When one studies strongly radioactive substances special precautions must be taken if one wishes to be able to take delicate measurements. The various objects used in a chemical laboratory and those used in a chemical laboratory, and those which serve for experiments in physics, become radioactive in a short time and act upon photographic plates through black paper. Dust, the air of the room, and one's clothes all become radioactive.
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Gentle reader, the Fountain of Youth is radioactive, and those who imbibe its poisonous heavy waters will suffer the hideous fate of decaying metal. Yet almost without exception, the wretched idiot inhabitants of our benighted planet would gulp down this radioactive excrement if it were offered.
William S. Burroughs
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What is it that you contain? The dead. Time. Light patterns of millennia opening in your gut. Every minute, in each of you, a few million potassium atoms succumb to radioactive decay. The energy that powers these tiny atomic events has been locked inside potassium atoms ever since a star-sized bomb exploded nothing into being. Potassium, like uranium and radium, is a long-lived radioactive nuclear waste of the supernova bang that accounts for you. Your first parent was a star.
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I think it was love at first sight for both of us; it just took us a little while to figure it out. That was understandable, considering we were being stuck with needles, shot through with radioactive particles, possibly poisoned by the horrific substances the hospital tried to pass off as food, and then, when we got discharged, running away and stealing cars together.
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When a reader falls in love with a book, it leaves its essence inside him, like radioactive fallout in an arable field, and after that there are certain crops that will no longer grow in him, while other, stranger, more fantastic growths may occasionally be produced." [Books vs. Goons, L.A. Times, April 24, 2005]
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Why should people be afraid that we use a few small pellets of uranium at the nuclear power plant in Bataan? Don't they know that we're surrounded by uranium? We have the world's fourth largest deposits of uranium. Yes, we're all radioactive -- must be the reason why we have so many faith healers!
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[This] may prove to be the beginning of some embracing generalization, which will throw light, not only on radioactive processes, but on elements in general and the Periodic Law.... Chemical homogeneity is no longer a guarantee that any supposed element is not a mixture of several of different atomic weights, or that any atomic weight is not merely a mean number.
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For 50 years, nuclear power stations have produced three products which only a lunatic could want: bomb-explosive plutonium, lethal radioactive waste and electricity so dear it has to be heavily subsidised. They leave to future generations the task, and most of the cost, of making safe sites that have been polluted half-way to eternity.
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It's perilous and foolhardy for the average citizen to remain ignorant about global warming, say, or ozone depletion, air pollution, toxic and radioactive wastes, acid rain, topsoil erosion, tropical deforestation, exponential population growth. Jobs and wages depend on science and technology.
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after an epic search, I finally found something neither green nor fuzzy. It was a hot sausage link. I named it Peter, mostly because it seemed like the right thing to do. As soon as my java was piping hot I popped him into the microwave. hopefully the radioactive environment would sterilize Peter. No need to have little Peters running around, wreaking havoc.
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New Rule: If you can force a woman to look at a sonogram-to see what will happen if she has an abortion-you also have to let her see a crying baby, a bratty five-year-old, and a surly teenager to see what will happen if she doesn't. And you have to tell her it costs $204, 000 to raise it until it turns eighteen, in 2028, where it will be a slave to the Chinese, in a radioactive world with no animals, fish, or plants.
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New Rule: If you can force a woman to look at a sonogram""to see what will happen if she has an abortion""you also have to let her see a crying baby, a bratty five-year-old, and a surly teenager to see what will happen if she doesn't. And you have to tell her it costs $204,000 to raise it until it turns eighteen, in 2028, where it will be a slave to the Chinese, in a radioactive world with no animals, fish, or plants.
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The USA government states that the New Mexico Trinity nuclear bomb site is still highly radioactive and 'harmless'. It is interesting to note in the era of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) that it is USA government policy that radio frequency (RF) and electricity are also 'harmless'.
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The usual people tried to claim responsibility. First the IRA , then the PLO and the Gas Board. Even British Nuclear Fuels rushed out a statement to the effect that the situation was completely under control, that it was a one in a million chance, that there was hardly any radioactive leakage at all, and that the site of the explosion would make a nice location for a day out with the kids and a picnic, before finally having to admit that it wasn't actually anything to do with them at all.
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I am a member of a fragile species, still new to the earth, the youngest creatures of any scale, here only a few moments as evolutionary time is measured, a juvenile species, a child of a species. We are only tentatively set in place, error prone, at risk of fumbling, in real danger at the moment of leaving behind only a thin layer of of our fossils, radioactive at that.
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Marla poked Duncan. He stepped forward. "Maybe I can help." Atomic Jack looked at him., his eyes glowed a sickening shade of radioactive orange. "I really don't see how." He slipped off his glove and his hand burst into small flames. The guy didn't yell though, or make out like he was in pain. He just grinned and showed a mouthful of orange teeth.
