07:36 – I said it a year ago today, and the only thing that needs to be updated is 12 years to 13 years.
09:56 – Speaking of Polar Pure iodine water treatment, that link to Amazon I posted yesterday was sold out as of last night. That poor little company must be wondering what happened. I heard from quite a few readers who’d successfully ordered the Polar Pure, usually two to four at a time. That’s what happened.
When I mentioned to Barbara that the company had sold out their stock within eight or nine hours, she said, “You do that all the time.” And it’s true that years ago I did that regularly. But years ago my journal got literally 10 to 20 times as much traffic as it does now. Nowadays, 1,000 visitors/day is a good day. Back eight or ten years ago when I was writing mostly about computer stuff, I commonly got 10,000 to 20,000 visitors per day. I think my all-time record day was something like 35,000 visitors. Nowadays, 35,000 visitors is a good month.
With Polar Pure sold out and possibly never coming back–in the US, that is; it’s freely available in Canada and many other countries–I happened to look down to my desk, where I noticed a small bottle that contains 100 mL of (very) strong Lugol’s iodine solution. It has about 28 grams of iodine and 42 grams of potassium iodide dissolved in enough distilled water to make it up to 100 mL. I’ll dilute that to make up 2.1 liters of iodine solution for the science kits. (A 2-liter Coke bottle holds 2.10 liters when full to top, which makes a convenient “volumetric flask” for this purpose.)
But as I looked at it, I was struck by a Cunning Plan. That strong Lugol’s iodine contains 28,000 mg/DL of iodine. It takes 4 to 5 mg of iodine to disinfect a liter of water, which means that 100 mL of strong Lugol’s is sufficient to disinfect 5,600 to 7,000 liters of water. A 30 mL bottle of that Lugol’s is sufficient to disinfect 1,680 to 2,100 liters. I haven’t priced iodine or potassium iodide lately, but I’d guess that 100 mL bottle has maybe $40 worth of chemicals in it, so a 30 mL bottle would contain maybe $12 worth of chemicals.
Not that I plan to make these up for resale, because I don’t want the DEA coming after me. (It’s not illegal to possess iodine, but its sale is very tightly controlled.) But if I can’t get more Polar Pure, I can make up a few bottles of the strong Lugol’s for use in other kits. Now the only problem is expecting people to believe that one standard drop (50 microliters, or 20 drops/mL) is really sufficient to disinfect about 3.5 liters of water.
11:53 – If you wanted Polar Pure but didn’t order in time from that Amazon.com link I posted yesterday, here’s another vendor selling Polar Pure on Amazon. Same price, $19.99 per bottle, but this one offers free shipping. I suspect that after I post this this company will also run out of stock pretty quickly, so if you want a bottle or three now’s the time to order it.