bunsen_h: (Popperi)
The other day, in a conversation about the meme of "X is natural, so it's good for you!", I jokingly suggested strychnine arsenate.  Strychnine is an alkaloid, so can form a compound with acids, for example arsenic acid (H₃AsO₄, analogous to phosphoric acid).

I am slightly surprised to discover that not only is it a thing, not merely is it a compound with known properties, there are chemical suppliers that will sell it to one.

The only use for it that I've been able to find in a quick on-line search, apart from a cagey "chemical research", is for making homeopathic preparations.  I might have guessed.

It's possible that its real purpose in supply catalogues is to send a warning note to local police agencies that they might want to keep an eye on you.
 
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
Today I got my first personally-addressed "invitation" to consider living in a retirement home.

I am not convinced that "the carefree lifestyle you deserve" is quite for me, at this point.  I am quite convinced that I can't afford it.  And of course my idea of a carefree lifestyle involves having lots and lots of books, tools, craft materials, supplies for experimental cooking, and other Stuff which probably won't fit easily into a retirement suite.

I do wonder how they got my name — what list, or whatever, am I on to make them think I'm a prospect?

I could take them up on their offer of a complimentary meal for two, I suppose; they're not too far from where I live.  Still... I'm bemused.
 

Toadstools

Aug. 31st, 2014 01:23 pm
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
If Google has only one hit for a phrase, it's called a "Google whack".  Is there a term for a phrase that has no Google hits, even though there should be some?

I'm not sure exactly what sparked the idea; probably a combination of trying to identify the mushrooms that are growing in our back yard, and reading a letter from a gay dad to a gay man's remarkably intolerant parents, and then my brain did its usual bouncing around.  But... no hits at all for "Amanita Bryant"?

I expect that there will be, if-and-when Google indexes this post.  Anyway.

(As it happens, though A. phalloides is responsible for about half of all fatal human mushroom poisonings, and the various Amanita species collectively about 95% (per the always-reliable W'pedia), a number of the Amanitas are not only edible but commonly eaten.  Not to be confused with the unpalatable and toxic Anitas.)
 
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
I was on my way to bed last night, somewhat too late after a pleasant party at Farthing Party.  In the bathroom, sitting in darkness with my eyes dark-adjusted... I saw spatters of something glowing on the wall beside me. I thought it might be a reflection of light from the hallway, under the hotel room door, but exploring it with my fingers and trying to block the light with my hands made it clear that that wasn't the case.  I turned on the light... and there was nothing to see.  Just the wallpaper.  I turned the light off again, and again I could see the glow.

Looking around the area, I found more glowing spatters on the wall in the little alcove that held the ironing board.

The glow didn't decrease visibly after several minutes.  The phosphorescent materials that I know about usually fade more quickly.

I turned the light on again.  I still couldn't see anything on the wallpaper.  Light off... still glowing.  Could it be under the wallpaper?  Some kind of hole in the wall, with a lit area on the other side?  Some kind of LED display, papered over?  There seemed to be too many tiny glows, distributed oddly, for something like that.

Light on.  Still nothing to see.

Something radioactive?  Some kind of Whovian crack in reality?  A Lovecraftian thing oozing through the wall?

I eventually decided that it probably wasn't anything like that.  But it took me a while to get to sleep.  When I woke up again in the wee hours, I went back to check, and the glowy stuff was still there -- much fainter than before.  I turned the light on for a few seconds, and the glow went back to being bright.  That was a big reliief -- it was following normal laws of physics.

Before I checked out of the room this morning, I borrowed a UV light from Jon Singer to shine on the walls.  As I expected, that made the stuff glow very brightly.

I haven't any idea what was going on.  When I checked out, I told the woman at the desk about the glowy stuff.  She suggested that it might be residue from a "glow stick", but I don't think that stuff phosphoresces..?  And I don't know if it would be completely invisible on the wallpaper.

If I start glowing, or turn into a mutant with amazing glow-stick powers, or disappear leaving behind only a cryptic written gurgling, the clue may lie in room 1119 of Hôtel Gouverneur Place Dupuis in Montreal.
 
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
Julie Hagerty is probably best known for her role as Elaine, the flight attendant in Airplane and its sequel.

Now, she's playing a flight attendant in a TV ad for jeans.

She looks very good, very much like she did in those movies 30+ years ago.  But for the life of me, I can't imagine what message the advertisers are trying to send.
 
bunsen_h: (Default)
I went for a short drive with [livejournal.com profile] mentisiterinvit to where some of our local friends were making a low-budget alien-invasion movie.  As we waited for the production to get underway, it became more and more clear that the film was about the performers in a long-running gay musical revue, with all of their interpersonal conflicts and neuroses, fighting the invaders.  The movie trailer had scraps of musical numbers and long camera pans across ludicrous hi-heeled shoes and high-powered hand weapons and leather corsets and more weapons.

Well, as a movie concept, this dream had more potential for an interesting story than most of the alien-invasion things I've heard about lately.  And it is indeed something that I can imagine my local friends working on.
 

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