Have To Laugh

I had to laugh. In the comments Some Other Tom wrote:

I’m waiting for the day that even uttering the word cigarette will be taboo and banned. I know it is coming…

Two hours later, Magnetic replied:

In one school, the very word “cigarette” is verboten.

The linked article read:

…an incident that occurred as one of my Messiah College student-teachers read “The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo to her fourth-graders.

As she shared the scene where a father, cigarette in his clamped mouth, sells his daughter, she looked up to find 24 pairs of horrified eyes upon her. She paused, recognizing this was troubling.

Wisely, she created time for conversation. She assumed that the children were disturbed by the selling of a child. But, in whispered unison, the children warned their young student-teacher that the word “cigarette” is forbidden at their school.

They insisted that she replace the word “cigarette” with “chicken.” Strikingly, a man with a chicken in his mouth made a strange substitution, but the children were surprisingly satisfied and seemingly unfazed that a child was being sold by her father … as long as he was not smoking.

Can’t make it up, can you?

Elsewhere, I came across the Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center, which might be a useful resource.

However I’m very much in two minds these days about the danger of radioactive material. I used to believe that it was extremely dangerous. But the flourishing plant and animal life around Chernobyl have got me wondering if relatively high background levels of radiation pose any real threat.

I’ve also seen a couple of YouTube videos of Galen Winsor, a guy who built and ran and decommissioned nuclear reactors in the USA. He seems to have gone round America telling people that the stuff was harmless, even eating uranium to show people. He says, in the video below, that the sun is a nuclear reactor, and the electromagnetic radiation from the sun is the same as the radiation emitted by radioactive uranium or plutonium. Both can kill people, but he said that to do that they had to burn people (just like through over-exposure to sunlight), which needed very high radiation levels. He said that the EPA (which he said meant the End of Progress Altogether) had set the danger levels of radiation one million times higher than necessary.

I began to wonder if it’s the EPA’s job to go round exaggerating dangers. They’ve done it with environmental tobacco smoke. And according to Winsor they’d done it with radioactivity too.

I’m not well versed on radioactivity. But here’s one of his hour-long videos. Margo won’t like it, I’m sure, but maybe others will have comments to make on it.

P.S. Galen Winsor wasn’t alone. Physics Professor Bernard Cohen: “All estimates of the cancer risk from low level radiation are based on the linear-no threshold theory (LNT) which is based solely on largely discredited concepts of radiation carcinogenesis, with no experimental verification in the low dose region of the most important applications. These risk estimates are now leading to the expenditure of tens of billions of dollars to protect against dangers whose existence is highly questionable. It is therefore of utmost importance to test the validity of this theory.”

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21 Responses to Have To Laugh

  1. cherie79 says:

    Maybe end up like the ‘reefer madness’ of the 50s when we realised it was a lot of nonsense we didn’t believe anything about drugs any more. That was unfortunate for some susceptible people but the vast majority were just fine. If cigarettes are seen as more dangerous than paedophiles, another exaggerated scare, the world really has taken leave of its senses, maybe we just don’t have enough real things to worry about these days. I wonder how much radiation I have been exposed to with CT, X-Rays and PET scans I have had in the past few years.

    • LOL Cherie! :) We both posted at exactly 12:51 AM! :>

      Re X-Rays etc: my spinal curve began appearing when I was about 12 years old. My family didn’t have a lot of money and they took me to a charity clinic where the XRay equipment was WW2 vintage and the operators were good-hearted amateurs who, for the next ten years or so, took hundreds of waist-to-neck X-Rays of my spine, frequently having to re-do them because they’d overexpose some of the early films (I’m pretty sure I remember them actually apologizing for having to redo them because of “over-exposures” — but I don’t remember them ever apologizing because of UNDER-exposures! LOL!)

      Today, if I go to a dentist and they have to take a single microscopic XRay of a tooth, they first lay about ten pounds of lead shielding over everything below my neck and run out of the room before hitting the button.

      Cherie, if you or I die of cancer someday (which, if we live to be old enough and are lucky enough in other ways, is fairly likely) any Antis that know us will almost certainly blame it on our smoking. But for both of us, leftover cell damage from XRays could well be the guilty party!

      – MJM

  2. Frank, I believe there are two schools of thought about carcinogenesis: the Threshold Theorists, and the Non-Threshold Theorists.

    The TT’s believe carcinogen exposures have to reach a certain level before they can be said to cause cancer. The NTT’s believe ANY exposure to a carcinogen can cause cancer.

