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(Reno Gazette-Journal)   Add mercury to the list of things you shouldn't take to Show and Tell   ( divider line
    More: Dumbass  
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11574 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 May 2004 at 4:59 PM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

113 Comments     (+0 »)

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2004-05-12 11:51:01 AM  
Holy Jeebus! When I was 12 I brought a 1 ounce bottle of mercury to school for show and tell. I got it from the guy across the street who was a high school science teacher. Everybody thought it was cool rolling it around in their hands and on the table. Even the teacher was giddy. Of course this was nearly 35 years ago. I guess times have changed.
2004-05-12 12:25:02 PM  
I think he'd be fabulous.
[image from too old to be available]
2004-05-12 12:36:34 PM  
(although a little smelly by now)
2004-05-12 12:52:46 PM  
jay_vee hahaahahahahaahahaahaahahahaahhaaha...mercury...hahahaahahahahahahaaha​hahaahah
2004-05-12 01:41:14 PM  
I'm trying to remember high school chemistry, but I thought I was told that mercury itself isn't really toxic, it's the lead that's used in extracting it from ore that's poisonous.

I love how the article doesn't really mention HOW the mercury ended up covering half the surfaces in the school. Jesus, it's not like it's radioactive plutonium or uranium.
2004-05-12 01:42:27 PM  
Favorite show and tell memories from Kindergarten...

The kid that brought in the softball-sized hairball (his dad was a vet) and the kid that brought in the handgrenade (his dad was a vet).

Also enjoyed the kid that brought in the "hottest hot peppers on earth" from his trip to Jamaica. The school bully proceeded to handle do a little (I'm a tough-guy) tasting. He then proceeded to rub his eye and spent the rest of the day weeping uncontrollably.
2004-05-12 01:50:17 PM  
After reading this story and the original linked report, all I can say is that the school administration apparently is going *way* overboard in their efforts - Apparently having an open container of mercury is enough to clean *EVERY SURFACE* in the school, and destroy a hecuvalot of school materials (clothing, etc.) Folks, the evaporation rate of mercury at room temperature is *VERY* minimal. There was probably more chance of mercury contimination from the fish they had for lunch.

/remembers science HS experiments where we actually *boiled* the stuff.
2004-05-12 01:52:27 PM  
I'm real curious about how it got spread around too. They make it sound like he put it in a super-duper spray bottle and had his way with every surface around.

Jebus! When we were in High School we had an entire 5th bottle full of it. Tons of us split the stuff up and I to this day still own a glass vile full of it.

Well, it's pretty dirty from rolling around on the ground and stuff but it's nifty all the same. Very well taped due to the glass container and heavy material within.

So, science geeks... Why the hell is just having this stuff so bad?

2004-05-12 01:52:45 PM  
that would be mercury CONTAMINATION...

/preview is your friend
2004-05-12 02:01:54 PM  
"Several students handled the mercury on the bus to school and the substance was spilled in several areas on campus."

"State and federal environmental and health experts said there's little risk the children will suffer any ill effects from the exposure. Even so, local physicians were alerted to watch for symptoms of mercury poisoning."

"Exposure to high levels of elemental mercury vapor can result in nervous system damage, including tremors, and mood and personality alterations, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which sent an emergency response team to the site late Tuesday."

I say they over reacted. They make it sounds like everyone was drinking the stuff and had high exposure when chances are these kids just watched it roll around in their hand or on the ground.

/Come On Shelly!
2004-05-12 02:48:18 PM  
Relax. The school's just doing all this to protect itself from lawsuits from parents.
2004-05-12 03:01:47 PM  
What about Mars? IS that ok?
2004-05-12 05:03:30 PM  
Wow, and to think Asbestos was used in HVAC systems for 20 years and nobody gets a dime...
2004-05-12 05:03:37 PM  

Jebus! When we were in High School we had an entire 5th bottle full of it. Tons of us split the stuff up and I to this day still own a glass vile full of it.

A whole vile of it?? That's disgusting!
2004-05-12 05:04:22 PM  
The fumes are what's dangerous, not the metal itself per-se, but it does evaporate if left open. Of course there was mercury back in the chemical room of my highschool, though I never touched it with my bare hand.

