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John Cuthber

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Posts posted by John Cuthber

  1. In what sense do you think this enhances power?

    As far as I can see it just uses a bunch gears (rather more than neccessary) to transfer rotation from the handle to the bottom shaft. So what?

    A simple shaft and bevel gear would do a better job.

  2. "Shock as in surprise is a massive missuse!"

    Err, no. The use of the word shock for a suprise is the original meaning derived from old French. When they wanted a word for loss of effective blood pressure etc they were too lazy to make one up and they started to misuse a perfectly respectable word.



    Or, more reasonably, like may words "shock" has more than one meaning and you need to sort out from the context which meaning applies in any given circumstance.

  3. I think that the usual problem is (as mentioned above) that the recoil of the atom as it spits out the electron is so big it generally breaks the bonds but I also have a vague recolection that the first synthesis of perbromates was a radiation chemistry type synthesis. Something like 83SeO4 2- --> -83BrO4 - +beta.

    The tiny amount of BrO4- was coprecipitated withIO4- and tracked by its radioactive decay.

    Can anyone access this page?


  4. I don't seem to get flu when it does the rounds but if I did and I were, for example, asthmatic or elderly, then I would have to weigh up the risk from a tiny amount of mercury against the very real risk of dying from the complications of flu. That might be a cost that I wasn't prepared to pay. Think about that when you say "I would avoid it at all costs" the cost might be your life.

  5. "the authority comes from the ability of the information itself to pass the scrutiny of several experts who have been offered the chance to give criticism."

    If a theory fails to meet reasonable scrutiny from any source then it fails.

    I scrutinised it and I still think theres more Po in smokers from background than from smoke for the reasons I gave.

    Incidentally, what's the explanation of the raised cancer (of the mouth and throat etc) incidence in those who chew tobacco? You have said that the stuff in the GI tract doesn't stay long enough to cause cancer so what does?


    JT2095, do you still have a real vacuum tube TV or monitor? If so please take a tissue and wipe the screen then place the tissue on the alpha monitor. You will almost certainly see a raised alpha level caused by dust stripped out of the air by the electric field of the screen. This is still background radiation and the few miligrams of dust will usually (unless you happen to live in a very low radon area) give a count that may compare with several tens of grams of tobacco. (and by the way, is the alpha counter named "CMAPT" if so please pm me, I could use help with sorting mine out)


    Ultma, that article is from someone's book on "how to cure your cancer- just buy my book". It's bull. My best guess as to the cause of the cancers in the mice is mycotoxins in poorly stored grain but there's another real possibillity; he made the story up to sell his book. The idea that excess phosphate in the diet causes cancer is bizzare; all those of us who drink cola by the bucketfull would be dead by now.

  6. It's a bit worse than playing with fire; you can see fire coming, the temperature sensors in your skin give you a fair (though imperfect) warning of fire and the hospitals are quite experienced in dealing with the consequences of cocking up when playing with fire.

  7. Quote from Paranoia a page or 2 back (sorry, I'm a bit out of phase because of the different time zones)

    "Originally Posted by John Cuthber

    'In the real world there are some things that are taken on trust to be so probable as to be regarded as facts, at least until proved otherwise and not something that you worry about or experiment on. '

    But not science, right? I agree in that some things seem so probable that I may be so convinced of them, it may as well be fact, but they aren't facts - they are beliefs based on faith since I can't prove them. I may have a great reason to believe this - but that doesn't magically make it fact."



    No, Sorry to have to tell you but even science is based on these sort of facts. If I don't believe that putting something in a test tube doesn't fundamentally alter its charracteristics then I have a rather limited set of options for doing chemistry.

    So as a chemist I make that assumption, as a matter of faith. Of course when someone gives me some HF to deal with I have to change my opinion.

    On the other hand, if I want to thik about what happens during some process I can assume as a matter of "fact" that the laws of conservation of mass will work (note, that's laws plural, including relativity so mass that is represented by energy and vice versa are not exceptions).

    Tomorrow someone may find something that violates those laws but I doubt it and I have even more doubt that it will matter to the experiment I might be doing so I call those laws facts just the same as the fact that the sun will come up.

    If you exclude facts like these then there simply are no facts and (like faith) the word becomes meaningless.

    Here's an amusing challenge, find me a fact please.

  8. "Those that wish to believe the official truth of 911 will go to the most extraordinary lengths to defend their position, as it represents, at a deep psychological level, a defence of all they hold true. It is in effect a defence of their reality."


    Interestingly, the same is true of those who wish to believe the conspiracy theory.

    Since it's clear that nobody is going to change their mind about this, I wonder what this thread can hope to achieve.

  9. I just wonder about that wiki article. It tells me that there has been little research into the toxicity of this stuff. The stuff has been used for years, it was licensed by many authorities across the world. It was recemntly re-investigated because of some tripe about autism.

