atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#5984: I need to break this habit.

Every time I go to bed at the same time as Mrs. Fungus--instead of staying up for a while--I end up waking up in the middle of the night. Last night and tonight, for example.

Had Xanax both nights--last night because I wanted to sleep (FAIL) and tonight because I had a lovely little panic attack as I was laying down--and that didn't help matters.

Argh.

I've talked before about how the old gut works (or doesn't) when you have symptomatic diverticulosis and irritable bowel syndrome. What I'd forgotten was that one remedy for the wild gyrations of the spootinous gut is yogurt. It doesn't even have to be the expensive kind as long as it has active cultures in it.

All the nonsense that goes on is damped by the regular introduction of fresh bacteria. I'm too whacked on Xanax right now to remember what kind it is (a full dose knocks about 20, 30 IQ off) but it seems to be helping, and I'll take it. The last several months have been marked by less than optimal function, but after having one tub of yogurt three days in a row, things seem to be correcting themselves.

* * *

Found myself watching videos of slag being dumped. There's something fascinating about it, the way white-hot not-quite-metal stuff pours out of the railroad cars as its dumped.

Anyway, saw one video where the first load of the day was dumped on snowy ground, and BOOM there's an explosion. It's the last clip in this video, starting at 3:23:



Water expands some 1,000 times when turned to steam. The slag coming out of those cars is something like 2500 degrees. You do the math.

Then I saw the next video, and in that one, something goes very wrong in an electric arc furnace. I don't know how much the lid on top of the crucible weighs, but at 0:34-ish you can see it propelled at least four feet into the air. A spatter of molten metal splashes on the glass protecting the camera, too.

Making steel--particularly in industrial quantities--is a startlingly dangerous thing, and most people (self included) don't really get that. It amazes me that there are men brave enough to stand within a dozen feet of a place where jillions of amps of electricity are melting scrap metal until it gets so hot it flows like water. Something so hot that even standing thirty feet away from it, you need special clothing to protect you from the heat.

'Cause I know I sure ain't that brave. Damn.
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