February 05, 2004


Richard Neville uncovers the Pentagonís latest hideous plan: titanium-infused sun creams that will penetrate our organs:

A transparent sun cream sold in Australia contains macro particles of titanium oxide, which have the capacity to penetrate the skin, the blood stream and even our organs. "No-one knows the medical implications of this", reported bio-tech activist Roy Pat Mooney in a scary session, as there is no requirement to re-test ingredients at the sub atomic level, where the behaviour of elements can alter. The commercial use of nanoscale is being likened to either "the next best thing to sliced bread or the next asbestos." Blue Lizard sun cream boasts that its Baby Formulation contains "only nano-micronized titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and no other active ingredients". There is zero regulation in this emerging industry, in which a major investor is the Pentagon.

(Via Tex, whose ongoing examinations of Neville's nanoscale mind are required reading.)

Posted by Tim Blair at February 5, 2004 04:28 PM

"there is no requirement to re-test ingredients at the sub-atomic level, where the behaviour of elements can alter"

What the hell? There are no elements at the sub-atomic level - that makes no fucking sense at all. And there's certainly no titanium oxide at the subatomic level, since titanium oxide is made up of atoms of titanium and atoms of oxygen.

Of course the rest of the paragraph is also fucking nuts too, but that bit just shows outstanding scientific illiteracy as well as... well, everything else.

Posted by: Jorge at February 5, 2004 at 04:40 PM

Excuse me? "Nano-micronized"? Does that mean they're femto-ized? What, pray tell, are they supposed to test substances for, "at the sub-atomic level"? Free quarks? Stray gluons? Decaying protons?

Has David Icke been briefed?

Posted by: Angie Schultz at February 5, 2004 at 04:42 PM

Titanium Dioxide is one of the most universally useful chemicals in existence. It's naturally bright white colour makes it useful in paint and plastic production. It is also considered safe for human consumption, to the best of my knowledge. Apparently it's added to minties to make them white.

Posted by: Stewart Kelly at February 5, 2004 at 04:46 PM

Yes, but "It's times like these, you need a shot of Titanium Dioxide" doesn't quite sound right.

Posted by: Johnny Wishbone at February 5, 2004 at 05:09 PM

Stay away from the depleted uranium sun creams.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at February 5, 2004 at 05:11 PM


It may be a bit late for Richard Neville to start worrying. Titanium Oxide has many uses but the most common is as a pigment in paints, makeup, toothpaste and some foods. Being a media personality I feel sure Richard must have used more than his fair share of Titanium Oxide in the makeup room.

Other important uses for Titanium Oxide are in the production of semi conductors and as feed to produce Titanium metal. Both these are used extensively in the production of jet planes and computers. The same planes and computers Richard uses to spread the message about how evil it all is.

But really there is no point arguing these things with the RN of this world. Their only interest is the warm inner glow of the piously self indulgent.

Posted by: Philip Breen at February 5, 2004 at 05:19 PM

Facts, facts, facts. Who cares about facts when there is a juicy conspiracy story just waiting to be written?!

Something like ... If the Pentagon is behind this, it has to be part of the 'Bush Plan For World Domination'. All you need to do to see this is substitute numbers for letters in the words "titanium dioxide" and "zinc oxide". Cube all the numbers. Add them up and divide by 7.

Using the a secret Pentagon decoder ring, look up the final number. The ring will reveal a message number.

Using some documents that have been hidden on THE grassy knoll (in Texas), you'll be able to look up further instructions by matching up the message number with the instructions beside it.

There are different rings produced each month and each ring reveals a different message number. You must obtain all the rings and read all the instructions before the plan is clear.

Of course, only members of the secret cabal should be able to know about this. I wonder who tipped off this guy? Must have been either Elvis, Marilyn or Diana. They have a hard time keeping secrets.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at February 5, 2004 at 06:43 PM

I consider myself quite placid,however if I
spotted Richard,the overwhelming urge to strangle
him would be unstoppable.

Such fukken non stop insanity is EXTREMELY

Posted by: fred at February 5, 2004 at 08:22 PM

What about the threat from di-hydrogen oxide?!?

Posted by: Rob Read at February 5, 2004 at 08:43 PM

Nanotech is going to be th next big thing for the "biotech activists" after GM foods, now so widely feared that some countries think it is better for people to starve than accept modified grain.

