Ms. Helmenstine,What Is Red Mercury? | Speculation about Red Mercury
The following is very serious and very important.
You described "Red Mercury" (on about.com) as being some sort of mercury compound with nuclear weapon application. I don't know anything about that, but I am aware of a mercury/uranium oxide connection.
During WWII, it was common practice for German submarines to transport uranium oxide in steel canisters by U-boat (submarines). However, at great depths, the cannisters could collapse from the great underwater pressures. The German solution was to mix uranium oxide (presumably a powder) with mercury (a liquid) to form a paste. That canisters would then be filled with the paste, and loaded in the keel of the submarine.
One such submarine was torpedoed off the coast of Norway on route to Japan who were attempting to build an atomic bomb during WWII. The welded canister is said to contain pure mercury. The ship supposedly had 67 tons of "mercury" on board while enroute to Japan. However, in 1982, a Japanese officer was interviewed (on tape). He claims that General Tojo ordered him to acquire two tons of uranium oxide from Germany. Hitler agreed, but the sub was torpedoed off the coast of Norway by a British submarine before it got any further.
I have the 1982 recorded interview and everything I have just said is well-documented.