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Old 11-15-2019, 02:09 PM
24KARAT is offline
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Cecil's Classics "Could you be frozen solid, then broken into a million pieces?" -Rebuttal


"the skull wouldn’t shatter. Interesting, but I was skeptical that a skull filled with gel closely replicated the real thing" -Gotta be frozen 100% within & without. Yea, gel absorbs therefore how could it shatter (not a question, rather a statement of fact). Therefore, gotta freeze the gel solid {is a gel solid?}.
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"shattered with sound waves, and the resultant pieces are composted" -Yum! Canabalism. Ever look into that once before & now forgotten "mad cow" disease thing? I've had some very science backed ideas within this concept & animal feeds. I've been watch'n for who's on first with the Soylent Green concept / idea / to become reality. Soylent Green @ the molecular level vs @ the {soon to be???} tissue level.
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"as dramatic as it looks onscreen" -ie: Golden Beard Media -because it sells.
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"put liquid nitrogen in his mouth and blow smoke rings" -Nominee & winner of the Darwin Award for that year? Geeeeze!
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"guessing fibrous tissue would prevent a body from simply shattering no matter what happened." -Anything can be frozen then shattered. The key is that it HAS TO BE frozen. Ain't you seen that girlie Disney movie "Frozen"?
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"$41 in the Straight Dope Research and Entertainment Fund" -I'll donate some hundred pounder plus road kill. Should keep the fund's balance of 41 @ such. {Maybe hire a bookie for a small take & play the odds @ Vegas via the World Wide Web? Could bump the Straight Dope's Fund up a bit, you think?}
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:58 PM
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Welcome to the boards 24KARAT.

It's helpful to put a link to the column in question. On a line by itself like this:

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...illion-pieces/

Or using the URL code (the Globe/chain icon). Like this.

An update on the eco-freeze-compost company Promessa Organic. Went belly up in 2015. Apparently never processed a human corpse. Investment money well spent.

Last edited by ftg; 11-15-2019 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:56 AM
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Well, at Absolute Zero, all molecular motion ceases and the molecules themselves literally fall apart. Granted, we haven't quite reached that temperature, but we can get very close. Close enough, in fact, so that the molecules can be easily separated. So, I would "yes" to the question.
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
Well, at Absolute Zero, all molecular motion ceases and the molecules themselves literally fall apart. Granted, we haven't quite reached that temperature, but we can get very close. Close enough, in fact, so that the molecules can be easily separated. So, I would "yes" to the question.
Really? I never knew that. Frozen has always meant 'hard' in my mind.
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:37 PM
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I more-or-less doubt the possibility of a completely frozen person cracking up into a lot of small pieces.

As noted, ice is hard. Pure ice, that is. I've stomped up and down on 4" of 20F ice and nothing happens. People drive trucks out on 1' ice.

Take a classic ice box type of block ice. If you drop it off a two story building you'll get a few big pieces (possibly even just one big piece if really cold), then more and more pieces of smaller and smaller size. So, yeah, a whole lot of tiny fragments. But a person looking at the mess is going to notice the big chucks first.

If you add certain things to the water before freezing, the ice gets even stronger. Hence pykrete and such.

OTOH, there would be material that would make it weaker. Don't know any off hand but I'm guessing Perlite would be an example.

So, the questions is: are the consitents of the human body a help or an hindrence to the ice strength? Bones help. It would take a really fast freezing (which might on it's own cause large fracturing before the body fell over) to hurt them. Muscles and tendons would still be a plus. So you're left with the softer tissue which really wouldn't make a body shattering kaboom when landing.
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ftg View Post
So, the questions is: are the consitents of the human body a help or an hindrence to the ice strength? Bones help. It would take a really fast freezing (which might on it's own cause large fracturing before the body fell over) to hurt them. Muscles and tendons would still be a plus. So you're left with the softer tissue which really wouldn't make a body shattering kaboom when landing.
mrAru went to boot camp at Great Lakes in the January class ... when the thermometer hits neg 20 they halt outside PT and don't march outside, a fall can shatter bone inside the nice mostly warm human body - it happened to 2 guys in his training squad [they slid into each other]

I would have to play around with a leg of lamb or a whole piglet [representing closed skull and brains and all the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles] perhaps a serious prolonged stay in a tank of LN or LOX - like a month, to make really certain it is as frozen solid as possible.

[though I would really hate to waste a perfectly good spitting pig for this *sigh*]
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:58 AM
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Yes, ice is hard. That's precisely why this would work. Soft things, like thawed meat, don't shatter.

And nothing says that you have to do it in a single blow. If there are still big chunks left, then you hammer it again.

aruvqan, you would never use LOX for this, as that stuff's just way too dangerous. And there's no reason to leave the parts in LN for a month-- A few minutes will get them as cold as they're going to get.
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Old 11-25-2019, 04:06 AM
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"Dunking the limbs into liquid nitrogen for 40 seconds froze the skin solid, but the internal temperature only dropped a few degrees, and everything thawed in less than ten minutes."

I can believe this. Back when I worked in a lab, we used liquid nitrogen quite a bit, and it was common practice to shock the new recruits by dunking a finger or two into the liquid nitrogen in front of them. For a second or two it was perfectly fine, as the nitrogen evaporated around the finger, insulating it to some extent.

The only time I did freeze my finger doing something like this was when I stupidly tried the same stunt in a dry ice/acetone mixture. Although much less cold (-78ºC), it froze the skin virtually instantly because it didn't evaporate, so the cold liquid was in direct contact with the skin.

I didn't know anyone stupid enough to try blowing smoke rings with liquid nitrogen, but it was a common party trick to put a chip of dry ice in your mouth and blow impressive plumes of steam out of your nose.

Usual disclaimers apply: don't try this at home, even if you are a teenage chemistry student and therefore immortal.
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