I’ve been writing practice problems for our textbook lately, and I was looking up facts on various elements to add some interest to an otherwise boring problem. In the process I learned that the element thallium is extremely poisonous, but the symptoms of thallium poisoning are very generic–things like vomiting or hair loss–and could be attributed to any number of problems. Because of this, thallium poisoning is difficult to detect in great part because it is so rare.

So if anybody I know begins vomiting and having hair loss, I’m calling it now.

It’s thallium poisoning. You can tell the police I said so.

This isn’t to imply that I would be the one murdering them. I’m just the consulting detective on the case.


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