Solid Mercury

Discussions on general chemistry and chemical engineering, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, etc.

Re: Solid Mercury

Postby Mugda on April 24th, 2015, 6:01 pm 

So what happened to this thread? Why has jd1008 been banned? I watched the vids, and without knowing what chemicals are being added, it does look like mercury is being solidified/crystallized/whatever. I have no background in either physics nor chemistry, just a curiosity for it. What is happening here? It seems like this is something that could be easily reproduced in a lab....
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby BioWizard on April 24th, 2015, 6:11 pm 

I wasn't following with this thread so I don't know the details, though I suspect the answer is within the lines of "because this is a science forum". Mercury is a toxic heavy metal with known effects.

As for the thread, I don't see anything having happened to it. It's still here and you were able to post to it. Were you not?
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby Mugda on April 24th, 2015, 6:24 pm 

I can see that. But isn't this, at the very least, chemistry? It just ended so abruptly, and with him getting the last word. Is this something that is known bullspitt, and nobody bothered with a rebuttal? I'm still in the dark as to what the scientific community's stance on these "Rasamani beads" is.
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby BioWizard on April 24th, 2015, 6:35 pm 

Mugda » 24 Apr 2015 05:24 pm wrote:I can see that. But isn't this, at the very least, chemistry? It just ended so abruptly, and with him getting the last word. Is this something that is known bullspitt, and nobody bothered with a rebuttal? I'm still in the dark as to what the scientific community's stance on these "Rasamani beads" is.


Did you read all the posts in the thread?
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby Mugda on April 24th, 2015, 6:48 pm 

Yes i did, and it was why i felt compelled to reply to it. I was on my way to comment on the youtube video, but thought i would check here what the deal was. In the video, which i assume you have glanced at, he is presumably taking mercury, and making it into little balls which stay solid at room temperature. Like i admitted to, i don't have the background to know what happens if you mix in lime, and whatever other chemicals he uses, to mercury. Is this a known process that doesn't have any applicable usage, other then religious worship? Cause i know you can make amalgams... The ones who make the balls try to make it seem like this is a closely kept secret, and when nobody then just explains what is going on, it does make me wonder.
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby BioWizard on April 24th, 2015, 6:58 pm 

I was referring to NCE's post which kind of already answered all that. Or so I thought.

Natural ChemE » 23 Dec 2010 07:26 pm wrote:rjkabbur,

The short answer is, "No, not in any way that I can think of."

Pure mercury is liquid at room temperature. However, mercury-containing compounds such as amalgams (mercury-containing alloys) and mercury sulfide can be made to be solid at room temperature. It sounds like you're asking about the possible uses of a mercury-containing compound made with an herbal extract.

I can't see any benefit to using herbal extract to freeze mercury. Can it even be done, particularly considering the heterogeneous nature of biologically derived compounds?

Also, can you cite a site which discusses solid-mercury pendulums? I mean, there are pendulums which contain liquid mercury that can expand up the center column to maintain the effective length of the pendulum against temperature change (since thermal expansion can mess up the effective length otherwise), but I haven't heard of a solid-mercury pendulum before - nor can I see the potential benefit of such a device.
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby Mugda on April 24th, 2015, 7:27 pm 

Natural ChemE » 23 Dec 2010 07:26 pm wrote:rjkabbur,


I can't see any benefit to using herbal extract to freeze mercury. Can it even be done, particularly considering the heterogeneous nature of biologically derived compounds?


Here he questions if the process is possible. Then comes the video of a person doing exactly that, then the thread ends. I would have wanted Natural ChemE to explain what is happening on the recording.

Not that i will loose any sleep over this, just found it interesting. I was recently in India and heard plenty of stories of yogis using mercury for various positive effects. Is there a way to use it beneficially? Are the people who benefited from it just lucky? Then you don't hear the stories of the ones who it doesn't work for.

Like Mr. Cotton's parrot would say "Dead men tell no tale."
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby BioWizard on April 24th, 2015, 7:43 pm 

We are not given the identity of all the ingredients, so we can't know exactly what is going on. Mind you Natural ChemE didn't say it's not possible. He said it's unlikely to have any benefits.

Modern science tells us that mercury is toxic: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_poisoning

So if anyone wants to willingly ingest it, it's on them. What else is left to discuss?
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby Mugda on April 25th, 2015, 6:40 am 

Well, there are people who claim they can remove the toxicity of mercury.

http://www.sacredmetallurgy.com/wp-cont ... ercury.pdf

I would love to know if the methods practiced by some yogis make the mercury safe to wear as a talisman, or even ingest. This certainly falls under the realm of science, no? Or is this not the right forum for the subject?
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby BioWizard on April 25th, 2015, 6:52 am 

I can claim anything I want. It doesn't make it true. We already referenced what peer-reviewed controlled scientific investigation has found about the effects of mercury on human health and physiology. What else can we do?

