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(WTSP)   Not news: High school chemistry teacher asks students to bring in a substance from the Periodic Table of Elements. Fark: School gets locked down over a thermometer   (wtsp.com) divider line 195
    More: Florida, Seminole High School, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, rapid transits, classical elements, Caught on Camera, teachers  
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13349 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Dec 2012 at 2:10 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-04 12:43:46 PM
Broke into an abandoned, partially-burned out house about 20 years ago, in the basement they had old-style apparently hand-cast small bottles (with corks in them, no less) one of which contained about an inch (about a cubic inch) of mercury, unsurprisingly in liquid form. It was pretty cool to pour it back and forth from one hand to the other, until it touched my hs class ring and instantly stripped all the gold plating off of it. (Damn you, stoichiometry!)

No idea where that ring is, don't really care, what a waste of money, the school shut down 5 years ago, f*ck your stupid religion and your silly imaginary gods; you are just not that important.

/also had a copy of the master key to the school, boy that was fun, going through all the old offices off the mezzanine level between 1st floor and cafeteria
 
2012-12-04 12:54:43 PM
Jesus farking God. Government schooling at it's finest.
 
2012-12-04 12:55:32 PM
Oh, for farks sake...
 
2012-12-04 01:04:10 PM

urban.derelict: It was pretty cool to pour it [Mercury] back and forth from one hand to the other,



This explains... much
 
2012-12-04 01:41:37 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Jesus farking God. Government schooling at it's finest.


In all fairness-students were told not to bring mercury. Kinda silly to go into lockdown.
 
2012-12-04 01:54:26 PM

stratagos: urban.derelict: It was pretty cool to pour it [Mercury] back and forth from one hand to the other,


This explains... much


I, too, handled raw mercury from a broken thermometer as a kid, poured it from hand to hand and yes, it was pretty cool--with no ill effects btw.*

* aside from a multiyear string of unexplained episodes, anti-social behavior, binge drinking, etc... which may, or may not be attributable to mercury poisoning.

Curious, why not ask a scientist?
 
2012-12-04 02:02:13 PM

hammettman: stratagos: urban.derelict: It was pretty cool to pour it [Mercury] back and forth from one hand to the other,


This explains... much

I, too, handled raw mercury from a broken thermometer as a kid, poured it from hand to hand and yes, it was pretty cool--with no ill effects btw.*

* aside from a multiyear string of unexplained episodes, anti-social behavior, binge drinking, etc... which may, or may not be attributable to mercury poisoning.

Curious, why not ask a scientist?


Yep and yep...We did it in science class.
 
2012-12-04 02:12:13 PM

Fark: School gets locked down over a thermometer


They sound mercurial.
 
2012-12-04 02:13:17 PM
Frickin' pikers, in my day we'd have risen to that challenge by bringing in AT LEAST an ounce of Plutonium-even if we DID have to rip off the Libyans to get it.
 
2012-12-04 02:13:34 PM
Stupid Mercury.

Now I can't show the class my Polonium.
 
2012-12-04 02:14:12 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Jesus farking God. Government schooling at it's finest.


It's stupid, yes. But I fail to see why the "government" part was necessary or relevant. Public schools are hardly the only places with dopey, zero-tolerance policies and disproportionate, hysterical behavior.
 
2012-12-04 02:14:41 PM
UMTIR?

// unwanted mercury thermometer in rectum?

// Hey, don't shoot the messenger.
 
2012-12-04 02:15:02 PM
No one was put in harm's way, but a hazmat crew was there as a precaution.

Seriously? I don't even..
 
2012-12-04 02:16:02 PM

brantgoose: Stupid Mercury.

Now I can't show the class my Polonium.


Pussy. I go plutonium or I go home.
 
2012-12-04 02:17:08 PM
Don' tell them there's mercury in all those 4ft. fluorescent lights hanging over their heads.

The stupid has infected this country. Time to start over.
 
2012-12-04 02:17:39 PM
As long as the themometer is not broken it is still safe enough to put up your bum.
 
2012-12-04 02:18:05 PM
Wha? When did a mercury thermometer become hazardous? There must have been hundreds of those things around my school, especially, you know, for taking the temperature of things in Science class.

Take away science and all you get is... Floridians.
 
2012-12-04 02:18:06 PM

urban.derelict: No idea where that ring is, don't really care, what a waste of money, the school shut down 5 years ago, f*ck your stupid religion and your silly imaginary gods; you are just not that important.


You mad bro?
 
2012-12-04 02:20:27 PM
Now what am I going to do with all of this radium?
 
2012-12-04 02:21:48 PM
from the bottom of the article

You May Also Like...

Bikini Photos: 2012 Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant
 
2012-12-04 02:22:26 PM
OH LORD

*Floridian Facepalm
 
2012-12-04 02:23:41 PM
True Fact: Mercury is a vicious sentient susbstance that can leap in the mouth of unsuspecting victims from three meters away.

That school is guilty of criminal negligence for not calling in the army.
 
2012-12-04 02:23:44 PM
In my gradeschool, they let us play with Mercury, wtf?!?!
 
2012-12-04 02:24:47 PM
I'm told that iPhone V6 will use mercury switch to sense orientation, getting rid of those pesky gyroscopes and accelerometers.
 
2012-12-04 02:25:44 PM
Jesus flipping Christ. I'm a chemist. I speak with authority: mercury is really not that toxic. Doctors used to prescribe it as a laxative. Granted, you don't want to be around if someone drops it on a stove, as inhaling the vapor can cause problems, but this school is completely buttfarking stupid. I could list a dozen things more toxic than mercury that are allowed in school.

Which isn't to say the assignment wasn't stupid. Literally "everything is from the periodic table."
 
2012-12-04 02:28:31 PM
While we were taking a very tough Biology exam, our teacher dropped a chunk of sodium in a beaker of water. (Just for the lulz.) Did a hell of a lot more damage than a damned thermometer.
 
2012-12-04 02:29:32 PM

The Irresponsible Captain: Wha? When did a mercury thermometer become hazardous? There must have been hundreds of those things around my school, especially, you know, for taking the temperature of things in Science class.

Take away science and all you get is... Floridians.


If the thermometer breaks, the mercury cleanup is a pain in the ass. Given the potential to damage particularly if theres aluminum the mercury can get to, calling professionals saved money if anything went wrong. Usually, it's a money loser, but if it's done every single time Hg might be spilled, that overreaction probably saves money.
 
2012-12-04 02:30:24 PM
Would be funnier if it were a digital thermometer.
 
2012-12-04 02:31:44 PM

Diogenes: Dancin_In_Anson: Jesus farking God. Government schooling at it's finest.

It's stupid, yes. But I fail to see why the "government" part was necessary or relevant. Public schools are hardly the only places with dopey, zero-tolerance policies and disproportionate, hysterical behavior.


In order to have nonsensical bureaucratic activity, it usually requires a government to be involved.
It just doesn't replicate much in a small school environment. Not that it could not happen. If a teacher or administrator happened to also be an HOA board member, you might see some of the same fine qualities that produce OC rules.
 
2012-12-04 02:32:25 PM

gerbilpox: While we were taking a very tough Biology exam, our teacher dropped a chunk of sodium in a beaker of water. (Just for the lulz.) Did a hell of a lot more damage than a damned thermometer.


It's better to teach the kids about sodium using that rock and roll music they like so much ...


MST3K Horror at Party Beach - Sodium!
 
2012-12-04 02:33:27 PM

lohphat: Don' tell them there's mercury in all those 4ft. fluorescent lights hanging over their heads.

The stupid has infected this country. Time to start over.


My gym had mercury vapor lights in the ceiling.


Like these:
farm3.staticflickr.com

/I think most sports arenas and stadiums and street lights use them as well.
 
