You probably know that people did some remarkably silly things with radium in the early part of the 20th century—including putting it inside water jugs, in order to give drinking water that radiation-infused freshness the whole family loves.
Those jugs turned out to be a health hazard—but not just because of the radiation. The radium ore used in the jugs was, apparently, leaching arsenic and lead into the water, too, according to research done by a team led by Michael Epstein, an analytic chemist at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
For their study, Epstein and colleagues bought four Revigators from antique stores or on eBay. The jars still exude the same amount of radiation as they did in the early 1900s. Epstein's team used a highly sensitive instrument called a mass spectrometer to analyze the concentration of toxic elements in the radon-infused water ... if people added a slightly acidic beverage such as wine or fruit juice to the jar, the resulting fluid contained 300 times more than the maximum arsenic intake recommended by the EPA.
National Geographic News: Surprise! Radioactive Water Jugs Not as Healthy as Advertised
Image courtesy Flickr user A. M. Kuchling, via CC
With so many costumes adorning this election season, you might think the Halloween get-ups are overkill. Think again, because David Ng and B.R. Cohen are here to present the official universal survey about your candy favorites for the 2016 hierarchical delineation of candy virtue.
University of Zurich researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation, a noninvasive method of inhibiting activity in parts of the brain, to “turn off” people’s ability to control their impulses. They focused on the temporoparietal junction, an area of the brain thought to play an important role in moral decisions, empathy, and other social interactions. They hope […]
Are you jonesing for a dose of optimism and possibility? In the mood to contemplate the cosmos? Want to experience a musical message for extraterrestrials the way it was meant to be played? The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, a project I launched with Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad, is a lavish vinyl box […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]
This week’s top deals from the Boing Boing Store range from lobster to wine to desk organization. 1. Get Maine Lobster (50% Off)With these discounted packages from Get Maine Lobster, you can experience the sweet, fresh flavor of world-renowned Maine lobster right at your own dinner table. There are four options to choose from, each at […]
Nothing is more frustrating than needing to edit or sign a PDF and not having access to the original document. That’s why PDFpenPRO is a must-have app in our books.With this extremely useful app, you can merge, markup, and create PDF documents without ever having to convert your PDFs into word processor file formats. Type directly onto […]