Completely and totally off-topic and without any meritwhatsoever

From: Roger Merchberger <>
Date: Tue Sep 7 23:36:50 2004

Rumor has it that Vintage Computer Festival may have mentioned these words:
>On Tue, 7 Sep 2004, Dwight K. Elvey wrote:
> > I used to handle the stuff a lot when I was a kid and it hasn't
> > hardly effected me ( has it? ).

That's the confusing part - you can't tell. My grandfather and I got in a
somewhat heated discussion one day about the safety of things like
soldering, lead handling, and whatnot.

My grandfather said rather emphatically - "I've used my teeth on lead
sinkers my whole life, and have been soldering just as long - it's *never*
affected me! I'm still an intelligent individual in command of my faculties!"

I replied: "I'm not doubting you're a smart guy. But how do you know the
lead didn't affect you? Without that lead in your system you might have
been twice as smart as you are now."

That pretty much ended the heated part of the discussion.

At times, I still wonder about that, about *myself*. I can't hack code
nearly as well as I could, my memory *sucks*, and sometimes seems to be
getting worse... Could it be the lead? Who knows...

...and then I remember the one thing that my grandfather and I agreed on
that day:

You can't let "fear of personal safety" get in the way of life. Reasonable
precautions are fine and dandy, but when you stop living life due to the
"perceived dangers..." Might as well put a mercury-filled bullet thru the

>My high school chemistry teacher let us roll it around in our hands for a
>short period of time.

I didn't have a chance to do that, but...

>One very interesting sensation is plunging your finger into a container of

I actually did talk my chem. teacher into letting me do this. I didn't have
access to a lot of mercury, and she made me wear a plastic glove (it was
actually quite thin, so it didn't hamper the experience) - the mercury was
only deep enough to reach the first knuckle, but that was enough to
experience the 'sensation' - it's tough to describe.

=-=-=-=-=-=-= and =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Rumor has it that William Donzelli may have mentioned these words:
> > Compounds in mercury? Such as?
>Mercury can combine with lots of things. Probably the most common is the
>ore, cinnebar.

Silver - it was used "back in the day" to soften silver used in dentistry.
They have since found other compounds to do that, but...

> I think it can even be part of some organic compounds.

*That* is what would scare me "just enough" to not drink it.

Also: Once drunk, *it's gotta go somewhere.* Once done, I poop it, right?
No big deal, you say, right? Erm... then it goes to the processing station,
then into the river in which a *ton* of fish live that I like to eat, which
I can't eat anymore because it's combined with *their organic systems*
making it more readily available to hit my bloodstream. Yes, there is
enough American Indian in me to know about the "circle of life" and I don't
wanna frell with that.

Erm... no. I think I'll pass on poisoning a bajillion fish just to feel
some weird liquid metal rolling around in my gut.

But you go ahead, Sellam. I'm not stopping you! You're on the left coast,
which I doubt I'll have money to visit for quite some time. But if I do,
remind me not to eat seafood, eh? ;-P

Roger "Merch" Merchberger

Roger "Merch" Merchberger   | JC: "Like those people in Celeronville!"
sysadmin, Iceberg Computers | Me: "Don't you mean Silicon Valley???"          | JC: "Yea, that's the place!"
                             | JC == Jeremy Christian
Received on Tue Sep 07 2004 - 23:36:50 BST

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