Posts Tagged ‘fire hazard’

Cow Farts

February 8, 2014

Cow Farts

Have you heard that story of how methane from the flatulence of 90 German cows caused their dairy barn to explode? It’s probably bullcrap.

“While it’s true that cows can produce 250 to 500 liters of methane per day — mostly through burps that vent their fermenting cud — it’s unlikely that flatulence alone concentrated to the point of being flammable. The more likely suspect behind the methane, says a second report from Humnfelder Zeitung, is the common slurry farmers make from cow manure and urine for fertilizer applications. The soupy mixture puts out high levels of methane that can concentrate more easily than farts and burps, which tend to dissipate much more quickly in a ventilated dairy barn, just as it would in a car with a cracked window.

 ‘The cow itself has little to do with the risk of a methane explosion. This is only a danger when dealing with manure,’ said Dr. Hubery Beier, executive director of the local farmer’s association for Rasdorf.”

— “Media Laps Up Bunk Story on Exploding German Cow Farts,” Sam Brasch, Modern Farmer


“The Taxonomy of Cow Farts,” Christopher Taylor, Catalogue of Organisms


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Turkey Torching Tips for Guys

November 22, 2010

 Turkey Torching Tips for Guys

The National Fire Protection Association claims “turkey fryers that use oil, as currently designed, are not suitable for acceptably safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer.” Wimps! Thursday is Thanksgiving, when we give thanks for college football and a four-day weekend. That’s when Real American Men generate Code Orange air quality by incinerating poultry on the patio.

Any pantywaist can cook on those SUV-sized natural gas, propane, electric, or gelignite-powered barbecue grills with all those fancy features (good subwoofers do help spread sauce evenly, though). Nah, let’s get ready to deep-fry some turkey. Here’s how:

1. Put Fire Department on Speed-Dial. Keep your cell phone in your welding apron pocket. It is unwise to enter a flaming residence to use the telephone.

2. Purchase more equipment. You can never have enough Real Guy outdoor cooking gear. Buy some new stuff at Home Depot first. Don’t bother with those electronic gizmos at Leading Edge; you can never read the LCD screens outdoors anyway. Williams-Sonoma? Isn’t that the California wine the wife likes?

3. Don’t forget the turkey. Make sure it is big enough to bother with. Double-check to make sure you are not buying a goat or lamb.