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Old 09-23-2019, 03:18 PM
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What's so bad about a dumpster fire?


Everything that's terrible these days gets labeled a "dumpster fire." But what's so terrible about a dumpster fire?

It's a fire in a steel box with a lid, so it's self-contained and easy to put out. What's more, the only things destroyed in the fire were already garbage, so the damages are negligible.

If anything, "dumpster fire" should be used for minor, easily solvable problems that may stink a bit.
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:29 PM
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Because it's trash that's on fire. It's a metaphor.
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:30 PM
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Because it's trash that's on fire. It's a metaphor.
Yes, I understand it's a metaphor. I'm saying it's not a particularly apt metaphor.
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:41 PM
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Have you ever smelled a dumpster fire? A bunch of trash burning, much of which is not meant to be burned, is not exactly pleasant.
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:41 PM
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A "dumpster fire" is a mess that no one wants to deal with. The fact that it's already trash is irrelevant. Not all dumpsters are the kind you find behind 7-11 with convenient lids you can just close.

You think this is a minor, easily solved problem?

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Old 09-23-2019, 03:49 PM
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It's saying that you're not just trash, you're trash that's on fire. In addition to that, you're flaming trash that's not my problem (if you don't own the dumpster) or, if you do own the dumpster, you're flaming trash that's best dealt with by letting it burn itself out until there's nothing left.

The meat of the metaphor isn't, "This is a big disaster that's going to screw up everything for everyone," it's "This is a big, stinking pain in the ass, and I'm glad I'm not the one responsible for cleaning it up."
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:54 PM
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Makes sense, but I'd still rather deal with a dumpster fire than a shitstorm or a trainwreck.
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Last edited by Akaj; 09-23-2019 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:02 PM
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A guy I used to work with said that in high school he... appropriated a lump of sodium. He put it into an empty dumpster, then put some paper and cardboard on it and lit it on fire. Then he waited for someone to come (who did) to spray water on it.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:13 PM
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Makes sense, but I'd still rather deal with a dumpster fire than a shitstorm or a trainwreck.
Oh, for sure. Shitstorm > trainwreck > dumpster fire.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:37 PM
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What exactly is a "shitstorm"? I mean AFAIK there is no such thing as a meteorological phenomenon where feces is the primary form of precipitation.

Or the expression "shit hitting the fan". I understand that it is meant to conjure up an image of shit spraying everywhere, deflected off the spinning blades of a fan. But under what circumstances would you have a fan in close proximity to where you shit, such that you would have to concern yourself with it accidently shitting on it?
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:47 PM
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What exactly is a "shitstorm"? I mean AFAIK there is no such thing as a meteorological phenomenon where feces is the primary form of precipitation.
High winds over an open cesspit?

Quote:
Or the expression "shit hitting the fan". I understand that it is meant to conjure up an image of shit spraying everywhere, deflected off the spinning blades of a fan. But under what circumstances would you have a fan in close proximity to where you shit, such that you would have to concern yourself with it accidently shitting on it?
This one is like when you're doing home renovations, and you accidentally connect the HVAC system to the sewer mains.
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:13 PM
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I've always wondered what was supposed to be good about "draining the swamp". Swamps are important ecosystems and serve as habitat for many kinds of plants and animals. As a nature lover I'd never want to drain one.
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:19 PM
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Makes sense, but I'd still rather deal with a dumpster fire than a shitstorm or a trainwreck.
What about a clusterfuck?
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:57 PM
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What exactly is a "shitstorm"? I mean AFAIK there is no such thing as a meteorological phenomenon where feces is the primary form of precipitation.
The zookeeper in charge of the hippo exhibit might know a thing or two about shitstorms.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:02 PM
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Or the expression "shit hitting the fan". I understand that it is meant to conjure up an image of shit spraying everywhere, deflected off the spinning blades of a fan. But under what circumstances would you have a fan in close proximity to where you shit, such that you would have to concern yourself with it accidently shitting on it?
"A man in a crowded bar needed to defecate but couldn't find a bathroom, so he went upstairs and used a hole in the floor. Returning, he found everyone had gone except the bartender, who was cowering behind the bar. When the man asked what had happened, the bartender replied, 'Where were you when the shit hit the fan?'"
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:55 AM
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This dumpster fire just happened in my town- https://herecast.us/983601?fbclid=Iw...vInSduKeuX7pPk

"In this case, according to Fire Investigators... the discarded materials, combined with the warm temperatures and humidity yesterday, caused a spontaneous ignition within the dumpster. Given the proximity of the dumpster to the building, the fire easily extended from the dumpster to the structure. The fire has been determined to be accidental. The business is currently not able to work from this building and is actively seeking a temporary alternate location."

So basically a fire that started in the dumpster caused the entire building to burn down. So no, it's not self contained.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:02 AM
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It's a fire in a steel box with a lid, so it's self-contained and easy to put out. What's more, the only things destroyed in the fire were already garbage, so the damages are negligible.
What if some destructive genius started the fire with magnesium? That's a bit more difficult to put out than your average fire.

