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Fifty four years ago Saturday

The Tennessee Eastman explosion, October 4, 1960. Sixteen dead, couple hundred wounded. Blew out a section of the factory the size of a city block.

I was born not far away, but I was a little babby of five months when disaster struck, so I remember naught.

Tennessee Eastman has an interesting history. Founded in 1920 by George Eastman, of Eastman Kodak fame, who was having trouble getting the chemicals he needed for photography in the aftermath of WWI. Over time, they have made all sorts of interesting chemicals. At the height of dubya-dubya eye-eye, they were kicking out a million and a half pounds of explosives each day.

From ’43 to ’47, Tennessee Eastman managed that part of nearby Oak Ridge that produced all the enriched uranium for the Manhattan Project.

Oak Ridge is a kind of neat place. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, but you can go in and take a lame-ass multimedia tour. I’ve always believed the lame-assery was a carefully contrived put-on. I once knew a risk management engineer who was given such a scary lecture about inspecting parts of the facility that he decided to write his report based on guesstimates instead.

Anyway, I don’t think they were manufacturing anything that interesting when disaster struck. The reports say it was nitrobenzene, which is a precursor to aniline. Hella flammable, obviously.

Unlike the tragedy that struck our friends the Iranians over the weekend. Whatever ignited that one, I have a feeling it was humming Hava Nagila at the time.


Comment from mojo
Time: October 6, 2014, 10:32 pm

“So, why is it again that you need lots of high explosives near your peaceful enrichment facility?”

Comment from Old School New Body Review
Time: October 7, 2014, 2:44 am

Nice answers in return of this difficulty with real arguments and describing all about that.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: October 7, 2014, 3:46 am

On an unrelated note, a childhood video of Stoatie surfaced today. Enjoy.. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=736508039723113

Comment from Oceania
Time: October 7, 2014, 3:55 am

Meanwhile, President Putin has his birthday today.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: October 7, 2014, 7:55 am

Eastman-Kodak recently surrendered a small quantity of Uranium-235 that they had lying around.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: October 7, 2014, 1:58 pm

Come to think of it, I was but a wee bairn of 5 months meself in October of 1960. Could we have been separated at birth?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 7, 2014, 7:00 pm

If there’s one thing I’m confident of, Bob, it’s that you don’t really want to be a member of the Stoat fambly.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: October 8, 2014, 5:56 pm

I was not suggesting otherwise, but you seem to have turned out OK.

Comment from drew458
Time: October 12, 2014, 3:49 am

And that means Mistress Woozle is just half a year old than I am. Funny, she seems so much younger online.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 12, 2014, 11:59 am

It’s the fart jokes and video games, drew.

Comment from v3dietayarnjules.svbtle.com
Time: October 22, 2014, 2:34 pm

difference between chromium picolinate and chromium polynicotinate

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