Don’t ya just love those science and car crash movies they showed in school back in the 50’s and 60’s?




  1. deowll says:

    The production values may stink but they got their point across.

  2. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    And for our next demonstration, we’re going to give each of our secretaries a small chunk of weapons grade plutonium to keep with them. Then, let’s watch the fun when they come together for their 10:30 coffee break, learning an important lesson in the meaning of critical mass. If that doesn’t keep their coffee hot, I don’t know what will.

    As always, boys and girls, don’t try this at home without mom and dad’s permission.

  3. lemonademaker says:

    where’s Beaver & Lumpy?

  4. Holdfast says:

    I remember using Magnesium ribbon to light powdered Al at school. I think I used a Bunsen burner. I don’t think kids get to do that nowadays.

  5. Somebody_Else says:

    @#4 I did stuff like that in high school chemistry (I graduated in 2006).

  6. Holdfast says:

    That film does make me wonder though. Why were they trying to convince people that Mg was not really flammable?
    I am 50 and never had any doubt that making warships out of the stuff was a really stupid idea.

  7. AdmFubar says:

    pity they didnt have a 55 gal drum of magnesium shavings to open with a grinder….

    exactly what was done at a magnesium recycler in a nearby burb from me a few years ago…
    i remember the this column of smoke streaming high over the street from where i worked, a driver told me about this when he returned from his route that day, so i went outside to check it out.. nice column of smoke miles long. with an occasional flash under the column near the fire, and then a small mushroom cloud ascending from from near the flash point. ๐Ÿ™‚

    my sister and her family lives about a 1/4 mile from the site. my nephew told me how you could read outside by the light or this fire at 2 am.. ๐Ÿ™‚
    pity google maps doesnt have a good shot of the site with the melted I beams.

  8. RSweeney says:

    Thank heavens that large blocks of magnesium are never more evenly heated by say… burning gasoline or kerosene in a car or aircraft fire.

    Otherwise these secretaries might have been toasted.

    We used to take files to broken mag wheels, mix the powder with aluminum and rust and make a thermite-like mix that could melt deep holes in concrete sidewalks.

    Ah… the days when chemistry wasn’t a criminal act.

  9. AdmFubar says:

    well here is a news article about that.

  10. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    Ha. I have one of these. It’s standard Boy Scout equipment. This stuff burns like hell.

  11. Dirk Thundernuts says:

    You had me at secretaries and blow!

  12. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    I assumed the site would explain it…you shave off the magnesium with a pocket knife, about a quarter-size pile. Scrape the knife of the sparker side, and stand back. It burns white-hot even in a puddle.

  13. Animby says:

    If they had shown me this film during my high school chem class, I probably would have had to hold a book on my lap. Nowadays, the kids are holding an iPhone on their lap and watching professional porn!

    Ain’t progress grand?

  14. Father says:

    “Weapons grade plutonium” is a redundant statement.

  15. ECA says:

    YES, do this without a MASK on…
    see you in a few years with LUNG problems..

  16. RBG says:

    “Only certain fissile isotopes of plutonium and uranium can be used in nuclear weapons.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weapons-grade

  17. Stay Away from my auto with your blow torches says:

    Reminds me of a youtube video of a bumpkin ( complete with dueling banjos in the background)
    proudly dimming the lights to show you his Halloween sparkles
    I would not let any of these women near my car with their blow torches

  18. Father says:

    Pu-240 is produced when Pu-239 absorbs an additional neutron and fails to fission. Pu-240 and Pu-239 are not separated by reprocessing.

  19. RBG says:

    “Plutonium is graded by proportion of Pu-240: weapons grade ( 19%).”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_plutonium

  20. mojotaker says:

    Hmm, how many days now, and still no article on the stupid ruling done by the supreme court ?

    A whole Dvorak.org/blog “UNCENSORED” blog…. and nothing regarding how we just lost power in our votes ? How corporations are treated as Persons ?

    Whats this World coming too.

  21. sargasso says:

    #19. “Whats this World coming too.” Answer: 42

  22. gooddebate says:

    #20 So, what was the question, really?

  23. RBG says:

    18. Oh I get it. What is this: WordPress? It interprets greater-than & less-than signs for its own purposes, often truncating. Once more for the gipper:

    “Plutonium is graded by proportion of Pu-240: weapons grade (less than 7%), fuel grade (7โ€“19%) and reactor grade (greater than 19%).”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_plutonium

  24. RBG says:

    To prove that I don’t know everything, I’ll admit now that I have no idea what the fear of fearing you’re turning into Cliff Claven is called.

    RBG

  25. sargasso says:

    #21. I have to think about that, get back to ya.

  26. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    #22 RBG, for future use, this method should still work for producing the < and > characters you wanted to use. Now I’ll expand the 4-character code combinations I used with spaces between the characters:
    “& l t ;” & “& g t ;” minus the spaces = “<” & “>”

    By the way, learning that bit of trivia only takes you further toward turning into Cliff Claven (especially if you repeat it frequently). Sorry about that ๐Ÿ˜‰

    .

    #14 Father, it’s a little odd that you challenged just about the only aspect of my silly little joke that’s completely defensible. As the thousands of physicists who regularly use the phrase “weapons-grade plutonium” will attest, it is not redundant.

  27. Uncle Dave says:

    #19: We are not a news site.

    #22: Those characters are interpreted as html code, so, as Gary said in 25, you have to enter the code combos.

  28. Winston says:

    Probably a magnesium industry film, not a high school one.

    Mary’s my favorite. For some reason, all of their blouses look like preggo blouses. Excuse me, “with child” or “expecting” blouses.

  29. Buzz says:

    Sooo… THAT’s how milk of magnesium gets rid of heart burn.

  30. Ballenger says:

    Four secretaries might not be able to get magnesium to burn, but I know of one sculptor who succeeded. He confused a piece of magnesium bar stock with aluminum and fed it into a molten crucible of aluminum. The new foundry was much nicer than the one he burned to the ground.


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