Dixie's behavior was off this morning. She didn't try to boss anything. Hmm...
Hubby has a nasty upper respirtatory virus. And, of course, since he has that stupid weird blood cancer disease lurking in the background... Every sniffle is a potential panic attack. Nice hot teas, homemade soups, etc., already in action. (BTW, ginger and a bit of orage juice with a scratch of orange peel seem to be going down a treat with Hubby. Orange-ginger tea. Never imagined he'd get that adventurous, but hey! He actually tried it!)
So why would a giant storage vat of molasses go boom?
Yeah, I know, but it really has happened. The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 occurred in that most straight-laced of cities: Boston. Why do I mention that? Well, the molasses was stored there to use in manufacture of alcohol (and this is Boston, notorious for its reputation for being uptight, LOL). That alcohol was used for booze and making munitions for World War One. (Well, the bnooze was for general consumption...)
Anyway, because of increased manufacture demand? Supply wasn't always taken care of as ideally as it could be. So they stored a couple million gallons --- literally, about 2 million *gallons* of molasses, a byproduct of sugar manufacture known to be thick, brown, sticky, and basically impossible to pour in cold weather --- in a vat that everyone pretty much knew was in need of replacement and repair.
How bad? They were holding it together with caulk. Yeah, I know. Caullk. And wire. And patches. Basically, this 50-foot-tall vat was nothing but a disaster in the making. In fact, prior to the Big Flood --- which, btw, ironically occurred in January (putting paid to the saying "slower than molasses in January") --- people were accustomed to some leaks and odd noises.
Naturally, the neighborhood was poor, and nobody much cared, and then... on January 15, it reached a balmy 40*F in Boston. This is still not a great molasses-pouring temperature. (I live in the US South and summer's about the only time that stuff moves along at an acceptable speed, IMHO.)
So why did it go boom?
Molasses makes alcohol. That is, it ferments. And that tank was topped off six months earlier, in July. Fermentation equals carbon dioxide gas. (Hence fizzies in beer.) The leaks weren't enough to siphon off the pressure, not leaste because carbon dioxide bubbles go *up* and the molasses did not... And repeated leaks didn't let off *enough* pressure.
Well, there on Commercial Street were homes, taverns, fire houses, you name it, all kinds of things... And none of them wealthy... Then the vat finally gave way. Possibly the thaw to 40*F, possibly this, possibly that --- but when the vat blew, the steel vat became shrapnel encases in, weirdly, molasses.
Molasses doesn't act like water. It has what's called a "low Reynolds number". Now, water is a happy high number, meaning you can swim along and move easily, but molasses? Forget it. Swimming actually can drown you faster. How? You get moving, and the molasses not only keeps you stuck in place, it's *because* you're trying to swim. Every action you take? The reaction is for that thick fluid to move in "piles", for lack of a better word. So if you get an arm free, and "pull" it toward you in a normal swimming motion? You're just pulling more molasses toward youreslf. The molasses won't settle down like water and fill the "empty space".
How low is molasses on that magic number? In the low 100s. WHat's water? Around 1 million. Yeah.
So this meters-high wall of molasses goes down Commercial Street. Wipes out buildings, sweeps away people, vehicles, you name it. And people stuck in it? Not a great time. Ultimately, the death toll from the flood (including those who died later of injuries)... was 21, and around 150 injured.
Six years later, the company that owned (and ignored) the tank had to pay out what would today be $8 million in today's dollars to the various survivors and similar. Yes, the lawsuits took that long even 100 years ago. Sad but true.
Now, I meant to post this days ago but found it today on my computer a bit late... so forgive me for missing the 100-year anniversary of the event.
BTW, it took until summer for the molasses that reached Boston Harbor to dilute away enough for the harbor's waters to lose tthe brown hint from the molasses that had been flushed into the water when the molasses flood was cleaned up.
For the record? Molasses is still used to day for brown coloring in beverages, including some cola brands.
OK, I'm also catching that virus of Hubby's, and I'm about done for the day already (at 9 AM) and I'm exhausted, so... The cats are upset we're not "normal", and I"m gonna grab a catnap before the next round of "tea and broth"...
Wish m eluck and non-sticky TUesday to all!
Hey, all, really ill today, so just gonna crawl back to bed. Sending hugs and hope for all, and if you're in the way of winter, stay warm and sdafe!
I had my sleep study cpap titration last night so had to stay there on VERY hard bed, with the stupid cpap. They had to have it up a lot higher than expected but never hooked up the oxygen. So MAYBE i wont need it? But their criteria is lower for needing oxygen than my pulmonary Dr so she decides on the oxygen. I kept waking up and so thirsty my mouth was like cotton. I JUST got home at 4pm i...