Butter in the Bank 2 (ep. 68)
The show your about to listen to is very carefully organized in fully scripted for something a little more free flowing in organic check out this podcast. I am Adam Higgins from the Dow podcast wearing normal is not my specialty. What does that mean? Well, I just can't do one thing every week. I give you a sampling of personal stories rants ramblings or just spending a day to nerd out a bit. Plus, I make fun of some weird news stories, and I tell you about a podcast that I think you should check out because sharing his carrying right? So of any of that sounds up your alley subscribe to odd at out at odd et Al podcast dot com. Proper preparation prevents poor performance. You've got a first aid kit in your car 4._0._1._K is all set up. There's a little box of tornado supplies in the downstairs closet. Plenty of canned goods in the pantry and a few thousand rubber bullets. You don't have that one the London metropolitan police service does after the twenty eleven London riots the met as it's called upgraded its inventory of rubber bullets from seven hundred to ten thousand if there's an item that people need you'd better believe someone is holding a strategic reserve of it. My name's moxy. And this is your brain on facts. Welcome to part two of butter in the Bank in the first installment which was way back on episode twenty before I started putting episode numbers in the title field. We talked about the Canadian maple syrup. Reserve Chinese pork Indian cotton, European butter and American raisins, most of those stockpiles are intended to guard against price fluctuations today will trend more toward survival necessities, though, if you've done any amount of research, you'll know you start off thinking one thing and end up going down a whole other road. So let's see where it takes us. We'll start with medicine because if you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything we like to talk about how we would handle the psalm be apocalypse, but we should probably focus on slightly more likely to happen things like natural disaster terrorist attack or a non Tiv iris disease outbreak. That's. Where these strategic national stockpile comes in managed by the center for disease control, the strategic national stockpile can provide lifesaving medicine vaccine antidotes for chemical and biological agents and more the SMS is not a first responder. But if a state and national agency requests help the SMS can provide critical supplies it spreads its inventory between warehouses across the United States that way it can respond to an emergency within hours. No matter where it happens the locations and exact contents of the warehouses are kept close to the vest. If the threat isn't well-defined, like a sudden cluster of unusual deaths, the SNS sense push packages that contain a broad spectrum of medications and other supplies CDC advisors. Take the supplies to the scene and hand responsibility over to the local authorities healthcare workers than distribute these supplies to those. Who need them the medicine and supplies are provided free to the patients which shouldn't be surprising refreshing. But let's face it. Kind of is the strategic national stockpile responded to those affected by the nine eleven terror attacks. Dispense Cipro for the anthrax attacks in late two thousand one provided antiviral drugs as well as gloves and masks during the h one and one swine flu pandemic in two thousand nine after Hurricane Katrina in two thousand five the CDC realized they would also need to provide supplies for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure to treat patients in long term disaster areas who would not otherwise be able to get their Mets. This is where I'll put a clever segue about rubber gloves and may glove slap to start a dual reference rubber stockpiles were once so important to western nations, specifically their ability to wage. Dj war that secret missions were planned to steal the rubber of their enemies next to steal rubber was the most important commodity in the war effort against Germany and Japan when World War Two began Japan seized, Burma, malay- and the Dutch East Indies this cut the allies off from ninety percent of the supply of natural rubber the lack of rubber for vehicles aircraft, clothing, gas masks and more could actually have cost the allies the war in the US. This sparked prickly political battle between those who favored natural rubber and those who wanted synthetic rubber some politicians worried that a synthetic rubber program could lead to a dangerous policy of isolationism after the war in the New York Times. One politician asked will the rubber policies we adopt now lead to World War three later on. Synthetic rubber at the time was inferior to natural rubber as well. In June of nineteen forty president Franklin Roosevelt created the rubber reserve company to stockpile rubber when it was created the rubber reserve company had about a million pounds or four hundred fifty four thousand kilos of rubber the seems like a lot, but the military at the time was going through six hundred thousand pounds or two hundred seventy two thousand kilos ear, and if military activities increased so with the need for rubber under the umbrella of the rubber reserve company several private corporations including Firestone Goodrich and Goodyear. Signed, a patent and information sharing agreement to work together to produce better synthetic rubber the allies