Then there's thermite, which may melt a nice hole right through your metal box.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:34 AM
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I've always wondered what was supposed to be good about "draining the swamp". Swamps are important ecosystems and serve as habitat for many kinds of plants and animals. As a nature lover I'd never want to drain one.
The Swamp Thing would agree.

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Old 09-24-2019, 01:45 AM
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I've always wondered what was supposed to be good about "draining the swamp". Swamps are important ecosystems and serve as habitat for many kinds of plants and animals. As a nature lover I'd never want to drain one.
Mosquitoes.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:56 AM
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Mosquitoes.
Well...

https://www.thoughtco.com/what-good-...uitoes-1968303
Quote:
Acting as Pollinators

Only the females of some mosquito species need a meal of blood to get the proteins necessary to lay eggs. For the most part, male and female adult mosquitoes depend on nectar for energy. While retrieving nectar, mosquitoes pollinate plants to help to ensure that different types of plant life thrive. When mosquitoes pollinate plants, especially the aquatic ones around which they spend much of their lives, they help perpetuate these plants. These plants provide cover and shelter for other animals and organisms.

Medicinal Lessons?

Although the mosquito has been a known vector for spreading disease all over the world, there is some hope that mosquito saliva may have some potential use for the treatment of the No. 1 worldwide killer of humans: cardiovascular disease. One promising application is the development of anticlotting drugs, such as clotting inhibitors and capillary dilators.

The composition of mosquito saliva is relatively simple, as it usually contains fewer than 20 dominant proteins. Despite the great strides in knowledge of these molecules and their role in blood feeding, scientists still know only about half of the molecules found in the insect's saliva.
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:12 AM
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The zookeeper in charge of the hippo exhibit might know a thing or two about shitstorms.
I am NOT going to click on those links.
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Old 09-24-2019, 04:37 PM
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A clueless tenant in my apartment building had a cookout. He (or she) discarded the charcoal embers into the dumpster while they were still hot.

As a result, the plastic lid on top of the dumpster melted into a mangled unusable lump. The lid was removed by the janitor.

So now, there's an open dumpster in the backyard, which means every time you toss a bag of garbage in there, you disturb a giant swarm of flies.

These are flies that take great pleasure in bumping against human faces. Not the best feeling when leaving for work.

Last edited by Two Many Cats; 09-24-2019 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 09-24-2019, 05:11 PM
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What about a clusterfuck?
I know people who think that's a wonderful thing.
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Old 09-24-2019, 05:36 PM
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But what's so terrible about a dumpster fire?

It's a fire in a steel box with a lid, so it's self-contained and easy to put out. What's more, the only things destroyed in the fire were already garbage, so the damages are negligible.
Probably at least some of what's burning in there is giving off fumes that not only stink, but are toxic (not, probably, die-this-minute toxic, but definitely really-bad-for-your-lungs toxic.)

Though I think Miller's explanation has something to it.

Quote:
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I've always wondered what was supposed to be good about "draining the swamp". Swamps are important ecosystems and serve as habitat for many kinds of plants and animals. As a nature lover I'd never want to drain one.
That didn't use to be understood. Swamps used to be thought of by many people not as essential habitat, food sources, and water filters, but only as sources of mosquitos and what was thought to be "bad air" that could make people sick (probably what was actually going on was that the mosquitos were carrying diseases.) They couldn't be farmed, or built upon, both of which things were often done on drained swampland.

I remember going to meetings at which Extension personnel were trying to explain, sometimes with difficulty, why they were now advising farmers not to drain swampland and in fact to restore swamps when possible, after they'd* spent the past hundred years or so advising farmers to drain all of those nasty wet spots as fast as possible.


(*not always the same individual people in "they", of course; though sometimes it was the same people, who'd lived through the change in attitude brought on by better information.)

Last edited by thorny locust; 09-24-2019 at 05:38 PM. Reason: close those parentheses!
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:10 PM
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Everything that's terrible these days gets labeled a "dumpster fire." But what's so terrible about a dumpster fire?
Have you ever smelled one? OMG....

Because dumpsters can contain all manner of objectionable things (and typically do) it's not something like a fire made from clean pine logs. It's got plastics and kitty litter and rotten food bits and plastic and maybe the occasionally exploding aerosol can. Among other things.
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:13 PM
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Or the expression "shit hitting the fan". I understand that it is meant to conjure up an image of shit spraying everywhere, deflected off the spinning blades of a fan. But under what circumstances would you have a fan in close proximity to where you shit, such that you would have to concern yourself with it accidently shitting on it?
Because there is no significant gravity in orbit, allegedly zero-g toilets use a fan to draw waste into the receptacle. In other words, that's a situation designed to have shit hit the fan.

