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History of Cancer

[Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Not all tumors are cancerous; benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body. Possible signs and symptoms include a lump, abnormal bleeding, prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss and a change in bowel movements. While these symptoms may indicate cancer, they may have other causes. Over 100 types of cancers affect humans.]

The Fallout Series

Fallout- “Help, we need water!”

Fallout 2- “Help we need plants!”

Fallout 3- “Have you seen my dad?”

Fallout: New Vegas- You’re the immortal mailman, you get shot in the face by Chandler from “Friends”, go kill him

Fallout 4- That video of the “Heavy Rain” glitch where the guy yells “SHAAAAAUUUNN” for 20 minutes straight

Radiation in the real Mojave Wasteland

Before I get into the details you should know that the majority of the radiation that fell across the Mojave is gone by now. However that does not mean there are not still pockets of it left and of course uranium mines and so on. 

Post WWII the US wanted to test as many bombs as possible to see what the effects were in all sorts of conditions, depths, heights and so on. At the time the most sparsely populated place in the US was in Southern Nevada. This was when Las Vegas was just beginning to come into it’s own and I-15 to Los Angeles had not even been constructed yet.

Here is a map of the Nevada Test Range

And here is what the most heavily cratered part of it looks like

The majority of those detonations were underground however the site had been used for above ground and aerial detonation also. 

All of the material blasted into the atmosphere had to go somewhere and one of the biggest air currents in the area goes from the ocean through Los Angeles and into central Utah. It covers the majority of the Mojave desert and of course that material was blown directly into it. 

Here is a map of the three heaviest effected regions in the states of Nevada, Utah and Arizona

My Grandfather was living in St George Utah at the time having retired from the Army post WWII and he, with his wife and five kids were all subjected to the fallout from Nuclear blasts in Nevada. My mother and uncles did not develop problems from it but my Grandmother had lung cancer in her later years and my Grandfather had a variety of health problems from a weak immune system in his 50′s until his death in his 80′s. What they experienced was a very real concern that many people in the area experienced and it was not until the late 1980′s that a real solid investigation on the effects of being down wind of the blasts had. 

The Radioactive Fallout lost the majority of its Radioactivity within a few years but there are hot spots dotting the Mojave where sediment has collected since the testing being washed down river or through floods and they measure a higher radiation than normal. None of them are particularly lethal, you’d have to spend a few months on them to get a high enough dose to matter but it is a concern for the smaller species in the area that do have to deal with it. 

The other problem we face out here are the hundreds of Uranium Mines all over the desert. I’ve talked a lot about them before but many of these mines had no regulation on them and people just dug wherever they could and contaminated the surrounding area. Uranium itself does not have too much Radioactivity unless you detonate it and those fine fallout particles settle however it’s a heavy metal and will leech into the soil and water table like mercury will. I was poisoned by Uranium when I inhaled a lot of fine ore dust over the period of a few hours as I napped on a fine tailings pile of sand. I had to be treated with Iodine and have my system flushed and it took a bit before I was back to normal. I had a representative from Utah’s Mining Regulation tell me that for every known Uranium mine there are probably two they don’t know about. The ones that are particularly dangerous have been sealed off like the one in the photo below. 

It’s just a fact of life out here in the Mojave. The mutation rate from what I have seen is no higher than normal. We do get mutations in animals every so often but you get that all across the US.

So when people say I am only playing at Fallout and I’m obsessed with it they don’t really get that I actually live it. I live in the most heavily nuclear bombed area in the world. At one point just about everyone living down here in the 50′s was exposed to high levels of fallout. I’ve been exposed to Uranium. I also scrap, scavenge, spelunk, hunt, trap and survive off the land. I was doing this long before the Fallout games even existed and They just over exaggerated a part of my life. New Vegas in particular since it takes place in my home region. 

Sometimes reality is just as messed up as fiction. 