2012-12-04 02:34:21 PM
I have a couple of those thermometers that I still use to take my temperature. If you don't break them, those things never seem to wear out!
 
2012-12-04 02:35:17 PM

Abe Vigoda's Ghost


urban.derelict: No idea where that ring is, don't really care, what a waste of money, the school shut down 5 years ago, f*ck your stupid religion and your silly imaginary gods; you are just not that important.

You mad bro?



img87.imageshack.us
 
2012-12-04 02:35:21 PM

Tickle Mittens: The Irresponsible Captain: Wha? When did a mercury thermometer become hazardous? There must have been hundreds of those things around my school, especially, you know, for taking the temperature of things in Science class.

Take away science and all you get is... Floridians.

If the thermometer breaks, the mercury cleanup is a pain in the ass. Given the potential to damage particularly if theres aluminum the mercury can get to, calling professionals saved money if anything went wrong. Usually, it's a money loser, but if it's done every single time Hg might be spilled, that overreaction probably saves money.


Plus, HAZMAT Team must make sure budget cuts never effect them.
 
2012-12-04 02:35:57 PM

The Irresponsible Captain: Wha? When did a mercury thermometer become hazardous? There must have been hundreds of those things around my school, especially, you know, for taking the temperature of things in Science class.

Take away science and all you get is... Floridians.


Try finding a medical mercury thermometer these days.
 
2012-12-04 02:35:58 PM
Came to see if anybody pointed out the differences in liquid mercury vs vapor...

Looks like we are covered.
 
2012-12-04 02:36:24 PM

Tommy Moo: I could list a dozen things more toxic than mercury that are allowed in school.


i.imgur.com
 
2012-12-04 02:36:49 PM
Just give them something to read.

2.bp.blogspot.com 

/tell them to get hammered
 
2012-12-04 02:36:56 PM
In my junior high school physics class we had a beaker with about 2 inches of mercury for anybody to play with. Also had a baby in a jar.
 
2012-12-04 02:37:00 PM

Tommy Moo: Jesus flipping Christ. I'm a chemist. I speak with authority: mercury is really not that toxic. Doctors used to prescribe it as a laxative. Granted, you don't want to be around if someone drops it on a stove, as inhaling the vapor can cause problems, but this school is completely buttfarking stupid. I could list a dozen things more toxic than mercury that are allowed in school.

Which isn't to say the assignment wasn't stupid. Literally "everything is from the periodic table."


Seriously, it'll just be 30 kids with aluminum cans and the one smartass who "brought nitrogen."
 
2012-12-04 02:40:11 PM

abhorrent1: No one was put in harm's way, but a hazmat crew was there as a precaution.

Seriously? I don't even..


Yes. Seriously. This is what could have happened to those snowflakes:
img.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-04 02:40:17 PM
I'd like to get one of those periodic tables. It would go great with my occasional chair.
 
2012-12-04 02:41:06 PM
Hey, that's right down the street from where "Macho Man" Randy Savage died!

...a coincidence...???
 
2012-12-04 02:41:51 PM
The school was locked down while admins checked out what else students brought, not just because of a mercury-filled thermometer. I'm disappointed that those kids couldn't find anything more hazardous in their homes.
 
2012-12-04 02:42:27 PM

mcreadyblue: Tickle Mittens: The Irresponsible Captain: Wha? When did a mercury thermometer become hazardous? There must have been hundreds of those things around my school, especially, you know, for taking the temperature of things in Science class.

Take away science and all you get is... Floridians.

If the thermometer breaks, the mercury cleanup is a pain in the ass. Given the potential to damage particularly if theres aluminum the mercury can get to, calling professionals saved money if anything went wrong. Usually, it's a money loser, but if it's done every single time Hg might be spilled, that overreaction probably saves money.

Plus, HAZMAT Team must make sure budget cuts never effect them.


Well, any area of any size has to have one, just in case. So there are a lot of sunk costs. The real cost of the incident are tax-free gas that might not otherwise have been used, and what? I think it's a big deal over nothing like anyone else, I just don't see the authorities' response as particularly irrational. It's Florida and no one ended up shot, doesn't that have to be marked in the "Win" column?
 
2012-12-04 02:43:04 PM
Would a jar of dog piss count?

You know, K9P...
 
2012-12-04 02:43:38 PM
Not this shiat again...

<u>Elemental</u> mercury is NOT dangerous unless you go out of your way to make it so! You can farking drink it with little effect, hell, you can INJECT it and have only relatively minor problems. Breathing the vapors, on the other hand, can be a big problem, as can organic mercury compounds.

<a target="_blank" href="http://mysite.du.edu/~jcalvert/phys/mercury.htm">Mercury </a>

Pay special attention to the section "Mercury as a Poison".
 
2012-12-04 02:43:56 PM

AugieDoggyDaddy: Also had a baby in a jar.


From a long ago photoshop contest:

i5.photobucket.com
i5.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-04 02:44:20 PM
Not this shiat again...

Elemental mercury is NOT dangerous unless you go out of your way to make it so! You can farking drink it with little effect, hell, you can INJECT it and have only relatively minor problems. Breathing the vapors, on the other hand, can be a big problem, as can organic mercury compounds.

Mercury

Pay special attention to the section "Mercury as a Poison".
 
2012-12-04 02:45:43 PM

BarkingUnicorn: The school was locked down while admins checked out what else students brought, not just because of a mercury-filled thermometer. I'm disappointed that those kids couldn't find anything more hazardous in their homes.


HAZMAT was as much a precaution against lawsuits as anything else. Prudent response.

images2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2012-12-04 02:46:25 PM
Imagine the shiatstorm if one of the kids found this in their basement and brought it in:

c414155.r55.cf1.rackcdn.com
 
2012-12-04 02:47:36 PM
I brought in carbon. Well, It would have been carbon, but they wouldn't let me display how to separate it from C21H30O2 with fire
 
2012-12-04 02:50:06 PM

gerbilpox: While we were taking a very tough Biology exam, our teacher dropped a chunk of sodium in a beaker of water. (Just for the lulz.) Did a hell of a lot more damage than a damned thermometer.


Could have done potassium, or if really crazy, cesium.
 
2012-12-04 02:50:36 PM
Ermahgerd! Thermerhmetehr!

www.freakingnews.com
 
2012-12-04 02:51:53 PM
I'm sure the kid who brought chlorine gas was especially popular.
 
2012-12-04 02:53:30 PM

darth_badger: gerbilpox: While we were taking a very tough Biology exam, our teacher dropped a chunk of sodium in a beaker of water. (Just for the lulz.) Did a hell of a lot more damage than a damned thermometer.

It's better to teach the kids about sodium using that rock and roll music they like so much ...



BAAT MAAAAAAAN!
 
2012-12-04 02:53:33 PM

brantgoose: Stupid Mercury.

Now I can't show the class my Polonium.


I showed my high school class my pole and got into a lot of trouble.
 
2012-12-04 02:53:46 PM

Diogenes: Dancin_In_Anson: Jesus farking God. Government schooling at it's finest.

It's stupid, yes. But I fail to see why the "government" part was necessary or relevant. Public schools are hardly the only places with dopey, zero-tolerance policies and disproportionate, hysterical behavior.


And the disproportionate, hysterical behavior is only because clueless parents will get hysterical and file disproportionate lawsuits if they think that their snowflakes were exposed to (chose one, depending on locale) 1) environmental toxins 2) gummint mind-control chemicals.
 
2012-12-04 02:54:57 PM
The mental picture of a hazmat crew in full suit carrying around a thermometer amuses me to no end. I don't care what the reasoning this is a perfect example of what we have been reduced to.
 
2012-12-04 02:55:06 PM

Diogenes: Dancin_In_Anson: Jesus farking God. Government schooling at it's finest.

