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SOURCE: Dennis the Menace ® used by permission of Hank Ketcham Enterprises and © North America Syndicate.

The ninth-grade physical science class was hard at it one day. They heated thin strips of wood in a test tube and found that when they were finished, the wood had shrunk and turned a dark gray. A thick, dark brown smelly substance was stuck to the walls of the test tube, and a colorless, odorless gas had been produced. There were lots of giggles when they discovered that the gas was methane, and that it did indeed burn, but there was some discussion in the back of the room as to whether methane was actually odorless. The dark smelly substance turned out to be tar, and ...

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