Written by Joel Klaassen Wednesday, 24 October 2007 10:58Lately we’ve become the house of information at the Free Press. I’m not complaining, as we take it as a compliment that folks think we know what is going on everywhere and where to find almost anything in these parts.
It’s also a welcome switch from people telling me where to go.
People always find it hard to believe I have never taken a day of chemistry or biology in the entire 16 years I went to school. I guess I did have a touch of it in P.J.’s general science class.
In college I took geography and geology for my lab science courses. I was tempted to be come a weatherman for a couple of weeks while we studied climate in geography. We didn’t study climate change, just studied climate for a change.
Even though I don’t know much about the periodic table I did melt a lot of (Pb) lead in my day. That was back when printing was done with linotypes and letterpress.
What this is leading up to is a neat Web site that is all about the periodic table and is interactive in a way that shows you at what temperatures all of the different elements liquefy and turn to gas.
When I was smelting lead in the old days, they always told me that it was about 600 degrees where lead melts and they were right as that is what the Web site shows.
I also learned over and over again that water and hot lead don’t mix as it causes a mild explosion and hot lead flies everywhere. I don’t think OSHA would have approved of our working conditions around the smelting pot.
So check it out at www.dayah.com/periodic/
Sen. Sam Brownback isn’t the only one who has a full-time job and misses day after day of work to campaign. I believe I read that he missed 35 percent of the votes while out on the campaign trail before he threw in the towel last week.
Being a legislator has more perks than Carter has pills. Try that in the private sector and see if you would still have a job.
Speaking of pills, our company health insurance plan notice just came and if we keep the same coverage we had this past year it will increase 67 percent this go around.
Part of the problem is that we had people use it and that we’re all getting older, which automatically jacks the rates. In a perfect world everyone would be 23 years old and no history of medical problems.
I’ve said this before but if members of Congress didn’t have their own golden health coverage and had to buy theirs on the open market like the rest of us do, things would most likely be addressed and quickly.
I was talking with a long-time friend who lives in the Wichita area last week and he was telling me about the time when he was a scrawny high school freshman and weighed about 87 pounds. A big football player who was an upperclassman walked by him in the hall and stuffed him in someone’s locker and locked the door. After about an hour my friend got the nerve to ask to be let out. No permanent damage occurred.
Forty-five years later he ran into the guy who stuffed him in the locker at a community event in their hometown.
He then proceeded to tell me who it was who pulled this prank on him and believe it or not, it is someone I know quite well who lives in Marion County.