Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Who Needs Terrorists?

For that matter, who needs improvised fertilizer-based explosives and the like?

Read this story of a truck driver, younger than I, taking a turn too fast with nearly twenty tons of presumably legal explosives in his rig, and creating an explosion that effectively vaporized the truck and left a 25-foot-deep crater in a Utah highway.

Are there no precautions for loads this size? Are modern explosives, the legal kind, still so volatile? Have you ever felt less safe on America's highways? I haven't.


Blogger Rob said...

Different explosives have different properties based on what they're used for. You can cook dynamite in a skillet, which, given some of the other things I've done in my life, it's strange that I've never tried.

I guess I've grown up.

Anyway, given a bad crash and the truck catching fire, even some safe explosives will detonate.


You'll be happy to know that atomic weapons are only trivial to set off on TV. On the other hand, if you're working in a lab with the "right stuff," the difference between a criticality incident (i.e. unintended nuclear chain reaction of various severity) and another day in the lab can simply be a short, big beaker vs. a tall graduated cylinder. It's essentially how much of the stuff the stuff sees. Spread out, it's relatively harmless. Lumped together, it's an "uh-oh."

"Uh-oh"s are bad. Just to be clear.

10:06 AM  

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