Thursday, August 23, 2007

Helium Has Tanked

I saw that sign on the door of Party City* today.

a) How do you have a helium shortage?
b) Memo To All Military Personnel: There will be no tank rentals today, so you'll just have to practice with the Hummers and a couple machine guns.
c) Why don't they outsource the helium from the heads of Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, and Ashlee Simpson?

When I rule the world...

NPR says the helium shortage is due to a couple plants overseas not operating. Here's something I'll betcha didn't know: a fifth of the global helium market provides coolant for MRI machines, and an almost equal percent is used in laser welding. Sounds serious.

Another large consumer is NASA which (and I quote): "requires a train-car-load of helium for each space-shuttle launch." We wouldn't want the astronauts going into space without the ability to entertain Houston with chipmunk voices.

Also on NPR's page: "Helium balloon fans -- of whatever age -- shouldn't worry about a shortage, however: The balloons suck up only 8 percent of the helium stock."

Party City must be getting their information from Fox News.

*Party City is a store that sells party paraphernalia like celebration banners, plates, plastic silverware, wrapping paper, and most importantly, balloons.

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