Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Liquid bombs a load of bullshit?

A friend with a doctorate in chemistry sent me the following:

"According to the official government story, TATP (triacetone triperoxide) was the explosive these conspirators were planning to manufacture aboard the airliners.

"This story is not plausible for a number of reasons, but let's take a quick look at just enough of the science so as not to provide anybody with a guide to making an actual bomb: TATP is made from hydrogen peroxide solution, acetone and sulfuric acid. The reaction can be carried out with just about any concentration, but is best done with concentrated solutions of both peroxide and acetone.

"The peroxide and acetone can be pre-mixed, but the acid must be added, a drop at a time, to the solution, all the while continuously stirring it and keeping it continuously chilled. This step of the process will take several hours, during which the fumes given off will be substantial and quite overpowering, thus a lab-quality air evacuation system is required. (ES: right here, the whole idea of a TATP bomb becomes ludicrous. Difficult in a lab, but impossible in an airplane due to the environment - the toilet - and the time requirement.)

"One then must let the resulting solution stand for an extended period at temperatures above the freezing point, but definitely below 10 Celsius (50 Fahrenheit). Above 10 Celsius, the TATP does not form; instead, diperoxide forms, which is so unstable it cannot be worked with. The time required for the reaction to go to completion is at least 24 hours and often several days.

"Once the TATP forms, it crystallizes as snowflakes from the solution and must be harvested by filtration and the liquid discarded. The TATP then is dried and carefully stored until needed. It must be stored below 10 Celsius or it converts spontaneously to the unstable diperoxide.

"There is neither the time, the workspace nor the other materials required to make TATP on an airliner. The time required, the temperatures required, the workspace required and the need to dry the chemical prior to use preclude this story being reasonable. This chemical process is much more sensitive than making, for example, nitroglycerin."

The technically proficient reading this will recognize that a necessary step has been omitted and some others have been altered in critical ways. None of these purposeful camouflages alter the ingredients or the time, care and equipment required. Nor will I describe how TATP can be fabricated beforehand and then detonated aboard an airliner in flight. After all, though we want to demonstrate the impossibility of what has been claimed, we don't want anybody actually trying this at home - and there really are some genuine whack jobs out there. After all, we elect some of them to public office.

* The entire text above is from a Nickel Rant (tm) by Edgar J. Steele. Thomas C. Greene's article (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/17/flying_toilet_terror_labs/) is also worth a read.

** The links above were provided to me by Satanical Susan, lurker extraordinaire, who emails me stuff from time to time. BTW, Diogenesian Surfer, if you're reading this, your contributions are welcome too.

21 Comments:

Blogger GreenSmile said...

Good. that completes a picture.
We know the suspects were not ready to act at all...some had not gone for passports yet. Now we know they couldn't done much more than poison themselves and eat holes in the carpeting [the acetone as an accelerant would actually be bad news, a spark could have been used to ignite it...but it is of such high vapor pressure that it will be as hard to hide as plastic explosives...which are now detecable by chemical sniffers.

It looks like Lieberman's dilema had as much to do with the arrests and any real threat.

August 21, 2006 1:12 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Dunno about your Lieberman, but this whole liquid bomb thing sounds, again, like so many other ill-informed knee-jerks in these idiots' "war on terror" crap. Looks like they went in way too premature, way under-informed about the reality of the threat, and way too light on "evidence" and therefore these dudes will most likely walk free. Unless of course, the real agenda was, all along, the spreading of fear for political purposes, in which case it doesn't really matter if these dudes are never really convicted of anything...

August 21, 2006 11:35 PM  
Blogger BigBob said...

Something about mid-term US elections comes to mind.

August 22, 2006 8:08 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Bingo!

