Police have not yet shot the white foam
November 18, 2016 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Mysterious white foam floods Santa Clara. A torrent of whiteness flooded Martin Ave in Santa Clara this afternoon. Authorities maintain "the foam is not dangerous." (It's AFFF and not really mysterious)
posted by GuyZero (70 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
well someone messed up the pour
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:38 PM on November 18, 2016 [16 favorites]


what does the foam want, has it made any demands?
posted by poffin boffin at 1:45 PM on November 18, 2016 [41 favorites]


I love how hangar foam turns airplanes into sharks.
posted by CaseyB at 1:51 PM on November 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Earlier, the Live Foam Cam hosted on FB showed a guy ride his bicycle into the foam. He disappeared for several minutes before coming back out sans bike, which he lost in the foam after riding into a street sign.
posted by jamaro at 1:56 PM on November 18, 2016 [17 favorites]


Well, it's not like they're going to shoot white foam.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:57 PM on November 18, 2016 [31 favorites]


Our country is submerged in a sea of angry white foam. It's like God has stopped trusting us to catch the subtle metaphors.
posted by Think_Long at 1:58 PM on November 18, 2016 [70 favorites]


which he lost in the foam after riding into a street sign

The foam has already taken so much from us
posted by Apocryphon at 1:59 PM on November 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


i am willing to offer my skills as a bubble bath aficionado and i will negotiate with the foam on behalf of humanity
posted by poffin boffin at 2:00 PM on November 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


I love how hangar foam turns airplanes into sharks.

Like the intro to Airplane!
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:02 PM on November 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Those of us in the Bay Area would expect this sort of thing from a hot tub in Mill Valley, not some industrial park in Santa Clara...
posted by straw at 2:07 PM on November 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Guys, remember foam parties? I lost a bellybutton ring during one in 2002 and I still don't understand how that happened...
posted by rmless at 2:10 PM on November 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


the foam denies any wrongdoing in that incident
posted by poffin boffin at 2:11 PM on November 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


not some industrial park in Santa Clara...

Well an airplane hangar really as the street is directly off one side of SJC airport.

People always call stuff in Santa Clara like it's somewhere else:

San Jose Airport - really in Santa Clara
San Francisco 49ers - actually in Santa Clara
posted by GuyZero at 2:11 PM on November 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Guys, remember foam parties?

No, but I was extremely boring as a young person.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:17 PM on November 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


reports that i have sold out the human race for a cushy sinecure in foamtopia are both unfounded and offensive
posted by poffin boffin at 2:17 PM on November 18, 2016 [17 favorites]


Authorities maintain "the foam is not dangerous."

How could they possibly know this? What are they not telling us? What are they afraid to reveal??
posted by glhaynes at 2:17 PM on November 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, SJFD and SJPD have opposing opinions about foam safety:
If you are near the substance, San Jose fire department warns that you should not go in it as it is a known carcinogen. The fire retardant can cause an irritation to the skin.
local ABC affiliate

He plunged into the foam on his bike. "Yeah, someone had to do it. We were on the other side and the officers over there were like 'you should ride through.' And I was like, 'OK you guys don't mind?' So we decided to do it," he said.

Harrington said he was told the foam was not toxic before he made the decision to bike through it.

local Fox affiliate
posted by jamaro at 2:18 PM on November 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yeah, it's like "kills fish in streams and will give 4% of you cancer in 25 years" toxic, not like "guy that fell into that hot spring in Yellowstone and dissolved instantly" toxic
posted by GuyZero at 2:19 PM on November 18, 2016 [22 favorites]


And since I'm not sure it merits an actual FPP, for those that haven't seen the news: Man dissolves in acidic water after he falls into a Yellowstone hot spring

"Scott had reached down to check the temperature of a spring when he slipped and fell into it. Rescuers later found Scott's body inside the pool, but couldn't retrieve it because of a lightning storm in the area. When they came back the next day, no remains were found beneath the spring's churning, acidic waters."

And you thought your day was bad.
posted by GuyZero at 2:24 PM on November 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


the hero we need tbh
posted by asteria at 2:28 PM on November 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, as far as bad choices go, I'd bike through that in a second.

I've also been planning on how, if necessary, I would use a hot springs to fake my own death ever since I read about that poor Yellowstone dude.

Basically, these weird fantasies are the things that keep me going through my day.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:29 PM on November 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


I for one welcome our new foam overflow.
posted by Kabanos at 2:33 PM on November 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


Guys, remember foam parties?