I don't see how the hell this could cause closure of the school for 8 days. What did he do with it? pour it all over everyone he met? Hah, probation?
2004-05-12 05:05:19 PM  
2004-05-12 05:05:41 PM  
I have about two and a half pounds of mercury that I have no idea what to do with. Anyone want to take it to school?
2004-05-12 05:08:08 PM  
WTF? Did the mercury explode or did the kid spray it around?

This sounds like a GROSS over-reaction unless he spilled the mercury or something.

And for cyin out loud... it wa a mistake, he JUST turned 15. They are treting him like a criminal over a stupid mistake.


I am SO glad I am not growing up in these anal times. Considering some of the things we did when we were kids I would probably have put put in prision by age 13.
2004-05-12 05:08:42 PM  
I have a ten-pound bottle of the stuff. The good stuff, triple distilled. I've been saving it for years, hoping to build a vacuum pump or a telescope out of it. Yes, a telescope.
2004-05-12 05:09:24 PM  
Ah, 'tis a sad day when you can't bring it anymore.

I have a friend I grew up with whose dad was a science teacher for UCLA...brought the stuff in a beaker for show and tell day. We all thought it was cool how he'd stick his hand in this 'liquid' and it came out dry. He explained however, that there were reasons he only plopped in an out of the beaker for less than a second or two, and boy were we disappointed when we found out we couldn't try that. I guess he didn't want us to convulse or something.
2004-05-12 05:09:26 PM  
I think the only prudent option is to NUKE the school then fill the hole with lead.

Can't be too carefull.

Think of the CHILDREN.
2004-05-12 05:10:14 PM  
He should have left his Mercury in the parking lot with the Fords & Chevys.
2004-05-12 05:10:36 PM  
I'd have to say they were over reacting just a LITTLE bit. Hmmm Maybe I'll spill mercery all over my school to replace all of the carpets, lockers, and everything........
2004-05-12 05:10:43 PM  
Once I brought a $2 bill for show and tell, but the teacher said it was fake, etc...

The only time I had enough courage as a child to participate in show and tell, I brought in a little airplane I made. But I got laryngitis (sp?) and couldn't speak. I was a sad little 8 year old.
2004-05-12 05:10:43 PM  
Definite over-reaction. While soild Hg (Mercury) is poisonous, the real danger in having it spilled around is its vapor, which when you breathe in, can form organometallic compounds, which are virtually impossible to remove from your body. Accumulate too many of those babies in your body and well, you're farked. And it's a slow and painful farking too. However, this kid only brought a small amount of Hg to school, probably from breaking open old Hg thermometers. It's this litigious society, I'm tellin ya.....
2004-05-12 05:11:11 PM  
Just to second what others have wrote... Yep, the metal is not horribly toxic, but *compounds* of mercury are (eg, mercury salts). This point usually needs to be brought up when the whackos start talking about how your dental fillings are killing you.

Side note: Mercury does nasty things to aluminum. Even a small mercury spill on an aircraft (ie, big aluminum thing) can be enough result in the aircraft being scrapped.

Mercury is a somewhat unique contaminant in that it tends to migrate all over the place, rather than just get absorbed into the immediate environment.
2004-05-12 05:11:18 PM  
A couple of months ago some cub scout got in trouble because he had mercury in one of the balsa wood cars tehy make & race. Anyhow, his asshat dad put it in the car to make the car go faster and the kid gets caught. The whole school was shut down & the firefighters were called out to take care of the hazardous material.
2004-05-12 05:13:13 PM  
A Mercury is a good car. That's the car I was driving that day. I've had a lot of cars. Different kinds. Lots of different kinds of cars. She was standing - this girl - on the side of the street where there was this chicken stand, wasn't the Colonel but it was a chicken stand nonetheless. I pulled the Mercury up right along side her and rolled down the window, see, by electric power. She had on a leather skirt and had a lot of hair on her arms. I like that a lot. That means a big bush. I like a big bush.
2004-05-12 05:13:19 PM  
"Thermometers are illegal to take to school now?" Sure why not. Can't have aspirin. It's a controlled substance there.

Ok, we had mercury in science class also. Just so we didn't drink it. If I remember it could be absorbed through the skin, but there wasn't enough to worry about unless you did it every day. From the article, it sounds like they were spraying it on every available surface, gallons of it. There was probably more mercury in the food, asbestus, lead, and formaldehyde (Especially with all the new construction) beforehand that no one ever cared about.

