Metal Guru Two Too

Journal Entry, 12 Mar 1996:
Last week we had some aerospace panels delivered for testing; the idea is that we expose them to a fog of 5% salt solution for two weeks and then look for evidence of corrosion, normally in the form of isolated grains of black rust.
However, as a precaution I decided to examine the panels as soon as they arrived and discovered that each of them had randomly scattered dark specks over the surface. This was awkward; if we performed the test as requested, then at the end we would be unable to decide which of the spots had materialised during the exposure and which had been present from the start.
So I photographed the panels and sent the pictures off to the client, who never replied.
The pictures themselves are fascinating, in a minimalist kind of way; if you knew they were actual corrosion spots on an aerospace panel, you could count them and say that three spots in eighty-two square centimetres equals a five-point-two-six percent probability of significant adhesion failure within a forty-year total period of flight time….
Or they could be presented as aerial pictures of a desert in the Middle East, with each of the dark specks representing the charred remains of a military vehicle following an attack in 1990.
Or we could claim that they were microscopic colonies of bacteria lurking on a sample of moon rock which has been stored in a secret location since 1972.


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