770 words • 5~8 min read

Tweeting Armageddon

Ok, it wasn’t really armageddon, but the twitter feed from today’s port incident was priceless.

It began with a few tweets by @SFriedScientist

SFriedScientist – Morehead Port is closed due to nine containers being punctured; inside are highly explosive materials know as PETN.

SFriedScientist – Why in the hell are there nine containers of pentaerythritol tetranitrate sitting in my port?

SFriedScientist – and for that matter how the hell did they get left in a position for nine of them to be punctured?

SFriedScientist – Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) is one of the most powerful high explosives known, with a relative effectiveness factor of 1.66.

SFriedScientist – The XTX8003 extrudable explosive, used in the W68 and W76 nuclear warheads, is a mixture of 80% PETN and 20% of Sylgard 182

@KZelnio responded:

KZelnio – if I don’t tweet again by end of the day, it was great getting to know all of you and reading your posts. Good luck in life keep swimming!

KZelnio – Downtown Morehead has been evacuated and roads closed off, we are only a few miles away from the port at the marine lab

KZelnio – I hope my wife and kids are far enough away from any potential blast. If I don’t make it out Linda I’ve always loved you more than anything

@WhySharksMatter chimes in:

WhySharksMatter – At least [you're in] the sturdiest building in North Carolina, and by sturdiest, I mean ugliest

@SFriedScientist to @KZelnio:

SFriedScientist – whatsamatter, never been 9 containers of semtex away from your maker before?

KZelnio – Does nearly drowning in undertow count?

SFriedScientist – highly explosive undertow?

KZelnio – maybe that was the back of my head being scraped along the sandy bottom

Finally:

BomaiBlat – 15 minutes to abandoning island, any bright idea as to where we might take refuge?

SFriedScientist – @kzelnio @BomaiBlat and me have evacuated the island along with the rest of the Duke Marine Lab

KZelnio – Our island is now being evacuated. Time to head to lunch!

KZelnio – Taking refuge @ royal james w @sfriedscientist@bomaiblat. getting last beer b4 blowing up

SFriedScientist – Smile and say boom, the evacuees: http://yfrog.com/1dng5j

@KZelnio has a thought:

KZelnio – we should take @sfriedscientist’s boat to check out #mhcportfail

SFriedScientist – are you crazy? The only thing more likely to explode than the port is my boat

A realization:

SFriedScientist – In the shadow of disaster we gather at the pub and drink, isn’t this the plot to Shaun of the Dead? @kzelnio @BomaiBlat

The Blogosphere chimes in:

AbelPharmboy – @kzelnio @SFriedScientist @BomaiBlat evacuate Duke Marine Lab; are safe w/beer; no threat to ScienceOnline2010 http://bit.ly/8x3cyF #scio10

AbelPharmboy – When I heard of poss explosion in Morehead, I thought that @kzelnio or @SFriedScientist had a clogged blowoff tube from homebrew-gone-bad

pzmyers – Yeah, explosions add drama RT @BoraZ: Science bloggers evacuate Morehead area – no worries for SciOnline2010http://bit.ly/7jUPar #scio10

SFriedScientist – explosions tend to follow me and @kzelnio

NerdyChristie – Well, yes, blowing up would be bad. Try not to do that.

boraz – @pzmyers Ocean bloggers – that’s all a part of some plot of theirs to overshadow everyone else at #scio10 ;-)

oystersgarter – @SFriedScientist @BoraZ @pzmyers Plot? Of course there’s no plot. Only melodious song and Carhartts.

SFriedScientist – we don’t need a plot for that…

The sober truth:

SFriedScientist – Morehead city apocalypse causes @sfriedscientist to abandon his sober January

Some News:

SFriedScientist – Current reports indicate that of 9 55-gal drums, 1 was punctured by a forklift. Doomsday will probably not be today @abelpharmboy

SFriedScientist – The army of evacuees http://yfrog.com/4fympxgj

And finally:

SFriedScientist – All is well in our little part of the world

eclecticechoes – @kzelnio @SFriedScientist What, y’all got bored down there? Next time maybe microwaving moon pies would be better!

Read AbelPharmboy’s assessment here: Science Blogger Evacuate Morehead City

I need a nap.

~Southern Fried Scientist


Deep-sea biologist, population/conservation geneticist, backyard farm advocate. The deep sea is Earth's last great wilderness.


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