Alexander Litvinenko

This is not usually a blog for science and/or politically related matters but this was too big for even me to pass by.

You may have heard of the russian defector, Alexander Litvinenko, who was recently poisoned and subsequently died. At first they thought it was thallium-poisoning, it now turns out he died from Polonium-210 introduced as a liquid into his digestive system. Polonium is a highly radioactive substance that emits alpha-particles.

Alpha-particles are nasty business. In school you learn that they almost don’t penetrate the skin and is therefore “harmless”. Noone actually learns that since they are easily stopped, they deposit all their energy in a small area and can therefore easily cause skin-cancer in large external doses and can destroy internal tissue if introduced into the body. Alpha-radiation is nasty stuff.

13 thoughts on “Alexander Litvinenko

  1. Yes, gamma-rays are “green”.

    Actually, gamma-rays are quite interesting. They always partially pass right through you and some don’t even deposit any energy. High energy beams will simply pass right through you. Therefore, higher energy beams are less dangerous than low energy beams.

  2. blah blah blah

    And people say I am boringly realistic!

    Are you gonna start claming that warp-drive is unplausible too?

  3. When people talk about my academic field, I tend to get boringly realistic, I guess it’s the effect of not wanting to have wasted many years of studies or something.

    Warpdrives are boring. Go for teleportation instead.

  4. Jesus, did I say “unplausable”? I meant implausible…

    However, I know what you mean.
    Just try to explain to me how Hitler was half jewish, gay and high on mescaline as well as involved in the occult.

    He was however a vegetarian, despite claims to the contrary.

  5. Quite…

    Actually, untill recently if you asked me about polonium I would’ve said he was a character in Hamlet.

    Hey, it’s close!

    “To thine own self, be true!”

  6. “Og då siar vi takk til Dennis oppe i høytaleren…”
    OK, that’s only funny if you were at Garage at the forum “Det ondes problem” almost ten years ago. But then it’s hilarious.

  7. Bloody hell. That was supposed to be a comment to your Hitler missing one testicle comment…

  8. I think Polonium would have made a great character i Shakespeare. Not sure if he should simply be a regular character or a representation of death by radiation. Not that anyone would know what “radiation” was 400 years ago.

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