Poisons and the lab / Mrs. Fields Gingersnaps

Certain emails have me wondering, but I don’t think I’ll bite… at least non-denials and apologies are fine. (who knows about people, though!) Man, now I feel oddly not all there – I think it’ll pass with honesty, however!

Today’s Poisonous Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The Top Ten Most Deadly Poisons

1. Botulinum (ingested)
It’s hard to rank the lethality of toxins, but experts agree that botulinum – several orders of magnitude deadlier than sarin – is the gold standard. Your nervous system fails and you die in extreme pain. Works miracles on wrinkles, though.

2. Ricin (ingested or inhaled)
Made from the lowly castor bean, ricin causes respiratory and organ failure, followed by death within hours. Even chewing a few beans can kill you.

3. Anthrax (inhaled)
Cutaneous exposure can kill, but the most deadly, panic-inspiring form of anthrax is inhaled. It starts with flu that doesn’t get better – then your respiratory system collapses.

4. Sarin (inhaled)
Sarin is one of the deadliest nerve gases, hundreds of times more toxic than cyanide. Just one whiff and you’ll foam at the mouth, fall into a coma, and die. Originally synthesized for use as a pesticide, it was outlawed as a warfare agent in 1997.

5. Tetrodotoxin (ingested)
Found in the organs of puffer fish (the famous Japanese delicacy fugu), tetrodotoxin persists even after the fish is cooked. If the toxin is consumed, paralysis and death can strike within six hours. Up to five Japanese die from badly prepared fugu every year.

6. Cyanide (ingested or inhaled)
Cyanide exists in a number of lethal forms that are present in nature or easily manufactured. Exposure leads to seizures, cardiac arrest, and death within minutes.

7. Mercury (inhaled)
Low levels of mercury are not especially toxic to adults. However, inhaled mercury vapor (the metal starts turning to a gas at room temperature) attacks the brain and lungs, shutting down the central nervous system.

8. Strychnine (ingested or inhaled)
A common pesticide, strychnine isn’t as toxic as other poisons on our list, but it gets style points for causing one of the most horrific deaths of all: Every muscle in your body spasms violently until you die from exhaustion.

9. Amatoxin (ingested)
Derived from the death cap family of mushrooms, amatoxin destroys your liver and kidneys over several days. You remain conscious – and in excruciating pain – until you slip into a coma and expire.

10. Compound 1080 (ingested or inhaled)
As an animal poison, compound 1080 proved a little too effective: The bodies of creatures killed with 1080 remain poisonous for up to a year. Odorless, tasteless, water soluble, and without antidote… 1080 blocks cellular metabolism, leading to a quick yet painful death.

Culled from: Wired Magazine
Generously submitted by: Joe


Wow, I never realized just how horrible strychnine poisoning was! Makes me love my “Make Mine Strychnine” mug all the more!


“My Brush With Morbidity” by Jaime

“I was lucky enough to secure a pretty good job within my chosen profession, video production and editing, but I have to deal with the inevitable each day – I work as a surgical video producer. The live patients are not so bad, but it’s the cadaver videos I dread.

“We have a lab in which new doctors practice on ‘parts,’ and I’m there to capture it all on film. You wouldn’t believe the gross stuff that happens – one guy, hammering a knee a little too vigorously, was sprayed all over his face with cadaver bone marrow goo.

“The two worst things that have happened to me are:

“Spine Surgery Day – Imagine arriving to work at 6 AM when it’s still dark outside. You have to open a lab door and be greeted by rows and rows of disembodied heads, eyes open, faces frozen in death. Took a little while to get over that.

“Lower Extremity Day – As I am a busy girl at work, I tend to rush about the lab sometimes. At the end of one day, the lab techs were gathering up the used parts. As I was running through the windowless lab doors, I almost fell into a mini dumpster-sized tub of legs parked right in front of the door. Feet and thighs up to the hip were just tossed into this tub for disposal. It was like a slow motion movie as I stopped (dead) in my tracks, teetering above this tub. Needless to say, the lab tech who parked it there was soundly reprimanded.

“I just know if I had fallen in, I would be drooling in a straitjacket now.”

Wow – what an awesome job!!!


Morbid Site Du Jour!

“The Human Marvels” is a website celebrating “peculiar people.” Now, that’s a cause I can get behind!

Thanks to Rebecca for the link.

Mrs. Fields Gingersnaps

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 30 servings

2 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Ginger
1 teaspoon Crystallized ginger; diced
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
1 1/4 cups Dark brown sugar; packed
3/4 cup Butter; softened
1 large Egg
1/4 cups Unsulfured molasses

Preheat oven to 300° F. In a medium bowl… combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, crystallized ginger, allspice, and pepper. Mix well and set aside. In a large bowl, mix sugar and butter with an electric mixer set at medium speed. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add egg and molasses, beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and mix at low speed just until combined. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour — the dough well be less sticky and easier to handle. Form dough into balls 1 inch in diameter. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake 24-25 minutes. Use a spatula to immediately transfer cookies to a cool, flat surface.

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