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Lots of people don’t like Donald Trump. But few dislike him enough to mail him an envelope containing a powder identified as ricin.
Ricin, despite the sound of its name, has nothing to do with rice. It comes from castor beans. Also the source of castor oil. If your mother gave you a dose of castor oil to cure various ailments when you were a child, you may consider that quite toxic enough.
But castor oil itself contains no ricin. The ricin is refined from the stuff left after all the oil is squeezed out of the crushed beans.
And it can be deadly.
Experts lined up on TV to remind everyone that a single pinhead-size granule would be enough to kill you. At one time, both the U.S. and Canada considered developing ricin as a chemical weapon. It’s as deadly as sarin, the nerve gas developed by the Nazis and used in terrorist attacks in Tokyo subway system in 1995.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: poison, ricin, Ferrier
Conflict has flared in some universities about hearing – or excluding – unpopular viewpoints. Some controversial speakers have been boycotted, some invitations rescinded, some presentations shouted down.
Recently, universities in Canada have found themselves embroiled in controversy over – of all things – personal pronouns.
I suggest that the commentators on this issue are all missing the point. They’re assuming this is a philosophical issue, the kind of abstract debate that Aristotle might have enjoyed on the slopes of the Acropolis in Athens.
It’s not. It’s about health. About our society’s health.
Tags: health, politically correct, Jordan Peterson, Rex Murphy, free speech, society, poison, toxins, inclusive language