    As I understand it — and I’m quite open to being corrected by those who may know more than I do — the theorizing gets a bit weird at very low exposure levels. Say a single flashing beam of dim reflected sunlight or a single molecule of some component of one of the ten or so discrete Class A carcinogens tobacco smoke of tobacco smoke happens to interact with the DNA/RNA/basic-structure of an individual cell and damage it in a way that it becomes a “cancer cell.” Is that enough to have given someone a cancer that will eventually kill them?

    I believe that the TT people say, in general, “No.” I.E. that our bodily defenses can take care of such individual cell events and generally do, by the millions, every day that we’re alive: that a true life-threatening cancer only occurs when the “insults” of sunlight, smoke, etc become so overwhelming that many hundreds or thousands or millions of cells suddenly start exhibiting similar carcinogenic attributes all form in a very short period of time and overwhelm the body’s defenses.

    The NTT people seem to believe otherwise.

    I guess there’s also a group of “in-betweeners,” i.e., those who believe that in any individual case there may be a certain “tipping point” where the addition of a single molecule/picorem of a carcinogen may add on to all the others around it and thus create a cancer that wouldn’t have otherwise been there. In such a case, you *could* sort of say that the single moleculte/picorem of exposure was responsible and thus that there was “no threshold” governing that particular exposure.

    And, to go one step further into the weird stuff, you then have a subgroup who’d hold that chaos theory, or things relating in some way to Heisenberg Principle of Uncertainty type view of the universe, make such individual interpretations flat out meaningless or impossible: in other words, there does NOT exist a “straw that breaks the camel’s back.”

    I’m happy to admit that I’m treading on the far boundaries of my knowledge base here, and it’s possible I’m mis-stating some things that will make the more knowledgeable wince in agony. If that’s the case then I’d love to be educated!

    In the meantime, I’ll go with the old “moderation in all things” belief system. Yes, it’s good to avoid things that may be harmful. But no, it’s not worth altering even tiny aspects of your life when those things are present in truly miniscule quantities. It’s not worth crossing a street or avoiding a visit to a bar because someone is smoking. It’s not worth waiting until after dark to go out to your mailbox to pick up the mail to avoid the sunlight. It’s not worth giving up the glass of your favorite wine after dinner or forbidding your dinner-mate from imbibing such simply because ethyl alcohol is a highly volatile Class A carcinogen. Taking thing to that level makes you crazy — not rational.

    – MJM

  3. Frank Davis says:

    I believe that the TT people say, in general, “No.” I.E. that our bodily defenses can take care of such individual cell events and generally do, by the millions, every day that we’re alive: that a true life-threatening cancer only occurs when the “insults” of sunlight, smoke, etc become so overwhelming

    There’s also something called ‘hormesis’ which is supposed to be beneficial low levels of radiation. I can believe this because, in my computer simulations of populations, predation usually has the effect of increasing the reproduction rates of the predated population. In a population of cells, this will make for more fast-reproducing cells, slowing the ageing process by which cells reproduce more and more slowly.

    At some point, however, when predation (or other insult or injury) kills off very large numbers of cells, this can have the effect of creating a bushfire of fast-reproducing cells spreading rapidly through the gaps in depopulated tissues. This was what was happening in my recent cell model which included a radioactive implant to kill off cells around it.

    So low levels of radiation may be beneficial, while high levels (in the vicinity of an implant) are dangerous.

  4. margo says:

    I suggest you google Low Level Radiation Campaign and just read everything on that site before you make up your minds.
    I don’t know much about it all, any more than anyone else does, but I do know that massive cover-ups go on (always have done) to do with nuclear power leaks and accidents, bare-faced lies are told, the truth about Chernobyl was withheld and suppressed for twenty years (and mis-information still comes out about it, including the ‘wildlife paradise’ idea that you mention – if that place is safe, why is nobody living there? Dig deeper.).
    I heard a talk some years ago given by one of the surviving ‘liquidators’ of Chernobyl. He didn’t die, though others did. But he did have 3 heart attacks in the following months and has never worked since, not since his early twenties.
    The Japanese government has very recently passed a ‘secrecy’ law that will ensure absolutely no more information comes out about Fukushima (such as we have has been got with great difficulty, lies have had to be unravelled and so on). The US response to it was to raise the ‘safe limits’ and tell the people nothing. I gather they’re also stock-piling iodine (but I guess that’ll be for the elite only) ready for when the radioactive ‘plume’ finishes its first journey across the Pacific to the West Coast.
    A lot of people don’t want to know. I’m just a person who would always rather know the truth – however terrible it is – than be an ostrich and hope for the best. I’m not bothered for myself (too old – even if I did ingest a particle of something nasty I’d probably die of natural causes before cancer manifested). Even so, I wouldn’t eat fish from the Pacific now.

