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Today a sewing machine - tomorrow a dirty bomb
April 15, 2009 3:48 AM   Subscribe

Dig out your old Singer sewing machines from the attic and sell them to somebody in Saudi Arabia for a fortune on account of the red mercury they contain. Red mercury allows nuclear bombs to be constructed without the need for plutonium [previously]. Red mercury came originally from Russia. Or from the Nazis. Red mercury was invented to lure terrorists in sting operations. It is a medicine for treating impotency. Red mercury will bring long life. It is cinnabar. It is mercury iodide. It is Lithium 6. It is a Bose Einstein Condensate. It is a ballotechnic mercury compound. It is a codeword. It's a game. It costs $300,000 per kilo.
posted by rongorongo (46 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
is it mercurochrome? cuz my mom used to put that shit on my owies when I was a kid.
posted by spicynuts at 3:50 AM on April 15, 2009


rongorongo are you telling me to sell my sewing machine to support the terrorists?

just checking.....
posted by aetg at 3:57 AM on April 15, 2009


This shit is real. My grandmother once leveled an entire city block while sewing a pair of plutonium pants.
posted by orme at 4:04 AM on April 15, 2009 [10 favorites]


My grandmother was a seamstress in Poland and had a circa 1910 Singer machine. Nothing strange ever happened to her other than the levitation.
posted by 1adam12 at 4:05 AM on April 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


Every time one of you assholes thinks your single link funny website is a good post, I want you to look at this post.

<3
posted by cavalier at 4:29 AM on April 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


>rongorongo are you telling me to sell my sewing machine to support the terrorists?

After researching all the links above I am waiting for them to come and break down the front door within minutes. My hand is on the handle and I've got a curtain hem all lined up. You'll never take me alive! Never!
posted by rongorongo at 4:33 AM on April 15, 2009


$ ≠ £
posted by bigmusic at 4:37 AM on April 15, 2009


In the city of Madina, people were holding mobile phones up to the machines, due to the belief that they could be used to detect the presence of red mercury.

An intersection of technology and mysticism rears it's head again. Watch out you old analog e-meter, the cell-phone is coming for you. - Now instead carrying around a geiger counter for dectecing red mecury and an old, bulky, conspicuous emeter for doing your solo auditing for your next OT, just whip out your iPhone. It's changing the world, one soul at a time.
posted by bigmusic at 4:46 AM on April 15, 2009


This is a truly awesome post. I found out I didn't know about something that didn't even exist! Thanks, Metafilter!
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:49 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Phil Spector pulled a gun on my sewing machine once.
posted by DU at 4:56 AM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nice post but the "mercury iodide" link to Wiley is giving me a cookie error.
posted by exogenous at 4:58 AM on April 15, 2009


Pirates tried to steal my Singer, but the dolphins stopped them.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:23 AM on April 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


This substance cannot be.used to create a nuclear weapon without the Plutonium. Rather an irradiated version can be used to create a radiation weapon. There's a huge difference.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:30 AM on April 15, 2009


In the city of Madina, people were holding mobile phones up to the machines, due to the belief that they could be used to detect the presence of red mercury.

Actually, there may be some truth in this, a careful perusal of the iTunes store reveals a secret Red Mercury apps section. Installation of this app turns your iPhone into a Red Mercury detector.
posted by mygoditsbob at 5:33 AM on April 15, 2009


And we consider this odder than building an entire country on the worship of rules of a mysterious entity that doesn't provably exist?
posted by MuffinMan at 5:40 AM on April 15, 2009


Pirates tried to steal my Singer, but the dolphins stopped them.

Are you a member of Motley Crue?

Also, it's the Steelers, not Pirates.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:41 AM on April 15, 2009


According to Wikipedia, Red Mercury references can be found in role-playing games, video games, and science fiction trilogies. This would explain my 15 year old bespectacled cousin Bradford, and his endless onslaught of explosives terminology. (Particularly his comment one Thanksgiving that the cranberry sauce tasted "murky", and his suspicion that it contained traces of Red Mercury.) Wish I were kidding.
posted by thebellafonte at 5:47 AM on April 15, 2009


Red Mercury is my new bicycle.

Pray that I never crash.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:48 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


It is a well known artworld secret that the best red paint is Red Mercury. Picasso swore by it, as did Warhol. De Kooning was said to actually eat the stuff.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:01 AM on April 15, 2009


Dammit, I heard about this on BBC Global News and thought it'd make a great post, and here you are, making a great post about red mercury. I shall have all of my thunder shipped to you forthwith.
posted by boo_radley at 6:16 AM on April 15, 2009


Ahh memories. My first argument at Metafilter was in that old Red Mercury thread... jeezus 6 1/2 years ago.

