Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fridge: RIP

the fridge, originally uploaded by photolemay.

My old fridge finally gave up the ghost last night. With a small bang and a terrible whiff of CFCs the thing shuddered to a halt for the last time. I can't say that I'm surprised by its demise as it has been making a colourful, if noisy collection of sounds for years.

I suppose I should be thankful to Thomas Midgley Jr (they don't make names like that anymore) for developing CFCs as before the 1930s fridges had a nasty habit of killing people when they broke down. The cooling gases inside were so volatile that it was like living next to a chemical time bomb. As the wiki entry charmingly puts it;

"As the refrigerating medium, these refrigerators used either sulfur dioxide, which is corrosive to the eyes and may cause loss of vision, painful skin burns and lesions, or methyl formate, which is highly flammable, harmful to the eyes, and toxic if inhaled or ingested."

You could almost forgive Midgley for inventing one of the destructive greenhouse gases if it wasn't for the fact that he also came up with the wonderful idea of putting lead in petrol/gas.
Given his track record we perhaps should be thankful he passed away in 1944 before he had the chance to market, say uranium flavoured toothpaste "for a smile that really shines in the dark."

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