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Mission begins with a kind of explosion of joy. The news that the rejected and crucified Jesus is alive is something that cannot possibly be suppressed. It must be told. Who could be silent about such a fact? The mission of the Church in the pages of the New Testament is like the fallout from a vast explosion, a radioactive fallout which is not lethal but life-giving.
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The age of the earth was thus increased from a mere score of millions [of years] to a thousand millions and more, and the geologist who had before been bankrupt in time now found himself suddenly transformed into a capitalist with more millions in the bank than he knew how to dispose of ... More cautious people, like myself, too cautious, perhaps, are anxious first of all to make sure that the new [radioactive] clock is not as much too fast as Lord Kelvin's was too slow.
William Johnson Sollas
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The international community must do a better job of controlling the risks of nuclear proliferation. Sensitive parts of the nuclear fuel cycle - the production of new fuel, the processing of weapon-usable material, the disposal of spent fuel and radioactive waste - would be less vulnerable to proliferation if brought under multinational control.
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She went out in the city with its lights like a radioactive phosphorescence, wandered through galleries where the high-priced art on the walls was the same as the graffiti scrawled outside by taggers who were arrested or killed for it, went to parties in hotel rooms where white-skinned, lingerie-clad rock stars had been staying the night their husbands shot themselves in the head, listened to music in nightclubs where stunning boyish actors had OD'd on the pavement.
Francesca Lia Block
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Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good is one of the reasons we have a coal-dependent infrastructure, with the resulting environmental impact that all of us can see. I suspect environmentalists, through their opposition of nuclear power, have caused more coal plants to be built than anybody. And those coal plants have emitted more radioactive material from the coal than any nuclear accident would have.
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President Obama took charge of the Oval Office seven years ago. He promised a positive reset in relations with Russia. But with the radioactive poisoning of a British spy in London, the downing of passenger jets over Europe, and the aggressive advances of Russian forces from Ukraine to Syria, President Putin of Russia has rebuked Mr. Obama.
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Have you guys been playing in toxic waste again?" Fang asked severely, putting his hands on his hips. Nudge giggled. "No." "Been bitten by a radioactive spider?" Fang went on. "Struck by lightning? Drink a super-soldier serum?" "No, no, no," said Iggy. He started reaching for things around the table, and his hand landed on Total. "You're black." "I prefer canine-American." said Total. "When's that pie coming? I'm starving.
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If you inhale a millionth of a gram of plutonium, the surrounding cells receive a very, very high dose. Most die within that area, because it's an alpha emitter. The cells on the periphery remain viable. They mutate, and the regulatory genes are damaged. Years later, that person develops cancer. Now, that's true for radioactive iodine, that goes to the thyroid; cesium-137, that goes to the brain and muscles; strontium-90 goes to bone, causing bone cancer and leukemia.
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Industrial vomit...fills our skies and seas. Pesticides and herbicides filter into our foods. Twisted automobile carcasses, aluminum cans, non-returnable glass bottles and synthetic plastics form immense middens in our midst as more and more of our detritus resists decay. We do not even begin to know what to do with our radioactive wastes - whether to pump them into the earth, shoot them into outer space, or pour them into the oceans. Our technological powers increase, but the side effects and potential hazards also escalate.
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One time Allie and I skipped school and went to see this foreign film called Los Diablos, where these villagers found a glowing blue ball and peeled pieces off of it to see what was inside. Only the ball was really radioactive, and they all died from the poison. I think that's what happens when you look too deep inside for the truth. The poison comes out, and you die, even though you have beautiful glowing pieces of blue truth in your fingers.
Michael Thomas Ford
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Quantum events have a way of just happening, without any cause, as when a radioactive atom decays at a random time. Even the quantum vacuum is not an inert void, but is boiling with quantum fluctuations. In our macroscopic world, we are used to energy conservation, but in the quantum realm this holds only on average. Energy fluctuations out of nothing create short-lived particle-antiparticle pairs, which is why the vacuum is not emptiness but a sea of transient particles. An uncaused beginning, even out of nothing, for spacetime is no great leap of the imagination.
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If manufacturers are so sure there is nothing wrong with genetically modified foods, pesticides and cloned meats, they should have no problems labeling them as such. After all, cancer will kill one in every two men and one in every three women now alive, reports Samuel Epstein, chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition. Like our ancestors, we act in ways that will bemuse future societies. The military-industrial complex lubricates the mass-agriculture system with fossil fuels. Tons of heavy metals and other hazardous, even radioactive, waste is sprayed on American agricultural soil.
