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By Nelson Schwartz and Nelson Schwartz,Contributing Writer | August 22, 1993
WASHINGTON -- The last Navy blimp was deflated decades %% ago, but Uncle Sam is still in the helium business. %%%% In former gas wells deep below the Texas panhandle, not far from Amarillo, the government has hoarded $1.3 billion worth of the inert gas. And even though the helium isn't vital to the nation's security, Washington is still spending millions to refine more each year.The gas is part of the National Helium Reserve -- a relic of the time after World War I when the War Department wanted to ensure a constant supply of the lighter-than-air element to inflate its fleet of airships.
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NEWS
September 30, 2013
Joseph Ganem says "our personal standard of living depends on the standard of living and well being of all. " ("It's all connected," Sept. 25). Mr. Ganem is an excellent physics teacher, and we should take note of what he says. So many people think they shouldn't listen to the "made-up" stuff scientists say. Who cares about helium? That's for balloons. I have benefited from teachers, and I am used to smart people taking a long time to say what they mean. Mr. Garnem is a physicist, as was my father, and they actually think about everyone, not just particles.
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NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,Sun Staff Writer | June 13, 1995
PITTSBURGH -- Johns Hopkins University astronomers say they have detected and measured intergalactic helium believed to be left over from the birth of the universe.From that, they have figured out, for the first time, how much hydrogen existed along with the helium 10 billion years ago. That helps to confirm the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe, and adds to the growing inventory of what is out there.There was so much of the two gases that the discovery multiplies the amount of matter now known to exist in the universe by a factor of 5 or 10, the astronomers said.
NEWS
By Joseph Ganem | September 24, 2013
This past Wednesday I received an email from my professional organization - the American Physical Society - with the subject line: "Urgent Helium Alert. " The message called on me to contact Congress immediately to urge them to act on helium legislation so that the U. S. Bureau of Land Management can continue operations beyond September 30. According to the email: "Partisan gridlock threatens to diminish the US Helium supply by 50% on October 1st. " As I looked at the list of Congressional names and phone numbers provided, I tried to imagine what I would say to a staffer who might only think of helium as the element that keeps balloons and blimps afloat.
NEWS
By San Francisco Chronicle | May 21, 1993
WASHINGTON -- In a process that will take months, if not years, Congress began to ponder whether taxpayers should continue subsidizing the Helium Fund, a program created in 1925 to ensure that America would never run short of the gas in the event of global blimp warfare.By that measure, the program has been a roaring success. The U.S. has accumulated a 176-year supply of the lighter-than-air element, along with $1.4 billion in debt. But the program has become an object of ridicule among fiscal analysts who call it a classic example of how government programs assume eternal life.
BUSINESS
By Bob Secter and Bob Secter,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | November 14, 2007
CHICAGO -- Helium is the talk of the party balloon industry these days, and it is not a discussion being carried out in high-pitched giggles. The second most plentiful element in the universe is suddenly in short supply on this planet, and that means soaring prices for a lot of things, balloons included. "Some customers have told me they're just not going to sell balloons anymore because they can't get helium," said Chicago party wholesaler Lee Brody. "Everybody's scrambling." As raw materials crises go, the helium shortage clearly takes a back seat to the global oil crunch.
NEWS
By DALLAS MORNING NEWS | April 29, 1997
Astronomers may have found some of the matter that has been missing from the universe, new research suggests.Scientists have long puzzled over why the amount of matter they can see -- in the form of luminous stars, galaxies and so forth -- doesn't seem to be enough to account for the huge gravitational attraction that keeps those galaxies from flying apart.Thus researchers believe that as much as 90 percent of the universe may be made of "dark matter" that nobody can see.The big mystery has been, what would dark matter be made of?
NEWS
By McClatchy-Tribune | January 18, 2008
ST. LOUIS -- Listen up, prank callers and party clowns. The nation's supply of helium - the gas that has given rise to millions of party balloons and Donald Duck voices - is dwindling. In fact, the managers of the nation's lone helium reserve, in Texas, expect it to be depleted within 10 years. "It's a bad pun, and I've used it before, but the nation's demand for helium has just ballooned in recent years," said Hans Stuart, a spokesman for the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the federal helium reserve near Amarillo.
NEWS
By Frank Roylance and Sun Reporter // Weather Blogger | March 25, 2010
O n Earth, water vapor condenses into droplets that fall as rain. On Jupiter , helium condenses as mist 6,000 miles below the planet's cloud tops, then forms helium "rai n." Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley say the helium doesn't rise as it does on Earth. The drops fall through a fluid atmosphere of metallic hydrogen toward the planet's core of rock and ice. At 62,000 miles below the cloud tops, temperatures reach 5,000 degrees C., with pressures 1 million to 2 million times Earth's.
