Heavy flow
September 27, 2016 2:17 PM   Subscribe

 
8:34
posted by theodolite at 2:24 PM on September 27, 2016 [13 favorites]


yeah, why?
posted by Greg Nog at 2:24 PM on September 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


Oh good, he's not actually flushing it into the sewer system.

As always, if you like mercury, I highly recommend this mercury fountain in Fundació Joan Miró, in Barcelona. It's really cool in person (rest of the museum is also quality).
posted by Phredward at 2:25 PM on September 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


whoa the shot of the underside looks like a golem having diarrhea
posted by Greg Nog at 2:26 PM on September 27, 2016 [15 favorites]


I love watching the rivulets come together in the bowl once it refills
posted by rmless at 2:30 PM on September 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


The quicksilver stole his gold!
posted by Drosera at 2:33 PM on September 27, 2016


That man's home is a Superfund site in the making.
posted by truex at 2:33 PM on September 27, 2016 [35 favorites]


>whoa the shot of the underside looks like a golem having diarrhea

I haven't watched it yet and am finding it difficult to believe that it will be anything but anticlimactic after this comment.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 2:41 PM on September 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


I do not want to be friends with this mad scientist.
posted by books for weapons at 2:47 PM on September 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


"if you've ever tried to flush a lead bullet down a toilet,"

who amongst us has not
posted by burgerrr at 2:49 PM on September 27, 2016 [31 favorites]


The video of a Ferengi doing this with one of the Founders was flagged as offensive and removed from YouTube.
posted by PlusDistance at 2:52 PM on September 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


That man's home is a Superfund site in the making.

I think Cody does a pretty good job of not dumping anything toxic. He does a lot of chemistry videos and you can usually see him store the byproducts for later recovery or reuse.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:01 PM on September 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is great, thanks for posting it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:01 PM on September 27, 2016


I think his videos are awesome but it really does seem like he's contaminating a large parcel of desert land with heavy metals for fun.
posted by 1adam12 at 3:01 PM on September 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


There is a whole lot of mercury touching without appropriate protection and placing of heads really close to open toilet tanks filled with a giant amount of mercury (and therefore mercury vapor). Just not a good idea kids.
posted by Muddler at 3:01 PM on September 27, 2016 [20 favorites]


I see this is some people's first exposure to Cody. I can assure you this is not his first exposure to heavy metals
posted by edeezy at 3:03 PM on September 27, 2016 [20 favorites]


I can assure you this is not his first exposure to heavy metals

Can someone please stop the vicious cycle?
posted by 0xFCAF at 3:05 PM on September 27, 2016 [5 favorites]


Not until this very moment and now it's all I can think about.
posted by stevis23 at 3:05 PM on September 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ye gods he could at least wear gloves.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:07 PM on September 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


I see this is some people's first exposure to Cody. I can assure you this is not his first exposure to heavy metals

I'm guessing this means he's some kind of youtube celeb but I'm laughing at the way this sounds like Cody's just some dude you know from junior high
posted by Greg Nog at 3:19 PM on September 27, 2016 [26 favorites]


Don't worry Greg this isn't Cody's first exposure to Ronnie James Dio
posted by beerperson at 3:21 PM on September 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


Ever wonder what it would be like to flush a toilet with mercury instead of water?

No.

No, I haven't.

But thanks for asking.

*Shakes head and thinks to self: "... and what was the first thing that made you say 'wow, this isn't just a place for freaks after all?'"*
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:23 PM on September 27, 2016


posted by Greg Nog I can assure you this is not [Cody's] first exposure to heavy metals

Indeed. Cody built a heavy-metal toilet. A motorhead.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:24 PM on September 27, 2016 [38 favorites]


You could even say it's his Sister Christian
posted by beerperson at 3:28 PM on September 27, 2016


He needs to do this in that gold toilet at the Guggenheim
posted by chavenet at 3:32 PM on September 27, 2016 [32 favorites]


I was curious how much mercury is worth. This information does not appear to occur on the internet.
posted by Bee'sWing at 3:35 PM on September 27, 2016


He needs to do this in that gold toilet at the Guggenheim

Then it would be a silver toilet. Or more exactly a mercury amalgam toilet.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:35 PM on September 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


Metallic Mercury for Sale
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:37 PM on September 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I love the Calder in Fundació Joan Miró that Phredward linked. Fun fact--it's sealed behind a glass wall because they don't want aerosolized mercury going and contaminating the rest of the museum or poisoning the guests.

