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piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

shout out to the guy that gathered 1500 gallons of piss to do an alchemical experiment where he thought he could synthesize gold from it and just boiled the whole damn quantity until it was thick as honey and glowing in the dark, therefore discovering phosphorus

this is the kind of stuff we're missing out with all the tvs and internets, we're not bored enough to start boiling piss

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

he used his wife's money to make the alchemical laboratory and hired his son to collect piss, which had to be specifically the piss of beer drinkers

imagine telling your wife you blew her life savings on opening a piss laboratory

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

when life gives you piss, make phosphorus

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster I'm not sure what time period and culture you have in mind in here exactly, but very few western and middle-eastern cultures recognized women as being able to own money as far back as a couple hundred years ago, so probably technically it were his own money that he got when he married

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@deshipu you're not wrong, this is 1700s Hamburg, his second wife was a wealthy widow so i think this is one of the few moments where women are allowed to "own wealth" when they're the only heir of a house; obviously once they marry that's gone

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster There is another thing about alchemy — it's often misrepresented as a search for a way to produce gold, but that's not exactly what it was. The goal was to create a "philosopher's stone", which then, used properly, could "improve" all substances (gold was considered to be the maximally improved, perfect substance) — but not just physically, but also spiritually. It's a quest for self-improvement, in other words.

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster It was also believed that the philosopher stone will be found in the dirt and filth, so the preoccupation with piss is not very surprising.

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@deshipu huh, i knew about the general ideas around the philosopher's stone but i didn't know it would be found in "humble surroundings"

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster @deshipu
in the end it turned out to be in uranium mud, so not far off

re: piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster @deshipu

Piss was big business beyond alchemy. Fulling and tanning, for instance.

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster and to think, even in our modern age, certain areas of the internet are chemically indistinguishable from boiling piss

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster Fun Fact: All the phosphorus in piss makes it a great fertilizer! Civilization wouldn't need to use as much fossil-fuel-based fertilizer if we weren't wasting all our piss by flushing it down the toilet.

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster
Nothing special with that, even in ancient Rome they collected piss as a source of chemicals.

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@wauz I'm remembering curing leather for some reason but I think that was number 2

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster
Bleaching. Piss is source of ammoniac and nitrates

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@wauz oh yeah, they also uses it to wash clothes

re: piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster "bored", yeah we'll go with that

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster collecting large quantities of piss was probably less weird generally before modern industry smithsonianmag.com/science-nat

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross, alcohol 

@carcinopithecus @trickster

Too bad, he was before his time...

Maybe he would have had better luck if he'd waited until after the invention of Goldschlager...

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster we're facing a major phosphorous shortage right now so we're about to start boiling piss again

re: piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster i thought facebook and twitter basically ran on boiling piss...?

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster I mean, there are people out there chugging bleach and chowing down on horse dewormer so you could probably drive this sort of behaviour with a suitably tuned conspiracy generator hooked up to facebook.

@trickster I dunno, I've seen some great Nile Red chemistry videos where he starts with boiling piss and ends up with artificial sweetener or what have you. Example: youtube.com/watch?v=pujG5DbtDT

I mean, in that case it's not *his* boredom that drives it, but arguably the boredom of his viewers...

piss, the discovery of phosphorus, gross 

@trickster@mastodon.technology how did he even get 7000 liters of piss

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