also launched operation Michael ham in the early nineteen forties, which was supposed to smuggle rubber from Japanese occupation areas but fail to secure even. A single outs. It also didn't make much of an impact on historians apparently either because I could barely find anything about it. In twenty twelve the US decided to sell its rubber stockpile as of twenty fifteen Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia formed a consortium that produces about two thirds of the world's natural rubber. They had tried to control prices OPEC style, but oversupply and diminishing demand, but the KYW Bosh on that idea as with the bird's song in the background a few weeks ago. You may notice a bit of mother nature this week in the form of thunderstorms if possible L edit them out, but nature is as nature does. There are a few things in life that we feel powerless to do anything about and one of them is cancer. But we are not powerless later in the week. This episode airs will be livestream for the cure and important fundraising. Vent for cancer research. But a let the creators tell you themselves. I'm Nick it. I'm just in a we can't believe it's already time for the two thousand nineteen livestream for the Kear are mazing peers listeners and supporters last year week crushed our goal of five thousand dollars for the cancer research institute, the cancer research institute is funding research into immunotherapy to create a future immune to all forms of cancer. Every single cent. We raise goes to them this year. Aiming our sights even higher or their most ambitious that today's joins us base team through the nineteenth on twitch dot TV slash epic film guys for forty hours of live content from us and other amazing shows will join us to try to reach seventy five hundred dollars. Please visit WWW dot livestream for the cure for more information or to find out how you can be a part of the event together we can make a difference. Do you remember how after like the third time futurama got cancelled the did a quartet of movies, which went back and forth and quality like Star Trek films one into the wild green yonder featured a creature called the encyclopedia that preserves the DNA of all endangered species. It's not news that animal species are disappearing at an alarming rate with a quarter of all known mammals and a tenth of all birds facing extinction within the next generation or two global biodiversity is declining at an overwhelming speed with each species that disappears fast amounts of information about their biology ecology and Volusia airy history are irreplaceable lost in two thousand four three brutish organizations decided to join forces to combat the issue the natural history museum this alleged. Sighting of London and Nottingham university like highly educated planet. Here's created the frozen ark project, they gathered and preserved DNA and living tissue samples from all of the endangered species that they could get their hands on literally. So that future generations can study that generic material. No, not like Jurassic Park. I think it's been established that that's a bad idea. So far, the frozen ark has over seven hundred samples stored at the university of Nottingham and participating consortium members in the US, Germany, Australia, India, South Africa, Norway and others. DNA donations come from us EM's university. Labs and sues their mission has four components to coordinate. Global efforts in animal bio banking to share their expertise between the members to help organizations and governments set up by. Oh, banks in their own countries. And to provide the physical and information infrastructure, the will allow conservationists and researchers to search for locate and used the materials without having to re sample from the wild populations the frozen. Ark project was founded in two thousand four by professor Brian Clark, a geneticist at the university of Nottingham his wife. Dr Anne, Clarke and immunologists with experience in reproductive biology and a colleague Dame Anne McLaren a leading figure in developmental biology starting in the nineteen sixties Clark carried out a comprehensive study on land snails of the genus partout LA which are endemic to the volcanic islands. French Polynesia, certainly not the worst place for field research ever almost all partout la- species disappeared within a span of fifteen years because of governmental biological control plan that went. Horribly awry in the late sixties, the giant African land. Snail, a mollusc the size of a puppy was introduced to the island as delicacy, but got loose and turned into a serious agricultural pest. As always seems to happen when we move animals from one place to another and to keep up the trope the giant snail had no natural predators to control the African land. Snail, the carnivorous rosy wolf snail was introduced in the seventies. But it annihilated the native snails instead acting quickly Clark's team managed to collect live specimens of the remaining twelve partout Lous feces and bring them back to Britain tissue samples were frozen to preserve their DNA and international captive breeding program was established currently there are partout Lous feces, including some that would later become extinct in the wild. In a dozen. In sues. And there have been some promising reintroduction 's the extinction story of the partout la-. Snail resonated with the Clark's who realized that systematic collection and