But, admittedly, few of us have to deal with zero-g toilets, or being in orbit.
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:19 PM
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Well...
[mosquitoes as pollinators]Yeah, but the only things they pollinate are nettles, poison ivy, and beets.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:29 PM
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Everything that's terrible these days gets labeled a "dumpster fire." But what's so terrible about a dumpster fire?

It's a fire in a steel box with a lid, so it's self-contained and easy to put out. What's more, the only things destroyed in the fire were already garbage, so the damages are negligible.

If anything, "dumpster fire" should be used for minor, easily solvable problems that may stink a bit.
You have clearly never had to put one out. I have probably had 50 or so in my career. They suck.

You can't let them burn, the smoke is awful and there is usually a risk of the fire extending outside of the dumpster. When they get going, they will cast embers up with the smoke column that land elsewhere and start other fires. Also, if you let it burn itself out, it usually damages the only thing there of any alue - the dumpster itself. You *have* to put them out - it's your job.

A burning dumpster has all of the danger of a building fire. Same contents. Arranged in a haphazard way, and super dangerous to be in. And getting more dangerous by the second. You can't just fill it with water and leave. Most dumpsters aren't water tight, and if you did fill it up, the truck that hauls them off wouldn't be able to lift it. The only way to put it out is to open it up and remove the trash until you can get to the seat of the fire. Overhaul in a dumpster is exhausting and dangerous.

All of this work you do is for trash. Beat yourself up for 45 minutes, risking a whole lot of injury, and you are left with the same thing you started with - a big steel box full of trash (maybe some in the parking lot, too, so it's a bigger mess than when you started). Every time I hear that phrase, it brings to mind a whole lot of mandatory work on something useless, which you know will be just as useless when it's all over with.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:01 AM
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You have clearly never had to put one out. I have probably had 50 or so in my career. They suck.

You can't let them burn, the smoke is awful and there is usually a risk of the fire extending outside of the dumpster. When they get going, they will cast embers up with the smoke column that land elsewhere and start other fires. Also, if you let it burn itself out, it usually damages the only thing there of any alue - the dumpster itself. You *have* to put them out - it's your job.

A burning dumpster has all of the danger of a building fire. Same contents. Arranged in a haphazard way, and super dangerous to be in. And getting more dangerous by the second. You can't just fill it with water and leave. Most dumpsters aren't water tight, and if you did fill it up, the truck that hauls them off wouldn't be able to lift it. The only way to put it out is to open it up and remove the trash until you can get to the seat of the fire. Overhaul in a dumpster is exhausting and dangerous.

All of this work you do is for trash. Beat yourself up for 45 minutes, risking a whole lot of injury, and you are left with the same thing you started with - a big steel box full of trash (maybe some in the parking lot, too, so it's a bigger mess than when you started). Every time I hear that phrase, it brings to mind a whole lot of mandatory work on something useless, which you know will be just as useless when it's all over with.
Explanations like this are why I love the Dope. Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:50 AM
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Came to see if this thread was a dumpster fire or shit storm.

Not disappointed.

lol - I KID... I KID!
  #31  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:28 PM
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A clueless tenant in my apartment building had a cookout. He (or she) discarded the charcoal embers into the dumpster while they were still hot.

As a result, the plastic lid on top of the dumpster melted into a mangled unusable lump. The lid was removed by the janitor.

So now, there's an open dumpster in the backyard, which means every time you toss a bag of garbage in there, you disturb a giant swarm of flies.

These are flies that take great pleasure in bumping against human faces. Not the best feeling when leaving for work.
You should set it on fire right when you get up so the flames get rid of the flies by the time you leave.
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:40 PM
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The weirdest thing about the "drain the swamp" metaphor is it's most commonly used (here in the US, at least) to mean "get corruption out of Washington" or "reduce government power."

But Washington, DC, was quite literally built on a drained swamp. The idea was that the national capital should be outside the boundaries of any one state. Maryland and Virginia both gave up land to become the District of Columbia, and they chose swampland, then regarded as nearly useless.

Citation

or maybe not:

Opposing citation


So draining the swamp made Washington a center of federal power (and attendant corruption) instead of reducing it.

Last edited by Sailboat; 09-25-2019 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:44 PM
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What's so bad about a dumpster fire?
It makes the s'mores taste like shit.
  #34  
Old 09-27-2019, 09:02 AM
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A guy I used to work with said that in high school he... appropriated a lump of sodium. He put it into an empty dumpster, then put some paper and cardboard on it and lit it on fire. Then he waited for someone to come (who did) to spray water on it.
Were you at the Hobart Hodown at UMASS in 2004?

This exact scene played out in front of my eyes... The Amherst fire dept showed up to a dumpster engulfed in flames. Out of nowhere this guy ran up to them and said he started the fire, and not to hose it down because he put a block of sodium in it.

A firefighter just walked passed (over) him with the hose, sprayed the entire dumpster down, and all was well again. No one believed him anyways.

BUT, there were a number of mattresses in the dumpster, and those did not emit a pleasant smell...
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