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What is 2+2? 

Gases for the Masses

May 31st, 2010

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As part of our court-ordered sensitivity training (turns out robot fighting is illegal – see last week) we’re letting our friend John serenade you once again! The difference is, John sings the question…so we write the answer! (Score one for laziness!)

Winners of best guest post,
Jeff and Elliott


Dear Jeff and Elliott,

Ok,
So this song was inspired by the early pioneers of balloon travel that were using massive amounts of helium and hydrogen. Where the hell did they get all of that gas? I mean, seriously, what the hell were they doing to make kids have balloons? My chemistry book just said that gases were in the air around us. That’s it.

Sincerely,
The guy with his own clap track (John)

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I see you floating up in the sky
Your colors and your shapes to high
I want to know how you got up there
And how they got you on a string at the fair

Where do they get all these gases?
That fill balloons and satisfy the masses
How do you capture thin air
And put it in a can to spray on my hair?

Is there a big machine out in the ocean
pulling molecules from the water’s motion?
Or are these windmills just a government ruse
siphoning the air to get helium for use?

Where do they get all these gases?
That fill balloons and satisfy the masses.
How do you capture thin air
And put it in a can to spray on my hair?

Dear John,

In the nerdiest manner possible: Helium is produced via radioactive decay and distilled from the natural gas it’s part of. Hydrogen can be found the same way, or through other means such as electrolysis (splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen).

In the most (subjectively) bad-ass manner possible: MacGyver ramps a rocket-powered-boat into a volcano and, using his mullet as a counter balance, plays rock ballad solos until the very rock of the volcano weeps from the beauty. When those tears evaporate from the heat they turn into hydrogen and helium. MacGyver then builds a containment unit out of a piece of string and a paperclip and stores it in his pocket until someone needs it.