preservation of tissue DNA and viable cells of endangered species should be standard practice, ultimately inspiring the birth of the frozen ark, the frozen ark project operates as a federated model building partnerships with organizations worldwide that share the same vision, the frozen art consortium has grown steadily since the project's launch with new national and international organizations joining every year there are now twenty seven partners across five continents, biological samples like tissue or blood from animals zoo's aquarium can be taken during routine veterinary work, or it can be taken from dead animals bonus act, which is more of a nit-pick 'cause I'm a total word nerd. The post mortem examination of an animal is a necropsy the word autopsy only applies to humans. Autopsy means examining the self. The bio banks can provide safe storage for many types of biological material. Particularly the highly valuable germ cells, I e sperm and eggs, the work of the frozen. Ark isn't merely theoretical for some distant day in the future one success story, which la- straights the benefits of combining cry Abang materials, effective management and captive breeding programs is the alarmingly adorable black footed ferret the species was listed as extinct in the wild in nineteen ninety six but has since been reintroduced back to its habitat and is gradually recovering. More recently. Researchers have been able to improve the genetic diversity of the wild population by using twenty year old crow preserves firm and artificial insemination. We had some great feedback and interaction this week odd ad out who you heard at the top of the show in the promo gave me just a stunningly favorable review on his show. Not even a review, but I was the subject of the recommended listening section. I can't thank him enough for that though. He did mention that. If you listen to me on fast, I sound like a highly convincing robot. Have you found that folks who listen to their podcasts on fast? Do I sound like I'm teetering on the edge of the uncanny valley? Definitely hop over on our social media, Facebook and Instagram dot com slash your brain on facts were Twitter dot com slash brain on facts pot. And it was on our Twitter this week that brainiac. Vera wild shared something really cool about the episode two weeks ago. We built this city where we talked about failed utopian societies one of which had opponent for octogonal buildings. And VERA actually found an octagon house in their town, and admittedly, it looks kind of nice. I don't know what it's like getting the furniture to fit insight though, for those of you looking to the future rather than the past. Don't forget that my new podcast and YouTube channel science with savannah age seven that I'm doing with my niece will be premiering soon. And the first episode will actually come out ahead of the launch over at patriot dot com slash your brain on facts. It will be a free public post though. Of course, if you wanted to sign up we'd love to have you over there. After hydrogen helium, the stuff that makes balloons fly and gives you a chipmunk voice is the second most plentiful gas in the universe. So why does the US government have a Federal Reserve of it short answer? Wore long answer. The US created the federal helium reserve in nineteen twenty one as a way to store helium for blimps, which seemed like they would be the next great weapon of war blimps didn't pan out his hoped, but the helium stockpile not only remained it grew the reserve, which is stored near Amarillo Texas had eleven billion cubic feet as of twenty thirteen it provides forty two percent of America's and thirty five percents of the world's helium supply. The location in Texas makes sense when you learn that helium is not extracted from the atmosphere as I had always assumed. But is a byproduct of natural gas production, totally blew my mind. Helium has unique qualities that put it in high demand. It's an excellent coolant that stays liquid down to the temperature of absolute zero. Although it's exceptionally light. It doesn't explode. Like hydrogen has an Asti habit of doing the largest commercial use of helium is as a coolant for the superconducting magnets necessary to build 'em are machines. It also has properties that make it useful in arc welding, computer, drives fiber optic, cables, aerospace, telescopes and scientific research the large Hadron collider uses about a hundred and thirty tonnes of helium operate. Most of these technologies didn't exist or were in their infancy in the nineteen nineties when the US government decided to get rid of the reserve passing the helium privatization act in nineteen ninety six gradually selling the stockpile off to private buyers. But as helium had more and more uses and the price. Was being kept artificially low. This led to massive waste worryingly at the current rate of usage, the known global supply of helium is estimated to be entirely depleted in twenty to thirty years. Even though it appears to be a common element about twenty four percent of total universal mass helium is actually rare on earth in its usable form the house of representatives stepped in with the helium stewardship act of twenty thirteen and voted to extend the life of the helium reserve these days, the US is reducing its helium stores to three billion cubic feet new mining endeavors are expected to eventually create a helium surplus. So we should be in good shape for now. The most