It's stupid, yes. But I fail to see why the "government" part was necessary or relevant. Public schools are hardly the only places with dopey, zero-tolerance policies and disproportionate, hysterical behavior.


yes but the 99% is pretty much forced to make their kids deal with these tards.
 
2012-12-04 02:55:58 PM
Not toxic ? No problem... sodium metal chunk. Sure, it's reactive but not toxic.

Maybe a big hunk of natural Uranium ore would have been more fun ?
 
2012-12-04 02:56:23 PM
Somebody ought to break an incandescent bulb just to watch the overreaction to mercury. They'll have to tear the whole school down and bring in new soil.
 
2012-12-04 02:58:58 PM

Englebert Slaptyback: Fark: School gets locked down over a thermometer


They sound mercurial.


Not even close. Possibly the lamest pun ever
 
2012-12-04 03:00:17 PM
it's a parallax you dig??
 
2012-12-04 03:00:18 PM
... and in MY elementary school, the sixth-grade teacher handed us about a pint of mercury (no joke, thing weighed several pounds) and let us build mercury barometers. At least one of which broke in a shower of silvery droplets splattered across the classroom floor.

// and I wonder what became of the lithium D-cell battery I let my son take in for HIS "bring an element" excercise in fourth grade? It didn't come back home... someone must've gotten a surprise when they tried to put it in their flashlight.
 
2012-12-04 03:00:38 PM
4.bp.blogspot.com 

Waaaahhhhhh gubbermint schkools! WAAAAHHHH!

Those foul Martians IMPOSED teh gubbermint on us FREEDUM loving Amurkans!!
 
2012-12-04 03:01:42 PM

EddyKilowatt: Diogenes: Dancin_In_Anson: Jesus farking God. Government schooling at it's finest.

It's stupid, yes. But I fail to see why the "government" part was necessary or relevant. Public schools are hardly the only places with dopey, zero-tolerance policies and disproportionate, hysterical behavior.

And the disproportionate, hysterical behavior is only because clueless parents will get hysterical and file disproportionate lawsuits if they think that their snowflakes were exposed to (chose one, depending on locale) 1) environmental toxins 2) gummint mind-control chemicals.


Wasn't there a bunch of parents a while back who were upset because they said the wireless internet in the school was doing something to the kids' heads?
 
2012-12-04 03:06:05 PM

hstein3: I'm sure the kid who brought chlorine gas was especially popular.


It's probably a good thing that I don't have any kids, because (thanks to eBay) I have samples of liquid elemental chlorine and bromine at home. They're quite safe because they're in sealed glass tubes inside a block of clear plastic, but I can only imagine how a modern "zero tolerance" school might react to them.
 
2012-12-04 03:08:51 PM
I worked in a chemical plant as a young man and mercury was used in a process to strip unwanted chemicals from sodium hydroxide (drano). A guy used to steal the stuff in his thermos, then the next day he would bring coffee in the same thermos. I guess chemical worker aren't so bright, I am a shining example.
 
2012-12-04 03:09:27 PM
No doubt in my mind now - the terrorists have won.
 
2012-12-04 03:09:37 PM
I can just see men in hazmat suits pushing their way through dozens of people recoiling in horror from a scrawny kid holding a thermometer.
 
2012-12-04 03:11:59 PM
 
2012-12-04 03:12:13 PM

FarkinHostile: Not this shiat again...

Elemental mercury is NOT dangerous unless you go out of your way to make it so! You can farking drink it with little effect, hell, you can INJECT it and have only relatively minor problems. Breathing the vapors, on the other hand, can be a big problem, as can organic mercury compounds.

Mercury

Pay special attention to the section "Mercury as a Poison".


We played with it when I was a kid. Put it on dimes and quarters, made them really shiny (for awhile). It's not toxic. I wouldn't drink it, tho.
 
2012-12-04 03:16:42 PM
Overreact in 3, 2, 1....
 
2012-12-04 03:17:33 PM

notmtwain: UMTIR?

// unwanted mercury thermometer in rectum?

// Hey, don't shoot the messenger.


i236.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-04 03:19:12 PM

urban.derelict: (Damn you, stoichiometry!)


deadhomersociety.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-12-04 03:19:20 PM

EddyKilowatt: And the disproportionate, hysterical behavior is only because clueless parents will get hysterical and file disproportionate lawsuits if they think that their snowflakes were exposed to (chose one, depending on locale) 1) environmental toxins 2) gummint mind-control chemicals.

No.
The behavior has no reasoning beyond stupidity in almost all cases. Those that seek to later justify it use the lawsuit reasoning. That sort of behavior is the problem.
The behavior is rewarded by the brainless lumps of mass that we call "Judges" that allow those sorts of lawsuits.

Excusing it, justifying it, or supporting it, those are the problems that need to be dealt with.
 
2012-12-04 03:20:48 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: We played with it when I was a kid. Put it on dimes and quarters, made them really shiny (for awhile). It's not toxic. I wouldn't drink it, tho.


Well, it IS toxic, but it is very poorly absorbed both subcutaneously and via the gastrointestinal tract. Only when its vapors are inhaled or it is in organic form does it become a serious threat.

And if you had worms you'd be wise to drink it if no other cure was available.
 
2012-12-04 03:22:52 PM
can't bring in Substance D either..

media.giantbomb.com
 
2012-12-04 03:24:17 PM
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-12-04 03:27:12 PM

EddyKilowatt: And the disproportionate, hysterical behavior is only because clueless parents will get hysterical and file disproportionate lawsuits if they think that their snowflakes were exposed to (chose one, depending on locale) 1) environmental toxins 2) gummint mind-control chemicals.


I May Be Crazy But...: Wasn't there a bunch of parents a while back who were upset because they said the wireless internet in the school was doing something to the kids' heads?


Precisely why DIA's snide insert is off the mark. The real blame is on dumb parents who make it all but impossible to not have zero tolerance policies if only as a means to protect against litigation.
 
2012-12-04 03:28:28 PM
Approves:

i759.photobucket.com

No one else before now? Farkers, I am disappoint.
 
2012-12-04 03:29:35 PM
Hell I remember a few years ago someone spilled some in a high school in DC. The school was shut down for a year I think for the "clean up"
 
2012-12-04 03:30:21 PM
assets.rollingstone.com 
Unavailable for comment.
 
2012-12-04 03:33:15 PM
Please forgive me, as I now realize that between the mercury and lead D&D figures I had as a kid, I'd naively unraveled my destiny as the ultra-intelligent global leader of our new millennium and let you all down.

Sorry.
 
2012-12-04 03:33:47 PM
This is hilarious.

In my day, we did experiments with mercury-filled manometers in chemistry class. For obvious reasons, they weren't completely sealed like thermometers. You just rely on the fact that a protective oxidized layer forms on undisturbed mercury.

Coolest application: super cheap observatory lenses created by taking a bowl of mercury and spinning it up to a constant speed. It forms a parabolic mirror surface, and once the surface is stable, it's safe. You just have to pump out the hazardous vapors that were created while it was being spun up.
 
2012-12-04 03:34:30 PM
Just think what would've happened if you brought these:

greenremodelforum.com

OMG, it's a G-d D@mn terrorist attack
 
2012-12-04 03:35:04 PM

AugieDoggyDaddy: In my junior high school physics class we had a beaker with about 2 inches of mercury for anybody to play with. Also had a baby in a jar.


lh5.googleusercontent.com

Nobody puts baby in a jar!
 
2012-12-04 03:35:05 PM

ProfessorOhki: Tommy Moo: Jesus flipping Christ. I'm a chemist. I speak with authority: mercury is really not that toxic. Doctors used to prescribe it as a laxative. Granted, you don't want to be around if someone drops it on a stove, as inhaling the vapor can cause problems, but this school is completely buttfarking stupid. I could list a dozen things more toxic than mercury that are allowed in school.

