Plastic

Plastic Human Hamster Ball

Today I had to go for my second MRI to try to determine the cause of my intermittent neck pain with resultant dizziness, blurred vision, and confusion, other than the fact that I am like a Toyota Corolla which has been driven like a Porsche Carrera for much too long. Fortunately, I had had an MRI before, so I knew what to expect. Only this time, they were doing three tests, and I would have to be in the oven for about an hour and a half! They put in the ear plugs and IV and slid me into the chamber. I mentioned that I might fall asleep, but was instructed to stay awake in order to make a conscious effort not to move. I guess we move when we sleep. With nothing to look at, except for the tiny mirror above my head, which reflected my eyes and only my eyes, and only the random banging and clicking made by the machine, there was little external stimuli to entertain me. I started wondering how on earth anyone was ever able to design let alone conceive of such a contraption. How many people had worked together in order to come up with the finished product! What the hell was making all of that noise? How did they know if it was working? Was someone secretly going through the contents of my purse while I was entombed? It got me to thinking about technology in general, which led me consider the nature of plastics, of all things. What the heck is plastic anyway? How is it made? Who discovered, or rather, invented it? It's everywhere. The MRI machine was made out of it, this keyboard is made out of it, it's in my van, on my phone, comprises my hairdryer, what would life be like without it? A lot heavier, I think. Everything solid would have to made from glass, metal, bone, clay, rock or wood.

Plastic (the Noun version) is defined as:

"Any of various organic compounds produced by polymerization, capable of being molded, extruded, cast into various shapes and films, or drawn into filaments used as textile fibers."

In essence, it's a substance that can be heated, formed into a shape, and once cooled, retain that shape. What a concept. I guess the same can be said about metal and glass, but of course those aren't plastic. I guess the polymeres which are a naturally occurring or synthetic compound consisting of large molecules made up of a linked series of repeated simple monomers, must be the defining factor.

Thus began my quest for more info. The word plastic is derived from the words plasticus (Latin for capable of molding) and plastikos (Greek to mold, or fit for molding). Plastics can be made hard as stone, strong as steel, transparent as glass, light as wood, and elastic as rubber. Plastics are also lightweight, waterproof, chemical resistant, and produced in almost any color. More than 50 families of plastics have been produced, and new types are currently under development Yes, I plagiarized that from Encarta on line! Here is more from Encarta that I found to be fascinating:


Plastics
VIII. History of Plastics

Humankind has been using natural plastics for thousands of years. For example, the early Egyptians soaked burial wrappings in natural resins to help preserve their dead. People have been using animal horns and turtle shells (which contain natural resins) for centuries to make items such as spoons, combs, and buttons.

During the mid-19th century, shellac (resinous substance secreted by the lac insect) was gathered in southern Asia and transported to the United States to be molded into buttons, small cases, knobs, phonograph records, and hand-mirror frames. During that time period, gutta-percha (rubberlike sap taken from certain trees in Malaya) was used as the first insulating coating for electrical wires.

In order to find more efficient ways to produce plastics and rubbers, scientists began trying to produce these materials in the laboratory. In 1839 American inventor Charles Goodyear vulcanized rubber by accidentally dropping a piece of sulfur-treated rubber onto a hot stove. Goodyear discovered that heating sulfur and rubber together improved the properties of natural rubber so that it would no longer become brittle when cold and soft when hot. In 1862 British chemist Alexander Parkes synthesized a plastic known as pyroxylin, which was used as a coating film on photographic plates. The following year, American inventor John W. Hyatt began working on a substitute for ivory billiard balls. Hyatt added camphor to nitrated cellulose and formed a modified natural plastic called celluloid, which became the basis of the early plastics industry. Celluloid was used to make products such as umbrella handles, dental plates, toys, photographic film, and billiard balls.

These early plastics based on natural products shared numerous drawbacks. For example, many of the necessary natural materials were in short supply, and all proved difficult to mold. Finished products were inconsistent from batch to batch, and most products darkened and cracked with age. Furthermore, celluloid proved to be a very flammable material.

Due to these shortcomings, scientists attempted to find more reliable plastic source materials. In 1909 American chemist Leo Hendrik Baekeland made a breakthrough when he created the first commercially successful thermosetting synthetic resin, which was called Bakelite (known today as phenolic resin). Use of Bakelite quickly grew. It has been used to make products such as telephones and pot handles.