NEWS
November 24, 1993
Larry Walters,who gained national attention 11 years ago by soaring 16,000 feet above the Earth on a lawn chair strapped to helium-filled balloons, committed suicide on Oct. 6. He shot himself in the heart. He was 44. On July 2, 1982, he hooked up his lawn chair to 42 helium-filled weather balloons and soared some 16,000 feet above the Earth before landing eight miles away in Long Beach. He was spotted by two airplanes during the flight. He was fined $1,500 in the incident by the Federal Aviation Administration.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, Justin Fenton and Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | February 20, 2013
Johns Hopkins gynecologist Dr. Nikita A. Levy wrote an apology letter to his wife before wrapping a plastic bag around his head Monday and pumping it with helium, killing himself in the basement of his Towson-area home, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation. Along with the letter, he left behind multiple hard drives, computers and servers that police have seized and are scrutinizing, police said. More than 300 of Levy's current and former patients have contacted officers, fearing that they are pictured in images he is accused of secretly capturing, Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Wednesday.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | July 21, 2012
The second most-abundant element in the universe is in short supply. Lighter than air and nonrenewable, helium is however quite rare on Earth, derived mostly from natural gas deposits. And recently it's grown scarcer. In the Baltimore area, some florists and party-supply businesses are scrambling to find new suppliers for the helium that floats their balloons. Most are paying more for supplies, while some have raised prices or temporarily turned customers away. Other industries are feeling deflated too; besides blowing up balloons and blimps, helium is used to eliminate oxygen in welding in the aerospace industry, to cool magnets in MRI scanners and to help deep-sea divers breathe a nitrogen-free mix of air. The supply-and-demand imbalance has become more acute recently in the United States, some experts say. The shortage results from cutbacks in global production combined with increased demand from industries such as health care and semiconductor manufacturing, experts said.
NEWS
By Frank Roylance and Sun Reporter // Weather Blogger | March 25, 2010
O n Earth, water vapor condenses into droplets that fall as rain. On Jupiter , helium condenses as mist 6,000 miles below the planet's cloud tops, then forms helium "rai n." Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley say the helium doesn't rise as it does on Earth. The drops fall through a fluid atmosphere of metallic hydrogen toward the planet's core of rock and ice. At 62,000 miles below the cloud tops, temperatures reach 5,000 degrees C., with pressures 1 million to 2 million times Earth's.
NEWS
By McClatchy-Tribune | January 18, 2008
ST. LOUIS -- Listen up, prank callers and party clowns. The nation's supply of helium - the gas that has given rise to millions of party balloons and Donald Duck voices - is dwindling. In fact, the managers of the nation's lone helium reserve, in Texas, expect it to be depleted within 10 years. "It's a bad pun, and I've used it before, but the nation's demand for helium has just ballooned in recent years," said Hans Stuart, a spokesman for the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the federal helium reserve near Amarillo.
BUSINESS
By Bob Secter and Bob Secter,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | November 14, 2007
CHICAGO -- Helium is the talk of the party balloon industry these days, and it is not a discussion being carried out in high-pitched giggles. The second most plentiful element in the universe is suddenly in short supply on this planet, and that means soaring prices for a lot of things, balloons included. "Some customers have told me they're just not going to sell balloons anymore because they can't get helium," said Chicago party wholesaler Lee Brody. "Everybody's scrambling." As raw materials crises go, the helium shortage clearly takes a back seat to the global oil crunch.
NEWS
By Tyrone Richardson and Tyrone Richardson,SUN STAFF | July 17, 2005
A year after a tethered tourist balloon stalled 200 feet over Baltimore's downtown, trapping 17 frightened passengers for two hours, the popular attraction remains grounded with no assurance that the gondola will rise above the city again. Yet the idle helium balloon that is still tied to a yellow winch next to the Port Discovery children's museum serves as a reminder of unresolved issues and painful memories. The board president of the nonprofit corporation that runs Balloon Over Baltimore Inc. would say only that the company is still "addressing issues" of the accident.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | November 7, 1993
The third attempted launching in two years of the round-the-world Earthwinds Hilton Balloon was canceled yesterday, this time because of an accident that could have had serious consequences for two men aboard the craft.No one was injured, but several vital components of the complicated balloon assembly were damaged. Project officials could not immediately estimate how long it would take to rebuild the system, assuming that its sponsors decided to try again to get the $5 million craft into the air.Although a handful of balloonists have tried over the years to circumnavigate the Earth, none has ever succeeded, and some have died in the attempt.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Childs Walker and Timothy B. Wheeler and Childs Walker,SUN STAFF | July 29, 2004
As many as 17 potential fuel vapor leaks have been found at an Exxon service station that state officials believe is a prime suspect in contaminating at least 127 Fallston-area wells with a noxious gasoline additive. Spokespeople for the Maryland Department of the Environment and ExxonMobil Corp. sparred yesterday over the significance of the leaks detected by a contractor for the oil company. MDE spokesman Jeffrey Welsh said preliminary testing late last week of the Upper Crossroads Exxon at Routes 152 and 165 in Harford County identified leaks in the station's gasoline storage tanks, piping and equipment.
NEWS
July 20, 2004
HERE'S AN acrophobic's worst nightmare -- a giant helium balloon and 16 stranded passengers bobbing around like a child's toy for nearly two hours. But it happened Saturday at Baltimore's Inner Harbor to the 110-foot-tall Lindstrand HiFlyer balloon at Port Discovery. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, but the event drew national attention, and no doubt the images broadcast on television spurred millions to gratefully conclude, "Glad it wasn't me." It's been a rough year for the Inner Harbor's outdoor tourist attractions.
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