Monday, September 13, 2010
May Day! May Day! ...........Sometime today!
Mr. Slug has invented a new flying device! The "Bubble to Air Conversion Lifter" is worn snugly on the mantle and held on to with the foot. A simple flick of the optical tentacle engages the ON switch and allows a slug to fly effortlessly through the air!
How does this thing work you ask? I will tell you, but be patient, it is highly technical jargon and you must pay close attention:
Flight is achieved by the use of a pressurized cylindrical vessel which contains a variety of volatile compounds: Ethyl ether, ethyl alcohol and water. The mollecular reaction of the volatile compounds takes place inside a very strong cylinder made entirely of aluminum foam, a material so light that it floats on water. It is, however, very strong stuff - the outer skins are layers of aluminum sheet and the inner layer a clever mix of titanium metal hydride and aluminum powder. These are baked to a silvery perfection until it rises, making it much lighter than the usual steel outer casing.
To this chemical cocktail, Mr. Slug adds just a pinch of slug slime which results in a highly pressurized bunch of slime bubbles inside the tube. As the bubbles pop, they explode in a process that resembles indigestion. This frightening, bubbling chemical melange has the ability to lift the wearer of the device right off the ground and into the air!
Join us now in the control room at Slug Propulsion Labs (SPL) in Pasadena, California as Mr. Slug prepares for launch! You can see him way up there, he's just a speck now, surrounded by a technical flight crew and members of the media. Mr. Slug will be projected from the launch pad at a trajectory set at a 75 degree angle pointing North/Northwest. Variable winds are blowing at a favorable 4 knots and all systems are GO!
"10...188.8.131.52....5.4. Launch has been delayed for the technicians to repair a goo ring................Countdown has resumed........."10....9...8...7...6....5....4...3..2...1.......Mr. Slug has pushed the bubble ignition switch with his optical tentacle!!!!!!!!!!!! The rocket is beginning to bubble furiously!!!
WE'VE GOT POP-OFF!!!!!!!!!!!
Back in the control room at SPL, some of the brightest minds in science are attempting to make Mr. Slugs historic first flight a successful one.
Mr. Slug is flying! He has done it! The control room erupts into a fury of high fives and applause! Suddenly, the sound of a crackling voice comes over the monitor. It is Mr. Slug trying to acheive radio contact with ground control. "Mr. Slug to ground control. Please come in. May Day - May Day!" He sounds concerned. The entire room goes quiet as Mr. Slug continues, "The flight is going fine, but I may have overlooked one small detail before launching....How do we turn this thing off so we can land??!" (Cue the music...Ground control to Major Slug...)
As this is an experimental vehicle, the SPL engineers are perplexed and need your help! Here is the problem we need to solve to get Mr. Slug safely back to Earth:
To neutralize a sour digester, one pound of slime is to be added for every pound of volatile acids in the digester sludge. If the digester contains 195,000 gal of sludge with a volatile acid (VA) level of 2100 mg/L, how many pounds of slime should be added?
If any of you slugs you know the answer to this question, please submit it to the lab immediately! Mr. Slug is depending on you for a smooth landing!! Hurry!!!
(Please note: This particular slug napkin is from the archived collection that was stored in the glove compartment of Mr.Slug's work vehicle for a few years. That car was recently cleaned out and this was one of the napkins found. For those of you who have followed Mr. Slugs adventures, this entry is a rare find, drawn before I began to write the date on the napkin in the lower left hand corner. The initails "BB" stand for Bun Bun, our beloved pet rabbit who used to live in the kitchen. She was very smart and knew how to toss her little toy back to you if you threw it to her. She was present for every peanut butter and jelly sandwich that went into Mr. Slug's lunch. This one's for you Bunski!)