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Nice demonstration of pleochroism

physicsfun Magic Sun Stone: gem quality iolite shows very strong pleochroism- its color depends on the polarization of light as it is transmitted through the crystal. The color of this rough iolite gemstone changes dramatically from clear to opaque purple as the orientation of a linear polarizing filter is rotated through 90 degrees. Also known as a “Viking sky compass” since it can detect the polarization of sunlight in the sky and thereby locate the sun for navigation even on cloudy days or when the sun is below the horizon- useful for this time of year far north. ➡️ Follow the link in my @physicsfun profile for more information and where to buy a “magic sun stone” and some polarizing filters. #pleochroism #dichroism #cordierite

Near the outskirts of the Small Magellanic Cloud, lies 5 million year old star cluster, NGC 602. Surrounded by gas and dust, NGC 602 is featured in this stunning optical Hubble image of the region, is a combination of images in the X-ray by Chandra, and in the infrared by Spitzer. Fantastic ridges and swept back shapes strongly suggest that energetic radiation and shock waves from NGC 602’s massive young stars have eroded the dusty material and triggered a progression of star formation moving away from the cluster’s center. The background galaxies are hundreds of millions of light-years or more beyond NGC 602.

Image Credit: X-ray: Chandra: NASA/CXC/Univ.Potsdam/L.Oskinova et al;
Optical: Hubble: NASA/STScI; Infrared: Spitzer: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

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The Elephant’s Foot of the Chernobyl disaster, 1986

A monster was born in the Chernobyl disaster - one of the most dangerous things in the world. 

The “Elephant’s Foot” is a solid mass made of melted nuclear fuel mixed with lots and lots of concrete, sand, and core sealing material that the fuel had melted through. It is located in a basement area under the original location of the core. In 1986 the radiation level on the Elephant’s Foot was measured at 10,000 roentgens per hour, and anyone who approached would have received a fatal dose in under a minute. After just 30 seconds of exposure, dizziness and fatigue will find you a week later. Two minutes of exposure and your cells will soon begin to hemorrhage; four minutes: vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. At 300 seconds you have two days to live.

When the above photo was taken, 10 years after the disaster, the Elephant’s Foot was only emitting one-tenth of the radiation it once had. Still, merely 500 seconds of exposure would prove fatal.

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Pyro-Technic AN/M8 raygun

Manufactured for the US army with nuclear waste from the Manhattan project c.1942-46 - no serial number.
37mm plutonium-240 or uranium-238 cartridges, single shot top-break action, screwed-on focusing lens cap with chain lanyard.

This compact handgun proved very useful for the American soldiers on the occult front of WW2.

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Fluorite Cubes on Calcite, from a cave in Illinois

What is a Pulsar?

Pulsar is a neutron star, the result of the explosion of a star with more than 8 solar masses. They are the size of a city, but only a spoon of this star can weigh as much as a mountain. In addition, it has a strong magnetic field, millions of times stronger than that of the earth. The pulsars also have two beams of radiation emitted from their poles, and if they are towards the earth, they can be detected.

Click here to see the animation

Click here to hear the pulsars sound

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Fluorite with Chalcopyrite & Radiation Induced Spots

Purple-blue Fluorites containing numerous, prominent dark spots. These occur due to local, tiny ingrown bits of radioactive material that excites the electrons of some fluorite molecules around them and causes a permanent “smoky” effect as happens also in smoky quartz. It is very rare to see this dispersed pinpoint phenomenon in fluorite!

Locality:  Rosiclare Level, Denton Mine, Harris Creek, Hardin Co., Illinois, USA

The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab

The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab was a toy produced between 1950 and 1951.  The toy allowed the user to conduct simple experiments with radioactive materials.  Kit included;

  • A Geiger counter
  • An electroscope
  • A Wilson cloud chamber
  • A spinthariscope
  • Four samples of uranium ore
  • Pb-210 lead isotope
  • Polonium
  • Ruthenium
  • Zinc
  • various other accessories

After only a year of production, the toy was pulled from the market for obvious reasons.