    • Matt says:

      Radiation is by no means a sure-fire killer, nor does it inevitably lead to cancer. The deputy chief engineer at Chernobyl, Anatoly Dyatlov (who some hold accountable for the event) received a huge dose during the accident. Some years prior to that he had received another huge dose in an incident unrelated to Chernobyl. He died at the age 64 some time around 1995, the cause of death being heart failure, with no evidence of cancer. This probably constitutes a reasonable life expectancy for somebody having lived their entire life in the Soviet Union.

  5. margo says:

    I’ve just googled Galen Winsor. First thing that came up was a report on his death: Crazy Nuclear Energy Promoter now dead from Leukaemia.
    (re my earlier post – sorry, it’s not iodine they’ve bought in, it’s potassium iodide. I don’t think it’s much use though unless you take it in the first 90 days).

  6. A weird study done on ‘baby teeth’ and radioactivity:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Tooth_Survey

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    CDC Not Legally Required to Tell the Truth About Anything, Including Vaccines

    By Christina Sarich | Natural Society | January 10, 2014

    Since the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) aren’t legally required to tell the truth about anything, why should they? Maybe this is just one of many reasons the public is unaware of the many problems revolving around America’s health system.

    The CDC is perhaps the most malicious in their information-twisting. Consider this recent upheaval about flu vaccinations. According to Dr. Peter Doshi in a British Medical Journal article review (BMJ 2013; 346:f3037):

    “. . .perhaps the cleverest aspect of the influenza marketing strategy surrounds the claim that ‘flu’ and ‘influenza’ are the same. The distinction seems subtle, and purely semantic. But general lack of awareness of the difference might be the primary reason few people realize that even the ideal influenza vaccine, matched perfectly to circulating strains of wild influenza and capable of stopping all influenza viruses, can only deal with a small part of the ‘flu’ problem because most ‘flu’ appears to have nothing to do with influenza. Every year, hundreds of thousands of respiratory specimens are tested across the US. Of those tested, on average 16% are found to be influenza positive.”

    So – if you didn’t catch the significance of that – while the CDC is reporting flu outbreaks across the country and thus our need for vaccines, only a flu-virus would require a vaccine, and only a small percentage of ‘flu’ is actually ‘flu.’ Additionally, there are only a few strains of any particular flu virus in any vaccine created seasonally and there are hundreds of flu viruses. No wonder many people feel ‘flu’ vaccines don’t work. It would be impossible for them to. Yet every year they publish a seasonal map with ‘flu’ outbreaks, which aren’t even accurately reporting the situation.

    Or consider the recent documents unearthed in the UK that reveal over 30 years of cover-up regarding the link between vaccine hazards and their ineffectiveness in preventing the diseases they are trying to control. The CDC isn’t the only culprit, though.

    The ACOG calls themselves the ‘leading authority on women’s health’, but they have said repeatedly that vaccines are safe for pregnant women to take. Based on what? Some of their literature states, “vaccination is on of the most important things that you can do for yourself and your baby.” And why is that, exactly? In a recent update to well-woman annual screening guidelines, vaccinations were again reiterated, including one for HPV, which has been called useless and dangerous by one of its developers.

    There isn’t one single study that proves vaccines are safe for pregnant women, because no pregnant women have ever been tested in clinical conditions to see if the ACOG can make that statement honestly. What do the vaccine makers publish on their drug inserts, but a categorical warning that sounds something like: “the safety and effectiveness have not been established in pregnant women or nursing mothers” for these vaccines.

    Few people seem to consider that these agencies suffer no criminal repercussions, fines, or even a slap on the hand if they report wrong information, or even knowingly hide information about vaccines or any other medical issue. No one sues the CDC or the ACOG for making these ridiculous claims – that vaccines are safe. Studies are cherry picked for publication in medical journals and then taken as the God-forsaken truth.

    As people across the nation try to make intelligent, informed decisions about whether or not they should be vaccinating their children (both born and unborn), or themselves, the facts are not presented clearly by any institution that does not have their hand in the cookie jar. The former head of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding, now works as the President for one of the biggest drug makers on the planet, Merck. Guess what division she is head of – the VACCINE division. Merck’s vaccine division is worth at least $5 billion annually. They make cervical cancer vaccines like Gardasil, chickenpox vaccines, and obviously H1N1 swine flu vaccines as well.

