SandySandfort on May 16, 2010, 07:34:40 pm
Fair enough. All your possible flaws are not to be taken lightly. Your reasoning is solid right up to the point where you discuss your real-world reaction to the threat or benefit of ionizing radiation.

Yes, our knowledge is incomplete, however I cannot understand why that means you would accept a clearly bogus assertion that all ionizing radiation is bad, at whatever level, over strong indications that this is not so. This is what I meant about the "smart money." I don't know the final truth, but the research strongly suggests that I am less likely to get cancer when exposed to low-level radiation than if I cut radiation completely out of my diet. There are no guarantees and so we are just playing the odds. I do not think the odds favor abstinence, but favor more radiation than I am getting from background. YMMV.

Let me see if I have the right. For the sake of argument, let us say there are some qualifiers with regard to the beneficial effects of low-level ionizing radiation (more on this below). So are you saying that in a situation where no research has shown detrimental effects of radiation vs. some research that shows some benefit, you think it is prudent to avoid radiation? One would think the smart money would bet on the benefits.

At any rate, see this:

   http://www.radpro.com/641luckey.pdf

This paper includes citations of numerous studies including those of Japanese exposed to atomic bomb radiation and shipyard workers including 7 million person-years of exposed and control workers in nuclear shipyard and atomic bomb plants in Canada!

All the evidence points toward low-level ionizing radiation being good for you. No evidence suggest otherwise. As one of my friends said, "Americans are chronically gamma ray deficient." By the way, the same friend has Fiestaware dishes placed around where he works at his computer. He sits on it. FYI, Fietsaware used to be made with uranium paint to give it its red-orange color. The old stuff definitely puts out low-level gamma radiation.

Frankly, I do not understand why anyone would be resistent to the proponderence--make that, unanimity--of the scientific evidence.

No, the unanimity and preponderance do not. I did read the Japanese study, and it does provide compelling evidence that there are tolerance limits. But the human radiation studies are large-scale without accounting for any (and I do mean any) other variable. I'm among the first people to tell you that these studies appear validatable and viable as well as that the FDA has set unreasonable limits and also to tell you that the LNT model is based on bad assumptions and terrible statistics. I'm also among the first people to tell you that this doesn't mean the new studies and considerations have done anything more than start off on a good foot. So let's start with "Oh, stewardess, I speak Statistician"

First factor: Deaths from radiation sickness appear to have to been treated as non-cancer deaths and therefore ignored by the study. This is a SERIOUS flaw in a study based on the idea of proving 'no-harm', even if it proves to indeed be like innoculation where the cost of saving X^(10Y) is a relatively minor Z. This also precludes the ability to determine risk factors for such a reaction. Additionally, the idea of surviving radiation sickness with proper medical care does not account for the level of said care.

Second factor: Cancer related death is treated as a static variable and does not appear to have been actually controlled for age and the actual type of death, despite the token chart on Page 11. The age of the victim at the time of exposure and the age at their time of death, as well as the cause of death itself, must be controlled for. It also assumes that cancer is the only risk-of-death situation with radiation (see above) and that all cause-of-deaths were accurately determined. Cells damaged by radiation or that decay prematurely because of damage to genetic structures have a variety of effects beyond cancer, most degeneration related as opposed to growth related. To their credit, their life-span figures seem to be solid evidence and account for variations in populations, and evidence DOES suggest that radiation damage tends to focus in what is referred to as 'junk DNA', reducing the risk of exposure having negative effects even within generations of future offspring.

Thirdly:
Quote from:  Page 10, Plutonium, third paragraph
Although the small number of subjects allows no statistical significance, the data suggest plutonium exposures are beneficial.
Without statistical significance (and their apparant lack of ability to run an alternate statistical test for small sample sizes, because they do exist) the data can suggest nothing, no matter how much you wish it do. Oh, do I know this pain personally.

Fourthly: The studies are based on source of radiation, not type of radiation. This is extremely significant, because isotope decay and other sources of ionizing radiation have very different effects on organisms, particularly humans, wearing a lead-rich safety apron and welding helment and one wearing no such protection. Nothing in the study suggests that this has been accounted for in estimates of exposure.

Fifth: The chain of study they refer to only begins at radiation at 1919. Before this time point, it only establishes concepts important to the understanding of the study in the use of mathematical models and assumptions. Radiation very likely does follow a check/v/U curve in terms of effect, but the effect it has is vastly different to mamalian biology than in plant life (we 'photosynthesize' vitamin D through a much different mechanism than plant photosynthesis). Similarly, the effect of ingested and induced toxins is very different than that of our body handling ionization.

Sixth: Factors that can cause spurrious correlation are varied and numerous. Earlier or later undocumented sources of radiation exposure, exposure to or existence of risk factors for other causes of death, availability of and quality of medical care, significant variations in diet between the control group and the study group...if you think any of these sound ridiculous (particularly the last), consider the following: fishers and port-city populations eat a different diet than inland farming and animal raising communities, which also varies from large inland cities. We already know how the difference between primary sources of meat and general level of ingestion affect health concerns.

So for clarity: these studies look promising, and I look forward to the results they yield. But it's going to take considerably more studies to convince me to enter that chamber, take that pill, get that shot, or let you get near me with that radiation gun. Since I plan on world travel [by airplane!] on top of that, including radiation study, I'll be sure to account for accurate estimates of self exposure when the time comes.

NemoUtopia on May 16, 2010, 08:39:13 pm
Fair enough. All your possible flaws are not to be taken lightly. Your reasoning is solid right up to the point where you discuss your real-world reaction to the threat or benefit of ionizing radiation.

Yes, our knowledge is incomplete, however I cannot understand why that means you would accept a clearly bogus assertion that all ionizing radiation is bad, at whatever level, over strong indications that this is not so. This is what I meant about the "smart money." I don't know the final truth, but the research strongly suggests that I am less likely to get cancer when exposed to low-level radiation than if I cut radiation completely out of my diet. There are no guarantees and so we are just playing the odds. I do not think the odds favor abstinence, but favor more radiation than I am getting from background. YMMV.

My statement isn't an assertion of 'all exposure is bad', but 'I'm pretty sure I'll be exposed plenty through travel and what I like doing'. If not, I can always 'fix it' later...it's certainly a hedged bet.  And a note to myself, even the best hedgers ends up being too cautious sometimes.

Shotgun Wedding on May 18, 2010, 05:08:21 am
The radiation problem in the Lunar towers is exactly the same one present in all interplanetary spacecraft (albeit, given constant boost, for much longer time on the Moon), and to all dwellers in either surface domes or ships (or Ghetti) in the asteroid belt (though the Belt gets some 1/16 the radiation level compared to the Lunar surface, over time it still adds up).

Do they? That is the orthodox belief, "any radiation is dangerous." The problem is there there is absolutely no experimental evidence to support that assertion. It is only extrapolated backwards from high radiation dosages. "Well, if a lot is bad for you, then a little is bad for you too, only less so."

To the extent that there has been any research on the subject, the opposite has been shown to be true. That is, a little radiation (up to about 100 times natural background radiation on the surface of the earth) is beneficial to your health, resistance to disease, mental functions, resistance to cancer, etc. See:

     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_hormesis




"Ahem"
Sandy it isn't the radiation it's the particle density over time (duh, I know that's the same thing), Alpha & Gamma particles in ANY density can destroy organics very quickly. More exposure more damn damage. It's why I wear a hat.
 
I spent 2 years working a nuclear power plant decommissioning (Trojan NPP. Goble, Oregon). In our weekly training sessions we learned that A single Alpha particle will cause certain materials to spontaneously combust, IE polyester, Nylon, certain nonaramids. Seals made of these materials will deteriorate before your eyes in those conditions. Too much of that will kill you very quickly. There are areas of Utah and Nevada where the NATURAL radiation levels are so high Nothing grows.

That tower on the moon reminds me of a story by Robert Silverberg? Something called an Urban Monad....... Make it fall down!

I still think the tower on the moon is a dumb idea though. I'd much rather be buried under the surface. It'll save time later when I die from exposure to the abrasive microscopic dust and ancient mold spores......
OOPs I just described my office! ;D

This still is my favorite place on the internet!
Fightin' fer Peace is like Frakkin' fer Virginity

Brugle on May 18, 2010, 09:23:06 am
Alpha & Gamma particles in ANY density can destroy organics very quickly. More exposure more damn damage.
For inanimate matter (more specifically, hunks of plastic), the evidence suggests that that is true.  If we didn't have any data, it might make sense to assume that any level of ionizing radiation would also damage living creatures.

However, for living creatures (more specifically, human beings), the evidence that we have suggests that low levels of radiation are beneficial.  Apparently, a human being does not have the same long-term response to low levels of ionizing radiation as a hunk of plastic.  To some people that idea seems weird, but it's what the data show.  (It's possible that the information we have is wrong, but that's true for any assertion about reality.)

Too much of that will kill you very quickly.
True.  High levels of ionizing radiation will damage anything.  Nobody is suggesting otherwise.

SandySandfort on May 18, 2010, 12:35:32 pm
I spent 2 years working a nuclear power plant decommissioning (Trojan NPP. Goble, Oregon). In our weekly training sessions we learned...

No, you were told that. In other words, your instructors repeated what they had been told. Maybe true or maybe false, but not persuasive without citations to the underlying research.

 
... Too much of that will kill you very quickly.

Too much of anything will kill you. We were discussing the benefits of low-level ionizing radiation, which is supported by research, not "too much" radiation.


There are areas of Utah and Nevada where the NATURAL radiation levels are so high Nothing grows.

Piffle. Please give us a citation. Also, we are not talking about high radiation. So even if your story is true (it isn't, I'm pretty sure), it is irrelevant to our discussion of the beneficial effects of low-level ionizing radiation.


I still think the tower on the moon is a dumb idea though.

There I am inclined to agree with you. If it were just economics, mega-skyscrapers just don't make sense. Still the Burj Dubai (the name has changed, though) is super cool. It shows what is possible by the hand of Man.

Now as it happens, a polar tower would have made economic sense if it had originally been designed for agriculture. You have to be high enough to catch the perpetual sunlight. Something like that will be showing up on Ceres in a future EFT.

This still is my favorite place on the internet!

Now you are talking!

Azure Priest on May 19, 2010, 10:01:56 am
It should be noted that using high powered magnetic fields in close proximity instead of actual shielding against radiation may NOT be a good thing either. According to popular mechanics (or was it Popular science) for last month, when the magazine was performing research on the "urban myth" that Cell phones cause cancer, the researcher discovered that while there is no conclusive evidence, the pattern DOES in fact follow the use.

To put it simply, if you talk on a cell phone predominantly with your right ear, you are more LIKELY to get cancer on that side of your head.

There is also previous research on public schools built on lots with high EMF, (lots with many crossing high tension electric cables) because the lot itself is considerably cheaper. Cancer and other physical abnormalities are certainly higher in those areas. Cause? Maybe maybe not. Risk factor? Yes.

So while continuous high yield Electro magnetic fields may be a good idea for protecting inorganic elements from ionizing radiation (does nothing for Non-ionizing radiation like Gamma rays), the cure may, and I stress MAY, be worse than the disease on living things.

SandySandfort on May 19, 2010, 10:40:28 am
One slight quibble.

So while continuous high yield Electro magnetic fields may be a good idea for protecting inorganic elements from ionizing radiation (does nothing for Non-ionizing radiation like Gamma rays), the cure may, and I stress MAY, be worse than the disease on living things.

Gamma rays are ionizing. I think you meant they don't have an electrical charge or something like that.

KBCraig on May 20, 2010, 04:29:05 am
Speaking of ionizing radiation...  ;) ;D

During the same time frame that America started to panic over radon, there were still thermal baths in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe, plus Japan, and Colorado), where radon gas inhalation and baths are touted as a good thing.

