April 23, 2010

The New York crime of having a balloon.

In NY, a court found helium a "noxious substance" and upheld the charge of "unlawfully possessing or selling noxious material" against a man who sold 2 helium balloons. It says "possessing or selling," so I must infer that even having a helium balloon is a crime. So watch out kids.

18 comments:

XWL said...

As it says in the blurb, they were probably mistaken for sellers of NO2, but once arrested, the need to prosecute overtook reason.

Helium doesn't have a narcotic effect, beyond whatever effect lack of oxygen has on the brain.

Maybe they should ban holding of one's breath, too.

Bob Ellison said...

Unlike most fossil fuels, helium is a vanishing commodity, so perhaps the unstated crime was releasing it frivolously. It just goes up. We'll never get it back.

David said...

Inside my head, a very high pitched voice is staying "Stupid . . . ."

mariner said...

If Democrats have their way, FEDERAL agents will be doing this shit all over the country.

rhhardin said...

Onion Concerned Parents Demand Removal Of Arsenic From Periodic Table Of Elements.

edutcher said...

At least it wasn't hydrogen. We all know what happened to the Hindenburg.

Seven Machos said...

Helium is fun. It makes you talk funny and it gives you a dizzy, high feeling. Sucking helium is really like a little junior whippet.

I could see the need to regulate it in some kids-on-helium scenario, but this is remarkably out of hand.

Eric said...

I'm still reeling over the decision to close the strategic helium reserve. In a few years we'll have to fill our balloons with hydrogen. Won't that be fun!

El Pollo Real said...

Unlike most fossil fuels, helium is a vanishing commodity, so perhaps the unstated crime was releasing it frivolously. It just goes up. We'll never get it back.

Helium, helium, everywhere, nary a puff to huff..

Eric said...

Oh yes, across the universe it's very abundant. Here on earth we'll eventually be without, since there's no way to keep it here. Probably doesn't matter that much, but helium is quite useful for a few things (like welding and cooling) that will require expensive workarounds.

El Pollo Real said...

How about the controlled fusion of deuterium and tritium? link

T + D --> Helium-4 + neutron + energy

Fusion needs a future too, not just fission.

Methadras said...

This is an Onion joke right? RIGHT!?!?!

Methadras said...

edutcher said...

At least it wasn't hydrogen. We all know what happened to the Hindenburg.


Oh the Huge Manatee!!!

Calypso Facto said...

Maybe New York went after the balloons because they had some of that dangerous TABLE SALT on them?

Eric said...

At least it wasn't hydrogen. We all know what happened to the Hindenburg.

That guy had a balloon with 211890 cubic meters of helium? Jeez, we didn't have nuthin' like that when I was a kid.

On a serious note, in the 1930s helium was considered a strategic asset, and so even though Zeppelin designed the Hindenburg to use helium the only supplier (that would be us) wouldn't sell them any so they had to use hydrogen instead.

themightypuck said...

XWL nailed it. The machinery of "justice" finds it very hard to admit it was wrong.

Revolution said...

XWL,
"Maybe they should ban holding of one's breath."

Actually, the new EPA rules making CO2 a pollutant means everybody who has ever exhaled a breath is guilty and will be rounded up.

Joe said...

Interestingly, some deep sea divers use Heliox, a Oxygen/Helium mix.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliox