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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Homer's pebbles




A couple years ago, I brought back a handful of pebbles scooped by the trailside in Australia. Picked from a barren mound by an intersection with an unsealed (gravel) road leading to a mine, they have languished forgotten in a corner of a drawer since.




Until today.





Hmm... something happened is happening here.










A folded sheet of carbonless copy paper (NCR paper) in the drawer. The dark, burnt-looking patch is the section of the paper directly over the sample of pebbles.





Apple iSight FireWire 400 cable next to the pebble sample. It was originally white. The discoloration extends below the surface of the insulation. I.e. it cannot be scraped off.





Apple iSight. The section of the case near the lens, which lay next to the pebbles, has turned yellow.





The pebble sample. The plastic bag still seems airtight; the sample was dry when collected, transported, and stored; and there were never any water spills in the drawer.

Not one to be alarmist, as there are no uranium mines in Western Australia (as of September 2009), I wonder what I scooped up that sunny day  :-D

Perhaps I should get my paws on a photographic plate and recreate what Antoine Henri Becquerel did in 1896?





In any case, whatever it is, it probably only emits alpha radiation, so I should be pretty safe.





And, if it emits beta radiation, the walls of the wooden drawer should have shielded me from it.

As for radon, I'll handle it like Bill Clinton Slick Willy handled marijuana (and not like Stanley Watras, I hope).

No, it won't go Boomz!  :-P

Or, maybe it's all just corrosive rock fart...

Enjoy the excerpt of Franciscan priest-turned-director, Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi (and Philip Glass' score).







3 Comments:

Blogger Grisabella said...

You do have an exciting life! ;)

September 29, 2009 12:13 AM  
Blogger -ben said...

Hey you!

How's diving?

More stories!

:-D

September 29, 2009 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Jean said...

You know that you are going to pay so so so bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

September 30, 2009 1:04 PM  

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