Methanol(CH3OH), or wood alcohol because it used to be distilled from burned wood, was used for embalming by the Egyptians thousands of years ago, and was a well-known poison in the 18th and 19th century, until its effects and presence in human tissues became forensically demonstrable. Today Methanol is mainly used as a solvent, fuel(eg for Monster Trucks) or in antifreeze, and can be produced en masse in a catalytic process from carbon monoxide, dioxide and hydrogen. It is also added to industrially produced Ethanol(the alcohol in alcoholic beverages)to make it undrinkable, thereby avoiding ther tax excise.
Methanol is colorless, flammable, and tastes a little bit sweetish. In the human body, it gets metabolised to formic acid and formaldehyde/formate salts. The most common clinical signs of Methanol poisoning are abdominal pain, vomiting, anxiety, acidosis, blindness, weakness, shortness of breath, coma and death. It is important to know that as little as one teaspoon of Methanol can lead to optic nerve damage and blindness, and 2 tablespoons can kill a child or small adult, although the average deadly dose is around 100ml(1-2ml/kg). Continue reading
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Tagged alcohol, Arak, australia, Bali, bar, club, formaldehyde, health, India, Indonesia, Lombok, Methanol, poisoning, tourist
India lower house passes sexual harassment bill:
Women’s rights activists say sexual harassment is a rampant problem in India, where an increasing number of women are joining the workforce.
The legislation, which must still be passed by the upper house before becoming law, specifically includes protection for female domestic staff, one of the most vulnerable work groups in India.
“I am glad that they cleared this crucial bill. Women have a right to feel safe wherever they are,” said Raghavi Behl, a professor of women’s studies at Delhi University.
The anti-harassment bill, which improves women’s rights to take legal action against abuse at work, also means that all workplaces must have a formal complaints system for sexual harassment allegations.
“Many women are scared to report sexual abuse as they want to keep their jobs,” said R.K. Sethi, who runs Shakti, a women’s rights forum in New Delhi.
Sethi said studies suggest one out of five Indian female workers aged under 35 have suffered physical assault by a colleague or manager at work.
All those clowns who have been “skeptical” about whether organisations such as JREF, or atheist and skeptic conferences, should implement anti-harassment policies, should have a long hard look at themselves. Apparently even parliamentarians in India don’t think that men’s freedoms are at stake by simply asking them to comply with basic social rules.
Salman Rushdie has withdrawn from participating in India’s biggest literary festival after receiving intelligence that Islamic peaceniks might be out to kill him :
The author had been scheduled to speak on the opening day of the five-day Jaipur event which began on Friday, but earlier this week organisers said his schedule had changed and took his name off the list of speakers.
“I have now been informed by intelligence sources in Maharashtra and Rajasthan that paid assassins from the Mumbai underworld may be on their way to Jaipur to ‘eliminate’ me,” Salman Rushdie said in a statement read out at the festival.
A mob of angry Indonesian Muslim peace lovers attacked a 31-yo civil servant who posted on the Minang Atheists Facebook page that god did not exist. He is probably only alive because the police came to arrest him before he could be lynched by those peaceloving Indonesians.
An Indonesian man who said that God did not exist in a posting on a Facebook page for atheists could face jail.
Civil servant Alexander Aan, 31, is now in protective police custody after he was attacked by an angry mob earlier this week.
He may also lose his job over his posting on the social networking site.
Atheism is a violation of Indonesian law under the founding principles of the country.
It’s up to 5 years jail in Indonesia if you try to “stop others from believing in a faith”. If the lynch mob doesn’t get to you first.
I also note the recent incidents where Muslim student groups confuse freedom of speech with submission and rolling onto our backs with outstretched limbs. While we’re at drawing lines in the sand with regards to SLAPP bullies, we better also take a stand against those who demand freedom from feeling offended, and who sell non-compliance with this as a matter of intolerance on our part.