Friday, October 24, 2008

OMG my x-ray machine has no x-rays, what do I do???

No, this isn't the exclusive that you've been hearing all about! That's still coming - but it's so scorchingly hot that we're wrapping the web server in a bit of insulation before we put it up. Just in case, you know...

OK, on to the real story. Bear with me a bit here for this MacGyver-type scenario: say you've got an x-ray machine, but picketers at the Lucas Heights reactor have meant that your radiation source hasn't been replaced. Your x-rays have run out! As a vet-type person, a delicate baby something-or-other has been brought to you, and you need to x-ray it to check that its adorable fuzzy leg isn't broken. What to do??? Can you MacGyver up some x-rays to save an cute fluffy baby animal???

The chances are that I wouldn't be writing this if you couldn't.

Apparently, unrolling clear sticky tape (Scotch tape) can generate x-rays, and not just a little sparkle, but enough to image tissue as thick as a human hand.  Freaky.

Back to our MacGyver situation, and all you need to do is get your engineering buddy to wire up a system to unwind sticky tape at about 3cm a second where you want your x-ray source, and ta-da! X-rays = cute fluffy baby animal saved!

Now, those people that prefer tape to staples generally start looking worried about now. To those people: harden up. You don't avoid airplanes because of the x-rays you'll get there, do you?


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Coming soon to The Appendix...

Don't miss our world-exclusive expose, coming this month. You'll hear it here first!

Friday, October 3, 2008

2008 Ig Nobel Prize Winners!

The 2008 Ig Nobel prizes were held on Thursday, October 2. Read about the winners here. In the biology category, Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Christel Joubert and Michel Franc for discovered that fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than fleas that live on a cat.