Marco Rubio chose a weird location to ride in to save republic on the back of white foam
posted by Apocryphon at 2:36 PM on November 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


this is a mile and a half from my dad's office and i texted him about it and he was like wait what foam and i was like DAD are you living in a CAVE go on the INTERNET at WORK once in a while
posted by burgerrr at 2:40 PM on November 18, 2016 [15 favorites]


Maybe this is due to Harris's Foam Corner getting too backed up?
posted by glhaynes at 2:41 PM on November 18, 2016


As far as worthwhile news coverage goes, it's no escapee llamas, but I'll take it.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 2:44 PM on November 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


Cover all of America with foam, IMO.
posted by codacorolla at 2:59 PM on November 18, 2016


We've struck nerf.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:03 PM on November 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


I've also been planning on how, if necessary, I would use a hot springs to fake my own death ever since I read about that poor Yellowstone dude.

What exactly does one do after faking one's death? Or maybe I need to take that to AskMe.
posted by hippybear at 3:05 PM on November 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bike man seems to have gotten out of the foam with his bike. He is, however, now foamy bike man.
posted by zachlipton at 3:10 PM on November 18, 2016


What exactly does one do after faking one's death? Or maybe I need to take that to AskMe.

First, be smart from the very beginning...
posted by sysinfo at 3:10 PM on November 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


this is a mile and a half from my dad's office and i texted him about it and he was like wait what foam and i was like DAD are you living in a CAVE go on the INTERNET at WORK once in a while

omg make your dad go get you a souvenir jar of the 2016 bicycle-eating foam flood
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:10 PM on November 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


Cover all of America with foam, IMO.

It turns out the all-encompassing white foam was actually inside America's heart all along.
posted by GuyZero at 3:10 PM on November 18, 2016


Well if it's not a huge physical metaphor for the resurgence of white supremacy in America, there's an equally subtle indicator about global warming: Octopus in the parking garage is climate change’s canary in the coal mine

I'm going to lobby the OED to replace the idiom "canary in the coalmine" with "octopus in the parking garage."
posted by GuyZero at 3:13 PM on November 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


#makeamericafoamyagain
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 3:22 PM on November 18, 2016


I've also been planning on how, if necessary, I would use a hot springs to fake my own death ever since I read about that poor Yellowstone dude.

Well, now you might want to contact the mods or come up with a Plan B.
posted by contraption at 3:25 PM on November 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Another reporting source had this line:

The wind was blowing foam from the blob, and at one point the foam appeared to form a mini foam-version of a dust devil.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 3:33 PM on November 18, 2016


uh hmmm, well, I guess people will joke about how harmless fire suppression foam is, but every once in a while I read in the local paper about water well contamination due to the toxic fire suppression foam that was used at the local Navy airfields. Not really something I'd ride my bike through just for thrills.
posted by indubitable at 3:37 PM on November 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


"foamnado"

the slowest of fridays at sfgate.com

none slower

*giant_turtle.gif*
posted by GuyZero at 3:37 PM on November 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


welcome humans to the 2016 nonfoam lifeforms registry! please sign up today to ensure that all the latest nonfoam lifeform news reaches your inbox promptly!
posted by poffin boffin at 3:37 PM on November 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Can we make the foam US AG instead of Jeff Sessions? To paraphrase GuyZero's comment,

Foam toxicity level: kills fish in streams and will give 4% of you cancer in 25 years.
Jeff Sessions' toxicity level: a hot spring in Yellowstone that would kill you on contact, dissolve your bones overnight, and blame your disappearance on Hillary Clinton, the NAACP, the SPLC, and pot smokers.
posted by mosk at 3:40 PM on November 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


> I'm going to lobby the OED to replace the idiom "canary in the coalmine" with "octopus in the parking garage."

Forget about OED, what about contacting Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland!
posted by Sunburnt at 3:43 PM on November 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


omg make your dad go get you a souvenir jar of the 2016 bicycle-eating foam flood

dang it i asked him but forgot that he and my mom are driving to yosemite this afternoon, so no chance of getting souvenir foam unless it's still there on monday. fingers crossed
posted by burgerrr at 3:49 PM on November 18, 2016


just light up a mason jar of kerosene in your favourite airplane hangar and you can get yourself as much firefighting foam as you want
posted by GuyZero at 3:53 PM on November 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Turns out I know the Foam Cyclist!

He says the foam did not hurt him and was very friendly.
posted by komlord at 4:06 PM on November 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


"If the foam were the subject of a movie about the foam then the poster of that movie would say "the Foam" in big bleedy letters, with "the" written in tiny letters and "FOAM" written in all capitals, "F" being the smallest letter and "M" being the largest" - "The Foam" by Robbie Q Telfer
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:09 PM on November 18, 2016


Someone is foam-menting revolution...
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:24 PM on November 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


komlord-- what about the signpost?
posted by nat at 4:25 PM on November 18, 2016


"Do you want a Flake in that, love?

(possibly only funny to Brits of a certain age)
posted by A Robot Ninja at 4:25 PM on November 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


rmless: "Guys, remember foam parties? I lost a bellybutton ring during one in 2002 and I still don't understand how that happened..."

