Tuesday, June 11, 2002

I was reading through the posts on one of the many message boards I follow, and there was a mention of some soccer game between England and Argentina. I was preparing to post a crack about flammable aluminium boats - I ended up not posting, because I couldn't think of a way to make it funny and contextual - and I thought, "gosh, what IS the combustion point for aluminum in air?" Since I was already online, I figured I'd start with SIRI (Safety Information Resources, Inc.) and check throught the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for aluminum. The first one listed was for aluminum foil from JT Baker™. The first thing it says about aluminum foil is, "As part of good industrial and personal hygiene and safety procedure, avoid all unnecessary exposure to the chemical substance and ensure prompt removal from skin, eyes and clothing." It then goes on to require goggles and lab coats as standard precautions when working with aluminum foil. Obviously, the government has used OSHA to force them to print that, to keep people from making aluminum foil deflector beanies and escape their mind control beams!

That, or they just use the same base MSDS for everything. To test this, I looked up water, CAS#7732-18-5, at JT Baker and, sure enough, they suggest goggles and lab coats. I also checked for water at Fisher Scientific got the following MSDS for water. They must have put the summer intern on non-toxic chemicals. Firstly, they give the molecular weight for water as 20.14, which would only be correct if it were deuterated water with traces of tritium, toxic stuff indeed! Secondly, in case of a chemical (i.e. water) spill, they instruct: "Absorb the liquid and scrub the area with detergent and water." Doh!

I recently got this link to a "real" tombstone with a hidden epithet. I have to say that I question either the validity of the picture or the intelligence of the creators. "Boy, John'll really be mad when he reads this (titter, titter), that is, if he were still alive..." Doh!

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