A chemical reaction leads to a very big bang

Back in September, the chemical tanker Stolt Groenland experienced a massive explosion in Ulsan, South Korea.  This clip was taken by the dashcam video of a vehicle parked rather too close to the big bang. An initial investigation has revealed it was caused by a chemical reaction. According to the MAIB’s interim report, released today, the explosion occurred due to the sudden build-up of pressure in the Stolt Groenland’s number 9 cargo tank containing styrene monomer, a highly flammable chemical used in the making of plastics, paints and synthetic rubber. The resulting explosions and fireball could be seen and heard for miles, and passed very close to

Continue reading

Wound treatment: a little knowledge may be a dangerous thing

Aesop brings us a timely reminder that what may look like a simple medical problem might be a whole lot more complicated than we suspect.  He’s not talking about a minor cut or scrape, but wounds that may conceal something a lot more serious. The problem with [a wound closure kit], like everything else, including the laceration, is multi-fold: Do you know which lacerations to close, and which to leave open? Do you know why? Are you sure that’s a lac, and not the evidence of an open fracture? How would you know that without an X-ray? Did you clean and debride

Continue reading

Doofus Of The Day #1,057

Here’s a graphic illustration of why you shouldn’t use gasoline in combination with matches to clear an ant or termite nest out of your back yard. Must have been fun explaining that to his wife! A common practice in many parts of Africa was to soak the offending nest with a couple of gallons of gasoline, but then leave it alone for the gas to penetrate fully and kill off the ants or termites by poisoning them.  We didn’t toss lighted matches at the gas-soaked ground, for obvious reasons, as illustrated above. I can still recall (with some glee) the

Continue reading

Fake news – shooting sports edition

“Don’t believe everything on the Internet” is an overworked statement, but remains as true as ever.  It was proven again by a 2017 forum post, which is making the rounds in the shooting community at present (example). This guy and his co workers were discussing whether a steel toe boot would withstand a round from a .45, so what do do you think would be the best way to test this theory? YUP, you guessed it. Good thing he wasn’t testing his hard hat. There’s more at the link, including pictures of the perforated foot. The only thing is, it’s not

Continue reading

Not so much a flypast as a blowdown

It seems an Indonesian Mil Mi-35 gunship (an export version of the Mil Mi-24) recently made an unexpected and very low flypast during rehearsals for a military parade in the Natuna Regency, in the Riau Islands.  That proved to be not a good idea . . . I hope they had backup copies of those billboard posters.  I suspect the originals were probably damaged beyond repair. Peter

Continue reading

Tugboat meat in a dockyard sandwich

A tip o’ the hat to GCaptain for finding this video clip of a harbor tug in San Francisco being ground between Pier 27 and the cruise liner Star Princess. They’ll have to inspect the pier for damage, as well as the tug.  Did you see how far its stern went underneath the pier?  I reckon that will have taken out more than a few uprights and the bracing between them.  The building on top of that section might be a bit rickety for a while . . . Peter

Continue reading

Heh

Found on Gab: Yes, I’ve had a few moments like that.  I forget who first said that humans share a common language called profanity, but it’s all too true! Peter

Continue reading

Er . . . oops?

It seems a South Korean factory had an unexpected delivery the other day, courtesy of the US Armed Forces. A U.S. military helicopter accidentally dropped a metal container unit being airlifted Monday in South Korea, damaging a building but causing no injuries, officials said. The container was being carried via sling load by a 2nd Infantry Division helicopter when it fell onto a building in Yongin, just south of Seoul. “By all accounts, it did cause property damage, but nobody was injured,” said 2nd ID spokesman Lt. Col. Martyn Crighton. There’s more at the link, including a picture of the flattened factory.  Apparently

Continue reading

Well, son of a beach!

A pristine seafront near Sydney, Australia isn’t so pristine any longer, after a barge carrying a sewage truck passed… er, didn’t pass by. They’re going to have fun salvaging that sewage truck, I don’t think! A tip o’ the hat to reader Snoggeramus for sending me a link to the story. Peter

Continue reading

The devil’s in the details – naval edition

The old idiom “The devil’s in the details” has, in my experience, been proven true time and time again.  The “big picture” may look fine and dandy, but there’s always something, some little detail that’s escaped attention, that can screw it up to a fare-thee-well. The Norwegian Navy learned that the hard way last year, when its frigate Helge Ingstad collided with another vessel, and subsequently sank.   (Above image courtesy of Wikipedia)   The subsequent inquiry revealed that after the collision, the watertight compartments of the frigate functioned as intended . . . except for one crucial detail. While there was some uncertainty as to

Continue reading