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It was my good fortune to be linked with Mme. Curie through twenty years of sublime and unclouded friendship. I came to admire her human grandeur to an ever growing degree. Her strength, her purity of will, her austerity toward herself, her objectivity, her incorruptible judgement- all these were of a kind seldom found joined in a single individual... The greatest scientific deed of her life-proving the existence of radioactive elements and isolating them-owes its accomplishment not merely to bold intuition but to a devotion and tenacity in execution under the most extreme hardships imaginable, such as the history of experimental science has not often witnessed.
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Uranium mining in northern Canada has left over 120 million tons of radioactive waste. This amount represents enough material to cover the Trans-Canada Highway two meters deep across the country. Present production of uranium waste from Saskatchewan alone occurs at the rate of over 1 million tons annually. Since 1975, hospitalization for cancer, birth defects and circulatory illnesses in that area have increased dramatically - between 123 and 600 percent in that region.
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Some months ago we discovered that certain light elements emit positrons under the action of alpha particles. Our latest experiments have shown a very striking fact: when an aluminium foil is irradiated on a polonium preparation [alpha ray emitter], the emission of positrons does not cease immediately when the active preparation is removed: the foil remains radioactive and the emission of radiation decays exponentially as for an ordinary radio-element. We observed the same phenomenon with boron and magnesium.
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This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through radioactive materials and a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. Entire regional airsheds, crop plant environments, and river basins are heavy with noxious materials. Motor vehicles and home heating plants, municipal dumps and factories continually hurl pollutants into the air we breathe. Each day almost 50,000 tons of unpleasant, and sometimes poisonous, sulfur dioxide are added to the atmosphere, and our automobiles produce almost 300,000 tons of other pollutants.
Lyndon B. Johnson
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It's certainly true that Chernobyl, while an accident in the sense that no one intentionally set it off, was also the deliberate product of a culture of cronyism, laziness, and a deep-seated indifference toward the general population. The literature on the subject is pretty unanimous in its opinion that the Soviet system had taken a poorly designed reactor adn then staffed it with a group of incompetents. It then proceeded, as the interviews in this book attest, to lie about the disaster in the most criminal way. In the crucial first ten days, when the reactor core was burning and releasing a steady stream of highly radioactive material into the surrounding areas, the authorities repeatedly claimed that the situation was under control... In the week after the accident, while refusing to admit to the world that anything really serious had gone wrong, the Soviets poured thousands of men into the breach... The machines they brought broke down because of the radiation. The humans wouldn't break down until weeks or months later, at which point they'd die horribly.
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The Himalayas are the crowning achievement of the Indo-Australian plate. India in the Oligocene crashed head on into Tibet, hit so hard that it not only folded and buckled the plate boundaries but also plowed into the newly created Tibetan plateau and drove the Himalayas five and a half miles into the sky. The mountains are in some trouble. India has not stopped pushing them, and they are still going up. Their height and volume are already so great they are beginning to melt in their own self-generated radioactive heat. When the climbers in 1953 planted their flags on the highest mountain, they set them in snow over the skeletons of creatures that had lived in a warm clear ocean that India, moving north, blanked out. Possibly as much as 20,000 feet below the sea floor, the skeletal remains had turned into rock. This one fact is a treatise in itself on the movements of the surface of the earth. If by some fiat, I had to restrict all this writing to one sentence; this is the one I would choose: the summit of Mount Everest is marine limestone.
