Skip to comments.The Radioactive Boy Scout
Posted on 12/29/2005 1:45:14 PM PST by Wonder Warthog
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I used to turn off the dive lights and enjoy the natural phosphorescnence. A reef looks like a miniature city.
The saddest part of the story was his ignorance of the basics that could have had him doing a better job.
For example, the old Coleman mantles are treated with thorium nitrate, which could have been rinsed out and concentrated with water. Once fired, the ThO2 is formed. This is also true of the modern yttrium mantles. He did not have to ash them, thereby causing so much dilution. Nuclear reactions do not care about the compound, unless it contains neutron absorbing elements like cadmium.
If he wanted an alpha source, raiding Staticmaster brushes would have been much more rewarding. A milligram of polonium emits as many alpha particles per second as 5 grams of radium. The energy released by its decay is so large that a capsule containing about 0.5 grams reaches a temperature above 500K. Since a->Be>-oN1 only has a yield of 1 in 10^4 or so, the higher alpha flux from Polonium would have greatly helped him.
In short, it was a bungled and pathetic effort, that could have been vastly improved with a half an hour on the Web.
"C" for effort, "F" for Style.
What it goes to show is that American boy scouts are smarter than all the scientists in the middle east.
You're almost in my back yard.........
Any idiot could make a dirty bomb if they could get the radioactive material.
Gotta get together.
The water would release the Th from the Th(NO3)4? (Assuming Th valence of 4)
Then there is the EMP gun.....salvage a CRT tube from an old TV, knock off all the glass and replace it with a shielded tube, and set up a capacitor with a solid state relay to power......
"That's all I got to say about that.", Forrest Gump.
Once upon a time a dude I know of made himself sick with a similar device he built. He didn't understand why he got sick, but once the hospital figured it out he got a visit from.....weeelllll...he ain't supposed to do that no more.
It is a quick and silent method to kill rats at the local dump, however.
I guess the Department of Homeland Security is coming to lobotomize me now, or the Defense Department will be hiring me as a consultant.
Leave my night sights alone.
And all we did when we were kids was patiently use a pin to pick the gunpowder out of toy caps until we had enough to make a giant firecracker.
Guess you never got into the kitchen matches like my old friend Lefty.
We sure did.
And we had the good kind in those days: the kind with the white tip that you could strike against anything to light it.
I'd fire them at brick walls out of my old Daisy BB rifle to watch them ignite when they hit.
I also experimented with taping a flap of sandpaper the the barrel such that it would flop down over the muzzle and cause the match to ignite on its way out.
Instant BB tracer round.
Back then if you wanted to have more fun, you had to become creative rather than go out and buy the latest technological marvel.
My older brother mentioned just the other day how he and his friends would play for hours and hours witht those wind-up rubberband planes they sold at the candy store--not just flying them, but testing their own modifications and repairs.
I hope he stays on our side!
Geez, at that age, we thought we were bad smoking cigs and looking at porn.
I once read a biography of Robert R. Wilson which described how he made a particle accelerator in his grandparent's attic when he was a teenager. What is it about you Wyomingers that makes you so dang precocious? :-)
This kid is cool. He probably smokes cigarettes and has porn too.
You'll put your eye out with that. LOL
I used to take old spools from thread, staple a piece of rubber band over one side and fire kitchen matches with it. Great fun and you could hide it in your pocket if your mother came around.
Or try this. Take a whole box of kitchen matches and drop a nice heavy red brick on it. Mini gernade. Do you realize that most of the really fun stuff we did in the 50s would now, at the very least, cause a visit from the child welfare bureaucrats, while at the same time the kids they should have removed to a safer place years ago are blasting the hell out of each other with real guns over drug turf.
The 60s Great Society welfare crap coupled with the sex, drugs and rock n' roll stuff really f***ed a lot of lives and made childhood lots less fun and adventurous.
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