Finding the funny and interesting side of the encyclopedia anyone can edit
The world's most dangerous golf course, @#$%ing Michigan, how to be "niggardly", DHMO, a chicken nuke, and FIRE!!!
Today's post is a tad late, being Sunday. but I came in to work on my day off for my reader (yes, singular, I think I have one follower at the moment). We will examine when two lefts and a right make a left, dihydrogen monoxide, people who take pictures of fire, the Blue Peacock bomb, a golf course featuring a minefield, and how a white guy can get away with saying the word "niggar" without being racist.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that I happen to be white, given statistical probabilities and the fact that I'm one of the largest geeks allowed to carry an actual firearm (with respect that though it may be a generalization, the stereotypical geek is not only white, but white as can be). That said, I've been lucky enough that race hasn't really been an issue in my life at all... Though there were virtually no minorities in the area of upstate New York where I was raised, I did join the military, and to say that it is a racial melting pot is an understatement. That's one of the reasons why I can find interest in the controversies about the word "niggardly"; indeed, I had to think twice to realize why it might even be a problem. To me, it's just a word that means "stingy" that has an unpleasant and coincidental similarity to one of the most hateful words in the English language (in addition to others)... they aren't even spelled the same (transposing an "e" with an "a"). In most of the listed examples, it seems that racism was not even remotely present, and rather served as a case of hair-trigger sensitivity. Given the etymology of both words, it's a stretch to consider that offense should be construed without a deliberate attempt to mask the use of the slur in a somewhat more palatable word. But I would welcome some discussion on the matter, because as I said, my perspective is limited to a lifetime of being ignorant of racism, but I do hold a disdain for political correctness.
Fire photography. That's a real profession. Whoa. I understand that virtually every profession, technical or otherwise, uses photography to record information about it, such as historical, technical, educational, and the like. Everyone from brain surgeons to cheerleaders need visual reference material to learn their given trade, as well as innovate and apply lessons learned, and brave firefighters should certainly be no exception. What strikes me as unusual is that this is a recognized sub-genre of photography, on par with photographers who specialize in fashion, combat correspondence, or pornography. Indeed, this may simply be a result of inertia due to the fact that they require certifications to be on the site of a fire emergency, being such a dangerous place, and establish a professional rapport with the firefighters that work there.
Who would have guessed that taking this picture made the photographer a specialist?
Dihydrogen monoxide is a very dangerous substance, if you believe the hype. It is a hydroxyl acid and the substance is the major component of acid rain, contributes to the greenhouse effect, may cause severe burns, is fatal if inhaled, contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape, accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals, may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes, has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients. It is used in several ways, such as an industrial solvent and coolant, in nuclear power, in the manufacturing of Styrofoam, as a fire retardant, in cruel animal research, used in pesticides (contamination of food may persist after washing), in so much junk food that it boggles the mind, and in the torture of detainees at Guantánamo Bay.
Yeah. it uses an unfamiliar name for water (two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, H2O) to illustrate the scientific ignorance of the average person. While the name is unusual, it is within the norms of scientific chemical nomenclature, and often found in chain letters or other hoax/prank media that parodies outrage at the prevalence of such a supposedly harmful substance. The lists of dangers and unsavory uses is technically true, as well.
WARNING: gullibility may lead you to think that this is a very dangerous substance.
I'm not from Ohio, but I'm no big fan of Michigan. Of course, their ass-backward method of turning left at divided highways doesn't help much. Driving in the 26th state is never much fun, but where divided highways intersect another road, usually left turns across traffic are prohibited. Instead, you must proceed straight through the intersection, perform a median U-turn crossover, and then make a right turn onto your destination road. Or, if your are turning left from a single lane road, you instead turn right, then take your U-turn, and proceed through the intersection on your road. While it does reduce opportunities for left turn collisions, there is only colloquial evidence that it reduces accidents or improves traffic flow, though I wonder if any of the studies take into account how confused drivers might be the most dangerous of all.
Perhaps somebody could teach the MDOT the KISS principle.
The chicken-powered nuclear bomb is a bit of a misnomer in two regards: the weapon is not a nuclear "bomb" in the traditional sense, and it isn't powered by chickens. The British tactical nuke of the 1950s was codenamed "Brown Bunny", later changed to "Blue Bunny" and "Blue Peacock", in keeping of the British rainbow codes tradition. It was actually a ten kiloton nuclear mine (not a landmine, but a remote device) that was intended to be placed in various chokeholds in Germany and detonated for an area denial effect in the event of a Soviet invasion. The chickens come in as a prototype method of keeping the vital electronics warm enough to operate with their body heat in the winter, given that they would have been buried deeply. the project never came to pass (due to the obvious political complications), and the chickens never had their chance to strut their stuff.
The single most dangerous hole in golf is a par three with an AstroTurf green, the only hole on the course of Camp Bonifas. Named after a victim of the 1976 axe murder incident, the camp is a UN security area administered by the United States Army along the border of North and South Korea. Being right at the DMZ, the hole is bordered on three sides by minefields, and under view of machinegun-armed guard towers. Even the world's best sand wedge can't get you out of the bunker here.