1426: Reduce Your Payments

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Revision as of 05:48, 26 September 2014 by (talk) (Fixed link to sodium borohydride Wikipedia page)
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Reduce Your Payments
I tried oxidizing them, but your bank uses some really weird paper and it wouldn't light.
Title text: I tried oxidizing them, but your bank uses some really weird paper and it wouldn't light.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: This explanation states what is obvious in the comic without explaining. More explanatory tone plus a description of Sodium borohydride's effects on paper are required. Also the Sodium borohydride link is broken
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

In this comic Black Hat walks into a room where Cueball is sitting in an armchair. Blackhat says to Cueball that he can reduce his mortgage bills, while holding a docket of paper presumably Cueball's bill. Black Hat uses the same formulation many internet advertisements use: "Discover this (strange/new/amazing...) trick to (lose weight/reduce your mortgage bills/meet amazing women)" to gather clicks. Cueball wants to know how and Blackhat responses by mentioning sodium borohydride (NaBH4). Cueball then says I hate you. Now to reduce mortgage payments is something high on many people's minds but as with Blackhat's personality his method is rather unorthodox. Sodium borohydride is a strong reducing agent. A reducing agent is a chemical that donates electrons to another chemical (in inorganic chemistry). When a chemical is reduced another one has to become oxidized. The title text implies that Blackhat has attempt to oxidize the paper mortgage bill in the chemical sense by burning it (reacting it with atmospheric oxygen) but the paper would not light.


[Cueball siting on sofa Blackhat walks into frame from behind]

Blackhat: I discovered this weird trick for reducing your mortgage payments!

Cueball: What?

Blackhat: Sodium Borohydride.

Cueball: ...I hate you.

I tried to oxidize them, but your bank uses some really weird paper and it wouldn't light.

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It's a chemical reduction. Here's the wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reducing_agent199.27.133.109 04:25, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

This needs more help by a professional chemist... And I need to go to work... So if anyone continues clarification work - thanks, else I'll do a little more after work/afterwardsTier666 (talk) 05:21, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

I tried to clear up some things, but I am not a chemestry expert either.. --Flai (talk) 06:31, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Hints (just looked into lit a little bit): NaBH4 would not really reduce the paper (make it vanish by reducing the cellulose to something like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorbitol ) but may reduce (and so "vanishing") the ink: http://www.jeb.co.in/journal_issues/200911_nov09/paper_05.pdf http://www.deepdyve.com/lp/de-gruyter/degradation-of-cellulose-by-sodium-borohydride-b1EI17tyhs --> You can use a little bit of NaBH4 to make whiter paperTier666 (talk) 08:15, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Google Sodium Borohydride + Paper and the majority of results are based on its use to bleach the pulp during manufacture. A quick search doesn't yield any obvious results on the effects on printed paper. --Pudder (talk) 09:10, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Look at that! My chemistry degree comes in handy for once! NaBH4 is used for lots of reductions in organic synthesis. The fact that he is using it on paper (an organic substance) doesn't seem to add to the comic in my opinion. NaBH4 is one of the strongest reducers, so I think it's more of an archetypal reference rather than a specific reference. My two cents. Also I fixed the explanation of reduction. 09:18, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

If Black Hat is having trouble oxidizing the bill, might I suggest chlorine trifluoride? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Or you can try the infamous Dioxygen Diflouride... [1] (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Can someone explain more explicitly what "improve the resulting paper's properties" means? What properties are changed and how does that change represent an improvement (sturdier, whiter, easier to fold, easier to get ink to bind to it, etc.)? Djbrasier (talk) 20:54, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Generally for reductive bleaching for improved brightness in the pulp and paper industry. Often used but not as a rule after a peroxide (oxidative) bleaching step to get several more ISO points of brightness by reducing chromophores. Datasheet from one manufacturer: http://www.montchem.com/MontBrite1240.pdf (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Wouldn't Mr. Pedantic suggest Black Hat's question to be "... REDUCING YOUR MORTGAGE BILL."? Would've made more sense to him given Black Hat's explanation. NerillDP (talk) 00:25, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Not necessarily. The payment appears to take the form of a paper check, checks are usually issued by a bank(1), and the paper on which they're printed is controlled by the company contracted to produce the checks (not necessarily the bank, but saying "your bank uses some really weird paper [for printing your checks]" is a reasonable thing to say). (1) To be super-pedantic, you can technically write a valid check on pretty much anything that will accept permanent writing, but getting a bank to accept it might be a little tricky. 23:15, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
See the negotiable cow/getting HM Revenue and Customs to accept it as payment173.245.50.73 18:05, 27 December 2014 (UTC)