Looks like these guys are a bit less legal risk-averse.
posted by qcubed at 3:45 PM on September 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


posted by chavenet [Cody] needs to do this in that gold toilet at the Guggenheim

I'm not sure how, but the Royal Canadian Mint gold thief ought to participate.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:49 PM on September 27, 2016 [6 favorites]




This is what happens when a time travelling T1000 gets the road shits and fucks up a truck stop bathroom.
posted by idiopath at 4:06 PM on September 27, 2016 [16 favorites]


TIL some people say "Merkury" instead of "Merk-yury".
posted by bleep at 4:10 PM on September 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


He touched the nitric acid. This man gives no fucks.
posted by ymgve at 4:11 PM on September 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


After I got over the fact that he WASN'T going to flush 240lbs of mercury into the waterways, I couldn't help but think of this snippet:

FORD:
Yeah, well, Forget that. I mean do you know how the universe began for a kick off?

ARTHUR:
Well probably not

FORD:
Alright imagine this: you get a large round bath made of ebony.

ARTHUR:
Where from? Harrod’s was destroyed by the Vogons.

FORD:
Well it doesn’t matter -

ARTHUR:
So you keep saying!

FORD:
No, No listen. Just imagine that you’ve got this ebony bath, right? And it’s conical.

ARTHUR:
Conical? What kind of bath is -

FORD:
No, no, shh, shhh, it’s, it’s, it’s conical okay? So what you do, you fill it with fine white sand right? Or sugar, or anything like that. And when it’s full, you pull the plug out and it all just twirls down out of the plug hole… but the thing is…

ARTHUR:
Why?

FORD:
No, the clever thing is that you film it happening. You get a movie camera from somewhere and actually film it. But then you thread the film in the projector backwards.

ARTHUR:
Backwards?

FORD:
Yeah, neat you see. So what happens is you sit and you watch it and then everything appears to swirl upwards, out of the plug hole and fill the bath… amazing.

ARTHUR:
And that’s how the universe began?

FORD:
No. But it’s a marvellous way to relax.

posted by prettypretty at 4:13 PM on September 27, 2016 [18 favorites]


I woulda worn gloves but I don't think elemental mercury absorbs all that well through the skin?
posted by atoxyl at 4:17 PM on September 27, 2016


"And the question becomes, can I clog a toilet with..."

I think I love this scientist.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 4:19 PM on September 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


Later when he dissolves the Mercury off his gold bar with nitric acid he wears gloves because the mercuric nitrate that results is what is legitimately bad for you. Mercury compounds are far more toxic than metallic Mercury.

Also, he lost about $21 worth of gold to the Mercury.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:26 PM on September 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Going in, I assumed that this guy was just some dude. When he said, WELP, better go grab a third 90-lb canister of mercury from the shed, I lost it.

I also really enjoy his accent on the word 'mercury'
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:28 PM on September 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


About 25 years ago I met some guys who had been canned when the uranium mine they worked in closed down. They were real characters and were having a time adjusting from the workplace norms of an underground mine to that of a stuffy office. They had great stories about powder headaches (a favorite way to break in new people) and what it meant if your helmet lamp died during a shift (your wife was fitting you with horns) and how you celebrated the forth of July when you had access to high explosives. I learned that miners used 'jackleg' drills to place a grid of holes in the mine face which were then packed with explosives and then mucked out.
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:28 PM on September 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also, he lost about $21 worth of gold to the Mercury.

Considering the price quoted in the link I found, the mercry itself in the toilet was worth about $60,000. Of course it was once much cheaper; when I was in high school the lab had a gallon jug of the stuff, as did most such small labs. It was just a common thing. But if you don't have any old stock and you want to do the mercury toilet flush, that gold commode might not be such a crazy setting.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:38 PM on September 27, 2016


Little Willie from his mirror
Sucked the mercury all off,
Thinking, in his childish error,
It would cure his whooping-cough.