ubiquitous use of helium is in party balloons for more about that. I toss you over to my friend and mentor, Emily pro cop from the story behind pod. Cast and the story behind book, which you should definitely check out. What I I started researching this topic, I was planning on grouping party balloons and hot air balloons into the same episode, but the stories behind both are incredibly interesting, and I wouldn't want to leave anything out. So for this episode. I'll focus only on party balloons and save hot air balloons for another episode in the future. The actual timeline of balloons deviates quite a bit including from the very beginning as tech dried animal intestines and stomachs blew them up and twisted them to make animal shapes. Then set the month fire to offer to the gods. Mayans were using a sap from rubber trees and mixing it together to form the precursor to rubber they may toy dolls and dolls for children to play with out of the rubber. So it's weird that there two origins for balloons, depending on how you look at it the separate timelines don't stop there. And this is why hot air balloons will have to be a different episode. They were the result of the pursuit of flight and go into different direction as the balloons. We use today for parties, but aside from the insides of animals party balloons started in the laboratory of Michael Faraday in eighteen twenty four rubber had evolved. The point to be available commercially Faraday put two sheets of rubber together using flour to keep the middle and end from sticking together. He was able to fill the rubber pocket with hydrogen for use. His experiments at the time the word balloon was already being used for the hot air variety. But before that the term came from the Italian word Pallone or the French word baloney, meaning large ball balloon had also been a game played with a large leather ball since the sixteenth century. A year after Faraday is balloon idea took off Thomas handcock, a rubber trader began selling a kit to make balloons in the home which included liquid rubber and a syringe to fill with air more than twenty years later rubber was finally shaped into a balloon that could be blown up. Similarly to the way we do. So today G Ingram was the first season vocalized rubber to make balloons. These are considered the prototype for the modern day balloons. We know today Neil tollackson, invented the latex balloon in the nineteen twenties with the first shape being that of a cat. So of course, it was popular, but he's made balloons and other shapes. He also went onto invent latex gloves. Tillotson was only meant to be a bullet point in this story until I was looking through his obituary and saw he wasn't only known for his invention of the latex balloon, but something else caught my eyes so forgive the tangent. Although if you've been listening for a while, you're probably used to my internet rabbit holes. Now when till it's retired. He built the Balsams grand resort hotel in Dixville Notch. New Hampshire residents in Dixville Notch were very few and far between Tillotson had plenty of room available to build a giant hotel because the unincorporated community of Dixville Notch is very sparsely populated. But that meant that during elections those living there had to travel about fifty miles to the nearest polling place till it's in decide to shine some light on his new hometown and set up a polling location for the residents of Dixville Notch in nineteen sixty for the election between John F Kennedy, and Richard Nixon New Hampshire's voting laws allow towns to close their polling locations, if all eligible voters have voted till it's in gathered all eight other Dixville Notch residents to his hotel, the eve of election night and made sure the press knew that everyone would be accounted for so that he could put the first ballot in when his watch struck midnight. The polls closed at twelve o one AM once every. Had voted and Dixville Notch. New Hampshire was the first in the nation to declare their election results. The tradition continued until it sin was always the first vote until his death in two thousand one. But now the vote is decided by a random drawing from a chamber pot. Eligible voters show up at the hotel at midnight to vote and they are traditionally the first in the nation to report their result. If I had any listeners from Dixville Notch. I feel like I need to meet you because right now, you're my random down trivia celebrity. Balloon sales have dropped in the past few decades. Scientists are learning more about the effect balloons can have on the environment when a latex balloon filled with helium. For example, is let go of into the atmosphere it breaks into tiny slivers, which then fall to the ground and breaks down into the soil. That's if the balloon is made of natural, latex, though, and most balloons are chemically treated, meaning they don't break down as easily when those balloons eventually deflate or pop they could be hazardous to see animals may mistakenly eat them thinking it's boot according to the balloon council. No see animal has ever died from eating a balloon. Balloon council what kind of nonsense is that. Well, I go to podcasting conferences. So I guess I really can't judge. The frozen specimens of the frozen. Our project aren't the only cold things that can be of great benefit to science the protecting ice memory project aims to preserve the rich amount of information contained at our planet's