Which isn't to say the assignment wasn't stupid. Literally "everything is from the periodic table."

Seriously, it'll just be 30 kids with aluminum cans and the one smartass who "brought nitrogen."


My high school had alpha, beta, and gamma sources in a random box in the back storage area of the physics classroom. Did my end of the year research project with them and a Geiger counter hooked up to a computer still running MS-DOS. Damn, I wish I could remember what isotopes they were.

/went to high school in the... whatever we're calling the 2000s, but this was a few short months before 9/11 so we were lauded instead.


(and for, in retrospect, a pretty lame experiment since all the data I really needed is just in certain reference books anyway, which I found out in college.

Anyway, doing some math or running a computer model simulation really isn't as fun as holding a gamma source in your hand, dammit. I realized that probably wasn't wise, but figured it was in a sample kit, couldn't be awful. I've gotten better.)
 
2012-12-04 03:35:52 PM
Glad I decided at the last minute not to take that phial of uranium!

Seriously, this is so moronic. Elemental mercury is harmless. You can handle it with impunity for quite a long time. It is the mercuric oxides and methylated mercuric compounds that are dangerous. Elemental mercury readily oxidizes and there are several natural processes that will lead to its methylation, so it's a good idea not to have a lot of it sitting around the house. But a mercury thermometer is 100% safe. Even if it is broken, it doesn't contain enough mercury to worry about.

urban.derelict: until it touched my hs class ring and instantly stripped all the gold plating off of it


It didn't actually strip the gold off, but bound with it. You could have reclaimed it chemically via a number of reactions. But there would have been no way to get it back on the ring. Besides, those cheap, gold plated class rings had only a minuscule amount of gold on them.
 
2012-12-04 03:36:32 PM
not related. but the stupidest day of high school physics was when our teacher brought in a concave mirror and went around the class going "LOOK IN THE MIRROR LOOK HOW BIG YOUR FACE IS"
 
2012-12-04 03:38:23 PM

BarkingUnicorn: The school was locked down while admins checked out what else students brought, not just because of a mercury-filled thermometer. I'm disappointed that those kids couldn't find anything more hazardous in their homes.


Meat, sugar, gluten. The horror!
 
2012-12-04 03:38:48 PM

PsyLord: Just think what would've happened if you brought these:

[greenremodelforum.com image 400x297]

OMG, it's a G-d D@mn terrorist attack


That reminds me, the person who had my job before me left a broken one of those in a box buried underneath a spare desk. Thanks, R, I just remembered I gotta look up how to deal with that now...

/to be fair, that out of sight out of mind trick is great, I've apparently forgotten about that for months myself
 
2012-12-04 03:38:59 PM
Good thing I wasn't in Mrs. Curie's class.
depletedcranium.com
 
2012-12-04 03:40:22 PM

moothemagiccow


Not even close. Possibly the lamest pun ever


From merriam-webster.com:

mer·cu·ri·al
adjective \(ˌ)mər-ˈkyur-ē-əl\
Definition of MERCURIAL
1
: of, relating to, or born under the planet Mercury
2
: having qualities of eloquence, ingenuity, or thievishness attributed to the god Mercury or to the influence of the planet Mercury
3
: characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood
4
: of, relating to, containing, or caused by mercury



The school quickly got wound up and locked down over an insignificant amount of mercury, so both 3 and 4 are applicable.

Hey, look at that: you're wrong. Shut your word hole.
 
2012-12-04 03:42:46 PM
I dropped a mercury thermometer at the doctor's office long ago when such devices were common. Until the nurse came in to clean it up, I had fun pushing the shiny metal balls across the floor and watch them absorb each other.

When I was working at a restaurant, another guy cleaned the kitchen floor with bleach, and when the floor drain was slow to clear, dumped a bunch of drano into it. A big cloud of green chlorine gas shot out of the drain, right in his face. IIRC we just took him outside to get fresh air until he could breathe again.

I remember our HS science teacher pouring sugar into sulfuric acid; he did it outside so the stink would disperse quickly, and it was easier to clean up the large mass of carbon liberated by the reaction.

I also worked on an AF base that tested missile and fighter engines. One building was a nuclear structure test room; inside a large ball of steel was a radiation source made from cobalt. I wonder if they would have let me bring that to school???
 
2012-12-04 03:44:13 PM

I_Can't_Believe_it's_not_Boutros: I'd like to get one of those periodic tables. It would go great with my occasional chair.


Every now and then
 
2012-12-04 03:45:09 PM
I brought my lithium.
 
2012-12-04 03:45:45 PM

Burr: I brought in carbon.


How old was it?

/we are stardust
 
2012-12-04 03:46:54 PM

Ratbert42: I brought my lithium.


I brought, um, a pencil. Carbon. Participation badge.

/vaguely thinking that we did have this assignment in elementary school or something
 
2012-12-04 03:47:37 PM
I hope they never find out the whole school has been contaminated with dihydrogen monoxide.
 
2012-12-04 03:50:16 PM

czei: I hope they never find out the whole school has been contaminated with dihydrogen monoxide.



2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-12-04 03:51:00 PM

The Irresponsible Captain: Wha? When did a mercury thermometer become hazardous? There must have been hundreds of those things around my school, especially, you know, for taking the temperature of things in Science class.

Take away science and all you get is... Floridians.


They've never become hazardouse. Teachers and security people just got a whole hell of a lot dumber.
 
2012-12-04 03:51:28 PM
If you're going to do mercury, you should totally bring in one of these, 'cos they're cool:

farm6.staticflickr.com
 
2012-12-04 03:52:06 PM

Bendal: I also worked on an AF base that tested missile and fighter engines. One building was a nuclear structure test room; inside a large ball of steel was a radiation source made from cobalt. I wonder if they would have let me bring that to school???


Yeah, no.

/pretty sure I got away with the radiation sources we had because they were already in the school and the kit seemed to have been made for HS lab students at one time or another anyway
//It was probably Cobalt-60, I worked with it in college, and I would imagine getting it off the AF base would be the trickier part. At least, God, I would hope so.
 
2012-12-04 03:52:11 PM
Just bring in the alpha particle emitter from a smoke detector and tell the administration that you think it's radioactive. Put a geiger counter an inch or two away and then watch the chaos ensue.
 
2012-12-04 03:52:55 PM
Most mercury-looking thermometers today are made with galinstan. It's completely possible that this kid brought in an antique. In either case there was no need to call in the Marines, but I suppose they like to drill once a year or so.
 
2012-12-04 03:55:40 PM

darth_badger: As long as the themometer is not broken it is still safe enough to put up your bum.


You can swallow mercury. It will just pass through.

It's the vapor that's dangerous.
 
2012-12-04 03:55:50 PM

Dear Jerk: Most mercury-looking thermometers today are made with galinstan. It's completely possible that this kid brought in an antique. In either case there was no need to call in the Marines, but I suppose they like to drill once a year or so.


are u trying to tell me that the red shiat in thermometers isn't thick silvery metallic mercury?? so confusing
 
2012-12-04 03:57:12 PM
I bought in BU : Butter.
 
2012-12-04 03:59:19 PM

urban.derelict: he school shut down 5 years ago, f*ck your stupid religion and your silly imaginary gods; you are just not that important.


demotivationalpost.com

/Watch out, it's hot.
 
2012-12-04 04:00:56 PM
Diogenes [TotalFark]
2012-12-04 02:14:12 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Jesus farking God. Government schooling at it's finest.

It's stupid, yes. But I fail to see why the "government" part was necessary or relevant. Public schools are hardly the only places with dopey, zero-tolerance policies and disproportionate, hysterical behavior.

