Talk:Dihydrogen monoxide

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This is the current revision of Talk:Dihydrogen monoxide as edited by Ed Poor (Talk | contribs) at 17:23, 12 April 2010. This URL is a permanent link to this version of this page.

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Can we redirect this to H2O? --Ed Poor 22:49, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

Good idea. MountainDew 00:45, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

Thanks, and I'd like to present something about the science project that popularized the term:

  • In 1997, Nathan Zohner, a 14-year-old student at Eagle Rock Junior High School in Idaho Falls, based his science fair ... project, titled "How Gullible Are We?", involved presenting this report about "the dangers of dihyrogen monoxide" to fifty ninth-grade students and asking them what (if anything) should be done about the chemical. Forty-three students favored banning it, six were undecided, and only one correctly recognized that 'dihydrogen monoxide' is actually H2O — plain old water. Zohner's analysis of the results he obtained won him first prize in the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair; garnered him scads of attention from newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, universities, and congresspeople; and prompted the usual round of outcries about how our ignorant citizenry doesn't read critically and can be easily misled. (Snopes)

It's important because it illustrates the PR techniques used by environmentalists to whip up citizen opposition to harmless or low-risk chemicals like DDT. --Ed Poor 09:52, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

Uh, guys? Why don't you just include that bit in the Water article? Or, possibly more fitting, in an article about polls, petitions and PR? This isn't about water, it's about people supporting a cause without informing themselves properly. --Sid 3050 10:28, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
Give it time. None of this is final. It's a work in progress and is 'evolving'. But thank you for proposing an 'intelligent design'. --Ed Poor 10:32, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
Something people may want to include: Penn and Teller set up this gig as a petition and analyze things a little bit afterwards: YouTube --Sid 3050 10:42, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
Yes, let's refer to that. --Ed Poor 10:48, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
  • Their agent did not lie but used the "vocabulary and tone of environmentalists". YouTube --Ed Poor 11:14, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
  • "Is passion supposed to replace common sense?" [ibid]
  • "No end justifies the means of lying." [ibid]
  • "We set these people up, but it suggests that they are not so much environmentalists as they are joiners." [ibid]

Also, there's a connection to the carbon dioxide controversy. As you know, a case recently went all the way to Supreme Court to get CO2 classed as a "pollutant" - this obviously is related to the campaign for the Kyoto Protocol.

Partisan politics is tricky. I'd like to expose a few of the tricks. --Ed Poor 10:48, 4 April 2007 (EDT)


This seriously needs to be relocated to the essay namespace, or merged. --AngryCommunist 23:37, 4 January 2008 (EST)

But it's really funny...-MexMax 23:42, 4 January 2008 (EST)
That's the point. --AngryCommunist 17:03, 5 January 2008 (EST)
I agree. It's not very encyclopedic, and I don't want it to share space on water.... HelpJazz 17:05, 5 January 2008 (EST)
I think it should stay in mainspace, but at the moment I can't think of a good reason why! Philip J. Rayment 17:51, 5 January 2008 (EST)


Humorous, but not truly encyclopedic unless incorporated somehow/somewhere. 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 19:10, 15 March 2008 (EDT)

Just leave it up for three more weeks, please. There's a holiday I want to celebrate. --Ed Poor Talk 20:00, 15 March 2008 (EDT)

Hehe 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 20:24, 15 March 2008 (EDT)

I'm happy for it to stay where it is. There's nothing wrong with a little bit of levity in an otherwise serious place, although of course it should not be overdone. I used to have a street map of Melbourne in which the cartographer had added a couple of strokes to turn an existing shape of streets into a drawing of bear's head. And otherwise serious media publications, including science magazines, often have an April Fools's Day joke. So I see nothing wrong with having an article such as this particularly when it is also making a valid point about people's paranoia with "chemicals". Philip J. Rayment 04:35, 16 March 2008 (EDT)
I would respectfully disagree, unless we are goign to move it on April 2nd. (Plus it's not really and April Fool's joke if it's March). As someone with a strong background in chemistry and a strong detestation of chemical hysteria, I find the article funny, but not encyclopedic. HelpJazz 10:35, 17 March 2008 (EDT)

Stay - it's a legitimate topic

Just because it's funny, doesn't make it a humor piece. I remember that science project and the imitations of several other individuals, because it was all over the news. This was a highly notable incident, and an article about it is warranted.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 19:28, 9 June 2008 (EDT)

Move this please?

In the above section Ed asked to keep this here "a few more weeks", presumably to feature it on April Fool's day. That was a few months ago, so can we please move this article somewhere else? We don't have a "humor" namespace, so essay would be the next best thing. HelpJazz 12:39, 14 November 2008 (EST)

Best thing to do is make it gradually more and more obvious that we're talking about H20 and let the naive reader laugh at himself. --Ed Poor Talk 12:50, 14 November 2008 (EST)
I agree -- if this is in the essay space. An encyclopedia entry, however, should not intentionally mislead the reader. Ever. There's simply no justification for keeping this here. HelpJazz 15:10, 14 November 2008 (EST) <-- Chemical engineer who abhors the public's fear of "chemicals"
H20? Uhhh... do you mean H2O? HDCase 15:12, 14 November 2008 (EST)

Shall we mention something about how prolonged contact with its solid form has caused frostbite? Or that it is found in icebergs? --Ed Poor Talk 12:56, 14 November 2008 (EST) How about " In its gaseous form this compund is of extreme interest to weather forcasters , since, depending on current conditions in the atmosphere , considerable damage may occur if the solid form falls to earth. " this is a great article, a bit of revision could make it a good teaching example Markr 17:11, 14 November 2008 (EST)

Well, it's not protected, so how about it? Liberals are inserting parody dozens of times per day. We ought to be able to maintain one of our own. --Ed Poor Talk 17:13, 14 November 2008 (EST)


I see this has been brought up before, but shouldn't this be in the Essay space? It's a funny concept, and always has been, but this is hardly an encyclopedic article. StephenK 13:29, 10 February 2009 (EST)

I want it to get more Google hits. People might be looking up DHMO, you know. It can be article of the week for April 1st, maybe. --Ed Poor Talk 13:33, 10 February 2009 (EST)
I just did a Google search on this term, it brings up 85,700 hits, with the first five being sites debunking the myth.... I really don't think keeping this in the mainspace is going to do much except add yet another reason for people to attempt to attack us. StephenK 13:51, 10 February 2009 (EST)

Immediate delete

This page is nonsense and should be deleted immediately - I deleted this hastily, but restored because I noticed several admins had contributed, but this page is misleading, makes no mention of the fact that the whole dihydrogen monoxide thing is parody, and presents humor as facts. Not encyclopedic. JacobB 14:23, 12 April 2010 (EDT)

Can't we redirect this to Water? It's also obvious once you reach the end. --TylerW 15:54, 12 April 2010 (EDT)

I agree. This page is clearly parody. Dihydrogen monoxide is also the chemical name for water. So deleting the content here and redirecting it to water is probably the best. BobSH 15:57, 12 April 2010 (EDT)

A redirect is probably not even necessary; nobody is searching for "dihydrogen monoxide" looking for water, they're looking for the school project of some kid who went around getting people to sign a petition to ban a "dangerous chemical." Anyways, I'm waiting on responses from contributing admins. JacobB 16:45, 12 April 2010 (EDT)
I can rewrite it further, to make the main point even more obvious: i.e., that readers frequently allow themselves to be alarmed by their own refusal to consider what something actually means. Anyway, there's hardly a 4th grader anywhere in the United States who doesn't know what H20 means. --Ed Poor Talk 18:23, 12 April 2010 (EDT)