    Without throwing caution to the wind, do your own research on this controversial topic, but realize that the money trail leads where it leads, and information in support of vaccinations may be utterly biased by Big Pharma dollars.

    This article originally appeared on Natural Society

    • beobrigitte says:

      Vaccinations…… These days it’s an obstacle course to dodge them!!! No, I don’t want to be vaccinated against swine flu, bird flu, flu and whatever Big Pharm dreams up to make cash of!!

  8. beobrigitte says:

    However I’m very much in two minds these days about the danger of radioactive material. I used to believe that it was extremely dangerous. But the flourishing plant and animal life around Chernobyl have got me wondering if relatively high background levels of radiation pose any real threat.

    The BBc has already declared that the flourishing wildlife in the exclusion zone around chernobyl is a MYTH:

    It seems a little silly to show what looks perfectly fine plant and animal life and then declaring that ‘it is a MYTH’. But then, it comes from the BBC, therefore it has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    The number of rabbits in the exclusion zone does not surprise me; after all their reproduction rate is pretty close to that of rodents. (Rabbits are lagomorphs and are distantly related to rodents!). I took it that fast reproducing animals (this would question the ‘damage’ of ‘radiation’ to the gonads) would just simply reproduce in excess of their ?increased death rate.

    Then I came across the Przewalski’s horses that were released into the exclusion zone around chernobyl. True or not, the breeder thought that he was condemning these horses to certain death, so he picked the older and sick horses to be released.
    Much to everyone’s surprise:

    Horses, unlike rodents, rabbits and wolves, reproduce at a very slow rate and usually have only one young.
    Then there are a lot of birds in the exclusion zone. Some species migrate most certainly in and out the exclusion zone.
    Then there are some people who have returned to the exclusion zone. They live of what they can grow and trap.

    It would be desirable to eradicate politically correct “science” in order to find the truth.
    Lighting a ‘chicken’ just is not done!!! – So I light a CIGARETTE. If the ‘poor chiiiiiildren’ don’t like it, it’s tough sh*t.

  9. Frank Davis says:

    H/T MikeF elsewhere for this Guardian piece about ideas we need to lose:

    The actual threat of low-dose radiation to humans is so low that the LNT [linear no-threshold ]hypothesis can neither be proven true nor proven false, yet it continues to dominate and misguide policies concerning radiation exposure, making them grotesquely conservative and expensive. Once the LNT is explicitly discarded, we can move on to regulations that reflect only discernible, measurable medical effects, and that respond mainly to the much larger considerations of whole-system benefits and harms.

    • Also from that Guardian piece:

      “The LNT operates on the unprovable assumption that the cancer deaths exist, even if the increase is too small to detect, and that therefore “no level of radiation is safe” and every extra millisievert is a public health hazard.”

      Which is exactly the standard they apply to ETS with their “no safe level of exposure” proclamation. As I think I mentioned on your “Juice” posting, even orange juice transforms into a deadly carcinogen with such standards with parents wantonly dumping its billions of pico- or femto-grams of ethyl and methyl alcohol down the throats of unwitting children every morning before packing them off to school.

      Speaking of which, something needs to be done about exposure to secondhand orange juice. Its carcinogenic ethyl alcohol component is, as we all know, highly volatile, and if you are forced to be in a room with a demonic child sipping its juiceyjuice, your air is being polluted with untold millions of molecules of this invisible, odorless, yet undeniably lethal carcinogen.

      Children are dangerous. Something MUST be done!

      ::Calling Dr. Kevorkian! Dr. Kevorkian! Report to Ward 69: there are reports of a child present in the area!::

      – MJM

      • Frank Davis says:

        secondhand orange juice.

        :-)))))

      • Frank Davis says:

        Which is exactly the standard they apply to ETS with their “no safe level of exposure” proclamation.

        Interesting how they both draw straight lines.

        And actually the Malthusian mindset also draws straight lines (if drawn on a log scale). Population and resource depletion fears are all based on (logarithmic) straight line projections upwards and upwards.

        Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is another straight line graph too.

        • Speaking of Malthus, I just finished the new Dan Brown novel and it’s done pretty nicely. I always end up with several hours of Googling after reading one of his works: he does his research well… almost makes me wanna be a tourist! LOL!

          – MJM

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