Thursday, April 18, 2013

On Poisons and Pressure Cookers

The big wheel o' spin just keeps moving in the purgatorial sewers of MSM and their Public Affairs Specialists.

Now we are to beware middle aged men armed with their mother's pressure cookers.

The "deadly" pressure cookers used to make at least a couple of the devices in the Boston attack were no more effective than any other form of sturdy metal casing, and in fact, unless welded, would be substantially less effective at containing the explosive oxidizers from the chemical charge than the traditional threaded pipes that give "pipe bombs" their name.

What we can tell from the available media records and reports so far, is that the devices appear to be fairly simply constructed from home mixed batches of chemicals and remote denoted with simple triggers like cellphones or delay timers. For example, the clouds of brightly burning, white smoke in the video of the first explosion would indicate a chemical mixture high in oxidizing agents, more like a propellant than a military type explosive, a pretty good indicator of home construction.

Not to say this rendered the device any less effective for the crowds of innocents caught up in the crime, but an advanced military style explosive would have probably given us casualty lists more like those of bombings in the war zones of the Middle East, where second-hand military shells and explosives are readily available to far more deadly results.

As for the Ricin laced letters intercepted by the authorities before they could reach their intended victims, and the rather ancient fellow who is now in custody who apparently sent them, I would like to place your fears at rest. Some have questioned how this elderly would-be assassin managed to get this toxin, and how much of a danger Ricin actually poses? Well, Ricin is the rather mundane leftovers from the production of certain types of plant oils--not unlike the manufacturing of the Wesson oil folks cook with everyday. This substance,  when purified, is highly poisonous, but unless manufactured by a competent chemist with the proper equipment, the resulting product is far less lethal than imagined.

While there is no antidote or cure for Ricin poisoning, experiments carried out with "homemade" Ricin that were published in the late 1970s indicated that animals feed large doses of the substance had about a fifty percent survival rate--these were large doses of impure, crudely produced, Ricin added directly to animal feed and ingested by the test animals directly, not inhaled nor administered by injection (as were the Soviet Ricin Assassinations in Europe in the 1980s). So while injecting pharmaceutical-grade Ricin is almost surely lethal in micro-dosages, accidentally inhaling some bootlegged Ricin dust is not liable to do much of anything.

Ricin, by the way, has been well-known in popular Western culture since the post-WWII era, when it was popularized in fiction literature by none other than Agatha Christie as a method for offing ones' unruly spouse via the "arsenic and old lace" bit in her novels. Christie even had a stash of Ricin in her "poison garden" a collection of toxic plants and fungi she kept as something of a hobby. Note: no one died accidentally that we know of the entire time she had the blasted stuff.

I suppose the next thing our leaders will call for is to make bombs, dangerous explosives, and producing lethal poisons illegal.

Oh wait, they already are.

BTW, the new round of unconstitutional gun controls just died in the Senate, because making guns illegal will stop their use just about as effectively as the laws prohibiting all of the above prevented the crimes committed this week across America.

No comments:

Post a Comment