600 word reflective BS piece
Its exactly what it says. A 600 word BS reflective piece on my project on Arsenic. Almost got in trouble for it. Heh
As the 33rd element on the periodic table, arsenic has been used as a poison. Of the many ways to obtain arsenic, the most noted one was used in the 17th century when arsenic was obtained by dissolving flypaper in water and then letting the water evaporate so that it left behind a powder. Once this powder was collected by the soon to be assassin it could be used either all at once, or slowly over a period of time.
Due to the increase in technology the element has gained several problems that have made it impractical for causing someone’s death. First, it leaves traces of itself in a person’s body, so with the proper technology it could be proven. Another impracticality of arsenic is that it’s nearly impossible to measure it out properly so that the person doesn’t die to suddenly. If too much was dispensed the person could die suddenly and cause suspicion. If too little was dispensed the person’s body could just fight off the poison and eventually create a tolerance for it, for some the worst that would happen when given a dose that was to small would be for a clear complexion and a weight loss. When administered properly though arsenic can cause the victim to become ill and after a lingering illness which would steal the victims strength, the victim would become increasingly fatigued and fall asleep one night, never to wake up again.
Arsenic, unfortunately for assassins, is a metalloid and has a metallic-like taste that is objectionable to tastebuds. This then means that arsenic must be in a powder for so that it can be mixed into drinks or food. The art of dumping the poison on the food indeed became an art. Most people preferred to use poison rings, which featured a compartment that could be flipped open to dump out the arsenic. These rings were employed by the assassin rudely reaching across the table over someone’s food to get something else. The use of the poison rings created the idea, and social taboo, of not letting anyone reach over your food; the taboo is now a part of modern culture and mannerism.
The most famous and most documented instances of murder by arsenic occurred in the Victorian Era. The one woman who will live forever in infamy is Mary Ann Cotton. Marry Ann lived in Britain and earned the title of “Britain’s Mass Murderess” for she killed four husbands and twelve children. Another famous case occurred in Scotland where Dr. Pritchard murdered his wife, and mother-in-law; just so he could marry a servant-girl who he got pregnant. Dr. Pritchard was sentenced to death and he was the last man in Scotland to hanged in public.
Arsenic is also used in pressure treated wood. Though the use of arsenic in pressure treated wood was to end on January 1, 2004 it is still present in millions of homes and yards. With pressure treated wood as the most common deck material the arsenic, which is water soluble in most forms, can drip off of the wood onto anything stored underneath, such as bikes. And whenever a child touches an arsenic treated piece of wood they risk poison because a child’s body can’t tolerate as high of a level of arsenic as an adult. So when a child rides on the aforementioned bike, they can get arsenic on their hands, and as any parent or baby sitter knows, the hands are always put in the mouth. Thus a child is poisoned because of the wood. In Zoos pressure treated wood was banned. Well if monkeys can’t play on it, then neither should children.
For my project, in which I was required to present an element, I chose Arsenic. I chose Arsenic because it seemed to me to be the most sinister, and fun, of all 115 elements. Arsenic appealed to me because it was often used as poison through out history. To show case, and hence “sell” arsenic I decided to attempt to appeal to the meaner side of people, and show its wonderfully horrific uses. This attempt is shown quite clearly on my poster with the title of “Arsenic: The Best Way to Kill”. My idea was not to promote murder or poison, but to convey the information I had gathered in an interesting way which would appeal to today’s society. The society of modern America is obsessed with “evil” and “horrible” concepts, even though it is rarely admitted. The appeal to arsenic is created by the sinister nature the very word Arsenic has. Arsenic does have medicinal purposes when used properly, but like everything else, the good is ignored because it’s the bad we crave.