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-   -   The party's over: peak oil has distracted us from peak helium! (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=187342)

fourier jr Sep26-07 09:11 PM

the party's over: peak oil has distracted us from peak helium!
 
Quote:

Swelling helium shortage popping party supplies
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 | 3:04 PM ET
CBC News

A global helium shortage continues to squeeze stock to notably low levels, deflating business for some party planners and forcing some scientists to stretch modest supplies.

Supplies of helium which is extracted from natural gas were first reported to have sunk to record low levels in 2006 as refineries in the U.S., Algeria and Russia reported production problems.

The growing use of MRI machines, which use helium to super-cool magnets, in hospitals around the world is also contributing to the demand.

Retailers have steadily absorbed the rising costs of the gas but now some businesses are reporting access has been cut entirely.

"We were told there's no helium, so that's going to change the face of our business, temporarily if not long term," said Leah Garven, who runs a party decorating business in Saskatoon.

"We've been trying to figure out what we can do with air and still satisfy the customer because let's face it, everyone loves a helium balloon."
:tongue2:

http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/200...-shortage.html

theCandyman Sep26-07 09:57 PM

I suggest they start using hydrogen in ballons. :rofl:

wolram Sep26-07 10:06 PM

Fill the baloons at some political venue, they will rocket skyward.

Moonbear Sep26-07 10:33 PM

Well, that does it. Time to ration the helium. No more MRIs, and you silly physicists and your magnets will just have to be put on a waiting list. Party balloons are FAR too important to waste helium on all those other nonessential things. :biggrin:

D H Sep26-07 10:37 PM

Quote:

Quote by wolram (Post 1444929)
Fill the baloons at some political venue, they will rocket skyward.

Shortly after helium was first discovered, various political advisors investigated the suitability of helium as a campaign device. The obvious change in voice quality militated against making the switch from hot air. (The squeaky voice is a dead giveaway the politician is full of it.) Hot air rather than helium remains the politicians' stock device to this day.

Moonbear Sep26-07 10:40 PM

Quote:

Quote by D H (Post 1444959)
Shortly after helium was first discovered, various political advisors investigated the suitability of helium as a campaign device. The obvious change in voice quality militated against making the switch from hot air, which remains the politicians' stock device to this day.

:rofl:

G01 Sep27-07 07:55 AM

Quote:

Quote by theCandyman (Post 1444922)
I suggest they start using hydrogen in ballons. :rofl:

Wasn't there some reason we decided not to do this?? Something with a Hindelbrag........Hindenbog........:confused:

Jimmy Snyder Sep27-07 08:56 AM

I'm afraid I might have had something to do with this. When I get a helium balloon, I can't resist breathing in the gas to make my voice high-pitched. Sorry for any trouble I may have caused.

Gokul43201 Sep27-07 11:04 AM

We're now paying about double (for liquid helium) what we used to pay a couple years ago. We're also paying about 40% more for our 99.999% purity gas and nearly double for 99.9% purity gas.

Evo Sep27-07 11:36 AM

There goes the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. :frown:

Math Jeans Sep27-07 12:54 PM

Quote:

Quote by theCandyman (Post 1444922)
I suggest they start using hydrogen in ballons. :rofl:

I don't care if the Hindenburg went down because of it! That would cause celebration for pyromaniacs worldwide! INCLUDING ME!

NeoDevin Sep27-07 01:27 PM

Then we can revert to using flaming arrows for warfare, like in the good old days.


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