A science teacher at a Florida High School tells his students to bring in something from the periodic table. Could be iron, could be copper. One student brought in something he shouldn’t have, a thermometer filled with mercury:

One student brought in mercury — contained within a thermometer — and the school went into lockdown.

Deputies say the thermometer was discovered as the substances were checked before going through the school.

No one was put in harm’s way, but a hazmat crew was there as a precaution.

Assuming that the thermometer wasn’t broken and students weren’t trying to gulp the mercury down, [pardon my French but,] are you ‘effing kidding me? A lockdown over this? A Hazmat crew?

When I was a kid, I used to break open thermometers and ’silent’ light switches to collect mercury, which I kept in a small jeweler’s box and actually let the silvery ball roll around in my hands. While some of you might say, “Ah hah! That explains Jeff and his blog,” to which I say, “Nonsense.” I have suffered no harmful effects from doing that all those many years ago. Mercury was totally wonderful to play with.

I can see it now: Someone reading this will notify authorities and I’ll be taken in for interrogation for my address of 50-years-ago so that a million space-suited Hazmat guys can inspect my boyhood bedroom.

What a fucking nation of pussies we’ve become.

Update: For some more dangerous or just cool stuff kids don’t get these days, see my Christmas toy post from last year. Those chemistry sets had real chemicals in them . . .