    It would have had its toxicity studied before it was licensed, then again over the decades through the adverse effect reporting systems then again on the autism bandwagon. It's a bit like saying that the toxicity of alcohol hasn't been researched.


    An interesting thing about dental amalgam is that it stays in the teeth (generally, unless the fillings fall out). I have some fillings that are older than some of my friends.

    It's certainly true that there will be a statistical correlation between people getting flu jabs and people getting alzheiner's disease. That's not cause and effect; it's just that old people are likely to get the disease and the jabs.

    It seems that, having caused a lot of fuss over nothing in the MMR/autism farce the media have decided to invent another "problem" Alzeimer's from thiomersal. A lot of cash will now be diverted from real research on this horrible disease to look at something that can't be the culprit.

    Alzheimer's rates are climbing but both the use of thiomersal and the use of other mercurial drugs has been falling. How does less Hg cause more brain problems?

  10. long ago when Einsteins theory was new it was stated to prove that there was no "luminiferous ether". Some people clung to the old theory and said that Einstein had only proved that the ether could not be detected.

    What's the difference between something that can never be detected and something that doesn't exist?

    I can't detect the fairies at the bottom of my garden because they hide whenever (and however) I look for them thereby depriving me of evidence. On the other hand, people tell me that this absence of evidence is not evidence of absence so I should believe in them anyway.

    Unfortunately, like the pixies, crop circle making aliens and the monsters of lots of cheap sci fi I have read, God comes into the same category as the fairies.


    Whenever I say I'm an atheist people tell me that my explicit disbelief in God is a faith, so I'm not really an atheist.

    They never mention my faith that C3PO isn't real in spite of the fact that it's just as valid a faith.

    Sooner or later you realise that everything is "faith" - I can't prove to you that I'm real rather than a computer generated set of statements but I bet most of you believe in there being a real me.

    Strictly this means that there are no atheists and, therefore, that the word has no meaning. In the limit, to say you are an atheist you must have faith in the idea that the word "atheist" has a meaning, but that means you have faith so you aren't one.


    In the real world there are some things that are taken on trust to be so probable as to be regarded as facts, at least until proved otherwise and not something that you worry about or experiment on.

    For example it's a "fact" that the sun will come up tomorrow.


    As far as I'm concerned those who put the non existence of God in the same group of hypotheses as (for example) "grass is green", "the sun will rise tomorrow" and (from most people's point of view most people ) "gravity obeys an inverse square law" are called atheists. The ones who put the existence of God in that category are called theists and those who are not that sure are called agnostics.

  11. "A famous scientific principle is "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" Carl Sagan Demon Haunted World, pg 8."

    It may be famous, but it isn't true. How do you sleep at night with that elephant in the room?

    I realise there is no evidence of an elephant but you say that's no reason not to believe in it.

    If you look hard for evidence of something and there isn't any then you can start to justify the idea that the something doesn't exist.

  12. It's not alltogether clear what you are doing but I presume that you are classifying things as C10 or C12 based on the retention time. The benzene ring of tetralin is rather more polarisable than the saturated hydrocarbons so it tends to stick to the coumn by van der Walls like forces better than saturated hydrocarbons of the same number of carbons. That means that it will elute later from the GC than would be expected and this might explain why it coelutes with the C12 fraction.

  13. Might the mouse go into hibernation? If so that would probably save it.


    Incidentally, canaries can fly; to do that they need to be able to generate lots of power for their size. To do that they need very efficient lungs and circulatory systems. When they are at rest they presumably have lots of "spare capacity". The miners can't fly and they are working relatively hard (even if all they are doing is walking along carrying a canary in a cage).

    Who dies from anoxia first, the canary or the miner?

    Also, did you know that the cages had covers and air tanks so the birds were OK?

  14. "failing that, Blast it with a M.S :)"

    Yeah, 'cos everyone knows that they work really well for volatile things like metals. I'm not saying it's impossible- just that it wouldn't be my first port of call.


    BTW, before you use nitric or (God help you) perchloric acid make sure you boil the sample down with sulphuric. That takes out the easilly oxidised components (also known as fuel) before you add the oxidant.

  15. "Originally Posted by John Cuthber

    OK if 30 % of the Po is related to smoking then 70% isn't.

    If 30% of blood polonium..."


    Hey, you cited that paper- if it doesn't talk about what you though it did don't blame me.

    The only analytical evidence we seem to have here says that more of the Po is from other sources; not smoking.


    "Well, to begin with, your results contradict peer reviewed scientific research. I've cited two papers here... Martell's experimental measurment of radiation dosage and the paper measuring 210Po. You're contradicting them both."

    For the record you also cited a paper (the 2nd one), then tried to discredit it because it measures polonium in the wrong tissue.