Always wanted to go to one and never really had the chance. Maybe when the nostalgia train comes around.
posted by Mitheral at 4:30 PM on November 18, 2016


Upon review of the footage, It turns out Foam Cyclist did not lose his bike in the foam. Although in my defense, his bike was completely obscured when he came trudging out of the foam. And it's Friday. And I'm working from home. And also, Ca Prop 64.
posted by jamaro at 4:31 PM on November 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


nat: He didn't mention it on Instagram and he and that $5000+ bike ride out together just fine.
posted by komlord at 4:31 PM on November 18, 2016


What's the deal with your nickname? How did you get it?
posted by snofoam at 4:36 PM on November 18, 2016 [11 favorites]


How about a comedy version of Darabont/King's The Mist where instead of monsters it's a giant party in the foam. (Mrs. Carmody would be saying the same things.)

The twist ending: Thomas Jane takes his group back home because they're out of beer, but just after he drops them off, the Army shows up with more beer.
posted by kurumi at 4:47 PM on November 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I once went to a local public safety fair/muster where the fire department had laid down a layer of this foam in a grassy field for us kids to run around in.

If you are near the substance, San Jose fire department warns that you should not go in it as it is a known carcinogen.

So I guess my story about adults letting us play in firefighting foam can now be filed in the same cabinet as my father's stories about being given mercury to play with?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:41 PM on November 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


I played in that foam at a fire department wet down last year. Me and my child, I almost lost him a few times. HIGHLIGHT OF MY LIFE. A++.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:01 PM on November 18, 2016


That must be the new iFoam 8.
posted by artdrectr at 7:53 PM on November 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


I knew I shouldn't have put bubble bath in the Jacuzzi.
posted by w0mbat at 8:19 PM on November 18, 2016


This should sounds like the opening of a MacKenzie Brothers movie.
posted by 4ster at 9:13 PM on November 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Think_Long: "Our country is submerged in a sea of angry white foam. It's like God has stopped trusting us to catch the subtle metaphors."

Still not as dangerous as that nasty, treacherous black ice.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:15 PM on November 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


This should sounds like the opening of a MacKenzie Brothers movie.

They're making a new MacKenzie Brothers movie? Yay!

from your lips to g-d's ears
posted by hippybear at 9:57 PM on November 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


So I guess my story about adults letting us play in firefighting foam can now be filed in the same cabinet as my father's stories about being given mercury to play with?

So based on 5 minutes of googling only some foam is toxic, the chlorinated stuff.

Older versions of firefighting foam were made with cow's blood, so it was probably non-toxic.
posted by GuyZero at 10:01 PM on November 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


poffin boffin: reports that i have sold out the human race for a cushy sinecure in foamtopia are both unfounded and offensive

It would be tough to resist such an offer, though.

After all...

...there's no place like foam.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:41 PM on November 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


RonButNotStupid: "So I guess my story about adults letting us play in firefighting foam can now be filed in the same cabinet as my father's stories about being given mercury to play with?"

There are probably several different formulations. It's also possible the fire department at the fair was using a regular detergent foam for the event even if that isn't what they use for fires.
posted by Mitheral at 12:28 AM on November 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Older versions of firefighting foam were made with cow's blood, so it was probably non-toxic.

Cow's blood? Most salamanders will be offended by that kind of cost-cutting, and so the propitiatory aspects of the foam ritual are likely to fail. What kind of blood alchemists are municipalities hiring these days?
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:11 AM on November 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


For verification; Yes, the foam used in US military aircraft crash rescue firefighting trucks in 1968 was a "protein based slaughterhouse byproduct". It was stinky metal corrosive stuff. It had the benefit of hardening into solid foam when heated, making it possible to create an insulating foam layer on vertical surfaces, like a fuel tank, that was exposed to flame.
posted by X4ster at 7:41 AM on November 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


And since I'm not sure it merits an actual FPP, for those that haven't seen the news: Man dissolves in acidic water after he falls into a Yellowstone hot spring

Yeah, that's been all over my Facebook feed the last few days.

It happened last June, and was reported on at the time. The only new thing that's pushed it back in the news is that the official report on the incident was released.

So of course multiple "news" organizations headline it as "Man dissolves in acidic water in Yellowstone hot spring" or something like that. Not something that actually reflects what is new, like "Report released on man who dissolved in acidic water in Yellowstone hot spring five months ago." Because that wouldn't get as many clicks.

This is what's wrong with journalism today, in a nutshell.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:12 AM on November 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hey at least the headlines aren't context free click bait like "You'll never guess what is waiting to kill you in the National Parks".
posted by Mitheral at 9:47 AM on November 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


The answer: your own hubris
posted by GuyZero at 12:40 PM on November 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


Guys, remember foam parties?

I remember the Peter Sellers movie.

birdy num-nums
posted by um at 1:40 PM on November 21, 2016


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