The tank and the robot clash, and the robot gains the upper-hand by picking up SpongeBob's tank. As it prepares to crush the tank, SpongeBob fires the tank's cannon monsters and destroys Patrick's robot. He for the next moment thinks he is victorious, but Patrick returns on the robot's head, which has separated from the body and is now an airship. SpongeBob pulls out a remote control and pushes a button on it, calling in a fighter jet which he hops into the cockpit and takes control of.
As Patrick tries to run, SpongeBob has two missiles from the fire jet chase him. Civilians on the beach begin to flee in terror. Patrick deploys a surface to air missile launcher from underneath the ground. He has it fire its eight loaded missiles at SpongeBob, destroying the two missiles that were chasing Patrick in the process. SpongeBob takes evasive maneuvers and manages to get them to fly into Patrick's fortress, completely destroying it. Patrick in a final act of retaliation uses his airship to blow up SpongeBob's fortress. SpongeBob is extremely enraged by this, and putting all sensible options aside, he flies his fighter jet into Patrick's robot head airship, destroying both aircrafts and hurting Patrick and himself.
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SpongeBob and Patrick are lying wounded on the beach, apologizing to each other for trying to destroy the other. The life guard shows up and furiously points out the mess of debris and destruction left by the fight as the two see they went too far. The lifeguard demands they clean up after handing them brooms. They do as he says, tidying the beach up to its original condition but soon begin to compete with each other over who could do so faster as dusk approaches. Well put, general. Are you okay?! Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. They decide to take the bus.
It can be lots of things. But most sand in the world and the sand that we use so much of is mostly quartz sand, silicon dioxide. There are different grades of sand. Tell us about that. What makes the mine in North Carolina so special for making computer chips? So the stuff that we use the most, like I said, is quartz sand, which is very abundant. You find it all over the world. We can use that stuff for concrete, which is the number one thing that we use sand for by far— is concrete. The next step up is sand that you use for glass making.
Poignant portraits in the sand mark 100 years since the end of the First World War
It all comes from this small county in rural North Carolina. Back when the tectonic plates were moving around to form North America, you had a plate under the Atlantic Ocean coming into contact with the one that underlies the American continent. And at this particular spot, they run into each other at a particular depth. About 9 to 15 miles below the ground, they grind against each other and create enormous, enormous heat.
And between that heat and the fact that in this particular spot there was very, very little moisture, it created this incredibly, incredibly pure quartz, which over millennia, got lifted up much closer to the surface and is now close enough where we can mine it.
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Is that the same kind of sand that we get over here? Is it a different kind of sand? Is it unique? So again, most of the sand that you find in there is quartz. So desert sand, unfortunately, is completely useless to us as human beings for construction. So in the desert, those grains tumble and tumble and tumble over thousands of years, getting smashed, just banging full force into each other, which rounds off their corners and their angles and makes it quite a bit rounder and smoother than the sand that you find in the bottom of rivers or the bottom of lakes, which tends to be sharper and more angular.
So that desert sand, ultimately, is too round to stick together to build something out of. I could talk about concrete forever, as my listeners know, as they yawn as I talk about it. And sand is a major part of concrete, right? This stuff is so underappreciated. Like most people, I had never even thought about it before I started doing the research for this book. But concrete is literally the foundation of our modern civilization. A lot of people mix up concrete and cement. You mix up cement plus a whole lot of sand and gravel and let it dry, let it cure.
And that gives you concrete. I had no idea that people steal sand right off a beach. We need sand. Like I said, concrete is the thing that our modern civilization is really made out of, right? Every building, every shopping mall, apartment block being built anywhere around the world is made at least partly out of concrete. Also, all the roads, all the highways that connect all those buildings— also made of thousands and thousands of tons of sand. And we are using it at an unbelievable pace. But in fact, it is deadly serious business in India. And they get away with it by doing the same thing organized crime does everywhere.
They pay off judges. They pay off police to leave them alone. And if you really get in their way, they will kill you. Hundreds of people have been murdered over sand in the last few years, mostly in India, but also in other countries around the world. In Kenya, in Indonesia, a bunch of other places— tremendous violence connected with the sand trade.
There is considerable environmental damage that happens here in the US. But really, the worst stuff is happening in the developing world. I can tell you I get calls all the time now from reporters around the world who are starting to become aware of this issue and starting to look into it. One is, yeah, you can smash down concrete, crush it up, and reuse it to a certain extent.
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And that makes them unfit for certain purposes. We have to take a break. Stay with us. This is Science Friday. And when I rudely interrupted Vince, he was telling us about recycling sand, recycling concrete to bring the sand out of it. So as I was saying, three reasons. We can recycle it. Imagine all the power, all the energy that it takes to run a machine that can smash concrete down into grains. So really, that sand, most of the time, is taken permanently out of circulation. Lots of folks with calls.
Mike in Mount Vernon, Washington. Hi, Mike.
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How does the sand vary from that like in outer space or in Mars, like asteroids? Is it the same thing? Can you use that stuff on Earth? Is it just the same, or is there a difference if you know? You know what? I wish I knew. Think about sand mining. If sand is so scarce, we go out and pull in an asteroid and get the sand off it or something like that.
Are we in danger, then, of losing glass? You said that the second most common use of sand is for making glass. Let me change that to say is different kind of glass made with different kinds of sand? Or is it all the same sand? The sand there is very, very pure.
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The real problem is just your garden variety, everyday construction sand, because that is the stuff that we are using just in unbelievable quantities. I have a question for Mr. Here in Northwestern Iowa, it was real pretty up in there, called Little Switzerland. I was wondering what was unusual about the sand that they would need it for fracking.
Thank you. So for fracking, I assume all your listeners know what fracking is. Now, you need a lot of a very specific kind of sand to do that. And it also needs to be round. If you remember, I said most quartz sand is angular.
But for fracking, you want it to be round so that those droplets of oil and gas can flow around them easily and get into your well. But I did go to Western Wisconsin while I was reporting the book. And they are ripping up hundreds of acres of forest and farmlands to get at that frack sand, which a lot of people in that region are very unhappy about. You talk about this a little bit. And most of it comes from the bottom of the ocean. The Romans did the same thing. A lot of the riverfront in Manhattan is made from sand and silt dredged up from the bottom of the Hudson River.
There are artificial islands. So lots and lots of countries are getting into the land building business for two reasons.
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