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January 22, 2013
Pick Your Stench
OK, folks, time to choose: would you rather be downwind of an industrial-scale spill of butyl mercaptan (which started in Rouen and is already being smelled in London), or. . .would you rather deal with a twenty-seven tons of burning goat cheese in Norway?
Tough call. I think, though, that I might go with the devil I know, which means the mercaptan. I've never encountered a Goat Cheese Inferno, and I live in fear of discovering even more revolting odors than I've already experienced. Good luck to the Norwegians, I say.
Update: for the curious, natural gas odorant mixes are usually t-butylthiol and isopropyl thiol, with perhaps some other lovelies (dimethyl sulfide) thrown in for that special je ne sais quoi. Although across northern France today, I'll bet they can tell you quoi for sure at the moment.
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