funranium: (Default)

If you see a puddle and it is not actively, at that very moment, raining...DO NOT SPLASH IN IT.  Odds are on favor that it is not actually water and is, instead, urine.

Staring at the moist stairs of the parking garage waiting for Araina, I thought back to my childhood of full double foot leaping into puddles as I ambled around town in the winter/early spring.  I then shuddered thinking of doing the same in Berkeley and how traumatizing that might have been.

Here endeth the pro-tip.

funranium: (Your Buddy Heyzeus)
That is majestic urination.  A beautiful porcelain convenience with no backsplatter, finely cracked glaze, marble wall panels, and heavy wooden stall doors.  You practically expect a bathroom lackey to attend to your gilded age hands, arrange you properly, and zip your fly for you.

I intend to use this bathroom from now on when I'm on upper campus.

The UC Berkeley bathroom exploration, much as I did at McMurdo, will continue...
funranium: (Butt)
When you are in the field of radiation safety, you'd think that your day would revolve around a very narrow niche of safety that makes your activities very predictable, even when things go horribly wrong.


That's because the field of radiation safety means that you could potentially be doing anything...but with radiation at the same time.

This is why I get to play with 2L of my own urine tomorrow.  I get to take a 1mL sample from a 24hr average (read: a big bottle o' whiz), add scintillation cocktail, and load that sample into the liquid scintillation counter to see if I've had a Cs-137 uptake.

I should count my blessings that I don't have to evaporate the sample first to do it on the other counter because that is smelly.

Why would I have had a Cs-137 uptake you might ask?  I'll let you read the somewhat sanitized NRC report (or watch the video clip where there is a brief glimpse of me surveying myself behind the glass door; I'm the less fat guy wearing Tevas on the wrong day) regarding the place I was visiting in Texas last week.  I swear I had nothing to do with it, I was just there, man.  It's a good thing I was too.  While they are manufacturers of excellent instrumentation, they don't have a lot of experience actually using it.  Should've charged for my services, but that's not what a Good Samaritan does.

That's what a master's degree will get you, kids.  A chance to play, scientifically, with your own urine.  There are some health physicists out there who do bioassays like this all day, everyday...


funranium: (Default)
Holy crap, where the hell did that paper I wrote for Physics of Stars in 1994 go? Down to the estimated life span of the supermassive star, it looks like I nailed it in this news story.

That's three for three for my finest college thinking whilst urinating.

1) Magnetic pole flips are due to chaotic modes in the differential rotation of Earth's liquid Fe-Ni core. (think of Jupiter's bands to help imagine this)

2) Yes, volcanoes do actually re-erupt material from oceanic plates subducting beneath them because water that has "soaked" into the plate seeps out and changes the physical and chemical processes happening at the 30-300km depth. This fluid sucks up rare earths and metals, making the isotopic signature of the erupting lavas look like the sediments of the subducting plate even though the chemical concentrations may look very screwy.

3) Early stars that are 98%+ H-1 with traces of H-2, He-3, and He-4 are possible all the way up to 200 solar masses. The life span of a 200 solar mass star is somewhere in the neighborhood of 250,000 years. Beyond that mass, the growing spin of the condensing stellar cloud would fling the nascent superstar apart into a binary.

December 2012

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