Coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions have been hard on many of us, though here on the back page we are relatively happy as long as the wine deliveries keep turning up. But in some parts of the world people are used to being stuck at home with little to do and, in many of them, young minds turn easily to mischief.
So it is perhaps not surprising that a number of teenagers got themselves in a spot of trouble last month in Dallas County, Indiana. The local Sheriff’s Office received several calls from residents near the small town of Woodward with reports of a large explosion. On arrival, they discovered that three lads had been indulging in a spot of shooting practice; unfortunately, they were using as targets tins of Tannerite, a compound of ammonium nitrate and aluminium powder used to make exploding rifle targets.
Tannerite is normally used in small quantities and has to be mixed to become explosive, which means it is legal under federal law, according to the ATF. However, firing a round at an entire tin is not the recommended practice and the entire thing blew up. Fortunately for them, the boys were standing far enough away not to be hurt and police could not find that they broke any laws.
There does, though, seem to be a pattern here: the Des Moines Register noted in its report of the incident that there had been two cases of explosions involving Tannerite during ‘gender reveal’ parties and one, in southern California, had caused a fire in September that was still burning in October.
FLY IN THE OINTMENT
There are other ways of causing an unintended explosion in the home, as an 80-year-old man in the Dordogne region of France found out to his cost in September. Sitting down to dinner, he was irritated by a fly buzzing around him. He reached for his electronic fly swatter and tried to pin down the pest.
Sadly for the man, a gas canister in the house was leaking and a spark from the swatter ignited the gas, causing an explosion that destroyed his kitchen and badly damaged the roof of his home. The man came out of the incident with just a burn to his hand but, local reports said, had to check into a local campsite while his house was repaired.
Here on the Back Page we are old enough to remember poking mercury around on the desk with a pen during chemistry lessons at school, but these days mercury is seen as a Very Bad Thing indeed. Our friends at HazmatNation have recently filed several reports of large-scale responses to mercury spills, most recently one at a medical centre in Raynham, Massachusetts where last month an old blood pressure monitor was accidentally knocked over, occasioning a Tier 1 hazmat response.
Mercury, as we all know, was regularly used in thermometers and barometers and was also evidently used in blood pressure monitors. In this case, the mercury in the unit spilled out and led to the arrival of the Massachusetts Hazmat Team and local police. Funnily enough, no injuries were reported, no one was hurt and “the general public was never at risk”.
Maybe we were ok back at school too.[post_title] => NOS: What it says on the tin [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nos-what-it-says-on-the-tin [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-10-23 07:57:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-10-23 06:57:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://hcblive.com/?p=29583 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )