How much energy does it take to vaporize a human?

According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics (Annals of Mad Science and the Journal of Sophisticated Villainery not having nearly as good of impact factors) it would take 2.99 GJ worth of energy to completely vaporize an entire human body. This fact should give you pause before you try to vaporize a place, rather than a person, writes blogger Kyle Hill. You'd need more than 70 of the most powerful lasers that currently exist just to off that one person. And that's not very efficient evil.

At a Tokyo radiation hotspot, weirdness abounds

Officials were worried this week, when they discovered a radiation hotspot in Tokyo, kicking off readings as high as 3.35 microsieverts per hour. (For context, a dental x-ray is about 5 microsieverts. This wasn't a massive amount of radiation, but it was concerning. The AP reports that readings of that level have been found in the Fukushima evacuation zone.)

The good news: This has nothing to do with Fukushima. It turned out to be an extremely localized hotspot, and officials found the real source nearby.

The bad news: The real source turned out to be something the AP is describing as "mystery bottles" stored under someone's house. No. Really.

So, I guess the takeaway to this story should be something like: Japanese officials find source of radiation hotspot, and are no longer worried that it's being caused by Fukushima. Instead, they are now worried about why somebody in Tokyo is storing bottles of a radioactive substance under a house.

(Via Steve Silberman)