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We came back [from Mars], " Pris said, "because nobody should have to live there. It wasn't conceived for habitation, at least not within the last billion years. It's so old. You feel it in the stones, the terrible old age. Anyhow, at first I got drugs from Roy; I lived for that new synthetic pain-killer, that silenizine. And then I met Horst Hartman, who at that time ran a stamp store, rare postage stamps; there's so much time on your hands that you've got to have a hobby, something you can pore over endlessly. And Horst got me interested in pre-colonial fiction." "You mean old books?" "Stories written before space travel but about space travel." "How could there have been stories about space travel before - " "The writers, " Pris said, "made it up." "Based on what?" "On imagination. A lot of times they turned out wrong [... ] Anyhow, there's a fortune to be made in smuggling pre-colonial fiction, the old magazines and books and films, to Mars. Nothing is as exciting. To read about cities and huge industrial enterprises, and really successful colonization. You can imagine what it might have been like. What Mars ought to be like. Canals." "Canals?" Dimly, he remembered reading about that; in the olden days they had believed in canals on Mars. "Crisscrossing the planet, " Pris said. "And beings from other stars. With infinite wisdom. And stories about Earth, set in our time and even later. Where there's no radioactive dust." [... ] "Did you bring any of that pre-colonial reading material back with you?" It occurred to him that he ought to try some. "It's worthless, here, because here on Earth the craze never caught on. Anyhow there's plenty here, in the libraries; that's where we get all of ours - stolen from libraries here on Earth and shot by autorocket to Mars. You're out at night humbling across the open space, and all of a sudden you see a flare, and there's a rocket, cracked open, with old pre-colonial fiction magazines spilling out everywhere. A fortune. But of course you read them before you sell them." She warmed to her topic. "Of all -
Philip K. Dick
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Dear Hunger Games : Screw you for helping cowards pretend you have to be great with a bow to fight evil. You don't need to be drafted into a monkey-infested jungle to fight evil. You don't need your father's light sabre, or to be bitten by a radioactive spider. You don't need to be stalked by a creepy ancient vampire who is basically a pedophile if you're younger than a redwood. Screw you mainstream media for making it look like moral courage requires hair gel, thousands of sit ups and millions of dollars of fake ass CGI. Moral courage is the gritty, scary and mostly anonymous process of challenging friends, co-workers and family on issues like spanking, taxation, debt, circumcision and war. Moral courage is standing up to bullies when the audience is not cheering, but jeering. It is helping broken people out of abusive relationships, and promoting the inner peace of self knowledge in a shallow and empty pseudo-culture. Moral courage does not ask for - or receive - permission or the praise of the masses. If the masses praise you, it is because you are helping distract them from their own moral cowardice and conformity. Those who provoke discomfort create change - no one else. So forget your politics and vampires and magic wands and photon torpedoes. Forget passively waiting for the world to provoke and corner you into being virtuous. It never will. Stop watching fictional courage and go live some; it is harder and better than anything you will ever see on a screen. Let's make the world change the classification of courage from 'fantasy' to 'documentary.' You know there are people in your life who are doing wrong. Go talk to them, and encourage them to pursue philosophy, self-knowledge and virtue. Be your own hero; you are the One that your world has been waiting for.
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Bohr is really doing what the Stoic allegorists did to close the gap between their world and Homer's, or what St. Augustine did when he explained, against the evidence, the concord of the canonical scriptures. The dissonances as well as the harmonies have to be made concordant by means of some ultimate complementarity. Later biblical scholarship has sought different explanations, and more sophisticated concords; but the motive is the same, however the methods may differ. An epoch, as Einstein remarked, is the instruments of its research. Stoic physics, biblical typology, Copenhagen quantum theory, are all different, but all use concord-fictions and assert complementarities. Such fictions meet a need. They seem to do what Bacon said poetry could: 'give some show of satisfaction to the mind, wherein the nature of things doth seem to deny it.' Literary fictions ( Bacon's 'poetry') do likewise. One consequence is that they change, for the same reason that patristic allegory is not the same thing, though it may be essentially the same kind of thing, as the physicists' Principle of Complementarity. The show of satisfaction will only serve when there seems to be a degree of real compliance with reality as we, from time to time, imagine it. Thus we might imagine a constant value for the irreconcileable observations of the reason and the imagination, the one immersed in chronos, the other in kairos; but the proportions vary indeterminably. Or, when we find 'what will suffice, ' the element of what I have called the paradigmatic will vary. We measure and order time with our fictions; but time seems, in reality, to be ever more diverse and less and less subject to any uniform system of measurement. Thus we think of the past in very different timescales, according to what we are doing; the time of the art-historian is different from that of the geologist, that of the football coach from the anthropologist's. There is a time of clocks, a time of radioactive carbon, a time even of linguistic change, as in lexicostatics. None of these is the same as the 'structural' or 'family' time of sociology. George Kubler in his book The Shape of Time distinguished between 'absolute' and 'systematic' age, a hierarchy of durations from that of the coral reef to that of the solar year. Our ways of filling the interval between the tick and tock must grow more difficult and more selfcritical, as well as more various; the need we continue to feel is a need of concord, and we supply it by increasingly varied concord-fictions. They change as the reality from which we, in the middest, seek a show of satisfaction, changes; because 'times change.' The fictions by which we seek to find 'what will suffice' change also. They change because we no longer live in a world with an historical tick which will certainly be consummated by a definitive tock. And among all the other changing fictions, literary fictions take their place. They find out about the changing world on our behalf; they arrange our complementarities. They do this, for some of us, perhaps better than history, perhaps better than theology, largely because they are consciously false; but the way to understand their development is to see how they are related to those other fictional systems. It is not that we are connoisseurs of chaos, but that we are surrounded by it, and equipped for coexistence with it only by our fictive powers. This may, in the absence of a supreme fiction-or the possibility of it, be a hard fate; which is why the poet of that fiction is compelled to say From this the poem springs: that we live in a place That is not our own, and much more, nor ourselves And hard it is, in spite of blazoned days.
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