swiftly disappearing ice mountain. Glaciers are actually incredible repositories of data on long-term changes in temperature as well as concentrations of gases and pollutants in the atmosphere. But as they melt the history goes with them, sir. Researchers are taking enormous Celinda samples called ice cores from his many glaciers as possible. While tree rings and ocean, sediment samples can help scientists create a detailed record of what earth's climate was like in the past showing for example, if a summer was hot or dry ice cores provide a more direct link as snowfalls it pulls stuff out of the atmosphere and it subsequently buried you can go back and see what was in the atmosphere at a specific time. That's what makes them really valuable says Mark Twitter. The science director of the ice Corp acidity. Most ice cores come from Greenland Artika as those locations provide the longest record though samples are taken from Russia, North America and other places. Scientists use either mechanical or thermal drills, which can drill up cores up to twenty feet or six meters. Long and five inches or twelve centimeters thick the oldest ice core. That's been unearthed has a record that extends back eight hundred thousand years, although scientists are on the hunt to go back even further a group of researchers from the university of Washington and the university of Maine have recently submitted a proposal to drill in spot in Antarctica that they think could produce a record going back one million years after drilling researchers must transport the ice cores by ship thousands of miles to the ice core facility without the melting. This is done by. Moving them in a freezer inside another freezer and refrigeration specialist has to accompany the ice cores. Just in case. Luckily, according to Twitter, it's been twenty years since a nice core was lost. Sealed in steel tubes. And stacked in a vast room, the ice cores are stored at the National Science Foundation is Corp acidity outside of Denver Colorado there they will be kept us solidly frozen as they were in their glacier. Why do we have to be so careful with giant ice cubes? Anyway, these ice cores like safe deposit boxes of invaluable scientific data. They're the only resources on the planet that at one point in time had direct contact with the atmosphere hundreds and even thousands of years ago and preserved traces of it by learning. More about these atmosphere changes in the past scientists can better project what the earth's climate may look like in an increasingly warm future. The ICF stores over seventeen thousand meters of ice cores in a large freezer meticulously maintained at negative thirty two degrees Fahrenheit or negative thirty five degrees celsius. That's very nearly the only temperature at which celsius and Fahrenheit overlap, which is at negative forty degrees. The freezer is housed in a large nondescript building on the Denver federal compound in the freezer, pens can't write batteries quickly fade and computers have to be held in special warm boxes to work at all. Outside the archive freezer is an exam room set to a relatively warm negative ten Fahrenheit where groups of up to twenty scientists dissect the ice cores using precise tools samples than wiz off to universities, far and wide where their chemistry gases nitrogen, sulfur, isotopes and other properties are analyzed tiny pieces of pollution trapped in the ice can tell of volcanic eruptions or radioactive fallout the ratio of oxygen sixteen to oxygen eighteen can tell the temperature of the earth when an ice layer was formed as well as the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It was with ice cores that scientists observed link between carbon dioxide and global temperature needless to say time is of the essence to preserve the samples as temperatures rise. The glaciers have begun to retreat melting back slowly over the years. Even before the glaciers are lost. They've started melting the top surface layers as the water trickles down through the glacier. It can destroy the chemical composition of the trapped. Particles and distort the layers. And that's where we run out of ideas. At least for today. There was one item. I spent more than an hour researching only to have to delete it all and that's the strategic steam locomotive for Serge supposedly during the Cold War countries. Like Russia, the UK even Sweden and Finland kept. Steam trains in working order in case there electrical infrastructure, or we'll supply was disrupted by attack the evidence for this. Reserve seems to be trained graveyards just places where vehicles go when they're ops elite the fact that every picture has more rust on it than the floor pan of my old Chevy. Pickup leads me to believe that. No major world power is counting on these things. Thanks for spending part of your day with me. So the day after this episode comes out of got a little lap Skopje surgery on the abdomen, which will hopefully fix things going wrong in my thorax, it shouldn't disrupt the publishing schedule. But if I'm unable to record I'll reposted popular episode from earlier in the run of the show, let me know on social media, if there's any episodes you particularly liked or any think would be really good for newer listeners to hear people who may be haven't gone back through the back catalogue. When asked for who's gonna get specifically named at the end of this episode. I didn't think about it before. I started recordings arial.