Monday, December 31, 2007

Crazy accident from kangaroo country.

Today's crazy accident comes to us from Down Under, courtesy the upside-down department of energy.  I knew there was a reason to clean up grinding dust, because it gets into everything, will discolour water based paints and dull wood working tools rather horribly.  But this is something I never thought of.

A safety coordinator at the Esso Oil Company plant in Longford, Australia, was using a belt grinder in his home workshop to smooth the edge of a hacksaw cut on a 2" length of 1.5" angle iron. He had been grinding for about 1.5 to 2 minutes when there was a loud "THUMP" accompanied by an approximately 2-foot diameter brilliant yellow orange fireball. The fireball lasted no more than 1 second and then completely extinguished itself. It completely enveloped the machine, his hands to half way up his forearms, and the front of his torso.
I'll spare you the gory details.  The guy got burnt a bit, needless to say.  Good thing he was wearing his glasses, eh?

Now, what on earth makes a belt grinder explode? 
Nothing on the bench was burning. A few streaks of white powder were deposited on the bench top and on a few items lying on the bench. The workshop was filled with dense white smoke with very little odor.
Hmm, white powder?  White Smoke?  The plot thickens!  One last piece of info is missing.
A few days before the event, the man's son had ground the heads off about twelve aluminum pop rivets.
Aluminum makes a belt grinder explode?  Yes it does my friends!  Aluminum dust plus grinding dust from steel makes thermite.  Add a bunch of heat from grinding sparks, and POOF goes your eyebrows.  The good news is that thermite is very difficult to get going.  This poor guy's loss of eyebrows was pretty fluky.  But if you grind a lot of steel and a lot of aluminum...

So all you hot rodder slobs like myself who work with steel AND aluminum, get busy with the vacuum cleaner.  The facial hair you save may be your own.

The "but am I paranoid enough?" Phantom

Thursday, December 27, 2007

HRC, the gauntlet is cast! Right in their teeth too.

Mark Steyn has a new post up at his blog regarding his upcoming hearing before one of our Human Rights Commission tribunals , and may I say that the battle is surely joined.
Here's my bottom line: I don't accept that free-born Canadian citizens need the permission of the Canadian state to read my columns. What's offensive is not the accusations of Dr Elmasry and his pals, but the willingness of Canada's pseudo-courts to take them seriously. So I couldn't care less about the verdict - except insofar as an acquittal would be more likely to bolster the cause of those who think it's entirely reasonable for the state to serve as editor-in-chief of privately owned magazines. As David Warren put it, the punishment is not the verdict but the process.
That is the kind of talk I like to hear from targets of Liberal persecution.  Bring. It. On.
The ladies and gentlemen of the Canadian Conservative Party should be moving to forward this battle with all possible speed.  Go git 'em boys 'n girls!

The Phantom

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wind power done RIGHT!

Ahhh, now this is how you do wind power.

"To latch onto the powerful winds prevailing well above the surface, the kite attached to the high-tech steerage unit flies up to 300 meters high to tug the 10,000-tonne ship forward, supporting its diesel engines and cutting fuel consumption.  Under favorable wind conditions, the 160-square meter kite shaped like a paraglider is expected to reduce fuel costs by up to 20 percent or more ($1,600 per day)..."

Wind power that saves money, what a freakin' concept.  One problem, the damn kite costs $750,000 so they are going to have to have about 15 months of days under "sail" to break even.  MV Beluga might want to work on that part a bit.

Incidentally, the above two sentences are about all the useful information in the article.  MV Beluga attaches kites to freighters, and saves them 20% on gas.  The whole rest of the article is "carbon footprint" and  climate change bollocks.

I don't care.  My container gets across the ocean  20% cheaper, I save twenty bucks on a $100 item.  (Yes, I know its not that simple.  But ultimately, cost reductions end up in consumer pockets.)  Added bonus, less actual pollution gets spewed into the air.  You know, poisonous gases.  The kind nobody ever seems to talk about anymore, but have not gone away.  I don't want to smell fartfull sulfur dioxide any more than the next guy, so here's a way to cut it by 20% and make money, not lose it.  Awesome!

The Fartfull Phantom

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mechanical component to wound healing discovered.

Fun facts, sometimes when you get a cut and it scars up the scar keeps on scar-ing and end up making a fascial adhesion, sometimes leading to fibrosis.  New discovery announced today gives a little insight into the process.  The interesting thing is that a purely mechanical component to the pathway is mentioned.  Basically growth hormone is released for cell activity by pulling on the fibers being created.Fascinating article.  Read it!  ~:D

The Myofascial Phantom

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Only in Canada you say? Pity.

Some things have happened this last week I thought you should be aware of.

First, the natives are restless in Caledonia.  Not the Six Nations idiots, I mean the people who live in Caledonia.  Seems that illegal smoke shops (as in more than one) have been springing up along Highway Six in the occupied Douglas Creek Estates confusion zone.  People in Caledonia don't like it because its illegal, blocks traffic and is an eyesore.  December 1st they had a  demonstration in front of one.  Not the first time residents have staged a demonstration, but it IS the first time 200 OPP cops didn't show up.  This time they sent eight (8).  Predictably, the noble Six Nations Protesters punched out fat, diabetic old Gary McHale who frankly looks about as dangerous as a fire hydrant. 

The other casualty happened when the OPP tackled and seriously injured a resident with a video camera.  You know, before he captured somebody doing something they shouldn't be, like Indians shoving and hitting the cops while the cops ignored them and faced the residents who were NOT shoving and/or hitting anyone.  But there's still video of Gary McHale getting attacked from behind though.  Walking away too.  That's not going to play well in court I bet, when the noble Six Nations Protesters try to get McHale charged with assault.  Love those camcorders.  OPP Chief Fantino was rumored to be blaming McHale for assaulting Clyde Powless's fist with his face, Gary says he's going to cooperate only with the RCMP, not the OPP.  Good luck with that, Gary.

Second, last week Toronto had its 80th murder.  That's getting near a new Hogtown record I think.  The record may be broken this year, I heard they found a 7/11 attendant stabbed to death this morning.  On the bright side, more victims were bludgeoned and/or hacked to death compared to 2005.  According to the mayor, "Fearless Leader" Dave Miller, that's a cause for celebration.

So things are not looking great in Ontario, "Yours To Duck and Cover", from a policing standpoint.  What then are the Great Minds in Queens Park doing about this?  Its a beauty, believe me.  Check it out:

The provincial gun regulator will begin inspecting the homes of older gun owners in Toronto to ensure they are storing their firearms safely, an initiative one sporting association said amounts to "harassing" seniors.  Ontario's Chief Firearms Office says it is responding to concerns raised by Toronto police, which have in the past been called to the homes of gun owners who had either died or been hospitalized and did not have their registered firearms securely stored.

Yep.  Going to go check up on Grandma and Grandpa, make sure them eeeevile shootin' irons ain't lying around where they could jump up and stab a convenience store clerk.  That's what Metro police are going to be doing for the next little while.  Can't be too careful about them old geezers, they're friggin' dangerous.

Thought you'd like to know, eh?

The Phantom