Sunday, August 24, 2014

The science of tear gas from Discovery News

Bardarbunga erupts, maybe was the topic I picked as last night's top story for Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday at Daily Kos, but it wasn't the one that got the most attention from the readers.  Instead, it was this video from Discovery News: How Tear Gas Affects Your Body.

The use of tear gas on crowds by police in Ferguson, Missouri has made recent headlines. SourceFed’s Reina Scully explains what tear gas does to your body and how treatment works after tear gas exposure.
That spawned two threads.  The first thread was about how using tear gas would a violation of the laws of war, but it's OK to use on your own population for riot control, while the second was about how to protect oneself from tear gas.  I'd reproduce them, except that in the spirit of a picture being worth 1000 words, I posted the image from Occupy Wall Street instead.  The only difference was that the person starting the second thread recommended Milk of Magnesia instead of Maalox.  Both threads combined had 12 comments.  The entire diary only received 30 comments, so tear gas was the subject of 40% of the comments.  Looks like I hit a nerve, just like I did when I posted The science of sarin gas from Discovery News.

I might have more about the issues raised by Ferguson later this week, after my Sunday entertainment entry and something about the Ebola epidemic.  Stay tuned.


  1. On a similar note, Doctor Quest, hollow-point bullets are against the laws of war but perfectly legal for civilian and police work. I would say that the laws of war are based on the logic that maiming is worse than killing--trying to make war more 'humane'--but truth be told they're _mostly_ goofy regulations trying to regulate, on a supremely emotional basis, a horrible thing.

    1. Hollow-point bullets--that's a good analogy. I agree about the laws of war--they're somewhat absurd--but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have them. The chemical weapons ban was a handy thing to have when it came to dealing with Assad.

    2. There is only one Rule of War: Victory.

    3. Yeah, "all is fair in love and war" and all that. Still, one has to win the peace, too. The laws of war help do that. They also protect the losers.