A Conversation for The Quite Interesting Society

QI - Plastic

Post 1

Itchy Ron

When plastic was first invented, it was a bit of a scientific curiosity.

It took one particular application of the material to bring it to the world's attention. What, exactly?


Feel free to post your suggestions and wacky ideas. I'll only award klaxons to anyone who gets too chemical smiley - scientist.

(In fact I have three "getting too chemical" klaxons identified)


smiley - cheers Icy


QI - Plastic

Post 2

pedro

Was it film, as in movies?


QI - Plastic

Post 3

Whisky

Bakelite telephones & snooker balls?


QI - Plastic

Post 4

Br Robyn Hoode - Navo - complete with theme tune

Granny's rain hoods?

I think I know the answer to this but I'm dmned if I can dredge it up from the recesses of my pathetic mind...


QI - Plastic

Post 5

Malabarista - now with added pony

Some kind of insulator?


QI - Plastic

Post 6

Mu Beta

I would go either with celluloid, as pedro said, or rayon, which was knocking around at the turn of the last century.

B


QI - Plastic

Post 7

pedro

What *is* a plastic anyway? Is there some particular definition you're using, Icy?


QI - Plastic

Post 8

Rod

> Some kind of insulator? < (Mala)

Covering for electric wiring - replacing that perishing rubber stuff?


QI - Plastic - We have a winner!

Post 9

Itchy Ron

You lot are too clever by half. smiley - applause

Whisky got it - billiard balls was the answer I was looking for. Up to the invention of celluloid, these required you to find a dead elephant, so in the 1860s a $10,000 prize was offered for an alternative. It was the American John Wesley Hyatt who won it - adapting a material which the English chemist Alexander Parkes had found stuck at the bottom of his test tube while he was playing around with dissolving pyroxylin - some explosives ingredient (but I'm no expert in these matters).

Feel free to add anything else interesting on this subject, and I'll score it another day.

smiley - cheers Icy


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Post 10

Oops the Destroyer - not actually evil just very clumsy

Elvis Costello's song No Action is quite possibly the only pop song ever to include the word bakelite.


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Post 11

Taff Agent of kaos

exploding billiard balls were one of the subjects in james burkes "the day the universe changed"

smiley - bat


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Post 12

Malabarista - now with added pony

Also in one of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. I forget which.


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Post 13

Mu Beta

Men At Arms. smiley - ok

B


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Post 14

Itchy Ron

QI - Plastic

Scores:

+1 Pedro (post 2) celluloid film - followed very soon after
+3 Whisky (post 3) correct - billiard balls
+1 Oops (post 10) Would have been a QI, but it's not the only one - google it.
+6 Taff (post 11) James Burke's exploding balls
+1 Mala (Post 12) Pratchett
+1 Mu Beta (post 13) More Pratchett

Thanks for playing!

smiley - cheers Icy


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Post 15

Oops the Destroyer - not actually evil just very clumsy

Icy, that's why I said quite possibly, because I didn't want to cheat by looking it up. Was it at least the first?


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Post 16

Itchy Ron

I can't remember! It was certainly the best-known artist.


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