I think most of those spas still thrive, despite American homeowners panicking over radon in their basements.

sams on May 20, 2010, 07:12:23 am
The bottom line is that everything can kill you at a certain ... in fact I just gained some 20 kg that are gonna surely kill me   those damned Hamburgers ;D

It is just a question of how and how long you get exposed to radiation and electromagnetic waves, then measuring the effects .... so no need to panic and go all OMG

The Apollo Mission went through space and in a very risky way were exposed to a lot of radiation. At the time no one at NASA were sure about it and they could have been killed by a singe Solar eruption. Sure the question of permanent settle in space, be it in the moon, Ceres, or a spaceship will be an interesting experiment since we actually don't know what are the effect of low level radiation over a lifetime .... we can extrapolate but until it is done no way to know.

Yes the Lunar Tower is probably a dumb idea because of radiation and an underground structure would make more sense ... but this can be easily solved by the fact Hydrogen rich materials like foam can effectively protect against much particles and in case of emergency entering a water tank can protect against the most violent solar eruption.

Then in the context of EFT, not only the technology is advanced enough, but contrarily to a space raft passing to space ship (think appolo 11), a Burj Arab like structure on the moon surface is big enough to have shields and walls strong enough to shild radiation, remember the moon gravity is less than earth, so it is easier to build something massive. Combined with foams and more sofisticated system like magnetic field, you can get a pretty safe building.

Then like the Burjh Arab you can pretty much have space to make shelter in the center who are in the middle of a water tank.

So yes the LUNAR TOWERS are a great, feasible idea, maybe expensive, but great nonetheless


ZeissIkon on May 20, 2010, 04:03:00 pm
To put it simply, if you talk on a cell phone predominantly with your right ear, you are more LIKELY to get cancer on that side of your head.

There is also previous research on public schools built on lots with high EMF, (lots with many crossing high tension electric cables) because the lot itself is considerably cheaper. Cancer and other physical abnormalities are certainly higher in those areas.

First, you're comparing apples to road apples -- magnetic shielding against solar alpha and beta particles is a constant field, not the alternating fields found around power lines and radio devices like cell phones.  Second, pointing out that schools were built under power towers because the land is cheaper suggests that studies may not have been normed against the well known bad health effects of simply being poor (or against other environmental causes of diseased and birth defects, many of which are more common in poor neighborhoods because, again, their presence and/or the presence of their sources reduces land values).

Bottom line, sketchy science maybe/maybe not pointing to a link between alternating EM fields and illness has nothing to do with any effects from a constant field; so far as I'm aware, the only effects that have been demonstrated from very strong non-alternating fields are "mag-photemes" -- spurious flashes of light, possibly produced by either entrained particles or directly by Faraday excitation of current in a nerve cell at the right value (millivolts and microamps) to trigger a firing sequence that gets interpreted as light (Apollo astronauts reported photemes en route to and from, and on the Moon, which were believed to be caused by solar radiation or cosmic rays; the mechanism of mag-photemes is believed to be different, last I heard).  There have been no reports of unusual health problems with frogs that have been levitated by magnetic fields billions of times stronger than a common refrigerator magnet (and a field that strong ought to do it if any constant field would).

Given all in all, I'd rather live in a magnetic field generated by superconducting coils (and deal with the liquid nitrogen or liquid helium) than in a habitat with lead shielding; I know lead is bad for me and it's very prone to get into places where it isn't meant to be, while there's no evidence indicating magnetic fields are harmful (as opposed to EM radiation, the kind from alternating currents), and a leak in the cooling jackets won't introduce cumulative toxins to my environment.  Of course, no one would use lead for shielding on the Moon; there's probably none to be had on the Lunar surface (at least none worth extracting), and any other material of similar mass would make just as good a mass shield -- say, regolith and lunar rock in what amounts to sandbags, thicker than the lead, but much less toxic.  Hauling shielding up from Earth is just silly.

quadibloc on May 24, 2010, 05:56:33 pm
Of course, no one would use lead for shielding on the Moon; there's probably none to be had on the Lunar surface (at least none worth extracting), and any other material of similar mass would make just as good a mass shield -- say, regolith and lunar rock in what amounts to sandbags, thicker than the lead, but much less toxic.  Hauling shielding up from Earth is just silly.
Some years back, I asked a speaker at a meeting of our local astronomy club what she thought about Gerard O'Neill's ideas about space habitats. She stated that the idea was impossible, because the level of cosmic rays in space was too high for long-term residence in space, and shielding would only increase the level of radiation, because cosmic rays would produce secondary radiation when they hit the shielding.