The chemistry of joining small molecules into macromolecules became the foundation of an emerging plastics industry. Between 1920 and 1932, the I.G. Farben Company of Germany synthesized polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride, as well as a synthetic rubber called Buna-S. In 1934 Du Pont made a breakthrough when it introduced nylon╉a material finer, stronger, and more elastic than silk. By 1936 acrylics were being produced by German, British, and U.S. companies. That same year, the British company Imperial Chemical Industries developed polyethylene. In 1937 polyurethane was invented by the German company Friedrich Bayer & Co. (see Bayer AG), but this plastic was not available to consumers until it was commercialized by U.S. companies in the 1950s. In 1939 the German company I.G. Farbenindustrie filed a patent for polyepoxide (epoxy), which was not sold commercially until a U.S. firm made epoxy resins available to the consumer market almost four years later.

After World War II (1939-1945), the pace of new polymer discoveries accelerated. In 1941 a small English company developed polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Although Du Pont and Imperial Chemical Industries produced PET fibers (marketed under the names Dacron and Terylene, respectively) during the postwar era, the use of PET as a material for making bottles, films, and coatings did not become widespread until the 1970s. In the postwar era, research by Bayer and by General Electric resulted in production of plastics such as polycarbonates, which are used to make small appliances, aircraft parts, and safety helmets. In 1965 introduced a linear, heat-resistant thermoplastic known as polysulfone, which is used to make face shields for astronauts and hospital equipment that can be sterilized in an autoclave (a device that uses high pressure steam for sterilization).

Today, scientists can tailor the properties of plastics to numerous design specifications. Modern plastics are used to make products such as artificial joints, contact lenses, space suits, and other specialized materials. As plastics have become more versatile, use of plastics has grown as well. By the year 2005, annual global demand for plastics is projected to exceed 200 million metric tons (441 billion lb).

Now if only I had been privy to all of this info while entombed in the stuff for nearly 2 hours!

Happy Easter. Passover, St. Patric's Day, April Fool's Day and any other holidays I might have missed!

What is the Easter Bunny's favourite state capital?
Albunny, New York!

What would you get if you crossed the Easter Bunny with a famous French general?
Napoleon Bunnyparte!

Where did the Easter Bunny go to college?
Johns Hopkins!

Did you hear about the lady whose house was infested with Easter eggs?
She had to call an eggs-terminator!

What is the Easter Bunny's favourite sport?
Basket-ball, of course!

Why was the Easter Bunny so upset?
He was having a bad hare day!

What is this mess in the frying pan?

Guess what, you can't fry a chocolate chicken!"

What would you get if you crossed a skunk with a type of Easter candy?
Smelly beans!

What is the Easter Bunny's favourite kind of story?
A cotton tale!

Where does the Easter Bunny go when he needs a new tail?
To a re-tail store!

Who is the Easter Bunny's favourite movie actor?
Rabbit De Niro!

Does the Easter Bunny like baseball?
Oh, yes. He's a rabbit fan!

What's pink, has five toes, and is carried by the Easter Bunny?
His lucky people's foot!

What's long and stylish and full of cats?
The Easter Purrade!

Knock, knock!
Who's there?
Candy.
Candy who?
Candy Easter Bunny carry all dose treats in one basket?

What has long ears, four legs, and is worn on your head?
An Easter bunnet!

Boy 1: "How did you get that bruise on your arm?"
Boy 2: "I ate some Easter candy."
Boy 1: "Eating Easter candy won't give you a bruise."
Boy 2: "It will if it's your big brother's candy!"

What would you get if you crossed the Easter Bunny with an overstressed person?
An Easter basket case!

What's yellow, has long ears, and grows on trees?
The Easter Bunana!

Why does Peter Cottontail hop down the bunny trail?
Because his parents wouldn't let him borrow the car!

Why are you stuffing all that Easter candy into your mouth?"
"Because it doesn't taste as good if I stuff it in my ears."

Did you hear the one about the fifty-pound jelly bean?
It's pretty hard to swallow!

Would you like something from my Easter basket?
"Sure!"
"Here. Have some plastic grass."

"Why are you studying your Easter candy?"
"I'm trying to decide which came first-the chocolate chicken or the chocolate egg!"

Did you hear the one about the Easter Bunny who sat on a bee?
It's a tender tail!

What happened when the Easter Bunny caught his head in the fan?
It took ears off his life!

What would you get if you crossed the Easter Bunny with a leprechaun?
The Easter Blarney!

Why did you drive the lawn mower over your Easter basket?
I thought the plastic grass was growing too high!

Why do we paint Easter eggs?
Because it's easier than trying to wallpaper them!

