Double Tragedy for the Japanese-American Iba Family of California

History, People
I am a chemist. So why do I write about the tragedy befalling a family? It stems from an article I wrote entitled The Tragic Case of the Los Angeles Wannabe Chemist. In that article, I describe a chemical explosion in 1947 that killed 17 and injured more than 150 persons. Alice was not simply killed. Her body was blown to bits. She was assisting the Ohio-born wannabe chemist, Robert M. Magee. Magee not only lied about his higher education credentials, he hadn't even finished high school, according to his mother. Introducing the Iba Family Alice had been hired just one month-and-a-half before the incident, and was given a change of assignment to work alongside Magee. Her education appears to have been limited to high school. How old was she?…
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The Tragic Case of the Los Angeles Wannabe Chemist

Chemistry, Technology
I wrote how I was, in younger years, badly gassed by the carcinogenic, heavy-metal compound chromyl chloride during a home chemistry experiment. Another article I wrote was about how I mistakenly produced, not an organic ester as intended, but a powerful tear gas. In both cases, I aptly demonstrated my lack of knowledge as a wannabe chemist. My "unfortunate" experiments did not prove tragic. Another fellow was not so fortunate... In fact, his experiment cost him – and sixteen others – their lives. Not to mention, those badly injured, and the many surrounding buildings it destroyed. Introducing Wannabe Chemist Bobby Magee Does the name remind you of the Janis Joplin song Me and Bobby Magee? Well our Bobby, or more precisely, Robert M. Magee was the son of James W.…
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