At the funeral, Willie’s mother
Smartly said to Mrs. Brown,
“'Twas a chilly day for William
When the mercury went down.”



Little willie poems

Think 1) mirrors used to be coated with mercury due to its reflectiveness and 2) mercury thermometers if you don't understand this rhyme
posted by lalochezia at 4:43 PM on September 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


In middle school in the mid-80's, my science teacher passed around a beaker of mercury and encouraged us to stick our fingers in it just to see what it felt like. That guy was the best.
posted by phooky at 4:52 PM on September 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


When I was a kid my dentist would let me take mercury home with me. To play with. And it didn't do anyfrood blevin.
posted by Splunge at 4:54 PM on September 27, 2016 [21 favorites]


Considering the price quoted in the link I found, the mercry itself in the toilet was worth about $60,000.

Nah, that's small quantity stuff. Here's a Chinese supplier selling it by the flask (the same 34.5 kg / 76 lb flasks as in the video) for $33 each. You probably need a permit of some kind to import it, though. I'd imagine however that Cody just had some on hand since the ranch is an old mining property and mercury's commonly used in gold mining, or at least it used to be.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:05 PM on September 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


since he mentions distilling the mercury to get the gold back eventually, I assume he's doing mercury gold mining on some scale.
posted by idiopath at 5:11 PM on September 27, 2016


On preview, nevermind.
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:15 PM on September 27, 2016


My grandfather worked in a chemical plant, and my mother says he would bring home mercury for the kids to play with. On the kitchen floor. All the time. I can report that both I and my brother were born with all our limbs intact.
posted by RedEmma at 5:19 PM on September 27, 2016


mer-cure-ee
posted by humboldt32 at 5:26 PM on September 27, 2016


I remember Little Willie! It's funny he should have written that at a time when doctors still gave children mercury.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:36 PM on September 27, 2016


Also, this reminds me of an amazing and kind of heartbreaking question about how to get rid of three pounds of mercury.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:40 PM on September 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Silver Surfer is like "Yeah. So what? I see that every morning."
posted by codacorolla at 5:41 PM on September 27, 2016 [11 favorites]


"The riders pushed between them and the rock and methodically rode them from the escarpment, the toilets dropping silently as martyrs, turning sedately in the empty air and exploding on the rocks below in startling bursts of white and silver as the bowls broke open and the mercury loomed wobbling in the air in great sheets and lobes and small trembling satellites and all its forms grouping below and racing in the stone arroyos like the imbreachment of some ultimate alchemic work decocted from out the secret dark of the earth's heart, the fleeing stag of the ancients fugitive on the mountainside and bright and quick in the dry path of the storm channels and shaping out the sockets in the rock and hurrying from ledge to ledge down the slope shimmering and deft as eels."

—Cormac McCarthy, Flush Meridian
posted by middleclasstool at 6:14 PM on September 27, 2016 [4 favorites]




atoxyl: "I woulda worn gloves but I don't think elemental mercury absorbs all that well through the skin?"

The mercury vapour coming off the surface of the tank and canner is way more of a risk than the liquid mercury skin exposure.
posted by Mitheral at 6:41 PM on September 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Seriously nitrile gloves are not expensive
posted by solotoro at 6:55 PM on September 27, 2016


On the other hand, it's in the open air.

And I don't think he was joking about the blood tests, either.

This was fun. The man wants to muck around with mercury and show us his home movies - hell, why not. I bet everyone over forty here who did physics at school (or whatever y'all do in the US) got to get up close to some mercury - we did some experiments with it, then the physics teacher froze the droplets with freezer spray before scooping them up with paper, which was cool. Literally.

Just don't be taking your thirty-kilo flasks of mercury back from Beijing in economy. Even a few drops can cause major structural damage in aluminium airframes quite quickly, of the sort that spreads and can't be repaired.
posted by Devonian at 7:05 PM on September 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


That skin contact can't be good, can it? (I remember playing with the stuff as a kid, but we were told not to touch it with our fingers.)
posted by Dip Flash at 7:13 PM on September 27, 2016


Even the small-quantity supplier doesn't ship by air. If you can get a 30 kg flask cheap you will have to have it shipped back by actual ship.

