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Nerve agent attack

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Alexander Howard
1278163.  Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:24 am Reply with quote

Let's at least keep politics out of sport. The World Cup is above all this.

The Russians have assured us that the England team will be treated like royalty. (Are they playing in Ekaterinburg?)

 
Alfred E Neuman
1278170.  Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:41 am Reply with quote

Alexander Howard wrote:
Let's at least keep politics out of sport. The World Cup is above all this.


What a quaint notion.

 
dr.bob
1278174.  Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:47 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
On the contrary - nerve agents don't travel well. Once exposed to the atmosphere they quickly dissipate (hence the advice to just use a general detergent).


This was also mentioned on the Radio 4 discussion I listened to. The expert said this was a strong argument against the idea that the nerve agents came from some country that used to be part of the USSR but became independent. Given how long ago the USSR split up, anyone who might've inadvertently inherited such material is probably no longer in a position to use it. Unless they had a huge, well-funded chemical weapons programme which, by and large, those countries don't.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1278177.  Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:53 am Reply with quote

Alfred E Neuman wrote:
Alexander Howard wrote:
Let's at least keep politics out of sport. The World Cup is above all this.


What a quaint notion.


Isn't it just? Reminds me of the world cup 40 years ago in Argentina, when the official stance of the German FA against widespread fan (and player) protests was that: "We've been assured that the players would be safe". While all around them Argentinian citizens were maimed and killed by the junta...

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
tetsabb
1278286.  Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:23 am Reply with quote

If relations with Russia have deteriorated enough that we are chucking out unwelcome visitors, could we get rid of those fucking meerkats that advertise..... waddeva they advertise?

 
AlmondFacialBar
1278287.  Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:27 am Reply with quote

Comparethemarket. And I rather like them, just saying.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
tetsabb
1278288.  Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:33 am Reply with quote

Real meerkats are delightful.
Those CGI ones are as annoying as... a very annoying thing.

 
Alfred E Neuman
1278295.  Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:54 am Reply with quote

Meerkats aren’t Russian...

 
Bondee
1278303.  Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:49 am Reply with quote

I'm guessing that the ads in question haven't made it as far as SA yet, Alf?

https://www.youtube.com/user/CompareTheMeerkat

How many of these can you get through before you feel like screaming?

I have to admit that the same thought as tets crossed my mind when I happened to catch one of the adverts this morning, but do we really want to go down the "freedom fries" route in this country?

 
AlmondFacialBar
1278305.  Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:04 am Reply with quote

But but... Baby Oleg! And the deeper implications of the whole thing! And! No! They're great!

Now look what you've done! You made Oleg sad!


:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
dr.bob
1278314.  Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:51 am Reply with quote

He's only sad because he's realised his plans for poisoning Tony the Tiger with Polonium have now been ruined by the increased security.

You can tell. He's got the cold, dead eyes of a killer.

 
Spud McLaren
1278385.  Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:02 pm Reply with quote

Again, a message from a man who Knows About Such Things (so not me):

Alex wrote:
On the contrary - nerve agents don't travel well. Once exposed to the atmosphere they quickly dissipate (hence the advice to just use a general detergent).
Actually this depends entirely on which ones (and which specific types of which ones) you’re talking about. Broadly speaking chemical and biological weapons come in two categories – those which are intended to kill/injure people and those intended to deny the use of materiel. The first kind are typically gas/vapour/particulate-borne and are engineered to have very short persistence in the open air. They have a designed-in mechanism rendering them ineffective in a very short period – they kill or render inoperative all the people in a given area who didn’t get their masks on in time, but half an hour later the area is safe to advance into. The second kind are generally liquid, gel or condensing vapour and are engineered to be both “sticky” and highly persistent. This kind will remain potent for anything from a few days to indefinitely.

The first kind are intended for direct use against advancing troops, but the second kind is intended for use against materiel – they would be dropped on stored ammunition, food and equipment so that your opponent can’t use them. Some types of actual nerve agent are available in both type 1 and type 2 delivery form. Each has its place in a battle plan, except that NATO has long since decided that NEITHER has any place in the battlefield for moral reasons. We learn about these things in case we need to defend against them. So NATO troops have NBC-protective clothing and enclosures, backed up with decontamination stations that allow a full wash-down so that clothing can be safely removed. NATO equipment is built to specifications that include decontaminatability (compatibility with certain solvents and disinfectants plus physical design that allows complete coverage with a pressure washer inside an enclosure – no “nooks and crannies” where contaminant can lurk).

Finally, it is definitely NOT true to say that the attack would have been covert were it

Quote:
A small dose, properly applied. The effect is to cause a seizure and death by cardiac arrest, which is common enough as a natural death and the actual proximate cause may mimic the symptoms of a stroke.


There are some poisons for which this is true, but it’s not true of “nerve agents” because they operate at the nerve-cell-to-nerve-cell communication level. Even in very small doses the symptoms will be much the same and externally obvious (mouth foaming, eye damage, nose bleeds etc), and if a pathologist “has a rummage” (to quote Max Debrine) the extensive organ damage with be immediately obvious to the naked eye. Note that even the police Sargent who received a well-below-lethal exposure when he went to assist has exhibited these same symptoms (which is why they kept him at the hospital). So no, anyone using stuff like Novichok as an assassination method knows full well that it will be identified in metaphorical seconds – it won’t be confused with anything else and definitely will not be mistaken for natural causes.

 
'yorz
1278394.  Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:21 pm Reply with quote

Many thanks to the Man Who Knows About Such Things. Very illuminating.

 
bobwilson
1278406.  Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:47 pm Reply with quote

You’ve misunderstood me I think spud.

Nerve agents (which are chemical agents) dissipate rapidly when exposed to air. Biological agents are living organisms (for a given value of living) – and once out, they’re potentially out forever and everywhere.

What you’re talking about is delivery mechanisms. If you want your poison to stick around you have to protect it from the environment – ie put it into a gel or similar. But it’s definitely not true to say

Quote:
From what I'm hearing, and what I remember from NBC instruction in the army, this stuff is difficult/impossible to control once it's out.


It’s comparatively easy to control chemical agents – even with delivery mechanisms designed to enhance their persistence. It’s potentially impossible to control biological agents once they’re released.

Btw – ref post 1278154 – I only meant that would be a REASON for the Russian state to have carried out this act. There seems to be about as much evidence for Russian involvement in this as there was for Saddam’s WMD.

 
crissdee
1278432.  Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:57 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
It’s comparatively easy to control chemical agents – even with delivery mechanisms designed to enhance their persistence.


And yet 35 (iirc) people are suffering the effects of exposure. As I said before, a 9mm Makarov would affect only the target.

 

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