Boron Nitride for Bacon or Hands?

Boron nitride

Boron nitride (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Boron nitride, what is it and why is it in the news?  I thought I knew what it was, but I was wrong.  Boron nitride is not the preservative found in bacon to keep the strips looking fresh.  And it’s not the stuff we used to wash our hands in elementary school – that was Borax, if you are old enough, you know what I’m talking about.  That stuff was rough…it’s a wonder our hands survived that sand paper powdery grit with the slight medicinal smell.  Boron nitride is neither of those things.  But like Borax and meat preserving nitrates, it does preserve and clean up.  Also known as white graphene, (which my spellchecker has never heard of), boron nitride can be used to create strands or sheets of atoms to spread out on a chemical spill to clean it up.  When these porous sheets bond together, they create a white powder, not unlike Borax and like Bounty, can pick up the nastiest of spills from oil to other industrial chemicals that pollute our lakes and possibly create mutant species of fish like the fishzilla found in Central Park and all those river monsters Jeremy Wade keeps catching and releasing.  This stuff can absorb something like 30 times its weight and get this, it can be reused!  There is the little detail of setting it on fire to make it reusable, and I’m not so sure how safe that is if it means burning noxious chemicals, but I’m no scientist so I trust they know what they are doing when they ignite the thing.  I mean recycling is good, right?

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Snakehead Fish On in Central Park

I’ve subscribed to some free newsfeeds – Yahoo, NY Times, BBC News and a few others and when I run across an item that intrigues me, I star it for future reference.  Excluding Syria and the latest developments in the Boston Marathon bombing, last week was a fairly slow news week and if I were in charge of headlines at a major newspaper, here’s what I would run:  Snakeheads of Central Park.  Other stories on the front page would be Horsemeat Plant in New Mexico and Boraxo beats Bounty to clean up spills, more on this later.

If you’ve ever been fishing in Central Park, you might have caught a few bass, maybe a crappie or two, but it is said that a fish that looks like a snake and has a two rows of razor sharp teeth instead of fangs inhabits the waters of the Harlem Meer.  The locals call it Fishzilla and by all accounts it is a predator like no other and will eat anything in its path, including (perhaps) fishermen?  A native of the freshwaters of Korea, Russia and China, the snakehead is considered an invasive species in American waters.   It may be an urban myth, but some say Fishzilla can live under ice and maybe in ice, and on land for days on end.  As reported by Marc Santora and Vivian Yee in the New York Times, a fisherman, when asked what he would do if he caught one said, “RUN”.

I hear snakehead are good eating – somewhat of a delicacy in some parts of the world.  I bet you could make some “killer” split pea snakehead soup or maybe some Fishzilla balls seasoned in Cajon spices, battered and deep fried in peanut oil, like the gar balls featured on the Animal Planet show, Swamp’d.  I’d fry one up and serve as snakehead fish-n-chips.  Kids would probably love fishzilla sticks.