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Not a matter to make light of really

By Nuala McKeever

Published 27/03/2012

The world is running out of helium gas. It’s not only used to fill party balloons and make your voice sound like Joe Pasquale in tight trousers, its more important uses include things like MRI scans.

A scientist in England had to postpone an experiment into the nature of matter, because he’d no helium.

I imagine him looking very glum and when asked, “Hey, what’s the matter?” him replying, “I don’t know, that’s the point!”

So we’re being asked to give up helium balloons. Straightforward enough, you’d think. Apparently not.

On a radio phone-in there were lots of people saying balloons that can float up and get stuck on the ceiling, are necessary to a child’s enjoyment of a birthday.

Great. I see a niche market. Big shiny balloons with the words, “Sorry You Couldn’t Have a Scan But We Needed The Helium For This Balloon!”.

That’ll make them feel better I’m sure.

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