Tag Archives: fertilizer

Our fertilizer is now less explodey

Pax Arcana

Scientists at chemical corporation Honeywell say they’ve found a way to treat ammonium nitrate — commonly known as fertilizer — in order to render it non-explosive.

Finally our tomatoes can enjoy a bit of peace of mind. Oh, and the rest of us too:

Ammonium nitrate can be soaked in diesel fuel to produce a powerful bomb and is a favorite of terrorists, but when chemically tied to the ammonium sulfate, its chemical structure is changed so that it is no longer explosive.

Chemists had been looking for ways to render ammonium nitrate nonexplosive since the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was destroyed by a truck bomb in 1995, killing 168.

The flaming bag of poop — the original fertilizer bomb

While “safeguarding the livelihood of America and its citizens” might be the most obvious benefit of this discovery, it wasn’t the incentive:

An agriculture expert not affiliated with Honeywell, Jack Rabin, associate director for farm programs at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, said many companies were looking for ways to render ammonium nitrate inert, because the Department of Homeland Security requires that farmers safeguard their stockpiles of the widely used fertilizer and report their inventories to the government.

In other words, the multinational agricultural conglomerates that grow, process, package, and ship our corn nuggets had to do an awful lot of padlocking and paperwork in the wake of Oklahoma City, and Lord knows we can’t have that.

New Process Eliminates a Fertilizer’s Blast Threat [NYT]

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LOL Mets

Pax Arcana

So less than a week after taking over for fired manager Willie Randolph, interim Mets boss Jerry Manuel calls the Shea Stadium crowd “fertilizer.”

This should go over well:

When asked how Heilman was holding up to the constant streams of boos showered on him at home, Manuel took a not-so-thinly veiled shot at displeased Mets fans.

“It’s very, very fertile ground for growth in Shea Stadium,” Manuel said.

“It’s fertile ground for a team’s growth and development. Sometimes, fertile ground has fertilizer.”

You heard it here first: The New York Mets will win the National League pennant this year. Or they won’t and Jerry Manuel will find his mailbox stuffed with stromboli.


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