January 29th, 2008
Ever since I saw the painting shown above, I’ve wanted to suffocate birds in my very own home laboratory. As I got older, the desire to destroy life subsided, but the desire for a home laboratory remained. People have home studios, why not home labs? Obviously, the main obstacle to realizing this dream is cost.
So how much would a general purpose home laboratory cost? Internet searches provided little help, so I decided to compile a quote myself. I aimed to make the lab as complete and general purpose as possible, without being unrealistic in terms of cost (continues after the break):
Phenolic Resin Lab Bench $400
Mini Fume Hood $300
Light Cart (for plants) $200-300
(Even if you’re not a biologist, a light cart can be used for tanning single limbs, lighting your collection of igneous rocks, or growing inspirational plants)
Observation Tools ($2200)
Science being empirical and all, is important to be able to observe natural phenomena that are beyond the range of the human eye. The computer (“A bicycle for the mind!” – Steve Jobs) would obviously need to be running Scibuntu.
Glassware etc. ~$200
Distillation / Titration Apparatus $30
Bird Suffocation Apparatus $20 + $60,000 fine
Hot Plate and Magnetic Stirrer $100
Bunsen / Alcohol Burner $15
P100 Pipette & Tips $100
Electronics Equipment $30
Measurement Tools (calipers, tape measure) $60
Dissection Kit $20
FINAL PRICE: $5600
Not bad! Totally out of any student’s price range, but considering some home theater systems can cost at least this much, its not a bad price at all. Plus, can you really put a price on being able to check your own sperm count? I think not.
Stay tuned for a follow-up post about amateur scientists: do they ever publish or is it all vinegar/baking soda volcanoes and home-made rockets?