No, not the only place.

You also have ...
government run buildings.
government run airline security.
So yes. "government run" was necessary and relevant.
 
2012-12-04 04:01:09 PM
Yeah, mercury is fun to play with (was around 7-9). We knew it was dangerous, I am unsure if we even touched it at all.
 
2012-12-04 04:04:04 PM

red230: Just bring in the alpha particle emitter from a smoke detector and tell the administration that you think it's radioactive. Put a geiger counter an inch or two away and then watch the chaos ensue.


I got to take apart one once (in an isotope lab at a university). They make the Geiger counter sing like crazy. And it's very safe unless you eat it.
 
2012-12-04 04:05:00 PM
Did anybody bring a smoke detector? I found out well after the fact that my school system at one time had a seed irradiator. Don't know if it was cobalt or cesium.
 
2012-12-04 04:05:15 PM

StreetlightInTheGhetto: Bendal: I also worked on an AF base that tested missile and fighter engines. One building was a nuclear structure test room; inside a large ball of steel was a radiation source made from cobalt. I wonder if they would have let me bring that to school???

Yeah, no.

/pretty sure I got away with the radiation sources we had because they were already in the school and the kit seemed to have been made for HS lab students at one time or another anyway
//It was probably Cobalt-60, I worked with it in college, and I would imagine getting it off the AF base would be the trickier part. At least, God, I would hope so.


The steel ball was about 4' in diameter, and the cobalt was in a little space right in the middle of it, so unless I had a tow truck to pick it up with, it wasn't going anywhere.

/the building had a gantry crane to lift and position it with
//the operator warned me not to stand in front of the aperture when it was open
///we had to wear dosimeters when in that room
////was just 19 years old back then; fun times!
 
2012-12-04 04:13:14 PM

OnlyM3: Diogenes [TotalFark]
2012-12-04 02:14:12 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Jesus farking God. Government schooling at it's finest.

It's stupid, yes. But I fail to see why the "government" part was necessary or relevant. Public schools are hardly the only places with dopey, zero-tolerance policies and disproportionate, hysterical behavior.
No, not the only place.

You also have ...
government run buildings.
government run airline security.
So yes. "government run" was necessary and relevant.


So go to Somalia. I'll help you pack.
 
2012-12-04 04:16:35 PM

Skirl Hutsenreiter: This is hilarious.

In my day, we did experiments with mercury-filled manometers in chemistry class. For obvious reasons, they weren't completely sealed like thermometers. You just rely on the fact that a protective oxidized layer forms on undisturbed mercury.

Coolest application: super cheap observatory lenses created by taking a bowl of mercury and spinning it up to a constant speed. It forms a parabolic mirror surface, and once the surface is stable, it's safe. You just have to pump out the hazardous vapors that were created while it was being spun up.


You can make a large mirror for low cost that way, but the axis will always be vertical making additional mirrors necessary.

If the dish containing the Hg is close to a parabolic shape you can minimize the amount of Hg needed, but then you can't as easily change the focal lenght by varying the rotatonal speed.
 
2012-12-04 04:17:18 PM

Unobtanium: Did anybody bring a smoke detector? I found out well after the fact that my school system at one time had a seed irradiator. Don't know if it was cobalt or cesium.


Americium is the most common element.
 
2012-12-04 04:19:02 PM
Common sense, the rarest element of all.
 
2012-12-04 04:24:12 PM

Skirl Hutsenreiter: This is hilarious.

In my day, we did experiments with mercury-filled manometers in chemistry class. For obvious reasons, they weren't completely sealed like thermometers. You just rely on the fact that a protective oxidized layer forms on undisturbed mercury.

Coolest application: super cheap observatory lenses created by taking a bowl of mercury and spinning it up to a constant speed. It forms a parabolic mirror surface, and once the surface is stable, it's safe. You just have to pump out the hazardous vapors that were created while it was being spun up.


If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?
 
2012-12-04 04:24:19 PM

pjc51: If you're going to do mercury, you should totally bring in one of these, 'cos they're cool:

[farm6.staticflickr.com image 640x379]


Unfortunately I don't know where to find robo-spacesuits for alien octopuses.
 
2012-12-04 04:25:09 PM

ender_kg: [assets.rollingstone.com image 429x500] 
Unavailable for comment.


Thank you! THIS is what the government doesn't want you to know! Mercury poisoning causes teh ghey!!!! The child was obviously an operative working to forward the ghey agenda. Soon there will be enough of them to take over, and then you won't even be marry the way God intended. It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and STEVE!. I should know!
 
2012-12-04 04:27:30 PM

Tickle Mittens: mcreadyblue: Tickle Mittens: The Irresponsible Captain: Wha? When did a mercury thermometer become hazardous? There must have been hundreds of those things around my school, especially, you know, for taking the temperature of things in Science class.

Take away science and all you get is... Floridians.

If the thermometer breaks, the mercury cleanup is a pain in the ass. Given the potential to damage particularly if theres aluminum the mercury can get to, calling professionals saved money if anything went wrong. Usually, it's a money loser, but if it's done every single time Hg might be spilled, that overreaction probably saves money.

Plus, HAZMAT Team must make sure budget cuts never effect them.

Well, any area of any size has to have one, just in case. So there are a lot of sunk costs. The real cost of the incident are tax-free gas that might not otherwise have been used, and what? I think it's a big deal over nothing like anyone else, I just don't see the authorities' response as particularly irrational. It's Florida and no one ended up shot, doesn't that have to be marked in the "Win" column?


Areas are not required to have a HAZMAT team...
 
2012-12-04 04:29:13 PM

Magorn: Skirl Hutsenreiter: This is hilarious.

In my day, we did experiments with mercury-filled manometers in chemistry class. For obvious reasons, they weren't completely sealed like thermometers. You just rely on the fact that a protective oxidized layer forms on undisturbed mercury.

Coolest application: super cheap observatory lenses created by taking a bowl of mercury and spinning it up to a constant speed. It forms a parabolic mirror surface, and once the surface is stable, it's safe. You just have to pump out the hazardous vapors that were created while it was being spun up.

If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?


You have to have gravity for it to work.
 
2012-12-04 04:33:07 PM
When I was a kid in the late 50's, my friends and I would break open radio tubes to get the mercury out. All of us would put it on our hands and play with it. We would rub it on pennies and other objects. Guess what? We are all still alive and quite healthy.
 
2012-12-04 04:33:50 PM
Mercury's toxicity is greatly exaggerated. Yes, in the form of certain salts it is toxic in very tiny quantities (e.g., methyl-mercury) -- but many common metals have toxic salts. Chromium is famous from the movie "Erin Brockovich" for being very nasty in its +6 oxidation state -- yet relatively harmless in shiny metal form (very common in industry for plating).

In its elemental (metallic) form, mercury is very poorly absorbed by the human body -- unless as a vapor. People have been accidentally injected with liquid mercury (from old medical equipment that used it to measure pressures) and survived long and healthy lives. The mercury in a thermometer is essentially harmless unless you broke the thermometer, put the mercury in a plastic bag, heated it, and stuck your head in the bag to inhale the vapors for an extended period. ...and by then you'd suffocate from the bag anyway.

/chemical engineer
 
2012-12-04 04:34:27 PM

Diogenes: Dancin_In_Anson: Jesus farking God. Government schooling at it's finest.

It's stupid, yes. But I fail to see why the "government" part was necessary or relevant. Public schools are hardly the only places with dopey, zero-tolerance policies and disproportionate, hysterical behavior.


True, but at private school at least everyone is a volunteer. And they can screen out the dopey and hysterical.
 
2012-12-04 04:35:22 PM

Magorn: If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?


It does work, but you need gravity and rotation to get the parabolic shape.
 
