Kristen S Kuhns [ksk]

  City of Birth:
Worthington, Ohio

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Kristen's Story > Chapters > Growing Up Girls

"Playing with Mercury" 


Date Range: 01/01/1970 To 12/31/2007   Comments: 3   Views: 9,611
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My best friend when I was young was a girl named Allison Owens. Her parents were the first ones that I knew who'd gotten divorced. I thought her mother was very glamorous for going out on dates and living a single life, but also realized it was hard as she was a nurse and often had to leave Allison and her younger sister with a babysitter.

Allison had long, blonde, straight hair. I was so jealous of her. Mine was brown and curly. She was short. I was tall. She was quiet and shy; I tended to be loud and could be bossy. She was struggling with some classes; I helped her with some of her homework. We had a lot of fun together playing house, school, and riding our bikes.

My favorites were going over to her house and playing in her room as she had a lot of girl toys. But the coolest thing we ever did was to break a thermometer and dumped out and played with the mercury inside.

If you've ever been lucky dumb enough to play with mercury, you will know how terribly interesting it is as a substance. It's not like any other matter in this world. It's behaves like metal water. It balls up and forms little puddles, and beads, but kind of rolls across all types of surfaces. You can sort of pick it up, and you can break apart the beads, but you can also kind of squish it. It's cool to the touch, and Sooo pretty.

I found this 'sky is falling' site that says:

Mercury Exposure believes that the historical use of mercury from gun powder, chemical warfare, to nuclear arms is inherent in the man against man violence in our history; that the uncontrolled use of mercury and lack of awareness and proper diagnosis and testing is cause for concern and threaten stability; that the neurological and behavioral patterns formed under chemical stress caused by toxicity have continued unrecognized; that a mercury free society is one that uses diplomacy to make clear rational judgment; that those in the greatest positions to serve society be toxicity free prior to any engagement that may cause injury as a result of irrational logic produced by neurological chemical stress.

Maybe this is to blame for all my woes :)

Anyway we never told Allison's Mom because we knew she would be very mad at all of us. Allison and her family moved soon after that to Arizona and we lost touch. But I definitely remember playing with mercury and think it's my all time favorite earthly substance.

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Member Since
Aug 2007
Melanie Archer said:
posted on Oct 08, 2007
What we used to be able to do

Takes me back! My dad used to take me and my sister to his office's lab space, where he kept vials of some pretty weird things, including mercury.  He'd drip a little Hg on a paper towel and give each of us a toothpick to push around the beads of silvery liquid which astonished us by never getting the towel wet. And, yes, my dad is a doctor. I guess he figured we were okay so long as we didn't have skin contact with the stuff.

Member Since
Sep 2007
Kristina McIntosh said:
posted on Oct 11, 2007

You know the three second rule.. if it hasn't been on the ground longer than 3 seconds you eat it regardless!!!! KM

Member Since
Feb 2009
MaryHelen Cuellar said:
posted on Feb 17, 2009

I didn't know when you were helping me the other day with my technical problem that you are a co-founder of the site.  Thank you so much!  My nephew told me about it last Friday and it has breathed new life into me; so different from typing your stories into Word (as I have been); I love the camaraderie!  What a great idea (and I have told everyone)!  By the way, there was an Allison in my life too and though you are young enough to be my daughter, I so related to the blonde straight hair and short as I was a tall curly haired brunette too (still am, but it's ok now).  The mercury danger wasn't lost on me though; glad you survived....MaryHelen