Jun. 15th, 2017

randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
I managed to get my Geiger counter together with my friend who is full of radioactive palladium the other day. Since we were outside, we were trying to find a slightly quieter place. There's a space between two buildings that has no windows, intended as a smoking area, so we walked into there and he stuck the counter probe pretty much down his pants and it started clattering wildly: nicely radioactive, easily detectable. Just as he did that, a guy in a suit walked out of the building and turned towards us, and my friend, in a very smooth move, swept the probe out and over towards one of the picnic benches there, and told the guy in the suit, "we're checking for radioactivity in the cigarette ashes!" He's smooth.
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
Anyone here know much about theraputic/pharmaceutical radiochemistry?
Palladium-103 decays by electron capture from an inner shell, which emits an electron neutrino, and subsequently emits an x-ray when another outer electron falls into the hole where the previous one had been.
But we are definitely detecting a ton of beta particles coming off my friend. (As in, the geiger tube with the beta window closed detects about half as many particles as when it's open.)
Scattering from subsequent impacts of ionizing radiation?
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
We walk Monty very late at night now, because there are very few dogs out wandering around loose, late at night.
Two nights ago, we were up by the water tower and she was nosing around in the gutter looking for food because we STARVE HER MERCILESSLY she's only gained 12 kilograms since she started living here after all, and we noticed her jump back and then start nosing at something.
It was a small garter snake that was stuck in the gutter: not long enough to climb up the curb.
I tried to grab it. Between the darkness and her head in the way I got something closer to its tail than its head and as I swung it up out of the gutter it twisted around and tried to bite me. Not effectively: too small a mouth. But it startled me enough that I kind of threw it. Monty thought that was a great game.
Tonight, in the same place, she started snuffling at something that I thought was a bit of trash, and it squawked. It was a fledgling, all black feathers and an enormous wide beak/mouth. I picked it up and stuck it in some bushes immediately above where it was so it wouldn't be quite as easy for the foxes and coyotes that come out at 2 AM.

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