Day 671 – The Tale of Little Timmy lives on

Of course, you might know Little Timmy as Little Jimmy or Little Johnny. But whatever…

Little Timmy took a drink,
But he will drink no more, 
For what he thought was H2O,
Was H2SO4.

If you aren’t into your chemistry, then let me explain that H2SO4 is the chemical formula for sulphuric acid. It might look like water, which is what Little Timmy (Jimmy/Johnny) thought he was drinking (that’s the H2O bit, but I’m assuming that you knew that already).
Don’t drink Sulphuric Acid. It will quite literally kill you, or at the very least, maim you horribly.

Thankfully, these sort of cases of mistaken identity don’t happen often – I mean, where was Little Timmy (Jimmy/Johnny) when the above incident took place? In a lab? If so, then he’d already broken all sorts of rules and regulations and probably deserved to die [bit harsh – Ed.].
You don’t eat or drink in a lab and you label everything – especially the nasties.
But maybe he was at home, but what was he doing with sulphuric acid in his house? I mean, you make a rod for your own back playing with those sort of chemicals in a domestic setting.
Or perhaps he was at a bar in London.
But surely no case of a basic household product being confused with a seriously corrosive chemical compound would ever happen in a bar in London, right?

Right?

Wrong:

“Apparent staff error”? I mean, we all make mistakes, but… just… how?!?

“Clubbers in London’s Tiger Tiger were mistakenly given caustic soda instead of salt when knocking back tequila slammers, sending four people to hospital with burns. A shot of tequila is made into a slammer by licking salt first and then sucking a lime or lemon after.”

I should point out that this is unconnected to the Tiger Tiger club in Cape Town.
Tiger Tiger in Cape Town has a great reputation.

Cough. Splutter.

OK, maybe not so much. But they never gave anyone Caustic Soda with their shooter.
To the best of my knowledge, at least.

Look, both salt (sodium chloride) and caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) begin with “sodium”, but that doesn’t mean that they’re interchangeable. I was going to come up with some examples of how chemicals that start the same aren’t always the same, but I think we’ve kind of covered that with the stories of Little Timmy (Jimmy/Johnny), and the tequila drinkers at Tiger Tiger. But if you’re looking for more, then water (H2O) and Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) are another two you don’t want to mix up. And are unlikely to find yourself in a situation where you can mix them up. Just like the other examples – you’d think.

I don’t really know what lessons can be learnt from this. Don’t drink acid? Don’t lick caustic soda off your hand? (Hell, don’t even put caustic soda on your hand.) Yes. They are good lessons. But the best one I can come up with is “Don’t visit any bar or club called Tiger Tiger.”

And if that saves just one life, it will all have been worth it.

Day 670 – Photos up

I’ve uploaded some photos on Flickr. I’ve spared you the portraits, the people and the drunken antics and given you some different Table Mountain beauty instead.

Pop along and have a look.

I’m not sure if everyone there was having one on one conversations about living in Cape Town while we were up on the mountain, but I had several. And the general consensus was that while living in South Arica certainly has its challenges, we’re very lucky to live in our little bubble in the south west corner and so privileged to live here and to be able to enjoy experiences like our overnight trip. Having a national park on my doorstep isn’t a new thing for me: I’ve had it when living in Sheffield and Newcastle, and while I don’t use it as much as I might, living in Cape Town has reminded me how much I missed the opportunity to get out and about while living in Oxford (ironic since that is arguably the least urban – and certainly the smallest – place I’ve ever lived).

Anyway, as you might have gathered by the posts on our brief overnighter, we had a pretty amazing time, and it’s reaffirmed my project to get fit again so I can do more trips up the mountain.

Day 669 – Back down

We’re back down off the mountain after a splendid 24 hours away, filled with fun, laughter and incident. Thunderstorms and shooting stars, skinny dipping (allegedly, at least) and a Cape Cobra encounter.

There will be a time to tell you about the exhausting hike up there in the ridiculous heat, to speak of the fireball in the kitchen, to elaborate upon the gentle 4am rain shower that meant we had to move some mattresses, and to explain how we discovered that Cape Spurfowl don’t eat lettuce.

But that time is not now, because I am completely knackered.

I did manage to get some photos edited and will be doing a Flickr upload tomorrow.

In the meantime, this:

A view over the lights of Cape Town as the cloud rolled in from False Bay. Better bigger and on black, but you’ll have to wait for tomorrow for that. [UPDATE: Here it is]

Watch this space.

Day 668 – Not a good night

I’m awaiting official confirmation, but I have read that yesterday was the hottest ever in Cape Town since records began. 45.2oC at the Table Bay weather station was what I was told (vs the previous record of 42.4oC).

I can believe it.

I didn’t get much sleep. I tried in our bed with two fans going, I tried in the living room with the beagle, I tried in my office, disassembling the beanbag into two mattresses. I even tried outside, and stood on a wasp.

Don’t do it.

I’m feeling rubbish today, as I would imagine a lot of people are.

I’m going to go and climb a mountain.

Watch Instagram and other places for updates. Links just up there on the right. [diagonal-arrow-right-upwards.png]