Why was the monster sitting in his Easter basket?
He was trying to hatch his peanut butter eggs!


What do you need if your chocolate eggs mysteriously disappear?
You need an eggsplanation!

How did the soggy Easter Bunny dry himself?
With a hare dryer!

How is the Easter Bunny like Shaquille O'Neal?
They're both famous for stuffing baskets!

What's red and blue and sogs up your Easter basket? Coloured scrambled eggs!

What's big and purple and hugs your Easter basket?
The Easter Barney!

How does the Easter Bunny paint all of those eggs?
He hires Santa's elves during the off-season.

What happened when the Easter Bunny met the rabbit of his dreams?
They lived hoppily ever after!

Who delivers Easter treats to all the fish in the sea?
The Oyster Bunny!

What will the Easter Bunny be doing after Easter?
One to three for breaking and entering.

How do you catch the Easter Bunny?
Hide in the bushes and make a noise like a carrot!

Why didn't you eat your chocolate bunnies right away?
I was waiting for them to multiply!

How should you send a letter to the Easter Bunny?
By hare mail!

Knock, knock!
Who's there?
Philip.
Philip who?
Philip my basket with candy!

What's the difference between a monster and a jelly bean?
You won't get a hernia trying to lift a jelly bean.

What's the difference between a silly monster and a marshmallow chick?
One has a soft, mushy head, and the other is a piece of candy.

Knock, knock!
Who's there?
Chuck.
Chuck who?
Chuck-olate bunny!

March 7, 2005
Next Post date April 4, 2005
Muslim Toilet (Remind me never to visit!)


Subject: Fw: Hypothetical Ambiguities

Fun little time-waster

Subject: Hypothetical Ambiguities
1. Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

2. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.....

3. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

4. If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and
apes?

5. The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad
girls live.

6. I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help
section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

7. What if there were no hypothetical questions?

8. If a deaf person swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?

9. If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it
considered a hostage situation?

10. Is there another word for synonym?

11. Where do forest rangers go to "get away

from it all?"
12. What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered
plant?

13. If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?

14. Would a fly without wings be called a walk?

15. Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will
clean them?

16. If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?

17. Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?
18. If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain
silent?

19. Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines?

20. How do they get deer to cross the road only at those yellow road signs?

21. What was the best thing before sliced bread?

22. One nice thing about egotists: they don't talk about other people.

23. Does the Little Mermaid wear an algebra?

24. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

25. How is it possible to have a civil war?

26. If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest drown, too?

27. If you ate both pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry?

28. If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

29. Whose cruel idea was it for the word "Lisp" to have "S" in it?

30. Why are hemorrhoids called "hemorrhoids" instead of "assteroids"?

31. Why is it called tourist season if we can't shoot at them?

32. Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?

33. If you spin an oriental man in a circle three times does he become
disoriented?

34. Can an atheist get insurance against acts of God?

For those of you who just thought you knew everything, here's a re-fresher course......

Then you will know everything!!!

The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for
blood plasma.

No piece of paper can be folded in half more than seven (7) times.

Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.
You burn more calories sleeping than you do
watching television.

Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are fifty (50) years of age or older.

The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley's gum.

The king of hearts is the only king without a mustache.

American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by
eliminating one (1) olive from each salad served in first-class.

Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.

Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking
you up in the morning.

Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin.

The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer.
So did the  first "Marlboro Man."

Walt Disney was afraid of mice.

Pearls melt in vinegar.

The three most valuable brand names on earth:  Marlboro,
Coca Cola, and Budweiser, in that order.

It is possible to lead a cow upstairs...but not downstairs.

A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.

Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least six (6) feet
away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.

Richard Millhouse Nixon was the first U.S. president whose name
contains all  the letters from the word "criminal."  The second?

William Jefferson Clinton.

(Please don't tell me you're SURPRISED!?!!)

And the best for last.....

Turtles can breathe through their butts.

Now you know everything there is to know.

Click on the picture to view this month's mystery feature.

Click here to download the QuickTime Player if you don't have it. Remember, if you have dial up, the movie will take a few minutes to load!

LINKS:

Email your comments, good, bad, or ugly

Just a little history.

Archive of past issues.

View a Virtual kaleidoscope!

Make freaky animals!

Take a personality test based on your color preferences.

MTW stands for Morty's Twisted World. Visit him he's hilarious!

Free recipe of the month tested in my own kitchen.

Quotes, articles, jokes, funny pictures. Very clever.

Slash your grocery costs in half like I did!

Just a guy having fun on the web. Read his rambles!

My collection of money saving links.