August 23, 2006 12:07 AM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

Yeah, I am tending to agree, Gerry: Bingo.
However, one needs to be careful about carrying this into the conspiracy theory territory regarding political motives.
Please forgive my rambling here if it's not terribly cohesive, but I would like to tell you that I awoke this morning to a Wisconsin Public Radio hour that was disturbing (Public Radio is our normally well-rounded radio that looks at all viewpoints). Seems a small number (growing?) of ignoramusses here are insisting the 9/11 planes were a planned thing by the govt. and that one of them was actually a missile. Horse hockey.
A sicko called into the radio program, in which the host was interviewing a guy from Popular Mechanics magazine. The interviewee was talking about all the scientific evidence (the physics, the mechanics, the structural integrity of steel, the architecture,etc.) regarding the collapse of the buildings...what caused it, etc...we've all seen the science TV and read the articles explaining such.
So anyway, this ignorant sicko called in (I was half awake) and ranted about how the attack was a govt. plot and he ended his tirade (actually he was cut off) by accusing the interviewee of being guilty of the mass murder of those in the twin towers that day five years ago! The poor guy writes science articles for Popular Mechanics magazine (or he was the editor, I don't know) and you can imagine how much it shook him up. The interviewer asked him if he gets many people like that responding to his articles...he shakily said, No, not like that on live radio. There's no reason for the guy to have been attacked like that in a free society, and it's a shame that such encounters might hamper him doing his job well.
I've got no moral for you here, but I just wanted to share this early-morning experience. Ignorant people are feeling so out of control regarding everything that's happening in this confusing, complicated world that it's easy to start looking for demons everywhere.
Spreading fear for political purposes: yes, it happens all the time, and that guy who called in is the ideal mark for the conmen.
I am glad you brought this chemical bomb technicality to my attention by putting it in your blog. Thanks.

August 23, 2006 4:22 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

I seem to remember reading that Tony Blair was in trouble at the time too: about to be dumped by his party or some such thing.

In Australian federal politics, everytime the govt is under pressure the pollies release some outrageous policy statement and all the media sheep and most of the public take their eye of the real ball.

It's just so hard to believe politicians these days and they have no one to blame but themselves.

August 23, 2006 6:15 AM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

Gosh, I am sorry for my rant up there but it sure was a helluva thing to wake up to. Feel free to delete the comment.

August 23, 2006 9:22 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Kurt, You have sown the seeds for a future blog item. No worries about your rant, it was "a helluva thing to wake up to", as you put it. :-)

Ron, I firmly believe we get exactly the pollies we (collectively) deserve. So, collectively we must be a bunch of idots.

August 24, 2006 12:23 AM  
Blogger Davo said...

A bunch of idiots? .. mm might take umbrage at that .. buut will put my hand up yet again.

1. Have no idea of the chemistry of "liquid" bombs, but was having a chat the other day with a bloke .. don't know him, just met .. on my lawnmowing rounds, who told me he had been involved in/with RAAF airport security,. worked in Saudi Arabia.. etc, et al .. .. Tells me that there are far more effective undetectable explosives.

2. Why did building 7 fall down on Sepember 11?

3. Have looked at the "available" photos of the hit on the Pentagon. Very small hole, considering.

August 24, 2006 1:31 AM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

Here is an intro to the article in the magazine.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/defense/1227842.html
It all boils down to who you trust. I trust science in most cases regarding items like this.
Most poignant in the part I heard of the editor's radio discussion was the point that planes plowing into buildings at 600 mph is a phenomenon that hasn't been experienced by laypeople so how on earth are we expected to understand, by simple instinct, that such planes would basically turn to dust upon impact. We, all of us, easily accept that gravity exists because an apple falls to the ground and we can see it with our own eyes, but it's a little harder for the human brain to grasp the concept of a fifth dimension or the incredible speed of light or the power of a black hole or the existence of an electron. That doesn't mean they don't exist. In the end we need to trust experts. We just need to. And if there are enough of them, then we have to trust that it's unlikely that all of them conspire to lie to us. The more of them there are, the more impossible it would be to pull something off ....this is where common sense and critical thinking comes into play---and oh, boy, here I go again: it's critical thinking that isn't being taught to youngsters as it should be. There's another post topic fer ya.

August 24, 2006 2:40 PM  
Blogger Davo said...

umm, science. Interesting concept. So far all the pics and info that i have been able to dig up so far about "aeroplanes impacting buildings" has indicated that they don't "disappear into thin propaganda" .. but that's only my opinion.