2012-12-04 04:35:33 PM
Mercury isn't so bad.
 
2012-12-04 04:36:08 PM
Couldn't they just, you know, take the thermometer out of the school without the use of a hazmat team? It's not like was was a 5 gallon bucket of the stuff spilled all over the floor.

Having a hazmat team come in for an unbroken thermometer is like hiring Seaword to flatbed a tunafish sandwich.
 
2012-12-04 04:37:38 PM
wiseolddude
...We would rub it on pennies and other objects...

Well, I read that wrong.
 
2012-12-04 04:38:32 PM

MythDragon: Couldn't they just, you know, take the thermometer out of the school without the use of a hazmat team? It's not like was was a 5 gallon bucket of the stuff spilled all over the floor.

Having a hazmat team come in for an unbroken thermometer is like hiring Seaword to flatbed a tunafish sandwich.


But...
www.ronanlyons.com
 
2012-12-04 04:39:31 PM

Miss Stein: Approves:

[i759.photobucket.com image 315x418]

No one else before now? Farkers, I am disappoint.


Mr. Lehrer!
 
2012-12-04 04:40:43 PM

Magorn: If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?


Mercury is *very* dense -- denser than lead -- and to make a big mirror you'd need a lot of it.
 
2012-12-04 04:43:07 PM

SirHolo: You can swallow mercury. It will just pass through.


Alright, then why don't you swallow it then?

Elemental mercury is definitely not dangerous by ingestion, but organic mercury is (hence why the fears about mercury in fish actually matter)
 
2012-12-04 04:44:25 PM

jshine: Magorn: If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?

Mercury is *very* dense -- denser than lead -- and to make a big mirror you'd need a lot of it.


At 13.5 g/cm^3, 55 gallons of mercury would be:

208198 cm^3 * 13.5g/cm^3 = 2810673g = 2.8 metric tons
 
2012-12-04 04:56:37 PM

jshine: Magorn: If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?

Mercury is *very* dense -- denser than lead -- and to make a big mirror you'd need a lot of it.


It doesn't have to be very deep. If the containment dish is nearly parabolic it can be shallow.

eg, a mirror 72" in diameter with a depth of 1/8" inch will have ~ 500 cubic inches of Hg, just over 8 liters.

There was an article in Scientific American years ago by a guy that had made a mirror using this. I don't remember what size he made, tho.
 
2012-12-04 04:57:14 PM

jshine: jshine: Magorn: If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?

Mercury is *very* dense -- denser than lead -- and to make a big mirror you'd need a lot of it.

At 13.5 g/cm^3, 55 gallons of mercury would be:

208198 cm^3 * 13.5g/cm^3 = 2810673g = 2.8 metric tons


nerd
 
2012-12-04 04:59:51 PM
Let's see... Polonium joke? check. Water joke? check. Confusion over mercury poisoning? check. Americium from smoke detectors? check. Wait until they find out about the fluorescent fixtures? check.

Hmmm, only thing not covered would be my rather impressive fossil collection, and my old-school Coleman Lantern mantles... one probably has more uranium than pitchblende, and the other has enough thorium to set off Homeland Insecurity detectors from space... and yes, I would send my kids to school with all of that just to prove a point. The granite, marble, and cement that they use to build the schools with are just as radiohazardous as any substance I just listed (mmmm, yummy radon gas!), and an intact mercury thermometer is still less of a hazard than a broken florescent tube.

Dumbfark school admins.
 
2012-12-04 05:02:17 PM

Tommy Moo: Jesus flipping Christ. I'm a chemist. I speak with authority: mercury is really not that toxic. Doctors used to prescribe it as a laxative. Granted, you don't want to be around if someone drops it on a stove, as inhaling the vapor can cause problems, but this school is completely buttfarking stupid. I could list a dozen things more toxic than mercury that are allowed in school.

Which isn't to say the assignment wasn't stupid. Literally "everything is from the periodic table."


I suspect it was supposed to be a pure element. There aren't that many that are in common use in pure forms.
 
2012-12-04 05:07:11 PM

Loren: Tommy Moo: Jesus flipping Christ. I'm a chemist. I speak with authority: mercury is really not that toxic. Doctors used to prescribe it as a laxative. Granted, you don't want to be around if someone drops it on a stove, as inhaling the vapor can cause problems, but this school is completely buttfarking stupid. I could list a dozen things more toxic than mercury that are allowed in school.

Which isn't to say the assignment wasn't stupid. Literally "everything is from the periodic table."

I suspect it was supposed to be a pure element. There aren't that many that are in common use in pure forms.


Just bring nothing, wave arms around, "I brought all this Nitrogen, YOU'RE WELCOME" and sit down.
 
2012-12-04 05:07:54 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: jshine: Magorn: If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?

Mercury is *very* dense -- denser than lead -- and to make a big mirror you'd need a lot of it.

It doesn't have to be very deep. If the containment dish is nearly parabolic it can be shallow.

eg, a mirror 72" in diameter with a depth of 1/8" inch will have ~ 500 cubic inches of Hg, just over 8 liters.

There was an article in Scientific American years ago by a guy that had made a mirror using this. I don't remember what size he made, tho.


Still some big problems -- the original poster wanted a space telescope, but this method wouldn't work in space since there's no gravity to produce the paraboloidal shape. On Earth, a mirror made in this way could only point straight up.

/ interestingly, the method is also used to produce glass mirrors -- large observatory mirror blanks are cast in rotating kilns to give them a roughly-paraboloidal shape prior to grinding
 
2012-12-04 05:10:33 PM

Freakin Rican: jshine: jshine: Magorn: If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?

Mercury is *very* dense -- denser than lead -- and to make a big mirror you'd need a lot of it.

At 13.5 g/cm^3, 55 gallons of mercury would be:

208198 cm^3 * 13.5g/cm^3 = 2810673g = 2.8 metric tons

nerd


Yea, I'm a chemical engineer. This sort of thing is my bag, babby.
 
2012-12-04 05:10:45 PM

Tomji: Yeah, mercury is fun to play with (was around 7-9). We knew it was dangerous, I am unsure if we even touched it at all.


My dad worked at Pfizer when I was a kid. He always had a bunch of goofy shiat he 'stole' from work.

He had a jar of mercury that I would play with all the time. I spilled it a couple times in our basement but never said a work about it to anyone.

I would roll it around in my hands a lot.

I often wonder if my third testicle has anything to do with playing with mercury.
 
2012-12-04 05:11:33 PM
I brought some sulfur!

"Well where is it?"

Just give it a minute. You'll know.
 
2012-12-04 05:12:31 PM

Tickle Mittens: Just bring nothing, wave arms around, "I brought all this Nitrogen, YOU'RE WELCOME" and sit down.


Or you could say "I brought trace amounts of iron" and take a dump on the floor. There's iron in there somewhere.
 
2012-12-04 05:15:46 PM

MythDragon: Tickle Mittens: Just bring nothing, wave arms around, "I brought all this Nitrogen, YOU'RE WELCOME" and sit down.

Or you could say "I brought trace amounts of iron" and take a dump on the floor. There's iron in there somewhere.


My plutonium, let me show you it: 

images4.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2012-12-04 05:18:11 PM
And to think I actually entered my parent's former home at the holidays. The furnace thermostat had a mercury filled bulb inside to activate it as I'm sure half the old homes in this city do as well.
 
2012-12-04 05:19:44 PM

pjc51: If you're going to do mercury, you should totally bring in one of these, 'cos they're cool:

[farm6.staticflickr.com image 640x379]


Mercury arc rectifiers. Yes. They're cool. One of my earliest memories was of my dad holding me up to the inspection port to see one of these.
He worked for the London Electricity Board.
He died young, so I treasure every memory.
 