Neville is talking through his bum, of course, but he could have got away with the scare about the formulation if he hadn't bafflingly added the Pentagon to the mix.

Posted by: Dave F at February 5, 2004 at 09:31 PM

The UN must take action immediately! This could be bigger than global warming. And as Rob Read says, di-hydrogen oxide should also be investigated and eliminated. It's all over the place and has permeated deep into peoples bodies.

Do it for the children.

Posted by: Reid of America at February 5, 2004 at 10:00 PM

The grain of truth amidst the ignorant ravings: Carbon nanotubes (we're not talking individual atoms, but nano-sized trillion-atom lumps) has unexpected and rather worrying properties. I'm not talking about how good an explosive it is when mixed in air, that's expected.

I'm talking about how these very fine particles appear to cause lesions in the lungs. At least, so some experiments appear to indicate. Worse than Quartz particles (responsible for Silicosis).

TiO2 is one of the most stable, inert, and generally harmless substances known. But at least one article (pdf) says that even Titanium Dioxide particles may be harmful if nano-sized.

I'd feel a lot better if, in view of the above, there was a lot more experimentation on the biological effects of nano-sized particles of *anything*, before we went ahead with mass production.

The rest of the stuff, "sub-atomic testing" etc is just plain doublespeak, 100.0000000% 6.02x10e23 molecules per mole Bullshit.

What is not Bullshit is this , defining what exactly is a nanoparticle:

?I'd say 200 to 300 nm and below, as that is the point at which physical properties don't just scale down or up, but change. If you know the bulk properties of a substance, you can predict the properties of a particle say 600 nm across as well as you could a particle 6 m across. But once you go downwards, it's not so easy to predict, at the moment anyhow.
Trouble is, with "Ignorant and Proud Of it" Neo-Luddites on one side, and "We couldn't have predicted this so let's pretend it doesn't happen" manufacturers on the other, it will become politicised instead of a matter of simple fact.

Posted by: Alan E Brain at February 5, 2004 at 10:03 PM

The "new" M&M color is blue because we had to do *something* with all the toxic cobalt waste.

Posted by: T. Lassiter Jones at February 6, 2004 at 12:43 AM

Chris Josephson -

Okay, I followed the instructions, and the turtle is now safely installed inside the television. But my February decoder ring hasn't arrived yet, so I'm unclear as to what shade of blue to paint the gibbon. Can you help?

Posted by: Pixy Misa at February 6, 2004 at 12:52 AM

Investor in the Pentagon? On what exchange can I buy shares?
Neville's writing doesn't even make nonsense.

Posted by: Ric at February 6, 2004 at 01:12 AM

"Investor in the Pentagon? On what exchange can I buy shares?"

Oh yes, and I want my dividends "in kind" please. A couple of crates of 7.62mm and an M-14 or two would make my year!

Posted by: Fred at February 6, 2004 at 01:19 AM

You have to prove your a Palestinian Policeman to get the US government to give you an M-16.

Pixy Misa - the next part of the message is "The hornbill dabbles the breakwater"

Hope it helps!

If all atomic particles are made from subatomic particles, then our bodies are already infused with countless nanoparticles.

If you don't stick your head in the Microwave with the safety door interlock deactivated, you should be alright.

Posted by: Papertiger at February 6, 2004 at 01:57 AM

Uh, Titanium Dioxide was developed in sunscreens because it is a physical blocker, and elimnates the need for ineffective sunscreens on all other types (except zinc oxide) which DO SEEP into one's skin.

Posted by: Bill at February 6, 2004 at 05:21 AM

Titanium Dioxide is what Rutile is made of. It's the black bits in beach sand. Sand miners dig up beaches to extract Rutile. I guess Richard reckons we need to do more sand mining to get out the nasty sub-atomic Rutile. I bet he's secretly got shares in sand mining companies...

Posted by: Silly old buffer at February 6, 2004 at 01:22 PM



That's happened to quite a lot of us, don't worry.
There was a page missing in the docs. you got from THE grassy knoll. Find the missing page at the document drop.


Had some problems with deliveries and the Ricin scare hasn't helped. Should be available at the 'regular' place any day now.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at February 6, 2004 at 06:26 PM