Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Terrifying Threat of DHMO

People today can be profoundly suspicious of other people and their ideas. You've probably seen some variation on the test in which people on the street were asked to sign the Declaration of Independence, presented as a petition...and refused because it was obviously a subversive antigovernment screed written by some wild-eyed commiepinkoratbastard.

On the other hand, some people will believe in really amazing things without thinking them through ... and other people will always be ready to make hay from it.

Check out this website dedicated to publicizing the deadly environmental threat of Dihydrogen Monoxide, or DHMO. On this site you can learn that:

DHMO is widely used as an industrial solvent and coolant, and is a major component of acid rain;

Athletes brazenly take DHMO orally to improve their performance;

DHMO has a long history of use as an instrument of torture. It was used in World War II prison camps in Japan, and has been alleged to be used today on prisoners in China and at Guantanamo;


DHMO is widely used as an additive in food products, including jarred baby food and baby formula, and even in many soups, carbonated beverages and supposedly "all-natural" fruit juices.

Terrifying, isn't it? Why doesn't someone do something about this awful threat to our health and welfare?

Because, of course, dihydrogen monoxide is actually good old aitch-two-oh ... commonly known as water.

The Urban Legends Reference Page has a detailed discussion of the history of the DHMO hoax. It's a classic example of how the most silly ideas can be dressed up in scientific jargon and used to spin up a credulous public. The DHMO website mentioned above is an ingenious example.

Always remember Bilbo's First Law: never let anyone else do your thinking for you. Because, as my hero Jimmy Buffett says in his classic song Beach House on the Moon, there's no dumbass vaccine.

And that's a shame in an election season.

Have a good day. Beware of DHMO poisoning. More thoughts tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

If only there was a dumbass vaccine...maybe I would be able to vote for president in Nov. Right now it's looking like there's no way in good conscience I can do that.

I'm going to hug Jimmy Buffett now. I hope he doesn't mind :)

Amanda said...

I hadn't heard of the DHMO hoax nor the people refusing to sign your Declaration of Independence but had a good chuckle at it after reading your post.

Its funny how people choose to believe or don't believe things. Most of the time its to do with who the person giving them the information is. For example, doctors. They must be the most believed people around but many don't keep themselves updated on anything.

Mike said...

I always refered to it as dihydrogen oxide. But dihydrogen monooxide does sound more ominous. A new word has been added to my dictionary.