Joe Biteme, properly styled His Fraudulency, continues to infest the White House, we haven’t heard much from the person who should have been declared the victor, and hopium is still being dispensed even as our military appears to have joined the political establishment in knuckling under to the fraud.
One can hope that all is not as it seems.
I’d love to feast on that crow.
Justice Must Be Done.
The prior election must be acknowledged as fraudulent, and steps must be taken to prosecute the fraudsters and restore integrity to the system.
Nothing else matters at this point. Talking about trying again in 2022 or 2024 is hopeless otherwise. Which is not to say one must never talk about this, but rather that one must account for this in ones planning; if fixing the fraud is not part of the plan, you have no plan.
Lawyer Appeasement Section
OK now for the fine print.
This is the WQTH Daily Thread. You know the drill. There’s no Poltical correctness, but civility is a requirement. There are Important Guidelines, here, with an addendum on 20191110.
We have a new board – called The U Tree – where people can take each other to the woodshed without fear of censorship or moderation.
And remember Wheatie’s Rules:
1. No food fights
2. No running with scissors.
3. If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
4. Zeroth rule of gun safety: Don’t let the government get your guns.
5. Rule one of gun safety: The gun is always loaded.
5a. If you actually want the gun to be loaded, like because you’re checking out a bump in the night, then it’s empty.
6. Rule two of gun safety: Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
7. Rule three: Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
8. Rule the fourth: Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
(Hmm a few extras seem to have crept in.)
This week, 3PM Mountain Time, markets have closed for the weekend.
Gold and platinum are fairly stable, silver took a fairly big hit, Palladium took a healthy jump, and rhodium seems to have dropped 4000 bucks, however, it did so a couple of weeks before and bounced right back up again. I think rhodium has found a range, a wide one…for now.
Osmium. This One Can Kill You.
Someone last week made snarky comments about writing about precious metals, so I figured I’d respond the only way I could: by continuing to do so. In fact, I was thinking about combining osmium and iridium, and now I know I shouldn’t!
Osmium is one of the Platinum Group Metals. In fact, it’s the one directly “below” last week’s metal, ruthenium, in the periodic table.
It’s famous for one thing. It is the densest stable element, bar none. In other words, it’s the most efficient paperweight. It packs more weight into a smaller volume than anything else, bar none…well, at least until you start spooning up pieces of white dwarf or neutron stars. It comes in at 22.59 grams per cubic centimeter–just a shade more than iridium, which we’ll get to in due course.
It also tends to have a slight bluish cast, not unlike zinc (which is neither dense nor valuable). And it’s very hard (Mohs 7.0) and almost completely incompressible.
Provided, of course, that you can get it in bulk. It generally is marketed as a finely-divided powder, and even if you buy melted beads, the beads will often have voids on the inside, because of the same issues that arise when melting any of the refractory metals. That will make the beads lighter than one might expect.
The melting point is a whopping 3306 K, 5491 F, with rhenium and tungsten the only metals with higher melting points. That’s difficult to attain, even in a black car with black interior parked in Phoenix.
Osmium and iridium both were discovered in 1803 as part of the investigation of platinum by Wollaston and Tennant in England. Smithson Tennant gets the credit for osmium and iridium, while Wollaston gets the credit for rhodium and palladium. Tennant found osmium and irididum by studying the black residue left over after dissolving what they thought was pure platinum in aqua regia.
Aqua regia (royal water) is actually a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acids; unlike other acids, gold will be attacked by aqua regia, and so will platinum. But even after dissolving the platinum, there was this black residue, which (after a lot of trial and error with various chemical reactions) proved to contain two new metals, osmium and iridium.
Osmium proved to have an oxide, OsO4,. And that’s where the “kill” comes from. Osmium tetroxide is a solid that readily sublimates, turning directly to vapor like dry ice, and it stinks. Hence the name osmium, from osme, “a smell.” Worse: osmium tetroxide is poisonous, and if it doesn’t kill you, it’s liable to damage your eyes.
And if you open a container of powdered osmium, it can catch fire spontaneously, reacting with the air to form osmium tetroxide. This makes it difficult to machine…imagine lathe turnings catching fire and killing or blinding the lathe operator.
Quoting from wikipedia regarding osmium tetroxide:
OsO4 is highly poisonous. In particular, inhalation at concentrations well below those at which a smell can be perceived can lead to pulmonary edema and subsequent death. Noticeable symptoms can take hours to appear after exposure.
OsO4 will irreversibly stain the human cornea, which can lead to blindness. The permissible exposure limit for osmium(VIII) oxide (8 hour time-weighted average) is 2 µg/m3. Osmium(VIII) oxide can penetrate plastics and food packaging, and therefore must be stored in glass under refrigeration.“wikipedia
Based on this…you can die from it even if you can’t smell it.
When the Russians made that platinum coinage I talked about a few weeks ago, part of their purification process involved dealing with the osmium they were extracting from the raw platinum in a way that was safe; fairly sophisticated stuff for the early-mid 1800s.
There is good news: even though the powder can kill you, osmium is completely safe (and practically impervious to anything) in bulk form. (It might start to form osmium tetroxide if heated to 400 C.)
Depending on who you ask, osmium is the least common stable element in the earth’s crust…averaging fifty parts per trillion by mass (weight).
Osmium is found with platinum, but also turns up as a by product of copper and nickel mining. Perhaps that is why its price hasn’t gone bananas like some of the other PGMs, whose production depends on platinum mining.
It’s mainly used in alloys, to harden them (rather than as a catalyst). Osmiridium and iridosmine, for instance (you can guess what they are mixtures of). Osmium and its alloys were once used as fountain point pen tips, and still see use as instrument pivots,electrical contacts. Osmium was also used for phonograph needles. Ballpoint pen balls sometimes contain a tiny bit of osmium, too.
Total world production is very hard to nail down, but in 1971 the US produced about 60 Kg as byproduct of copper mining. We import about twice that much, on average, every year. 120 Kg, by the way, is very roughly a gallon and a half of this stuff. (And we are talking about over 250 grocery pounds here. heavy stuff!!) I found in one place a claim that only one or two metric tons is produced per year world wide. (That would be a slab a meter on a side and about four inches thick, tops.)
The “spot” price is hard to nail down on something so thinly traded, but it seems to be about $400 an ounce (and has sat there for years). On the other hand, I’ve also found a site that claims it’s 1200 euros per gram which would make it something like 36000 euros an ounce–probably about 40,000 dollars an ounce. (That flat out doesn’t seem right to me.) If you do find it close to the spot price, it will be in powder form, in a container you had better not break the seal on.
I can’t really recommend it as an investment, the market for it is so small.
Obligatory PSAs and Reminders
China is Lower than Whale Shit
Remember Hong Kong!!!
Zhōngguò shì gè hùndàn !!!
China is asshoe !!!
China is in the White House
Since Wednesday, January 20 at Noon EST, the bought-and-paid for His Fraudulency Joseph Biden has been in the White House. It’s as good as having China in the Oval Office.
Joe Biden is Asshoe
China is in the White House, because Joe Biden is in the White House, and Joe Biden is identically equal to China. China is Asshoe. Therefore, Joe Biden is Asshoe.
But of course the much more important thing to realize:
Joe Biden Didn’t Win
Qiáo Bài dēng méi yíng !!!
Joe Biden didn’t win !!!