Monday, December 04, 2006

Eh? Polonium, Balonium.

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Whoever wrote up this screed over at News24 or their affiliate deserves to be fried in a nuclear reactor! I am no rocket scientist nor nuclear physicist but this Q&A is full of baloney.
Take for instance this howler...
"Q: What constitutes a dangerous dose of radiation?
A: Radiation is measured in Sieverts, named after Rolf Sievert, a Swedish physicist who worked extensively on radiation doses. Mild radiation sickness can occur with exposure to 0.5 to 1 Sieverts - as little as one-millionth of a gram - and a dose of 80 Sieverts or more is thought to result in immediate death. A dose of four to 10 Sieverts - less than a gram (0.04 ounces) - could cause death in two to four weeks."

Umm... one millionth of a gram of what precisely? Polonium? Uranium? Americium-241? which by the way is 10 times more dangerous than Polonium-210.
Once again the MSM has not done it's homework and is spouting a lot of pseudo science to make itself look important! and they say bloggers are not professional or qualified to comment on matters of current interest!
Here is another... actually the first question and it's pathetic half answer...
Q: What is radiation?
A: Radiation is the transfer of energy. There are two basic types of radiation: Ionising Radiation - in the air, water, food, soil, and in all living organisms. Most of the radiation absorbed by humans comes from natural environmental sources. People also are exposed to radiation through X-rays taken for medical reasons."

They do not even mention what the other type is but ramble on about natural radiation and x-rays...
This is what Wiki has to say on the matter...
Radiation in physics is the process of emitting energy in the form of waves or particles. Various types of radiation may be distinguished, depending on the properties of the emitted energy/matter, the type of the emission source, properties and purposes of the emission, etc. When used by the general public, the word "radiation" commonly refers to ionizing radiation.
They should just have pointed the reader to the relevant Wiki page as far as I am concerned, that would have made it clearer than the muddy puddle they presented.

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