Well now I'm depressed.
posted by PenDevil at 6:17 AM on April 15, 2009


This is one of the most successful CIA misinformation campaigns ever!
posted by Jeremy at 6:30 AM on April 15, 2009


What a great post!
posted by onalark at 6:41 AM on April 15, 2009


I have a few of these–do you think I could still sell them to some dummies? I could use an extra few tens of thousands of dollars.
posted by Mister_A at 6:50 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid my dad had a red mecury. He bought it in 1972 for $2000. It was a real clunker.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:08 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


This substance cannot be.used to create a nuclear weapon without the Plutonium. Rather an irradiated version can be used to create a radiation weapon. There's a huge difference.

Stick with the law-talking, Ironmouth.
posted by electroboy at 7:09 AM on April 15, 2009


See, this thread is why mefi needs images. Or maybe it's why Mefi shouldn't have images. I'm not sure.
posted by verb at 7:18 AM on April 15, 2009


Every time one of you assholes thinks your single link funny website is a good post, I want you to look at this post.

This IS a great post. Single link funny websites can be great posts, too.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:19 AM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's also dragon food in long drawn-out fantasy novels.
posted by GuyZero at 7:48 AM on April 15, 2009


Interesting. It's just like when people thought they could make a fortune by selling old jeans in Russia.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:03 AM on April 15, 2009


Every time one of you assholes thinks your single link funny website is a good post, I want you to look at this post.

Every time one of you excellent people thinks your single sentence of snark is funny or is a good comment, I want you to think about this douchey comment.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:07 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Red mercury is all you need to achieve critical mass hysteria.
posted by jamjam at 8:29 AM on April 15, 2009


$ ≠ £ - depends on who you ask.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:47 AM on April 15, 2009


The frustrated postmodern alchemist in my really wants to seek for a way to exploit this urban legend... but something tells me that severely ripping off people who are super interested in making a nuclear bomb on the relative cheap and quiet is a pretty bad idea.

(In other news I just discovered the Internet Movie Firearm Database, wtf).
posted by nanojath at 8:58 AM on April 15, 2009


I remember the first time I freebased Red Mercury; it was the best high I've ever had. Except for the parts where the walls were breathing and I was glued to the ceiling, and the singing faucet was a little weird as well, but it sure had a great voice and an amazing repertoire of show tunes to work from. Also there was the unfortunate come-down need to kill a bunch of people to prove I was indestructible and part of the incorruptible greater whole of gods infinite love, and then there was the building fire that I don't think I started. I'm pretty sure it was caused by the road flare I threw into that puddle of gasoline which I clearly had nothing to do with. And balloons shouldn't be that sexy.

Red Mercury: Best. High. Ever.
posted by quin at 9:01 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of course they are just telling you that the red mercury in the old Singer sewing machines is a hoax.
posted by eye of newt at 9:34 AM on April 15, 2009


It's also dragon food in long drawn-out fantasy novels.

Turtledove got to you too, huh?
posted by Talanvor at 9:52 AM on April 15, 2009


If I could only convince the Saudis that my boogers contained red mercury...

You heard it here first, world! Meatbomb's boogers are a rich source of red mercury!
posted by Meatbomb at 9:57 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Every time one of you assholes thinks your single link funny website is a good post, I want you to look at this post.

Every time one of you excellent people thinks your single sentence of snark is funny or is a good comment, I want you to think about this douchey comment.
"

Every time one of you hipsters thinks your potentially thread hijacking metacomment is essential I want you to think about this awesome comment.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:03 AM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Turtledove got to you too, huh?

Turtledove got me two books in and I realized that it was NEVER GOING TO END. So I stopped.

But the idea of feeding dragons cinnabar was pretty cool.
posted by GuyZero at 10:06 AM on April 15, 2009


Red mercury is all you need to achieve critical mass hysteria.

You could also use Freddy Mercury.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:23 AM on April 15, 2009


Red Mercury was a great character in the original Watchmen comic book, but I think the actress who played her was too shallow to provide much more than eye candy on the screen.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:44 AM on April 15, 2009


"Every time one of you assholes thinks your single link funny website is a good post, I want you to look at this post.

Every time one of you excellent people thinks your single sentence of snark is funny or is a good comment, I want you to think about this douchey comment."

Every time one of you hipsters thinks your potentially thread hijacking metacomment is essential I want you to think about this awesome comment.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:03 PM on April 15 [1 favorite +] [!]


Every time... ah, fuck it, general apathy is so much less work than thinking about things.
posted by nanojath at 11:21 AM on April 15, 2009


My red mercury containing Singer 99K only cost me $12.50! I bought it for my daughter to use, but I might want to sell it to terrorists instead.
posted by vespabelle at 12:10 PM on April 15, 2009


It's a shipwreck. It's a jar.
posted by The Tensor at 3:33 PM on April 15, 2009


I checked. My old Singer does not contain any Freddy Mercury.

Maybe I could build one from all the lint though.
posted by nat at 8:30 PM on April 15, 2009


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