The other day I cleaned a large surface with denatured alcohol and wore a blue nitrile glove on the hand holding the soaked rag. The next day I had a small spot to clean and didn’t bother with a glove since small amounts of skin contact with alcohol are not harmful; we often use isopropyl alcohol to clean skin. This led to musing on the concept of denatured alcohol. Denatured alcohol is 90% ethanol, an alcohol so mild to the body that people drink it. Drinking ethanol, while not acutely toxic, is still a problematic thing, so its distribution is controlled by law and heavily taxed. Ethanol is so useful for other things though, like fueling cars or cleaning, that it is worthwhile to have a way to distribute it in a form unsuitable for beverage consumption. So it is “denatured,” rendered unfit for drinking by mixing into it poisonous substances, traditionally methanol. Because ethanol is harmful to individuals and society, we make it safe to use freely by rendering it too toxic to ingest.
So, the LDS Church has released a four minute video explaining, and displaying, the garments and robes of the holy priesthood used by those endowed in LDS temples. (link) This probably reminded many of the publication in 1912 of James Talmage’s book The House of the Lord. David Rolph Seely explains:
On 16 September 1911, the Salt Lake Tribune published an account of certain individuals who had secretly taken pictures of the interior of the Salt Lake Temple and who had attempted to sell them to the church. The headlines read: “Photographs secretly taken of Mormon Temple’s interior; sent for sale to Church chief. President replies: Church will not negotiate with thieves and blackmailers.'” (more…)
The obvious point is that it wasn’t the Internet the ruined her reputation, but her actions. Gennifer Flowers became a household name before the internet age, and she slept with Bill back when he was a measly governor.
If there’s anything historically unique about the era of Ms. Lewinksy’s…uh…service in the White House that made the story much bigger than it otherwise would have been, it was the emergence of sexual harassment as one of the pressing issues of the age during the early 1990s. You remember, Bob Packwood, Tailhook, the Clarence Thomas hearings, the movie “Disclosure.” No sexual harassment awareness raising > no Paula Jones lawsuit > no depositions about who Bill was having “relations” with > no perjury > no Starr report > no impeachment. The push to get rid of lecherous bosses was clearly a good thing, to a certain extent. But considering the sanctimony of the Thomas hearings and the “Year of the Woman” baloney that the Dems ran on in 1992, it’s amusing how quickly it backfired on them, not that they would ever admit it.
When I was a kid, bloating loomed pretty large in my mental landscape. We had ten acres of alfalfa, a milk cow, and several beef cattle, and we had to worry a lot about keeping the cattle from getting in to the alfalfa in the summer, or about chasing them out once they had got in. Because if they were allowed to, they would eat and eat the fresh, green alfalfa until their stomachs bloated up with methane gas and they died.
I saw a neighbor’s cow die of it. She was collapsed on the ground, her sides was bloated up like a balloon and she was fighting weakly to breath, and then she stopped. My dad saved our own cow when she got bloat. We found her in the field, where she shouldn’t be, staggering and distended. My dad came out with a hollow tube that was sharp at one end. My uncle steadied her while my dad stabbed the tube hard into her side. Green slime and gas exploded out. It all made quite an impression on my young mind. I was somber about bloating, the way little kids can be when they are trying on being serious.
That all came back to mind recently. I am looking into getting livestock of my own in a small way. Most varieties of domestic animal I consider, the authorities warn that they are prone to overeating or overdrinking this or that, with the result that they die. Cattle aren’t the only animals that can satisfy themselves to death. (more…)