Thursday, March 06, 2008

Radiation Hazard . . .

. . . or why the tree-hugging, sandals-with-socks, environment uber alles crowd sometimes irritates the hell out of me. Not that protecting the environment is a bad thing. Occasionally, however, some modicum of logic is required - and often is missing.

On one of my project sites, there is supposedly a buried pipe containing some radium residue. Supposedly, the location was marked, but no one can find it, and it's not on a map.

Simple to find, you say? Just get a Geiger counter and follow the clicks. Not so. It seems the decaying granite in the surrounding earth gives out more radiation than the little bit of radium in the pipe. Right now, George Carlin would be saying "hmmmmmm."

I am therefore lead, fairly willingly, to the obvious question. If there's more radiation eminating from the granite, why am I looking for the radium? Maybe I should bury more radium in the ground to mask the granite? If the ground is more radioactive than the radium, should I rub dirt on my watch dial?

If you don't know what the flags signify, go here and decode.