The best way to avoid the toxic effects of mercury is to not ingest it in the first place. Much like the case with any toxic heavy metal.
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby BioWizard on April 25th, 2015, 7:04 am 

If I claim that I have a salad dressing that can make cyanide safe to ingest, would you be interested in trying it or conducting experiments to see if that's true? There's so much scientists can/need to be studying. If they have to falsify every individual claim somebody makes, particularly those for which much falsifying evidence already exists, little progress will be made. Given what we already know about the effects of mercury and the extent to which herbal components are likely to alter the chemical and biological properties of a heavy metal, this isn't a very interesting hypothesis to pursue. You came here and said you have no training in science and are interested in science's perspective. Well, you already heard it, so why do you continue to reject it? Maybe you just want to hear what you want to hear, instead? Or you just want to keep the thread alive, for some alterior motive? I wonder.
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby Mugda on April 25th, 2015, 8:03 am 

No motive, no rejection of science. I totally see that there are certain things that just isn't worth the time of an educated scientist. There are a lot of people who adhere to traditional Indian medicine(about 80% of India's population if one is to believe Wikipedia), a category which includes Ayurveda, where mercury is used extensively. I would think that it was worth looking into... I do not adhere to anything, i know nothing. I'll take the conversation elsewhere if you feel like i am gnawing on fleshless bones.
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby BioWizard on April 25th, 2015, 8:08 am 

The issue here, Mugda, is that you say you want to discuss this scientifically, but I'm finding nothing more than appeals to popularity and tradition in the points you're making. Millions of people consuming tabbaco, whether in recreational or religious contexts, doesn't change the fact that tabacco consumption was scientifically demonstrated to be harmfully, does it? You say you want to discuss this scientifically. So you'll have to discuss (argue against?) the large body of science that demonstrated the hamrful effects of mercury. How many people consume mercury based products and by what motivation is somewhat irrelavant, don't you think?
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby BadgerJelly on April 25th, 2015, 11:28 am 

It is just using an object, any object, and imbuing it with enigmatic importance. It is common practice of all magick techniques which is rooted it known psychological effects.

Take a stone and imagine it to be health giving and you will think it is giving you good health and by thinking it does it actually does increase your health ... that said it only works to a limit. If you don't exercise or eat well you'll not help the process!

Don't really think there is more to any of this than that.
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby Mugda on April 25th, 2015, 11:47 am 

I agree.

My intention was never to argue against what we know about mercury and its toxicity. I was curious about how some claim they can detoxify it, and if the processes the yogis use has been peer-reviewed. Which if i understand you correctly, nobody can be bothered with. I find it a little strange, since we seem to be doing studies on all sort of pseudoscience these days.

Yoga and its practices are finding ground in the western world, so maybe it's time someone reputable would make an official statement on Rasamani beads. The happy-go-lucky yoga student will wear a necklace made of solidified mercury if nobody tells him/her specifically not to.

If you google "Solidified mercury", it's not like you get bombarded with scientific papers on the dangerous of it, quite the opposite. Like most spiritual leaders, yogis are quite convincing, so at the extreme this could become a public health issue here at home.

It's not like we don't have stupid people doing stupid things already. Some believe that certain crystals have positive effects if used correctly, but there at least you are not actively poisoning yourself at the same time.

Yes BadgerJelly it's not like the placebo effect isn't well documented.
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby BioWizard on April 25th, 2015, 12:18 pm 

But why would we believe that trapping mercury in some sort of herbally derived coagulate is going to alter its chemical and biological properties after it's ingested and the "solidifying" agent is broken down in the gut? Maybe it'll slow down its absorption, but wouldn't that mean it's just better to not ingest it im the first place? It seems almost too straightforward to warrant launching an independent study around it. The point is and has been that we can't use scientific facts to argue unscientific "detoxification" of anything. It seems like a much more reasonable position would be to request convincing evidence about the safety of an otherwise toxic agent to want to consume it, rather than to request additional evidence about its toxicity to stop consuming it.
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby TheVat on April 25th, 2015, 12:35 pm 

From the turn of the 20th century, a classic Little Willie poem on the matter:

Little Willie from his mirror
Sucked the mercury all off,
Thinking, in his childish error,
It would cure his whooping-cough.

At the funeral, Willie’s mother
Smartly said to Mrs. Brown,
”T'was a chilly day for William
When the mercury went down.”
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby Mugda on April 25th, 2015, 2:09 pm 

As far as i can tell, they don't directly ingest it. I linked to a paper earlier, where the method of ingestion is always indirect. Putting a ball of it in a tea pot and drinking the tea, staring at it reflecting sunlight, wearing it as a necklace, soaking it in oil and rubbing the oil on your skin. So at no time are you introducing massive quantities into your system. Its not so much the mercury atoms that are having an effect, but the state the metal is in after being treated, and its effect on the environment around it. Think magnets, but different.

This is now sounding rather unscientific. If the effects would be predictable and repeatable, not just "Suck on this and you'll feel better in a month", one could start hypothesizing and experimenting. Sadly i don't think the effects are testable to the standard of the scientific community. Since the very nature of the theories is that is works differently from person to person, and not just physically, but mentally, spiritually *rolling eyes*

One of the reasons i don't like this kind of stuff is its anthropocentric nature(wonder if i used that right). People peddling this stuff promises increase in sexual stamina, success in business, cognitive superpowers. Sounds like a hoax? Yes indeed. At the very most just another placebo.

So BioWizard, please don't think i am an advocate for any of this, nor am i looking for anything specific. I am expecting it to be outdated science from yesteryear, but it's a interesting subject to explorer, and perhaps there is something to learn from it.

"Mundus vult decipi"
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby BioWizard on April 25th, 2015, 2:33 pm 

What you described still counts as consumption/ingestion. And "massive amounts" is a relative concept in toxicology. How much is "too much" depends on the toxicity of the substance, not on the absolute amount consumed. What you'd consider too much sugar is going to be a much bigger quantity than what one would consider too much rat poison. Heavy metals tend to linger long in the body, and over time you get build up.

There really is nothing here that warrants further discussion or additional research. Mercury is bad for you. If you wanna consume it, no one is stopping you, but know you're probably hurting yourself.
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Re: Solid Mercury

Postby Mugda on April 25th, 2015, 2:57 pm 

I have no plans on experimenting with a known toxic heavy metal on my own body. Thanks for the conversation, I agree there seems to be little left to discuss here.
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