Now, that may well be true for shielding up to a certain point, but if you make the shield thick enough, you can have the outer part of the shield block 99.99% of the cosmic rays, and the inner part of the shield block the secondary radiation quite well.

And so that inspired me to work out a design for a space habitat... which, as it turned out, didn't add much to one previously done by students at MIT... where the rotating habitat is inside a non-rotating "wine bottle" of shielding made from left-over rock, and the long neck is aimed at a slab of shielding some distance away - so that a mirror system bringing sunlight into the habitat by concentrating it into a beam aimed down the neck of the wine bottle can fit between the slab and the opening.

Thus, cosmic rays coming from all directions are blocked, yet sunlight can be reflected in.

Engineers might be able to point out that the concern over radiation is overblown - but I'm satisfied with an existence proof for the worst case.

jflrdl on May 31, 2010, 11:44:27 pm
Ok, Radiation aside.  Being one mile up and that the moon is 1/5 earth gravity.  Would not  the out rush of atmosphere from the tower propel Normans body beyond escape velocity of the moon.  Thus propelling Norman into a elliptic orbit around the moon ?  And even if he did fall to the surface wouldn’t he be dead seconds after exit thru the window from the vacuum of space ?  Not to mention that his body would have been frozen in the “44” seconds of “free fall”.  So the impact would leave a sizable crater and Norman would be smashed into a lot of small chunks ???

Sean Roach on June 01, 2010, 12:03:05 am
If you shoot a 20 gauge slug out of a 12 gauge barrel...how fast does the slug exit the barrel?
Remember also, Norm managed to hold on for a bit, so assuming the air was partially depleted by the time he lost his grip, he'd have less velocity leaving that window.

And hey.  Asphyxiated, frozen to death.  Bludgeoned to death by his own fall.  Shattered into myriad pieces on impact.  The little tinpot would-be dictator/repeat rapist still died an unpleasant death.

Also, I thought the moon had 1/7th gravity.


jflrdl on June 01, 2010, 01:49:39 am
If you shoot a 20 gauge slug out of a 12 gauge barrel...how fast does the slug exit the barrel?
Remember also, Norm managed to hold on for a bit, so assuming the air was partially depleted by the time he lost his grip, he'd have less velocity leaving that window.

And hey.  Asphyxiated, frozen to death.  Bludgeoned to death by his own fall.  Shattered into myriad pieces on impact.  The little tinpot would-be dictator/repeat rapist still died an unpleasant death.

Also, I thought the moon had 1/7th gravity.

 

How fast does a shotgun slug exit a barrel ??  That would depend on the weight of the slug and the powder charge.  Typically it’s around 1100 to 1900 FPS (Feet per second) anymore and you risk instability to your slug in its flight trajectory.  Pellets are worse. ( I used to load my own ammunition ) I’m not sure what a 20 gauge in a 12 gauge would do but I would hazard a guess that it would be around 1/3 to ˝ less  of that assuming that the wad ballooned out to fill the empty space.  But your point is well taken. Norman looks like he is roughly 8 times less the area of the window.  However, have you ever stood in the back wash of a jet ??  A lot of air trying to go in one direction all at once is not to be resisted.
And your right, death is death but it would have been nicer to know that Norman had some time to squeal on the way down or up as the case may be.  Even though he was holding on for dear life he probably still thought he might have a chance.  The second he exited the window it was over,  He probably never felt it.  As to the out rush of air slowing down, remember that the air lock door was rusted  (can things rust it an environmentally controlled atmosphere ? ) open, so presumably the whole tower was open ended to the vacuum of space. That is,  to all the doors that were left open.  A mile high cylinder has a lot of volume.  As to the gravity of the moon it appears we are both wrong, but not by much….. it’s 1/6th that of earth.


 

anything