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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 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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