What happens when you microwave silica gel?

Found in a can of "Mexican spicy peanuts" from Thailand, one of those little packets of dessicant. As well as the usual "Do not eat" notice, it also says "Do not microwave". Talk about red rag to a bull! Now I wanna know what happens when you microwave this sucker.

Answers through my contact form and I'll post them here. Make it fast or this contract I'm on might come to a short, sharp end when I blow up the staff microwave.

Update 10 Oct 2006, 17:10 AEST

Roger advises:

I've microwaved silica before with no ill-effect.  It should be
done with a glass of water alongside as there isn't enough liquid in
the sachet to absorb all of the microwave energy.

The reason for the warning may be due to that, orto discourage the
idea that they are reusable, or because they contain something more
sinister that really shouldn't be microwaved.  Whatever the reason, if
you try it, I'd suggest a glass of water on the side, and don't
inhale. :p

Well Roger may be onto something, assuming it's Silica Gel... Seems some of them add indicator chemicals, which could be nasty. Though why they would add them to a closed, sealed container is anyone's guess.

Very odd dream

I don't normally remember my dreams but this morning I had a very vivid one, which seemed like something out of a sci-fi movie. It was all about an evil Russian scientist who drugged me and implanted a mind control device in my brain. Not sure what exactly he was making me do, but the mind control thing and the implant were very vivid. Strange.

Wonder what the dream interpreters would think of that?

Whale in the Thames

Whale rescue near Battersea Bridge

Went down to the Thames this morning to see the whale. There were thousands of people down there lining bridges and climbing trees. Doesn't look so hopeful now for the whale, unfortunately.

Now would be a good time to point out that endangered whales are being killed by the Japanese for sale as meat. Greenpeace and the much more aggressive Sea Shepherds are campaigning against this barbarism. They could use your support.

I'm not opposed to whaling as a traditional practise. If you've traditionally hunted whales, I think you should be free to hunt whales in the traditional manner. By "traditional manner" I'm talking tiny tiny boats and hand-held harpoons. Trying to disguise slaughter as "research", however, and using incredbly efficient modern methods, is just not on.

Australia: the new Nigeria?

Just got a 419 spam with a new twist:

Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 21:42:53 +0700
From: "Mr. Mark Kewell" <mark_kewell@walla.com>
Subject: Hello Friend.

Hello Friend,

I am Mr. Mark Kewell a personal treasurer to Late Mr. Kerry Packer the
Richest man in Australia and owner of the many companies. His business
empire, built around Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd (PBL), includes
television, magazines, Internet-related enterprises, Melbourne's Crown
Casino and the Burswood Casino in  Perth, beef cattle properties,
petrochemicals, property investment, resources and engineering.
[ ... ]

You couldn't make this up: Yellow Peril firework

Last night was Guy Fawkes Night, where the Brits celebrate an attempt to blow up the government by burning Catholics in effigy and blowing shit up.

Anyway, being Australian and thus deprived of the joy of blowing shit up since my childhood, I bought some crackers. Here's a tip: don't bother buying one of those mixed boxes. Just stick with the rockets. The other things suck.

The point of this post, however, was one of the crackers in my mixed box. Fireworks are nearly all made in China, and these were no exception. The hilarious thing is that one of them, a disappointing and boring fountain-type thing, was named Yellow Peril. Where do they come up with these named, and what do the workers in the Chinese factories think of the naming?!?!?

Strange royal experience

On my way home from work this evening, while riding through Trafalgar Square the coppers had blocked off traffic. Turns out ol' big ears was coming through, probably been reports of a fox on Whitehall or something. Anyway, being the larrikan Aussie I am, I eloquently shouted out "Get a fucken job, inbred twat"

As I continued on my journey up The Mall (yes, my commute rocks), this young toff rides up alongside me and starts defending the creepy tampon fancier. "He does great work for the countryside and charity," says he in his plum voice. "He does great work for charity with my fucking tax money," retorts I. "Listen mate, don't you want an English head of state, rather than some greco-german inbred?"

Anyway, conversation wasn't going anyway but certainly an odd ride home. I was amused, anyway.

So how do you hang on to your spaghetti?

This piece describes an "innovative" modular housing system. It's quite clever and interesting, but for one thing...

While cooking, the couch becomes the ceiling, the dining table a wall. Which begs the question: I've just cooked my spaghetti and wnat to sit at the dining table. How do I turn the thing without my spaghetti ending up on the ceiling (which is the dining table, sure, but I like to eat off a plate).