You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

Friday, May 04, 2007
And you don't need a fancy-arse mercury barometer to have a decent idea if atmospheric pressure is going up or down. Despite the fact that I've always wanted a fancy-arse barometer all I've had, these many years, is a Thunder Glass very similar to this one.

It's a good thing, too, since the EU has decided that fancy-arse mercury barometers are an unacceptable risk to Gaia's health. Wait'll they catch on to the huge push to assault poor Gaia with bajillions of mercury-carryin' CFLs.

2 comments:

Rick Ballard said...

Knuck,

I haven't needed to offend Gaia by using technology for about ten years. I've trained myself to be aware of barometric pressure the natural way. Homeopathic meteorology - joint by joint.

chuck said...

Thing is, I don't think liquid mercury is all that dangerous. Mercury vapor and some mercury compounds are hazardous, but the stuff itself isn't that bad. I guess kids don't get to play with it any more.

Of all the forms of mercury, elemental mercury is the most commonly swallowed form of mercury, usually from a broken thermometer. Fortunately, elemental mercury from a thermometer is not absorbed from the stomach and will not cause any poisoning in a healthy person. In a healthy person, the slippery swallowed mercury will roll into the stomach, out in to the bowels and will be quickly eliminated without causing any symptoms. A person with severe inflammatory bowel disease or those with a fistula (hole or opening) in their gut may have problems with mercury if it is not all cleared out, resulting in prolonged exposure. Handling liquid mercury for a very short period of time usually does not result in any problems. An allergic rash is possible, though. Mercury is not well absorbed across the skin so skin contact is not likely to cause mercury poisoning, especially with a brief one-time exposure. Even if a person has cuts in their skin, mercury is too heavy to be contained by a cut. Merely washing the wound well will wash the mercury out of the wound.