Way back in the year 775, it looks likely that the Earth was slammed with a massive burst of gamma rays, briefly soaking the planet in quite a bit of radiation. This radiation spike was measured by studying tree rings in Japan and rocks in Antarctica, pinpointing it to 775, the year when Baghdad was the world’s biggest city.
In open space, outside the barriers of atmospheres, there’s a shit ton of radiation beaming about all over the place. Spaceships shield themselves from the radiation to keep astronauts safe, but there’s a bigger danger than gamma rays— radioactive iron ions that are too heavy to be blocked by normal radiation shields, that could lead to brain damage in astronauts.
Near the site of last year’s Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, scientists have noticed something disturbing— butterflies in the region have been developing noticeable mutations. Not like giant movie monster mutations, but I assume giant mutated butterflies attacking Tokyo is probably the next step.
These radiation safety posters from the Oak Ridge National Lab from 1947 are charming and informative, though I’m disappointed that there’s nothing about the possible god-like superpowers radiation can give you. Warning: Getting bitten by a radioactive spider could be AWESOME.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster released twice as much of a radioactive substance into the atmosphere as Japanese authorities estimated, reaching 40 percent of the total from Chernobyl, a preliminary report says. The original estimates were based just on readings from Japan, whereas this new report measures radiation blown out past the islands.
Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab Toy, from back when radiation was cool and fun and your parents sucked if you didn’t get uranium for Christmas.
Kid today just don’t get enough U-238 in their toys. That’s what’s wrong with this country! According to Wiki, this thing sold for $49.50 ($458.99 in 2011 US dollars) in 1950-51.
Don’t worry west coast Americans, the Japanese death cloud won’t kill you. It’ll just be a very light sprinkling of inconvenience.
If you live on the west coast of the US or Canada and you’ve been hearing a whole lot of scary shit and if you’ve been trying to stock up on iodine pills, the good news is that the radioactive plume from Japan won’t kill you, or even turn you into some sort of super mutant. Yes, the cloud will reach you, but it will be pretty diluted by the time it gets here and according to officials, it won’t pose any significant health risk. Take that as you will.