone, you should at least be economical about it and get the best price.

Lastly regarding payment i will be sending you my USA Valid credit card to charge for my order to avoid delays but can you let me know the type of credit cards you accept?

This line, or a line very similar to it appears in almost all of these scammer’s emails (usually the wording is more like “do you please maybe accept CREDIT CARD?!”)  More proof that they have not even given a real glance at our website, or else they’d know what credit cards we take.

Any credit card they give will be fake, or more likely stolen. I used to try and fish these guys to get them to reveal their fake card numbers, but the credit card companies seemed so uninterested in rooting out problems like this and made it hard to do so that I stopped bother, although once I did get a call thanking me for following through.

Can you work hand in hand with my client freight personal agent? so they can Pickup the products directly from your location down to my client address in <redacted>

Ah, yes. Here were get to the meat of the theft. The card is fake, and they want their ‘personal’ freight agent (a local partner to the scammer) to pick up the items.  That way there is no paper trail or tracking when the items ship.  Joy.

These emails are incredibly clunky and sloppy, and yet someone must be falling for them because we keep getting them.

The joys of online retail.

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

Opportunity on Mars – Still going after 8 years.

On January 24th, 2004 NASA’s Opportunity Rover touched down on Mars with its sister rover, Spirit. Today, eight years later, Opportunity is still going, well beyond expected performance. Spirit died last year after getting mired in the sand in such  a way that it could not use its solar panels to recharge . Both rovers were not expected to last beyond a 90 working period. But they ended up lasting well beyond their operation period and Opportunity still rolls along. With this “opportunity” NASA scientists have been using the rover to search out as much information as they can on the Endevour Crater.

Opportunity has traveled over 21 miles since landing (poor Spirit only covered a little under 5 miles). Detailed trverse maps can be found on NASA’s webpage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More details on Opporunity

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

Norman Edmund, Founder of Edmund Scientific, RIP

We have just heard that Norman Edmund, the founder of the famous Edmund Scientific, passed away on January 16th.

Norman Edmund started a company by selling surplus lenses during WW2. When he couldn’t get a lens for his camera he purchased 10 in a bulk surplus order. Since he now had 9 lenses he did not need he placed a small ad and sold them all quickly. He repeated this with another batch of lenses and soon a business was born. At first it was known as the Edmund Salvage Company, but later on as Norman’s interest in science education made its way into the catalog (at first with products built using more surplus lenses) the company became known as Edmund Scientific. It soon had a catalog that was famous in science circles. Norman would run Edmund Scientific until the 70’s when health issues led him to turn over the reigns to his son, Robert Edmund. Soon after, Edmund Scientific split into two divisions – the ‘Scientifics’ division and the Industrial Optics Division. The former was sold to science supply company VWR in 2001, while the latter continues to exist in Barrington, NJ.

Edmund Scientific was a great inspiration to Spectrum Scientifics. Without it this store and website would have never come into being. It is our hope that we follow the legacy of Norman Edmund’s scientific company (a little less so of what VWR made it into). That is our dream. We think we have done a pretty good job, and many folks who remember the Edmund Scientific store in Barrington, NJ remark that our store reminds them of it.

Norman Edmund

For more information. Please visit Edmund Optics press release.

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

Helping science teachers with supplies

We get a lot of science teachers in the store buying supplies and equipment for their classroom. The sad fact is that they are often spending their own cash – the often heard lament is that they get all of $100 for supplies for the year and either have to jump through hoops to order anything beyond that or have no option but to spend their own salary. We help as much as we can: discounts, etc. But the sad fact is that much of the money is coming out of their own pockets – as much as 10% in some cases!

So what can be done? Sometimes grants can be applied for, but take a lot of effort to follow through, and there is a lot of competition even for small grants.

Other options are donation programs. These include Adopt a Classroom and Donors Choose. Both of these allow contributors to donate to classrooms in need. Teachers in turn can sign up to receive funding for classroom supplies and equipment. As of this writing there appear to be some issues with Donors Choose as being more of a ‘professional’ (i.e. taking a large portion of the donations) charity than it was in the past. These programs can be used for non-science classes as well.

In any case, charity groups like this at least can get money into the hands of teachers seeking funds for their school projects or classroom without the middleman of the school administration or other interests. Consider a donation today!

Fun with a Smart Phone and a Kaleidoscope.

Not much time today, so here is a video we took be shooting through one of our Kaleidoscopes