The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

6 February 2005

Particle emissions

Okiedoke this morning gives a lot of space to the rantings of Bob Nichols, who points out, correctly, that depleted-uranium weapons are being produced in Oklahoma.

Had Bob left it at that, he might have gotten away with it. But no:

Oklahoma is the major shipping point for millions of pounds of genocidal and illegal weapons to Iraq. Up to 3.2 million pounds a day. That is up to 96 million pounds of radioactive uranium a month!

Of course, to have genocide, one must have a people that is being systematically destroyed. On that basis, there is as much genocide in, say, downtown Cincinnati as there is in Iraq.

But what spooks people is "radioactive," and really, Bob, what part of the word "depleted" don't you understand? DU's own emissions are so meager that it's actually used as a radiation shield; its sheer density makes it even more efficient than lead at blocking gamma rays and other radiational nasties, and its own alpha particles can be blocked by a coat of paint or a piece of wallboard. No one is claiming that DU is actually good for you, but the threat is severely overblown.

Much like Bob's little spiel, in fact.

Posted at 9:56 AM to Political Science Fiction


Any time the word "radiation" is used, someone will freak out. It seems to be an automatic thing. Panic strikes and no amount of conversation will slow it down.

The fact that heat, light and radio are all types of radiation is completely lost on some people.

Posted by: unimpressed at 10:51 AM on 6 February 2005

It must be this week's moonbat talking point. There was a letter to the editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner raising this a couple of days ago.

Seems to me if you want to have fun with one of these people, turn on your radio to an AM station during a thunderstorm -- and tell him the static is electromagnetic RADIATION!!! and that people living in thunderstorm-prone areas have been exposed to this stuff constantly for years!

Posted by: McGehee at 11:38 AM on 6 February 2005

Do the members of a nuclear family have radiant personalities?

Posted by: triticale at 10:45 AM on 7 February 2005

Two hydrogen atoms are sitting at the bar, and one of them says, "I've lost my electron."

"You sure about that?" says the other.

"I'm positive."

Posted by: CGHill at 10:48 AM on 7 February 2005