August 26, 2006 3:43 AM  
Blogger Davo said...

oopps, "aeroplanes impacting buildings" should be "aeroplanes impacting solid objects".

August 26, 2006 3:55 AM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

I believe the story of the Pentagon plane was that they didn't find the wings outside the building and the hole was too small for the wings to have gone through. The Yanks have ditched their credibility for all times after the 'weapons of mass distruction' red herring.

August 26, 2006 12:56 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Davo, I'd never even heard of "building 7". Googled it. Now I'm a bit confused.

Kurt, playing the devil's advocate, I'd have to say that the trouble with experts is that that you can get them to support both sides of the argument. In the end you're left with a "battle of the experts" kind of thing. And if you say that more experts support one side and therefore that must be the right side, I'd have to invoke the fallacies of logic down upon your head. :-)

JahTeh, Flight 77? It was a Boeing 757 and it most definitely flew into the Pentagon. The wings folded in on the fuselage as it progressed through the building. Hence the 90ft hole. Most consiracy theorists focus on a smaller hole below the very much larger large hole. I'm convinced after reading the less rabid sources, that the flight did go into the Pentagon.

August 26, 2006 9:00 PM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

Hi, Gerry,
No, the number or quantity of experts on either side isn't the deciding factor in such a discussion or decision. I can't get hung up on semantics here or try to reinvent the wheel. Science, and eventually Society, build on past knowledge.
As for the Popular Mechanics magazine article I mentioned above, there is plenty of good information there packed into a mere 8 or 9 pages...a page for each of the main conspiracy theory topics. There was a team of editors and writers, all of whom did exhaustive research.

August 27, 2006 2:03 AM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

Sorry for the abrupt ending above. The doorbell rang.
So, anyway, there was exhaustive research by a body of science writers and interviewers and writers that I tend to respect based on their past performance and credibility. I trust the body of work they have published more than I trust the information put forth in the various "rabid sources". I also have to trust the guys running the electricity-generating plant down the road to safely produce electricity for me without my needing to run it myself or personally understand how a generator works.* I also expect their executives to be held accountable for its performance.

If the majority of people end up believing the conspiracy theorists--then sobeit. Civilisation will just go to hell a little sooner that way.

*and of course we all hope that Homer Simpson isn't employed there ;)

August 27, 2006 2:54 AM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

Oh, and yes, I also tend to believe the scientists you quoted in your post here that got this whole discussion going, based on my ability to see the sources and confirm it in other places.
Until other evidence compels me to disbelieve it. :)

August 27, 2006 2:58 AM  
Blogger Davo said...

Um, the reference to "building 7" was this one.

Have to admit that I don't really have a firm opinion one way or the other about "the conspiracy" but it still strikes me that some, if not all of these "terror" events are somewhat "convenient". However, very difficult to separate "co-incidence" from "convenience".

One of the problems with looking at Sept. 11 is that it is "INCONCEIVABLE" that it should have been an "inside job" .. and that's the point.

Have just had another look at the movie on the Loose change site. Now, of much of what they claim can be discarded, they still raise some interesting questions .. but at the end of it all I still have to ask "Who benefits?".

August 27, 2006 9:25 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

The Popular Mechanics article is good enough for me.

Building 7 conspiracies are debunked [ here ]

Pentagon conspiracies are debunked [ here ]

August 27, 2006 11:55 AM  
Blogger DS said...

A good cop doesn't believe in co-incidence.

It's my understanding that at least one of the conspiracy theorists (a physics professor I believe) says that the demolition wasn't done with explosives (too easy to detect), but with thermite.

I'm not saying I agree, but there were too many co-incidences for my liking.

August 29, 2006 3:56 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

So, according to such a theory, DS, youo have to have planes flying into the building plus secretly pre-positioned explosives in the building, and amazing coordination for all of this.

Nah... It was just an unfortunate chain reaction resulting from the plane crashes. It gets just too wild for me to speculate something different.

August 29, 2006 11:54 AM  

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