What Weapon

can be made out of iron, nickel, and potassium?

Salaryman (mail):
5.20.2006 6:36pm
Salaryman (mail):
Although the order should be reversed.
5.20.2006 6:37pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
You mean, if you put the iron in first, you get fenik instead? Come now, the only reason to reverse the order is to make the puzzle easier.
5.20.2006 6:47pm
J.M. Robinson:
Cruise missiles?
5.20.2006 6:58pm
CaptainKirk (mail):
I bet I could use the iron, nickel, and potassium to kill this pesky Gorn!
5.20.2006 7:14pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Folks: I deleted a bunch of comments, for a reason that I would think should be obvious -- they were laughably off-topic, discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a comment thread attached to a chemistry joke, for pete's sake.

I didn't have time to post a comment explaining this (I had to bathe the boys and put them to bed), but I thought that people would grasp what had happened. Instead, in the span of the next hour, people started an out-and-out foodfight related to the topic of the deleted comments. (The one worthwhile comment was Dr. Weevil's, which, while skating close to or over the edge as to civility, was at least kind of funny and on-topic, for a change.) This annoyed me even more than the initial excursion -- I thought people would get the message from the original deletion, but I guess they didn't.

In any case, I've deleted the follow-up comments. Everyone who's gotten into a froth over the original off-topic debate, just cool down for several hours. Then, if you want to post comments about chemistry jokes -- or post comments on other topics in threads related to posts on those topics -- please do that. But don't view every thread as an excuse to rant about your favorite cause.
5.21.2006 12:31am

"they were laughably off-topic"

Just curious.

Which part of the discussion had you laughing?
Wasn't too funny to me...
5.21.2006 12:39am
hey Just, you're still a coward.
5.21.2006 12:40am


I think you are a chicken shit coward, Mr. Volokh.

You selectively delete, then misrepresent.

You want to control discussion, fine. Have the guts to own up to it, and don't hide behind "off topic" when your side is losing points.
5.21.2006 12:41am

"I think you are a chicken shit coward, Mr. Volokh."

Dear Pot:

You're looking pretty damn black today.


5.21.2006 12:43am
HLSbertarian (mail):
Just curious.
Which part of the discussion had you laughing?

The part where your Iodine Phosphorus finally got blocked?
5.21.2006 12:45am
One last thing:

Just, if you ever make me debate you here again, be prepared to dodge that question, again.
5.21.2006 1:00am
Eugene Volokh (www):
WAL, Just: You're both banned. Go insult people on your own sites; I have no desire in letting you keep using mine.

HLSbertarian: Funny! And actually even marginally on-topic.
5.21.2006 1:03am
TallDave (mail) (www):
Hehe. Reminds me of this one:

Little Willie was a chemist.
Little Willie is no more.
For what he thought was H2O,
Was H2SO4

And of course this. Ban DHMO now! It's the deadliest chemical on earth.
5.21.2006 1:09am
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
I totally watched Bill Nye "The Science Guy" when I was 12, but I don't get the Iodine Phosphorus joke - and the Google search reveals nothing. Someone please explain :/
5.21.2006 1:10am
Not WAL, ok maybe:
Eugene, Just is going to post again, he's not a registered user so even if you ban his address he can go to another computer.

See, so can I.

But, when he spouts off, if you want to ban the guy who rips him and defends you, my guess is this guy has much more spare time on his hands than me and you and is going to go to lengths neither of us will. You're welcome to having to deal with him.
5.21.2006 1:11am
Eugene Volokh (www):
WAL: On one level, I appreciate your coming to my defense. But my goal for the comments is not to have people "rip" my critics "and defend[]" me. It's to have a thoughtful, interesting, enlightening discussion. When people defend me through name-calling, that tends to make the comment thread worse rather than better. (It also isn't much of an effective defense.) So when the debaters degenerate into "you're a coward" posts, I prefer to have them all go elsewhere, even if some of them were trying to defend me.
5.21.2006 1:19am
Eugene Volokh (www):
Mike BUSL 07: I think it refers to IP addresses being blocked.
5.21.2006 1:20am
ok, if I take back what I said, can I be unbanned?
5.21.2006 1:22am
John (mail):
I just showed up here at 12:20 EDT to find the strangest set of comments, compared to the original post, I had ever seen here. This was a cute joke riddle. I liked it. But what is going on in the comments?
5.21.2006 1:23am
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Eugene Volokh "Mike BUSL 07: I think it refers to IP addresses being blocked."

