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(The Gazette)   So, 40 pounds of liquid mercury walk into a bar   ( divider line
    More: Dumbass, Iowa, emergency managers, CRP, respiratory failure, construction workers, kidney diseases, liquid mercury  
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16499 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Jul 2012 at 1:20 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2012-07-25 12:15:48 PM  
3 votes:
Reekers says the worker took the mercury to a bar to show friends. Someone dropped the bottle and exposed 10-12 people at the bar.

Reekers says the worker took the remaining mercury to the house and hid the bottle in a sandbox where four children later found it.

Guy just doesn't know when to stop the asshattery. I'm surprised he didn't take the bottle of mercury out dancing later and mixed a few cocktails with it.
2012-07-25 01:35:27 PM  
2 votes:
Okay, I can understand why Cletus took the bottle of mercury with him to the bar. Big bottle of shiny thing is sure to impress the boozers.

But, wtf was this Inbred Jed thinking when he decided to stash the stuff in a CHILDREN'S SANDBOX????

That is some felony child endangerment right there.

PS: If you have stuff in your basement that even several previous owners say "It must have been the guy before me that put it there", you need to CLEAN YOUR FUGGING BASEMENT OUT!
2012-07-25 01:23:48 PM  
2 votes:
Walks into a millibar, surely.

/write your own Mad Hatter joke here.
2012-07-25 01:22:32 PM  
2 votes:
What sort of moron hides anything in a sandbox?
2012-07-25 11:45:16 AM  
2 votes:
Liquid mercury is not very toxic, mostly because it's very hard to get your body to absorb it. Mercury vapors are quite toxic, but liquid elemental mercury is not very volatile. So, unless the guy dropped it into a hot frying pan, there is very little danger of these folks developing hydrargyria.
2012-07-25 11:15:06 AM  
2 votes:
...and say "Sorry, I gotta run."
2012-07-25 11:01:59 AM  
2 votes:
Hey, hold my beer and check this out..........
2012-07-25 10:58:53 AM  
2 votes:
And so the bartender says, "Why the Hg dog expression?"

/got nuthin'
2012-07-25 09:48:44 AM  
2 votes:
Emmet County emergency manager Terry Reekers says a construction worker remodeling a house found a plastic bottle with about 40 pounds of liquid mercury on Friday.

Reekers says the worker took the mercury to a bar to show friends.
2012-07-25 05:13:31 PM  
1 vote:

Necronic: LazarusLong42: Elemental mercury is impressively inert, especially in large quantities with a low surface area to volume ratio. Drinkable, in fact, though not more than a few milliliters because of its density.

Mercury droplets in the 1 mm range, though, have a high enough surface area to volume ratio that they can create a significant amount of vapor even at room temperature.

That thing was safe until he spilled it. Even better, store it in a sturdy container and covered in water to completely prevent vapor formation.

I have never heard of surface area to volume ratio as mattering. All I thought that matters is surface area. A pan of mercury that is 6 inches deep and 12 inches wide will release vapors at the same rate as one that is 24 inches deep and 12 inches wide.

Only difference with the 'droplet' example is that you have a curved space. A curved space may have an entirely different evaporation rate, but its not a function of volume.

Although I did find this paper which seems to back up your statement (although I didn't see an explanation for it):

That last thing part was cool though, I forgot about hydraulic tables, old school chemistry is the bomb.

Sorry, I guess the SA/V ratio thing isn't as obvious. In a large container, of course, you're correct. The SA/V problem comes into play when you divide the mercury into droplets; it's not the SA/V of each droplet but the SA/V of the entire sample. I was unclear.

Consider a single droplet of mercury with a radius of 1 mm. It has SA ~ 12 mm2 and V ~ 4 mm3. Now, cut it in half. You'll get two spheres, each with a volume of ~2 mm3. Each of these spheres has a surface area of ~7.5 mm2, so you've increased the SA by ~3 mm2, and increased evaporation rate by ~25%.

A mercury spill has a much larger surface area than a container of mercury. When the spill gets divided into droplets, which is to say almost always, things get progressively worse the more droplets. And of course a mercury spill on a soft surface like carpet is just... well, expect to replace the carpet, it's done for, you can't get it out.
2012-07-25 05:04:45 PM  
1 vote:
A few months back I cleaned up a school in Birmingham where the kids found a mason jar full of mercury. They threw it at each other, poured it in their pockets, took that shiat home, and the school staff/admins sent the janitor in to mop up the spill when it was discovered the kids had spread it all over. I can't really blame the kids, stupid though they are; the adults in charge had no farking clue what to do, from properly storing this shiat to dealing with the exposure/cleanup.

This guy is no different. He is quite simply a goddamn moran. Make him pay for all associated costs.
2012-07-25 02:00:12 PM  
1 vote:
Some people are showing their age and lack of experience with the real world. Ever heard of mercury thermometers? How about thermostats that use mercury to make electrical connections by moving a bimetallic strip with a vial containing the stuff attached to it? This guy as a worker certainly has...and I'm sure he knew exactly what it was. Why else did he hide it?
2012-07-25 01:46:31 PM  
1 vote:
Mercury exposure:
2012-07-25 01:37:21 PM  
1 vote:
As opposed to what? Solid mercury?
2012-07-25 01:26:37 PM  
1 vote:
Even as a liquid, mercury denser than lead: 40.0 pounds of mercury = 1.34 L. He probably had it in a 2-liter bottle. Probably handed it to somebody who had no idea how heavy it really was and dropped it.
2012-07-25 01:24:14 PM  
1 vote:
Well it is fairly unlikely he would have solid Hg.
2012-07-25 10:38:11 AM  
1 vote:
2012-07-25 09:57:07 AM  
1 vote:
Wait I think I've heard this one... So, 40 pounds of liquid mercury walk into a bar, walks up to the bartender and says "Are you the legal guardian of John Connor?" then proceeds to form into a policeman and blow everybody's heads off.

There may have been some priests and a rabbi in there somewhere the details are a little blurry.
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