Philobiblon: Weekend reading

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Weekend reading

The Blair government is hell-bent on introducing more nuclear power, yet it can't even properly oversee the use of medical radiation (which as a life-saving measure is no doubt necessary).

A LETHAL beam of radiation was emitted from a casket containing highly radioactive waste on a three-and-a-half-hour road journey across England, it was disclosed yesterday.
Thousands of people were put at risk by the “cavalier” attitude of workers for the privatised company in charge of transporting the hospital waste.
Anyone standing one yard from the beam and in its direct path would have felt sick within ten minutes. After two hours they would have been dead.
Only by “pure chance” was no one directly exposed to the high concentration of cobalt-60 gamma rays that streamed from the container because of the failure to install a lead safety plug.

Something of a theme emerging here, given that the government has just privatised the supply of medical oxygen, and that system is also in chaos.

More cheerfully (well unless you were around at the time), it seems T. rex might after all have been the fearsome predator of childish imaginations, rather than the sober scavenger of scientific thought.

"A team of US scientists has produced detailed models of dinosaur brains, from which it concludes, from the shape and size of components of the dinosaur's brain linked to hearing, balance and the co-ordination of head and eye movement, that its sensory system was clearly that of a predatory rather than scavenging animal."

Meanwhile in New Zealand schoolchildren found the remains of a giant penguin, which would have stood to look us in the eye. Don't tell Disney!

The Guardian online editor's view of the blog.

So what is a blog? Let's just say it is an opportunity, not a threat.

2 Comments:

Blogger Alun said...

I'm having trouble with a couple of the links. The first on raditation is to blogger, which asks me to create a post. The last, view of the blog, is to a gmail account.

2/18/2006 11:30:00 am  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

Sorry Alun, now fixed. Blogger has been behaving oddly recently, but I hadn't realised quite how oddly ...!

2/18/2006 12:10:00 pm  

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