[ID] => 10158
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2018-09-27 09:40:52
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-27 08:40:52
[post_content] => DUST IT OFF
Police were called to a petrol station in Stoke-on-Trent, UK early in September by staff who had a problem on their hands. A man was smoking on the forecourt, which was bad enough, but he then tried to extinguish his cigarette using one of the petrol pumps. It is not clear from reports if he arrived by car or on foot, though it seems unlikely he was in any state to drive.
The man was arrested, with the BBC reporting that he was “high on Monkey Dust”. We do not know what Monkey Dust is, or what affect it has, but in our day narcotics had sensible names.
SET IT HOT
Authorities around the world are on high alert for potential terrorist incidents these days so, when there was an explosion on the high street in the Din Daeng district of Bangkok, Thailand early in September, responders feared the worst. Police and firefighters rushed to the 24-hour laundromat where the blast happened, finding eight people lying injured. The laundromat itself and nearby buildings and vehicles were badly damaged.
It rapidly emerged, however, that this was not a terrorist incident but a gas explosion. Police found four 48-kg LPG cylinders connected to the dryers in the laundromat and two more spare cylinders nearby. The laundromat had only been open for three days and the owner, who also ran the restaurant next door, said he had bought both electric and gas-powered dryers from a company in China. Others said they smelled gas before the blast and had gone to fetch the owner when the explosion happened.
Here, then, is another life lesson: it’s safer to stay dirty.
BLOW IT UP
Schools are a more regular source of stories for the Back Page than laundromats, however, and we were not disappointed this month. A teacher and 59 students at a school in Kerala, India were injured when a science experiment went wrong: according to the Times of India, a volcano exploded.
The teacher had arranged a 15-cm piece of PVC pipe, stuffed with some sort of explosive, with a pile of mud on top, with the aim of generating the effect of lava flowing out of a volcano. The report mentions a mixture of vinegar and baking soda as being similar in appearance to lava (anyone know if this is true?). A fire was lit under the experiment, at which point it exploded.
Samples of the explosive were sent for analysis; it certainly appears that it was more powerful than had been expected, although the Times of India reported that modelling volcanic eruptions is a common experiment in schools. Things move on, don’t they? In our day it was modelling ox-bow lakes.
PUT IT OUT
Finally, it is back to another goodwill store story, this time from Statesville, North Carolina, where a well-wisher turned up in August with an antique fire extinguisher. Noticing that the item was leaking, the store called the fire brigade, who called the hazmat crew, since they knew from experience that if an old fire extinguisher is leaking, it is likely to be leaking carbon tetrachloride.
And carbon tetrachloride is bad stuff, according to the SDS. Long-term exposure can cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys, and short-term exposure can cause nausea, vomiting and depression. Next time you want to get rid of one, call 911.
[post_title] => Not Otherwise Specified: This month's miscellany
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => not-otherwise-specified-months-miscellany
[post_modified] => 2018-09-25 12:46:40
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-25 11:46:40
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=10158
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Not Otherwise Specified: This month’s miscellany