Common sense is a misnomer.
2004-05-12 05:13:27 PM  
Why do I get the feeling that article is leaving something out? The response to the kid bringing in mercury seems a bit...over the top to me.
2004-05-12 05:13:42 PM  
What a big goof!
2004-05-12 05:14:34 PM  
Robot Bastard, thanks - googling "liquid mercury telescope" (just mercury telescope get's you all sorts of stuff about the planet, natch) was very interesting. But what would you do with a vacuum pump? Wait, never mind.
2004-05-12 05:14:42 PM  
You guys are arseholes, this shiat ain't funny. I remember one time when I was a kid in school, and my school had to be evacuated because some fool brought in a bottle of Dihydrogen Monooxide. I thought I was going to die that day !
2004-05-12 05:15:35 PM  
Jeebus these guys got their panties in a wad. I remember a kid in my class brought a cup of mercury in for show and tell, he even allowed it to be passed around. They kept saying, don't open it, don't open it, don't open it. Well of course some schmuck opened it and spilled it. We didn't close the school, hell we didn't even pause the class. We just kicked the idiot out of the class for the day (to the nurse for some cleanup) and had the desk cleaned up. And nobody died **Gasp**

Bunch of nervous nellies. Jeez, lighten up already.
2004-05-12 05:16:16 PM  
Someone needs to get the asshats in charge of this clean up into a jail cell. There is NO WAY they needed to do all that clean up. Someone took the school district for a ride.

Or someone should tell the principle that every student in his school is carrying around a couple of grams of mercury. At least those with fillings are.

/I've got mercury poisoning, It's fatal and it don't get better.....
2004-05-12 05:18:01 PM  
Why that's Mercury, the planet closest to the sun. What it's doing down here by the warf I haven't the foggiest. Maybe we should ask a scientist- IM A GUY YOU JACKASS!!!

/family guy
2004-05-12 05:18:16 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2004-05-12 05:18:25 PM  
He's a terrorist with chemical weapons! Send 'em to Abu Gharib!

Same goes for those fishermen contaminating our lakes and streams with lead!

/set sarcasm detectors to "groan"
2004-05-12 05:19:10 PM  
Makes coins all neat and shiny.
2004-05-12 05:19:49 PM  
Is it still ok to show uranus at show and tell??
2004-05-12 05:19:55 PM  
anjinho_do_saxo -

Ha! Metal Men the comic! I used to collect those...
2004-05-12 05:20:30 PM  
Can't he take gun to school,like a normal kid? what was he thinking.
2004-05-12 05:21:16 PM  

Why do I get the feeling that article is leaving something out? The response to the kid bringing in mercury seems a bit...over the top to me.

For once I am in complete agreement with you. People need to stop biatching and embrace the mercury. This reminds me of that time I brought a gallon of napalm to school, and no one got upset about it. Well, atleast not until it got all in that one kid Pablo's hair. But he was asking for it, the little shiat.
2004-05-12 05:21:19 PM  
They don't fill teeth with mercury.
2004-05-12 05:21:27 PM  
Ha! Metal Men the comic! I used to collect those...

Now Tina, *there* was a woman. A platinum one, to be sure...
2004-05-12 05:22:26 PM  
Goverment school morons at work again. yay!! I've heard of overreactions, but jeeesh.....
2004-05-12 05:23:17 PM  
That is most Asinine thing I've ever heard of. Mercury isn't even a controlled substace. You can get mercury out od old thermomoters or therostats. I used to play with this Crap as a kid. Never got sick (of course I never ingested it either.)This Crap is harmless if handeled correctly.I don't care what the "EXPERTS" say. Shutting down the school is just insane. And what's witht eh kid paying restitution? For what?
2004-05-12 05:23:36 PM  

Dear lord, did everyone come out alive?

I burned the shiat out of my lungs with Dihydrogen Monooxide vapors.
2004-05-12 05:24:32 PM  
When I was in junior high, I was a teachers assistant for a chemistry class. Well, someone broke a thermometer one day, so the teacher had me clean it up, with paper towels and a trash can. Yes, a CHEMISTRY teacher.
2004-05-12 05:25:06 PM  
That article does seem like it is missing something.

Favorite quote:

"The boy and his "
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