2012-12-04 05:20:58 PM

abhorrent1: No one was put in harm's way, but a hazmat crew was there as a precaution.

Seriously? I don't even..


They have to justify that expensive truck rig somehow. The more times it's put into service, the better the budget renewal goes.
 
2012-12-04 05:23:01 PM
Mercury Thermometer? Ha! Back in the day we used to stick those things up our butts!
 
2012-12-04 05:25:50 PM
Are you kidding me? Let me walk over to my "bowl of elements"tm and see what I have that is dangerous
(Yes, I have a bowl of elements)

Mercury, yup. Contained in a sprinkle container (those pink ones in the baking aisle.
Uranium ore (I count this as everything in the decay chain because I am a cheap bastard)
Americium
Cesium 137
Strontium 90
Polonium

I will probably die early, but at least I have a collection that is getting close to being completed.

Come at me Florida.
 
2012-12-04 05:27:58 PM
And here I used to think home schooling was a dumb idea...
 
2012-12-04 05:29:08 PM

MythDragon: Couldn't they just, you know, take the thermometer out of the school without the use of a hazmat team? It's not like was was a 5 gallon bucket of the stuff spilled all over the floor.

Having a hazmat team come in for an unbroken thermometer is like hiring Seaword to flatbed a tunafish sandwich.


coont?
 
2012-12-04 05:29:35 PM
Dancin_In_Anson: You also have ...
government run buildings.
government run airline security.
So yes. "government run" was necessary and relevant.


blog.adw.org

I'm so very scared and frightened of everything in my life all the time!
It's all the fault of that hideous alien gubbermint imposed on us by UFOs!!
 
2012-12-04 05:36:39 PM
Seriously.

Just where in the farking Sam Hill do you people think "government" comes from!?
 
2012-12-04 05:39:24 PM

Tellingthem: Yep and yep...We did it in science class.


Same here. We also had lead paint and asbestos everywhere. Yet we somehow survived.

And the third eye helps us see in the dark.
 
2012-12-04 05:41:21 PM
Nutsac_Jim: Diogenes: Dancin_In_Anson: Jesus farking God. Government schooling at it's finest.

It's stupid, yes. But I fail to see why the "government" part was necessary or relevant. Public schools are hardly the only places with dopey, zero-tolerance policies and disproportionate, hysterical behavior.

In order to have nonsensical bureaucratic activity, it usually requires a government to be involved.
It just doesn't replicate much in a small school environment. Not that it could not happen. If a teacher or administrator happened to also be an HOA board member, you might see some of the same fine qualities that produce OC rules.


You're a Libertarian aren't you?
 
2012-12-04 05:44:58 PM
I wonder how many kids showed up with a salt shaker and got extra credit for bringing in 2 elements combined.
 
2012-12-04 05:57:33 PM

urban.derelict: It was pretty cool to pour it back and forth from one hand to the other . . . f*ck your stupid religion and your silly imaginary gods . . .


images.wikia.com
 
2012-12-04 05:58:38 PM

Teknowaffle: I will probably die early, but at least I have a collection that is getting close to being completed.


Any fluorine? I figured that a piece of antozonite was close enough for my small collection.
 
2012-12-04 06:05:41 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: Unobtanium: Did anybody bring a smoke detector? I found out well after the fact that my school system at one time had a seed irradiator. Don't know if it was cobalt or cesium.

Americium is the most common element.


In smoke detectors, yes. But seed irradiators were pretty high gamma devices. Probably it used Cs137, but could have been Co60.
 
2012-12-04 06:08:54 PM

IRQ12: The mental picture of a hazmat crew in full suit carrying around a thermometer amuses me to no end. I don't care what the reasoning this is a perfect example of what we have been reduced to.


I hadn't thought of that....now I'm picturing the disposal team using long tongs to drop the Hazardous Thermometer into one of those steel disposal cannisters and carrying it out of the building like an EOD evacuation--"Everyone stay back! It could go off any second!"

I'm sure the hazmat team had trouble taking this one seriously.
 
2012-12-04 06:10:20 PM

Ivo Shandor: Teknowaffle: I will probably die early, but at least I have a collection that is getting close to being completed.

Any fluorine? I figured that a piece of antozonite was close enough for my small collection.


Actually, that is high on my list to have, though from my understanding price is going up on it, so I need to get it soon. If you are making your own periodic table, it it he best sample you can have.
 
2012-12-04 06:13:01 PM
Elsewhere in Florida...
i.imgur.com
 
2012-12-04 06:20:05 PM

Tickle Mittens: Loren: Tommy Moo: Jesus flipping Christ. I'm a chemist. I speak with authority: mercury is really not that toxic. Doctors used to prescribe it as a laxative. Granted, you don't want to be around if someone drops it on a stove, as inhaling the vapor can cause problems, but this school is completely buttfarking stupid. I could list a dozen things more toxic than mercury that are allowed in school.

Which isn't to say the assignment wasn't stupid. Literally "everything is from the periodic table."

I suspect it was supposed to be a pure element. There aren't that many that are in common use in pure forms.

Just bring nothing, wave arms around, "I brought all this Nitrogen, YOU'RE WELCOME" and sit down.


That's not pure.
 
2012-12-04 06:22:22 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?

You have to have gravity for it to work.


We're not stupid... we're going to launch a 55 gallon drum full of gravity too.
 
2012-12-04 07:07:52 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Jesus farking God. Government schooling at it's finest.


Apostrophe use, not so fine.
 
2012-12-04 07:12:39 PM
I went to Harshman Junior HS in Indianapolis in the late 70s. I was out sick one day, while everyone else was in science class making batteries. I came to school the next day, and just about everyone in the class had some kind of first aid dressing on their arm, or head. It turns out they decided to start tossing the hydrochloric acid at each other during class. Fun Times. I'm suprised no one lost an eye. No law suits either.
 
2012-12-04 07:21:01 PM

Inflatable Rhetoric: Magorn: Skirl Hutsenreiter: This is hilarious.

In my day, we did experiments with mercury-filled manometers in chemistry class. For obvious reasons, they weren't completely sealed like thermometers. You just rely on the fact that a protective oxidized layer forms on undisturbed mercury.

Coolest application: super cheap observatory lenses created by taking a bowl of mercury and spinning it up to a constant speed. It forms a parabolic mirror surface, and once the surface is stable, it's safe. You just have to pump out the hazardous vapors that were created while it was being spun up.

If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?

You have to have gravity for it to work.


Well, to be fair, there is gravity in space. You'll just have to spin faster the further away you get from Earth. And you still have the problem of only being able to point it directly away from Earth, which you compensate for here by adding extra lenses. If you're going to bother to launch something into space, you want it to be more flexible than that.
 
2012-12-04 07:25:04 PM

Englebert Slaptyback: moothemagiccow

Not even close. Possibly the lamest pun ever


From merriam-webster.com:

mer·cu·ri·al
adjective \(ˌ)mər-ˈkyur-ē-əl\
Definition of MERCURIAL
1
: of, relating to, or born under the planet Mercury
2
: having qualities of eloquence, ingenuity, or thievishness attributed to the god Mercury or to the influence of the planet Mercury
3
: characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood
4
: of, relating to, containing, or caused by mercury


The school quickly got wound up and locked down over an insignificant amount of mercury, so both 3 and 4 are applicable.

Hey, look at that: you're wrong. Shut your word hole.


Nope
 
2012-12-04 07:59:36 PM

Tickle Mittens: The Irresponsible Captain: Wha? When did a mercury thermometer become hazardous? There must have been hundreds of those things around my school, especially, you know, for taking the temperature of things in Science class.

Take away science and all you get is... Floridians.

If the thermometer breaks, the mercury cleanup is a pain in the ass. Given the potential to damage particularly if theres aluminum the mercury can get to, calling professionals saved money if anything went wrong. Usually, it's a money loser, but if it's done every single time Hg might be spilled, that overreaction probably saves money.


