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

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Ewwwww!

An antiques expert in England has learned (the hard way) not to jump in where angels fear to taste. Glass specialist Andy McConnell inspected a sealed bottle from the 19th century on the BBC show [Antiques Roadshow], and decided to sample its mystery contents in front of an expectant audience. . . . Mr McConnell used a syringe to transfer a sample from the bottle to a tumbler, and sipped at the mystery beverage. “It’s very brown,” he told the audience at the time.  “I think it’s port. It’s port or red wine, or it’s full of rusty old nails and that’s

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Chicago’s quality of life, by the numbers

I note that according to HeyJackass (which Second City Cop calls “the ONLY trusted source for actual crime numbers” – and do read the comments there, too), Chicago has passed another grim milestone for 2019. Five-hundred-plus homicides in a year . . . The latest mass shooting in Chicago says a great deal about why the numbers are so high.  Note that the gathering concerned was to honor – HONOR!!! – the memory of a thug and criminal who tried to carjack a vehicle, and was shot in the attempt.  Congratulations to the shooter, and thank you for removing a menace from the streets of Chicago.

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There’s something fishy going on here

I had no idea that the United States was the largest producer of farmed Caspian-Sea-origin beluga caviar in the world!  The New York Post reports: Caviar prices are plummeting — but if you want the best price, you might want to find a dealer. . . . Even if you don’t have a special connection, caviar is becoming more accessible than ever. Wholesale prices in the US have plunged more than 50 percent since 2012, from $850,000 per ton to $350,000 per ton last year, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. At the same time, US caviar consumption is

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The Zimmerman lawsuit: watch this case very carefully

It’s been widely reported that George Zimmerman is suing the family of the late Trayvon Martin, and others, for what most news media are calling “engineering false testimony“, or words to that effect.  However, I’ve seen no mainstream news articles that actually spell out what that “false testimony” is claimed to be. If true, Zimmerman’s allegations are explosive.  From the text of his filing in court (courtesy of a link at Gun Free Zone – text in bold, underlined print is my emphasis): Plaintiff George Zimmerman (“Zimmerman”) brings this action against Sybrina Fulton (“Fulton”), Rachel Jeantel (“Jeantel”), Brittany Diamond Eugene (“Eugene”), Tracy Martin (“Tracy Martin”), Benjamin Crump

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How can you fight a war when you’re not allowed to repair your own weapons?

I could hardly believe my eyes when I read this report in the New York Times.  I’ve been aware of the problem from a civilian perspective, but I hadn’t realized that the military procurement bureaucracy hadn’t been able to avoid it, either. A few years ago, I was standing in a South Korean field, knee deep in mud, incredulously asking one of my maintenance Marines to tell me again why he couldn’t fix a broken generator. We needed the generator to support training with the United States Army and South Korean military, and I was generally unaccustomed to hearing anyone in the

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The collapse of America’s cities into Third World conditions

It’s infuriating to be living in the leading nation in the First World, the largest or second-largest economy in the world (depending on who’s measuring, and how), and the most powerful nation in the world, and yet see Third World levels of filth, infrastructural breakdown and dysfunctional government invade many of our cities. The headlines over the past few years tell a horrifying story to anyone who values the achievements of civilization.  I won’t bother linking to actual reports here;  there are so many that simple Internet searches will find an abundance of them.  Consider these areas of concern: Public

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An oldie, but still funny as heck

I noticed this video at the Feral Irishman’s place the other day.  I posted it on this blog back in 2016, but it made me laugh all over again to see it once more:  so I thought you might enjoy it again, too. Somehow I don’t think that relationship lasted . . . Peter

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Headline of the week

Sent in by several readers: Angus man who tried to fly drone into Perth Prison claimed Romanian circus stole his chihuahua The report is as mind-boggling as it sounds – certainly beyond my ability to summarize!  Click over there for a good laugh at the insanity (not to mention inanity) of some of our fellow denizens of this orb in space. Weird . . . Peter

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