    In doing so (ie showing the Po moves from the lungs to the bloodstream) the paper also disproves your hypothesis that Po lodges firmly in the lungs; at least some of it gets into the blood.

    Wait a minute, that wasn't strictly your hypothesis was it; it was part of the other peer reviewed paper you cited.


    OK you cite 2 papers and they don't agree; Po either is; or is not; localised in the lungs depending on which one you pick.


    There's nothing wrong with contradicting any paper by pointing out that it doesn't seem to make sense. Why worry about the radiation from a cigarette when I'm 4 orders of magnitude more active than it is?

    Contradicting papers is perfectly reasonable particularly when faced with 2 that don't agree.


    "You're demonstration of ambient radiation being "thousands of times" worse than cigarettes is based on a pyramid of assumptions, everything from how much air you breathe to the specific radiation dosage and method of administration. If you're trying to compare radiation dosage, shouldn't your results be in rads? And furthermore, the dosage is going to vary based on a multitude of factors which can't simply be calculated but instead need to be experimentally measured."

    Everything in science is based on assumptions. I explicitly listed most of them like how much I breathe and so on. If you can find evidence to refute those assumptions then fair enough, I will look at that evidence. Otherwise I'm afraid that, since you are the one puting forward a hypothesis that is, to say the least, "has been addressed in the past and has apparently lost popularity in the scientific community" the burden of proof is on you.


    "The real problem is there are scientists writing peer reviewed papers on these issues all the time. They're confirming their findings experimentally. You're doing some off-the-cuff calculations which contradict experimental, peer reviewed research."

    Interesting isn't it? There's plenty of evidence out ther about Po levels and background radiation. I really am 5 or 10 thousand times more radioactive than a cigarette, yet they seem to be blaming the Po for cancer.

    Here's an amusing thought. Papers tend to regard something as "proved" if the statistics show an effect stronger than the 95% level of uncertainty. That means there's a one in 20 risk of getting that good a result as a fluke. Plenty of journals contain roughly 20 papers in each issue. That means that they publish roughly 12 wrong papers in each year (assuming they are monthly and the odds ratios are not much better than 95%).

    OK, why have this odd faith in peer reviewed papers?


    "Originally Posted by John Cuthber

    It's true that the K passes through, but since I keep replacing it by eating this doesn't matter much.

    Can you find a paper to back that up? You're comparing something which is cleared by natural processes and passes through the alimentary canal to something that lingers and accumulates inside of the lungs...."

    "Why do you ask if I can find a paper that shows that I eat food that contains potassium. Why in heaven's name should I bother to prove something so plainly obvious? Don't you understand that there is K in all my tissues, lungs included, so the relative sensitivity of the lungs doesn't matter.

    Strawman? You're contradicting two papers I linked. You could at least do me the courtesy of finding at least one paper which confirms your position, specifically in regard to radiation dosage."



    No it's not a strawman. A strawman would be where I distort something you say into something daft and attack that rather than what you actually said (and don't forget those two papers contradict eachother)

    What you realy did was ask for a paper to prove that potassium is a natural constituent of the body maintained at reasonably constant levels. That's already daft; I didn't need to distort it.



    There really is potassium in me or I'd be dead.

    It really is maintained at fairly constant levels (about 0.4% w/w (a figure that you can look up if you want, but trust me I don't need to lie and I'd have more sense than to do so in front of a bunch of scientists who know how to use google (there's more than one type of peer review))).

    The potassium is not "cleared by natural processes" at all. It is maintained at a fairly constant level.

    It isn't just in transit through the gut; it's absorbed, distributed throughout the body and excreted mainly by the kidneys (thanks by the way for answering the question I posed "Don't you understand that there is K in all my tissues")


    If you want to look up stawmen you might have a look at the other common logical falacies. They include "argument by authority". An example of that is to say that something must be right because it's been peer reviewed.

  16. I think you may find I didn't so much miss the point as give you a possible answer,

    Since you seem to have missed the point, here it is again.

    "You might be able to find a dilatant mixture of a solid and liquid (that behaves like cornstarch and water) where the 2 components have the same refractive index. Even then you will have problems because the optical dispersions of the 2 materials are likely to differ. I might try powdered glass in glycerine if I were looking for such a mixture."


    Just for the record our collective psychcic abillities are somewhat limited so, since you didn't tell us what you wanted it for, we might not have been able to read your mind and find out.

  17. I'd choose almost any other transition metal first. Ni can get lost as the carbonyl when you ash it. This isn't an impossible problem to deal with but why make life more difficult than you need to. Measure Cu or Mn or whatever.

    You can get round the problem by wet ashing (effectively boiling with acids untill all the organics are destroyed) but that's messy and you need high purity acids.

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