Spam (madbodger) wrote,

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Mythbusters time

I was poking around looking for information on some laser trigger modules , and ended up scanning the usual Sam's Laser FAQ and the more general Repair FAQ. I found a note about laser cooling systems stating that drinking deionized water would kill you. [Edit: this page] This seemed a little unlikely, but a little searching around revealed a roiling debate on the subject. Most of it was tripe, of course (people conflating drinking something with injecting it), but there were two camps, each with some pretty good sounding arguments. On one side, people stated that it's basically just ultrapure water, and won't harm you, aside from the fact that most industrial sources are rife with bacteria that grow on the ion resin beads. The other side mentions that water has an "aggressive index" that varies with the amount of unbound polarized molecules or somesuch, and ranges to an extreme of -5. They cite that deionized water attacks some metals (the laser FAQ corroborates this), and can do a variety of evil things if consumed. Snopes doesn't mention it. I did find one sobering writeup by the WHO that advises against even drinking distilled water, as it affects the body's absorbtion and excretion of certain minerals and ions. Seems dodgy to me, but it's a reliable source.

The other one, found on this page, tells a story about a guy who soaked his feet in an industrial strength ultrasonic cleaner. Apparently, it felt pretty good, until he tried to stand, and found his foot bones were pulverized. Again, nothing on Snopes. I'm pretty dubious on this one. But it's a little more testable in vitro. We could round up some chicken bones (with and without meat) and put them in a big ultrasonic cleaner and see what happens. Granted, I don't advise putting your own personal body parts in an ultrasonic cleaner, but that's because most of 'em use "hot" power supplies, not isolated from the AC mains, and a fault in the circuitry could give you a shock.

Anyone have more info? Anyone want to suggest these to the Mythbusters? Anyone have the apparatus to experiment with?

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