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Brad Fitzpatrick

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San Francisco Oil Spill [Nov. 8th, 2007|11:34 am]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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Can't believe I didn't hear about this yesterday....

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/11/08/MND7T870A.DTL

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/11/08/BAD8T8PLU.DTL

:(
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: daberna
2007-11-08 08:04 pm (UTC)
Why can't we just light it on fire and let God sort it out?
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[User Picture]From: cowsandmilk
2007-11-08 08:13 pm (UTC)
because long chain hydrocarbons don't burn easily... (have you ever tried setting asphalt on fire? now compare that to lighting a natural gas burner)
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[User Picture]From: daberna
2007-11-08 09:51 pm (UTC)
Can't be any harder to burn than a candle let's say, since it is liquid after all.

And if they're having to evacuate people due to the fumes, i bet there's some volatile organics around just waiting to burn.

I still say we should light it.
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[User Picture]From: avatraxiom
2007-11-08 10:50 pm (UTC)
Water is also liquid. Have you ever tried to light it on fire?

Oh, glass is also liquid.

-Max
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From: dsp
2007-11-09 01:04 am (UTC)

glass

Glass is an amorphous solid.
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[User Picture]From: daberna
2007-11-09 01:41 am (UTC)
If it's a hydrocarbon and it's a liquid, it has a lower molecular weight than wax. Which implies it has a higher vapor pressure, flash point, etc.

And yes, I agree that water doesn't ignite. I can also categorically say water is not a hydrocarbon.

And oh, glass is not a liquid, at least not at room temperature and at times scales that are relevant. This has more to do with philosophy than science, but still... not a liquid.
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[User Picture]From: avatraxiom
2007-11-09 01:43 am (UTC)
Hahaha, okay, fair enough. :-)

-Max
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[User Picture]From: scosol
2007-11-09 08:40 am (UTC)
i'll go stand in a pool of diesel and drop a match to prove the point to you...

"fuel oil" is even less combustible...
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[User Picture]From: daberna
2007-11-09 06:52 pm (UTC)
Ok. Go for it. Send me the video. I'd love to see that.

I'm not saying dropping a match in it will light it (I never said anything about matches), but I'm confident you can make it burn. The flash point of wax is ~400 C, for bunker fuel it's ~100 C (the best I can tell). I unwaveringly stand my statement that we can ignite it. It probably won't be impressive to watch, but it'll burn.
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-11-09 11:32 pm (UTC)

so cool

don't worry, cowboy

2 million gallons of RAW SEWAGE should do the trick

http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/531891/bay_spill_nets_record_fine_18_million_gallons_spilled/index.html
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[User Picture]From: scosol
2007-11-09 11:33 pm (UTC)
to get anything to burn, it generally has to be either volatile enough, or atomized enough-
fuel oil is simply not volatile enough to remain lit in a pool, and in a floating-on-water scenario doesn't get atomized enough, nor is there enough of a containment of the vapors-

mythbusters did something that will show this- taking a blowtorch to diesel VS gasoline- look it up :)
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[User Picture]From: daberna
2007-11-10 01:01 am (UTC)
I like to get all my "know-how" from entertainment tv too...

I really think everyone needs some more imagination here. It shouldn't be "that stuff just won't burn," it should be "how can we get that stuff to burn." How else will God do his sorting?

Also, the use of the term "atomized" is cute.
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[User Picture]From: scosol
2007-11-11 12:11 am (UTC)
> I like to get all my "know-how" from entertainment tv too...

That's not where the know-how comes from, it's just a reference to an easily-accessible example so as to avoid my having to perform any monkey stunts for your amusement.

> I really think everyone needs some more imagination here. It shouldn't be "that stuff just won't burn," it should be "how can we get that stuff to burn." How else will God do his sorting?

Outside of academia we solve real-world problems, so we realize that putting the oil in to a burnable state is effectively the same as cleaning it up, negating the need to burn it in the first place, so we quickly decide not to waste any cycles on this masturbatory fantasy.
If you've got some alternate theory on burning it then by all means you should try it out.

> Also, the use of the term "atomized" is cute.

The Z is just for you, big boy.
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[User Picture]From: daberna
2007-11-11 08:13 am (UTC)
I was rather looking forward to your "monkey stunt"... You volunteered. I was only hoping you weren't entirely full of shit. But then again, saying you're willing to stand in a pool of diesel and actually doing it to prove a point are rather different things.

And in the real world, we actually understand the difference between an obviously ridiculous statement (i.e. joke) and someone who actually thinks igniting a massive environmental disaster is a solution.

I'm glad that you attack academics. We should all strive to be idiots. Fuck people who actually create and discover something new and make an attempt to understand the world we live in. Yes academics are fools. All they have are papers that say they know things. Fools all of them. Myself (obviously) included. If someone who knew shit about chemistry were trying to prove me wrong, I might actually accept it. I can tell that's not the case.
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[User Picture]From: scosol
2007-11-11 09:16 pm (UTC)
whatever, you figure out how to get an oil spill in to a burnable state, you let me know :)
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[User Picture]From: robflynn
2007-11-08 08:37 pm (UTC)
That sucks :(
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[User Picture]From: perpetualmotion
2007-11-09 12:26 am (UTC)
It's weird to see police cars blocking the roads down to Fort Point and Baker Beach, driving home through the Presidio... :\
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[User Picture]From: joel
2007-11-09 01:33 am (UTC)

Not hearing about Big News

I'm not sure if hearing about things a day after everybody else is a bad thing. Not knowing about an oil spill the day of probably also means you are unaware of Current Celebrity Drama.

I was out of the country this weekend, the only thing I "missed" was the Android announcement.
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