Learn 10 Things About Coal In This Episode 3 Summary

April 14, 2011
Things finally improved for the night shift on Spike's new original series Coal. Even though the rain kept coming, and roof bolter Hank Toler's return was short-lived, the miners of Cobalt persevered, leaving them one step closer to putting the mine into the black. Here's a closer look at this week's episode. Coal airs Wednesdays at 10PM/9.

10. Fossil Fuels - Coal is a fossil fuel, but it's not the only one. Oil, natural gas, and petroleum are also fossil fuels. They are called this because they are the result of fossilized plants which grew on earth millions of years ago, and have rotted away over a period of time, becoming solids, liquids, and gases which are today used for heat and other forms of power generation.

9. Diamonds - You may have heard that a lump of coal can turn into a diamond. This information is not incorrect. It is 100% possible, but the amount of impurities in coal are so high that it would takes millions and millions of years for the coal to transform to its nearly purest form - graphite. After that it would take several more millions of years to turn into a diamond, including temperatures above 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures 50 times that of the earth's surface.

8. Where Can You Find Coal? - Spike TV's Coal takes place in West Virginia, but where else can you find coal mining in the United States? The answer is: half the country. 26 states in the union mine this natural resource, including a wide geographic variety of states such as Wyoming, Arizona, Illinois, and Texas.

7. Oxycodone - Roof Bolter Hank Toler admits to using the pain reliever Oxycodone, but it's his addiction to this drug that ultimately gets him fired. Similar to morphine, this drug is used to treat moderate to severe pain. OxyContin is the brand name of a time-release formula of Oxycodone produced by the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1995 and first introduced to the U.S. market in 1996.By 2001, OxyContin was the best-selling non-generic narcotic pain reliever in the U.S. with 2008 sales totaling $2.5 billion.

6. Electrician - Eddie Branch has had his hands full these first few episodes as Cobalt's electrician. As an electrician within a coal mine, Eddie's skills are needed to check, maintain, and repair all electrical equipment. However, mechanical and electrical repair work has become increasingly complex as machinery and other equipment has become computerized.

5. Caterpillar - When Cobalt has their new generator delivered, it comes by way of industrial manufacturer Caterpillar. Caterpillar is the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, as well as industrial gas turbines. It ranks within the Top 50 of the Fortune 500 and has more than $7 billion in assets.

4. The Weather - The last two episodes of Coal have brought rain, and the snow is not far off as the temperatures begin to drop. The annual weather in West Virginia is not necessarily the friendliest. With a humid continental climate, the summers are hot and the winters are cold. The average temperature varies between 48-56 degrees Fahrenheit depending upon elevation. You'll never get a tornado or hurricane here, but you'll get a lot of rain, over 44 inches each year on average and as much as 50 inches of snow.

3. Black Lung Act - You may have noticed several miners with the sticker "Black Lung Act" on their hardhats. This is a reference to the Black Lung Benefits Act which is a piece of legislation assigned to the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, which provides coverage for mine workers whose exposure to coal dust has resulted in total disability or death due to chronic lung disease. Additionally, the act grants coverage to address medical treatment and lost wages of the worker in the case of total disability and death benefits to the survivors and dependents in the event of death.

2. Appalachia - The term "Appalachia" is regularly used on Coal. This, of course, is a reference to the nearby Appalachian Mountains. The mountains themselves stretch as far north as Canada, but Appalachia itself is more of a cultural region that stretches from Southern New York down to Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. More than 23 million people live in the region.

1. Jeremy Sisto - If you haven't yet recognized the voice of Coal, it belongs to accomplished actor Jeremy Sisto. Sisto, who has starred on Law & Order as well as HBO's Six Feet Under, was born in 1974 in Northern California and raised in Chicago. Sisto has graced the screen (large and small) 76 times. He is currently starring in the TV pilot Suburgatory.

Be sure to tune in next Wednesday at 10PM/9c for an all-new episode of Coal. As always, keep an eye out for exclusive content and updates on Spike.com, and don't forget to follow Coal on Facebook and Twitter.