I just received my copy of the September edition of Chem 13 News from the University of Waterloo in Canada. They had contacted me about using an article from my blog in their newsletter and I agreed it would be ok.
Because I was expecting a church-newsletter style publication, I was shocked when I received a professionally collated and printed version of this newsletter. It looks more like a journal than a newsletter. On the inside cover, there is an article explaining the magnesium oxide lab. The article states that the lab is notoriously problematic- mostly because of the side product magnesium nitride that also forms in the combustion of magnesium metal. (I thought the water addition step eliminated this problem.) Apparently reusing the crucibles is a source of error. Crucibles were designed to be only used once. Most labs can't afford to replace the crucibles after every experiment (let alone after every year). This introduces error as well.
Seemed very fitting that I should receive this immediately after posting about the magnesium oxide empirical formula lab.
Providence or luck?