Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The white stuff
Thai people often have trouble with certain English consonants. When they attempt to say "dry ice", for example, it comes out as "die eye". This is more of an issue than you might imagine, as dry ice is a rather useful commodity in this climate. Most significantly, when you purchase a tub of ice cream, the only way you can get it home in a vaguely edible state is to have it packed in solid carbon dioxide.
Even better, the main distributor of the stuff in the Kingdom is a company called Thai Dry Ice, which inevitably comes out as "tie die eye". The only question is whether it's possible to produce dry ice in a colour scheme other than boring old white, perhaps adding a vaguely hippyish theme, and creating "tie-dye tie die eye". If someone from Newcastle were to be put in charge of the process, and an Italian were to ask him what he did for a living, he could reply "Why-aye, eye-tie, I tie-dye tie die eye". The possibilities are, if not endless, more endful than I ever thought during my quixotic attempts to pass O-level chemistry.
(Dry ice achieved its greatest cultural impact in the 1960s and early 1970s, when it became a staple special effect in Hammer horror movies, enhancing spooky laboratories and misty graveyards alike. This, of course, is the sole reason I've put up a picture of Madeline Smith.)
PS: Jerry Falwell gets the send-off he deserves at Comment is Free.