But add me to the WTF squad for "Well, I'll just have to go back to the shed and get a THIRD flask" and "I'm just going to put this TUNGSTEN BLOCK I happened to have lying around on the flapper to hold it down." Because I have a pretty extensive junk box and I even have a few samples of unusual elements but a BLOCK of TUNGSTEN? How did you get it and what do you have it FOR? It's not like it can be machined by normal methods or is all that useful as a chemical sample, because it's a fucking two pound block. SO WHAT ELSE IS IN THAT SHED?
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:13 PM on September 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


SO WHAT ELSE IS IN THAT SHED?

He has a router and a table saw
And you won't believe what Mr. Sticha saw
There's poison underneath the sink, of course
There's also enough formaldehyde to choke a horse
What's he building in there?...What the hell is he building in there?...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:26 PM on September 27, 2016 [10 favorites]


Even a few drops can cause major structural damage in aluminium airframes quite quickly, of the sort that spreads and can't be repaired.
Indeed. This is what mercury on aluminium looks like.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 7:27 PM on September 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


And I don't think he was joking about the blood tests, either.

It kind of read to me as a cry for help. "we'll see how much mercury is in my blood stream after i go to the hospital, heh! next video i'm gonna tip over a vial of dimethylmercury while i'm sitting at a table and see if i can get out of the way before it spills on my pants, lol! that is, unless any of my followers will tell me not to. unless, even a single person in this fucking abattoir we call the universe cares enough to even just type the words 'cody no', lmao"
posted by invitapriore at 7:30 PM on September 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


But add me to the WTF squad for "Well, I'll just have to go back to the shed and get a THIRD flask" and "I'm just going to put this TUNGSTEN BLOCK I happened to have lying around on the flapper to hold it down." Because I have a pretty extensive junk box and I even have a few samples of unusual elements but a BLOCK of TUNGSTEN? How did you get it and what do you have it FOR? It's not like it can be machined by normal methods or is all that useful as a chemical sample, because it's a fucking two pound block. SO WHAT ELSE IS IN THAT SHED?

It’s used as ballast in aircraft and race cars, anywhere where the builders have lots of money and/or space is at a premium.

Surplus pieces end up on eBay pretty regularly.

I expect Cody’s block is intended as a bucking block, though. The way those are used is that you hold a rivet gun in one hand and the bucking block in the other hand, on the far side of the workpiece. It’s just a heavy piece of metal that acts as a backstop for the rivet.

Tungsten works the best because it’s extremely dense and hard. Steel is an okay economy substitute, but tungsten bucking bars aren’t particularly expensive and they last several lifetimes, so why not go for the best?
posted by Fongotskilernie at 7:49 PM on September 27, 2016 [7 favorites]


But add me to the WTF squad for "Well, I'll just have to go back to the shed and get a THIRD flask" and "I'm just going to put this TUNGSTEN BLOCK I happened to have lying around on the flapper to hold it down." Because I have a pretty extensive junk box and I even have a few samples of unusual elements but a BLOCK of TUNGSTEN? How did you get it and what do you have it FOR? It's not like it can be machined by normal methods or is all that useful as a chemical sample, because it's a fucking two pound block. SO WHAT ELSE IS IN THAT SHED?

Assuming he means elemental tungsten rather than the stuff which 'tungsten' wedding rings are made of, which is actually sintered tungsten carbide, and which is still dense enough (sp. gr. 15.6) to sink in mercury (13+), he now might have a significantly contaminated bar of tungsten, considering that Oliver Sacks, in Uncle Tungsten, claimed that the uncle in question solved the previously refractory problem of how to make tungsten filaments for light bulbs by first amalgamating it with mercury.

And do you mean elemental tungsten, Fongotskilernie? Tungsten is harder than steel at mohs 6.5-7.5, but much softer than tungsten carbide, which is about as hard as anything other than diamond or cubic boron nitride. And it's tough but brittle -- they don't cut those wedding rings off, they crush them off.
posted by jamjam at 9:04 PM on September 27, 2016


And do you mean elemental tungsten, Fongotskilernie?