I knew the answer would make me feel stupid, but I didn't know it would be this bad. Jeez.
5.21.2006 1:27am
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
In my defense, I just saw "Da Vinci Code," which explains why I'm feeling a good deal *slower* than usual. Hopefully, those brain cells will regenerate.
5.21.2006 1:29am
statfan (mail):
I had a friend who had her initials tattooed on her backpack. I saw that her middle initial was K, so I asked her what it stood for. "Potassium", she replied.
5.21.2006 2:42am
A. Zarkov (mail):
I find it a little strange that I got deleted when I asked to people go get back on topic, and stop this fruitless debating about Israel. Am I missing something?
5.21.2006 3:58am
Splunge (mail):
Ah, Professor Electron Volt strikes again. Ka-boom!
5.21.2006 4:22am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
A potato gun. The gun itself woudl be made of a nickel/iron alloy. The ammo is rich in potassium - about 750 mg in a medium potato.
5.21.2006 6:01am
steve k:
We used to do what we called Periodic Talk, sending messages using only what was available through Periodic Table abbreviations.

I remember there were even a few embedded messages on the Table itself. For instance CoNi CuZn (Connie Cousin-okay, it's a bit forced, but we worked with what we had). Then there's the wonderful Al SiPS ClArK.
5.21.2006 6:04am
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
Anyone who wants to read my "one worthwhile comment, . . . which . . . was at least kind of funny" (EV, 11:31pm) can see it at my site, along with another (much better) chemistry joke, the latter illustrated.
5.21.2006 9:41am
Frank Drackmann (mail):
Would a firearm work in the vacuum of OuterSpace? I know theres no oxygen, but I seem to remember some middle school science teacher sayin that there was O2 in the gunpowder. And does anyone remember the different allotropes of Kryptonite? I remember there was only one that was lethal to superman. Would a conventional condom or diaphrahm be sufficient against
Supermans super sperm? Just wonderin..
5.21.2006 10:16am
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
1. As I recall, those are components of stainless steel, and thus could be used not only in knives.

2. Firearms would work in outer space. Downrange calculations would be greatly simplified, of course. The gunpowder contains its own O2, as it were--that's why it can ignite while sealed inside the cartridge.
5.21.2006 12:08pm
Jeremy (mail) (www):
Can we just all admit that we were thinking of the Gorn episode of Star Trek ("Arena").
5.21.2006 1:00pm
anonymous coward:
Compare certain posters: Rebel Without a Clue
5.21.2006 3:00pm
James F Stack (mail):
Frank check out Larry Niven's , Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex
5.21.2006 3:37pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):

"I think you are a chicken shit coward, Mr. Volokh.

You selectively delete, then misrepresent."

this poster has confused the comments section with a democracy, which it ain't.
5.21.2006 5:01pm
An old one of what? A joke?
5.22.2006 9:17am
Bud Norton (mail):
Yes, but how are you going to kill a Gorn with just a knife? Better to jury-rig a cannon and then load it with saltpeter, sulphur, and diamonds.
5.22.2006 1:11pm
Just John:
Oxygen Magnesium! Thorium Astatine Tungsten Arsenic Silver Rhenium Astatine Oxygen Neon!
5.22.2006 4:01pm
Prof. V. -

I trust you found that bathing the boys involved fewer tantrums than moderating the comments? Perhaps the entire VC project is practice for parenting?

Then again, if the boys complain about being controlled by their Elders of Zion, they are on to something, no? :-)
5.23.2006 5:36pm