Um no. You call professions in when there is a spill not just because there is a thermometer that is fully intact. If it cost effective to always call people in just to be safe, then schools should have them on permanent staff. There is a lot of Mercury (and other toxic substances) in schools, 99.9% of the time it's not an issue. I spent some time at a medical equipment manufacturer, customers would return old/broken equipment some of which would contain Mercury. Needless to say when you move or open a box and little silver droplets appear it's a problem and they call in the professionals, this may be once a month or 3 days in a week.

This is most likely a CYA move by the school to satisfy parents who have no understanding of science. Had a kid brought in a Smoke Detector (with a trace amount of a radioactive element) it would have been on the local news as a dirty bomb incident, regardless of the fact that the 1000 smoke detectors in the school and homes of the students contain the exact same device and element.
 
2012-12-04 08:05:24 PM

Magorn: If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?


And I didn't mention in my previous comment that it would be a horrible idea to launch anything that outgases with your other optics. And a big bowl of mercury would do so like mad in the absence of any atmosphere.
 
2012-12-04 08:29:23 PM

Mock26: Try finding a medical mercury thermometer these days.


But if you found one, do you know how to tell if it was a rectal or oral thermometer?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Taste.
 
2012-12-04 08:36:15 PM

abhorrent1: No one was put in harm's way, but a hazmat crew was there as a precaution.

Seriously? I don't even..


/no shiat..you called out a farking Haz Mat team on a thermometer that wasn't even broken? I used to play with mercury all the farking time as a kid. fun stuff. The pussification of America continues.
 
2012-12-04 08:38:55 PM
Would have been more amusing if someone had brought in a working scale model of the first atomic bomb. Without the uranium of course. Didn't some kid do that? build one that would have worked and took it to school? Or is that a urban legend.
 
2012-12-04 08:57:13 PM

jigger: Elsewhere in Florida...
[i.imgur.com image 368x272]


Is the first one Drew Barrymore?
 
2012-12-04 09:23:07 PM

Eddie Adams from Torrance: Inflatable Rhetoric: If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?

You have to have gravity for it to work.

We're not stupid... we're going to launch a 55 gallon drum full of gravity too.



Ok..someone owes me for a new keyboard and glass cleaner for my monitor.
 
2012-12-04 10:11:13 PM

Bit'O'Gristle: Would have been more amusing if someone had brought in a working scale model of the first atomic bomb. Without the uranium of course. Didn't some kid do that? build one that would have worked and took it to school? Or is that a urban legend.


It was a decent 80's movie

www.joblo.com
 
2012-12-04 11:23:22 PM

Loren: Tickle Mittens: Loren: Tommy Moo: Jesus flipping Christ. I'm a chemist. I speak with authority: mercury is really not that toxic. Doctors used to prescribe it as a laxative. Granted, you don't want to be around if someone drops it on a stove, as inhaling the vapor can cause problems, but this school is completely buttfarking stupid. I could list a dozen things more toxic than mercury that are allowed in school.

Which isn't to say the assignment wasn't stupid. Literally "everything is from the periodic table."

I suspect it was supposed to be a pure element. There aren't that many that are in common use in pure forms.

Just bring nothing, wave arms around, "I brought all this Nitrogen, YOU'RE WELCOME" and sit down.

That's not pure.


Sir, I will have you know I have provided this planet with only the finest, classiest, purest, sparklingly untainted molecular nitrogen. I cannot be held responsible for all these jackoffs farting around in it, once it's delivered.
 
2012-12-04 11:24:54 PM

The Irresponsible Captain: Wha? When did a mercury thermometer become hazardous? There must have been hundreds of those things around my school, especially, you know, for taking the temperature of things in Science class.


Cause people have a really crappy understanding of toxicology. Metallic mercury isn't particularly dangerous. People used to drink it back int he day when people were even more ignorant than they are now. Doesn't kill you because the bio-availability is very low. Neon shop workers are exposed to small amounts of mercury, since neon contains mercury, the few industrial studies show nothing.

Problems are organic mercury compounds in fish and mercury vapor. It's compounded because mercury is an insidious poison, and is neuro-toxic. Insidious because it's excreted very slowly so it's easy for continuous love level exposure to poison people.
 
2012-12-04 11:35:03 PM
an ex of mine once told me how he put mercury into someone's pint at the local pub

guy shiat himself all over a minute or so after drinking it

apparently pretty spectacular, if you really hate someone
 
2012-12-05 12:05:18 AM
 
2012-12-05 12:52:23 AM

thebpem: Mercury isn't so bad.


I prefer "Hitler Did Nothing Wrong" soda, but if they don't have it, I'll drink "Mercury Isn't So Bad".
 
2012-12-05 01:31:37 AM

jshine: jshine: Magorn: If that works why haven't we lauched about 55 gals of the stuff into space and made a truly huge space telescope?

Mercury is *very* dense -- denser than lead -- and to make a big mirror you'd need a lot of it.

At 13.5 g/cm^3, 55 gallons of mercury would be:

208198 cm^3 * 13.5g/cm^3 = 2810673g = 2.8 metric tons


3.38 tons (Imperial Gallon)
 
2012-12-05 02:19:59 AM

Diogenes: Dancin_In_Anson: Jesus farking God. Government schooling at it's finest.

It's stupid, yes. But I fail to see why the "government" part was necessary or relevant. Public schools are hardly the only places with dopey, zero-tolerance policies and disproportionate, hysterical behavior.


Because something stupid and bad happened, therefore the government is always to blame for everything. Never you mind that stupid and bad things happen sometimes without the help of the government, or that some teachers are underqualified or that some administrators should be replaced with people who aren't complete idiots. It's not that some people lack common sense or an ability to think critically. It's because government = bad thus wharrgarbl.
 
2012-12-05 02:22:29 AM

talkertopc: True Fact: Mercury is a vicious sentient susbstance that can leap in the mouth of unsuspecting victims from three meters away.That school is guilty of criminal negligence for not calling in the army.


And a real decent singer, too!
 
2012-12-05 02:26:05 AM

MacWizard: Tellingthem: Yep and yep...We did it in science class.

Same here. We also had lead paint and asbestos everywhere. Yet we somehow survived.

And the third eye helps us see in the dark.


That's a relief, cuz I hear the sun doesn't shine there.
 
2012-12-05 02:46:38 AM
I brought in Uranium Ore that day...

and a Tantalum sheet.


you don't handle uranium ore, you leave it in the bottle but the tantalum is used in surgical plates (you're stupid if you think they still use stainless steel, even 416 rusts)
 
2012-12-05 05:55:54 AM

FarkinHostile: Pay special attention to the section "Mercury as a Poison".


"Mercury metal and insoluble compounds are little hazard, and can be handled occasionally with safety."
 
2012-12-05 09:49:39 AM
Why would they need to call in HazMat team? Any HS school chem lab should have spill kits for acids/bases/biohazards and mercury just for times like this.

And with the thermometer no even breaking, good god.
 
2012-12-05 12:34:18 PM
should have brought one of those nifty, radioactive tissue boxes from Bed Bath & Beyond

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-01-13/news/30625996_1_tissue-box e s-metal-boxes-cobalt-60
 
2012-12-05 12:58:39 PM
I'm a HazMat technician and I'd be pretty pissed off if I was called somewhere because someone had a mercury thermometer. What a waste of time and resources.
 
2012-12-06 02:04:59 AM
I may be late to the (uh... tea) party but I thought I should say that I live in constant fear of the radium in my antique watches and the several ounces of mercury in a bottle in the desk next to me. I'd get rid of it but I don't have a hazmat suit.

/Lewis Carroll
 
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