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Totally Blowing Shit Up Tuesdays: Dr. Poopy Pants Edition

June 16, 2009

So, last week, I played one of my favorite Brainiac clips, in which ampules containing alkali metals were dropped into water and comedy ensued. And by comedy, I mean explosions. Why the hell else would I post that on a Tuesday?

Well, someone came along and told us about how Brainiac has been known to enhance their explosions a wee bit. Oh, boo hoo! It's blowing shit up Tuesdays, man! When in doubt, use C-4. Or would that still be considered "cheating", Dr. Poopy Pants?

So, I went out and found another video detailing some of the fun times that can be had when mixing those metals found in the first column of the periodic table with water. In case you were wondering (and I know that you were), the first column is called the 'alkali metals', as opposed to the second column, which is the 'alkaline earth metals.'

When the alkali metals react with water, they produce a base (opposite of acid) and hydrogen gas. It's the hydrogen gas that's the problem here. You can see it bubbling out rather inconsequentially with the lithium and the sodium, but when you get down to potassium, the heat of reaction is such that it causes the produced hydrogen to ignite. Further down the periodic table and things get...well...more 'splosive. Let's find out.


Dang, that crystallizing dish didn't know what was coming, did it? Notice how they spelled cesium as caesium? I won't go into the hairy details about the name this week. Get it? Hairy? Fuck, I'm clever.

But wait, there's more! Underneath cesium there is another metal, francium! Time for another history lesson. Can you guess where francium was discovered? That's right, Gaul! In modern lingo, we call it France. It's also the rarest of the naturally occurring elements, with only an estimated 20-30 g of the stuff existing at any given time throughout the entirety of the Earth's crust. The reason it's so rare is because every isotope of francium is radioactive, and so it's constantly decaying into something else (radon and radium). It's longest-lived isotope is around 30 minutes. If you're looking for it out in nature, it can be found in ores of thorium and uranium.

Now, if the trend of reactivity toward water holds true as we travel down the periodic table in the first column, and since francium is under cesium, it should be more reactive than cesium. And cesium just totally blew the shit out of a crystallization dish. Let's see what happens when you mix francium with water, shall we?



Aye, that's the stuff!

So, sure, Brainiac might have augmented their explosions a little bit; I mean, Christ, we all get those emails in our spam boxes about augmentation. I'm sure I'm not the only one who clicks on the links--out of idle curiosity, naturally--right? Right? Why do I hear crickets?

Anyway, the point was that, even if Brainiac tossed in some extra shizz with their alkali metals, the stuff is still pretty potent. And it makes for a great Tuesday morning read, right? Right?

Where the fuck are all those crickets coming from? I should spray or something...

19 comments:

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Are the videos working for anyone? All I get are white boxes. They were there last night when I lovingly crafted this post, but I can't see them now.

Sass said...

I, who can NEVER see videos, saw it just fine.

And I'll say...I think that looks like a damn good plan as I sit here staring at a pile of laundry that threatens to suffocate me.

I'm just sayin'.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Thanks, Sass. I've noticed that the computers at work are running painfully slow this morning. Must need to change the gerbil on his wheel.

Not that I read blogs at work or anything. *shifty-eyed*

Some Guy said...

Mine worked just fine, too. This is one of my favorite running blog series. Educational and satisfying for my inner pyro.

Eric said...

Reactions are fun.
I saw the videos.
Fuck you *are* clever.
lol

snowelf said...

Videos worked for me too.

Now that was just good Tuesday morning fun!

--snow

Candy's daily Dandy said...

francium, Isn't that the stuff that Tom Hanks and that woman ran around trying to find before it blew up Vatican city?

Anti-matter or some other figment of Dan Brown's imagination.

Kristine said...

I'm still waiting for you to post the video where you blow up my cats. Then I'll be a *real* fan of this series.

Moooooog35 said...

Alkali? You damn near killed her!

..ali...

Fuck. Thought that would work better.

Chemgeek said...

Now this video is awesome (and real). I remember seeing something like this a few years ago. I was impressed and still am.

As for pointing out the fakeness of the Brainiacs movie? Sorry, I'm just 'that guy.' At least I didn't point out that your formula for cesium carbonate was wrong. That would have been piling it on.

-Dr. Poopy Pants.

Nej said...

If it blows up...goes boom...then it's worth it. I don't care how it gets there. By the time Tuesday rolls around, seeing crap being blown to bits is well worth it. :-)

(Videos worked for me as well.)

Cora said...

I can see the first video but the second one is just a white box. Bizarre. I'll check back later and see if the Blogger Gods are being more agreeable then.

words...words...words... said...

I think some Francium laundry detergent might get that paint stain out of my jeans.

Susan said...

Videos working fine. Why is it everytime I come here I am taken back to chemistry highschool class?

And I need some of that damn laundry detergent for my husband's ex wife. It would solve many problems.

Scope said...

That cesium reaction reminds of that one time after chili night...

Lisa-tastrophies said...

MJenks: I don't know ANYTHING about augmentation or stuff like that...Now the twins on the other hand might know a thing or two... And where can I get some of that French Laundry soap? I got a couple tons of laundry piled up over here that I need to blow through (heeheeheeheehee, I crack myself up)

Vic said...

I need to be sure my husband (and my brother in law, for that matter) never read your blog.
It would be like handing matches to a couple of chimps...

I, on the hand, will continue to enjoy it. :)

Del-V said...

If you are taking requests for “Totally Blowing Shit Up Tuesdays” may I request Volcanoes? I am only saying this because more you talk about explosions and elements from further down the Periodic Table the more interest you are going to get from the Department of Homeland Security. That’s the way Kim Jong-Il’s blog became so popular.

Mouse said...

where can I buy this stuff?