They’re upwards of 90% tungsten, alloyed with some combination of nickel, copper, and iron. Density is mostly maintained, but the alloy is harder and more machinable than tungsten alone.

Textbooks say pure tungsten can be cut with a hacksaw. PolitiFact rates this statement: mostly false.

I tried it once, with a tungsten electrode from an old cinema lamp, about 2 cm in diameter.

A new steel blade barely scratched the surface before expiring. I decided to fight wolfram with wolfram and slipped on a blade studded with tungsten‐carbide grit.

The carbide won, but it was a Pyrrhic victory. It took hours of cutting time and the full life of the blade. It was a good workout, but if you have need to cut tungsten, I highly recommend power tools and someone who knows how to use them.
posted by Fongotskilernie at 9:48 PM on September 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


SO WHAT ELSE IS IN THAT SHED?

How about a box of radioactive material?

Cody is a really smart dude going to school for Geology. He is really passionate and amazed by science. He's generally relatively safe and definitely understands the consequences of his actions. That of course doesn't mean he doesn't do some "dumb" stuff sometimes, like getting stung hundreds of time rescuing a bee colony.

He just has a different view of risk than a lot of people. I've seen him do a lot of dumb slightly dangerous stuff, but he's never done anything idiotic.
posted by mayonnaises at 10:19 PM on September 27, 2016


Ate a roll of aluminum foil last night, drank some magnesium citrate, and produced the same result. ALCHEMY!
posted by not_on_display at 12:14 AM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


How about a box of radioactive material?

"This lump of uranium ore is from my grandfather's collection... he's dead now..."

(Thorium mantles are an essential toy. I have a couple in my radioactives box, and they're hot enough that if you put them on the flash chips in an SSD, throughput drops by 10-15 percent as the error correction gets some work to do...)
posted by Devonian at 5:00 AM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mercury was once used throughout the world in gold processing. It was employed to assist with the extraction of gold and silver from ore. This process has since been replaced by more efficient and less environmentally damaging techniques such as cyanide leaching in large-scale and industrial mining.

Good ol' environmentally healthy cyanide.
posted by Splunge at 5:03 AM on September 28, 2016


Metafilter: fighting wolfram with wolfram.
posted by Mayor West at 5:13 AM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


This brings back fond memories of...erm...losing track of an entire baby food jar's worth of mercury in the middle of Mrs. Gaither's 4th grade social studies class, triggering the second of two celebrated incidents in which something I did in school ended up requiring the intervention of a full-on yellow-suited hazmat team. Fun times, those, and probably predictive of how I ended up with a degree in poetry instead of the sciences.

AND MY BRAIN IS PERFECTLY NORMAL, EVEN NOW.
posted by sonascope at 6:24 AM on September 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


EVERY. DAY.
posted by Theta States at 7:00 AM on September 28, 2016


Little Timmy had a drink
And now he cannot see
For what he thought was H2O
Was CH3Hg
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:36 AM on September 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


Another use of mercury that has fallen out of fashion...
posted by Devonian at 9:02 AM on September 28, 2016


This bit in the radioactive box video made me laugh:

Cody: He's the information card that he sent with it.

[Card says "Schwartzwalder Mine, Jefferson Co. USA"]

Cody: See, it's the Shhh... the mine, and where it's from, and some other stuff.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:51 AM on September 28, 2016


Cody's lab is a fantastic youtube channel. The breadth of his interests and his dedication to exploring them are inspiring.
posted by scose at 6:24 PM on September 28, 2016


I have a few mercury switches around here. Including a very old one that seems to have a kind of black soot like substance on the top of the actual metal. Does mercury oxidize in a completely sealed ampule? Could it be oxidation from the two metal contacts inside?
posted by Splunge at 8:31 PM on September 28, 2016


Here's the mercury blood test result video. (Spoiler: normal.)
posted by Rhomboid at 5:45 AM on October 15, 2016


Follow up post, where he gets a blood test to see if he has too much mercury in his body.

Oops, sorry about that. Well I'm glad it was normal anyhow.
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:15 AM on October 15, 2016




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