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things that go BANG!

No, this has nothing whatsoever to do with biology... well, that's not quite true - there's an exploding whale included :-)

I remember that one year, early in my secondary schooling (yes, a loooong time ago!), there was a rumour that some young man at Hastings Boys High had disposed of some illicitly-acquired sodium by flushing it down the loo. With the inevitable result - a loud noise & an awful lot of mess. Apocryphal or not, the tale did ram home the dangers of playing with sodium, which reacts rather violently with water.

How violently? Visit this site & find out - 15 explosions, including the results of dropping drums of sodium in a lake, alongside the biggest nuclear device ever detonated, blowing up 100 tons of TNT for no particular reason, and - the exploding whale!

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5 Comments

Almost as disgusting as the exploding whale was our poor cat's exploding abscess, that last night sent foul-smelling goo across the living room carpet. Yummy. Puss has had a clean-up and antibiotic shot at the vet's this morning and is much happier.

Ooh, yeuch! We've had that happen, now & then (one of the things that put the daughter off studying to be a vet, I thinK!). Glad to hear Puss is OK.

For explosions with sodium, read "Uncle Tungsten", Oliver Sacks's book about chemistry, his family and science.

That's a great book, isn't it? (Parts of it I found quite sad, actually, he seemed to have been an unhappy child at times.) I was delighted to discover where the phrase 'in the limelight' came from :-)

Uncle Tungsten is still stuck on my shelf... I've too much else to do. I think I've read all his earlier work though.

Looking at those explosions it's hard to imagine anyone still being pro-nuclear-weapons after watching it.

I've seen that video of throwing sodium barrels in the lake somewhere before.

Alison: wrote a reply to you on my post on promoting other careers via outside speakers/lecturers post, but lost the darn thing. Might try put something up again when I've had time or just email...!

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Recent Comments

  • Grant: Uncle Tungsten is still stuck on my shelf... I've too read more
  • Alison Campbell: That's a great book, isn't it? (Parts of it I read more
  • Ayelet McDonald (Cohen): For explosions with sodium, read "Uncle Tungsten", Oliver Sacks's book read more
  • Alison Campbell: Ooh, yeuch! We've had that happen, now & then (one read more
  • Marcus Wilson: Almost as disgusting as the exploding whale was our poor read more