- Jan 1, 1970
You know (not sure how old you are?), but they used to put people's
feet in these little X-ray machines at shoe stores so the salesperson
(supposedly) could recommend a perfect fitting set of shoes.
These machines were deemed "safe" to, at the time.
But many cancers later, we all learned otherwise.
Quack doctors used to sell radium cures too in those bad old days. But
that see your feet gimmick (which I am not old enough to remember) was
obviously dodgy from the outset as realtime Xray imaging was high dose.
Doctors used to advertise cigarettes, too.
They still do. Big tobacco still has a few trusted doctors who will
testify on oath that smoking tobacco does not cause cancer (with a very
cleverly crafted legal form of words to reassure the suckers).
Same guys and their tobacco front organisations also do a good line in
AGW denial - the late Fred Sietz was a great exponent of lying for big
tobacco when he sold his soul to them after retirement. Lindzen has some
pretty odd ideas about secondary smoke too.
I guess the point is: Don't be too quick to declare backscatter
They may be. I don't really know. But I see them as pointless
The dose makes the poison. They are very low dose. The cosmic rays and
their spallation products which are charged particles when flying at
high altitude will be more dangerous. It is the people working near the
machines regularly who will have to be monitored and be careful - not
the passengers (not even regular travellers).
When you fly near the poles sometimes the flight is delayed or diverted
if a coronal mass ejection is in progress and the aurora is too strong.
That threat is real enough - at least to the aircrews accumulated dose.
I think what really annoys me about this whole airport security thing
is: It's never going to work.
But let's say it does work 100%. What then?
You can make it more difficult for an aggressor, but the terrorists
always have first mover advantage if you have left any gaps in the
security system. Intelligence led discovery has worked well recently.
the toner cartridge bombs were good enough to get past swab tests.
Well, I say it strongly encourages evil-doers to select other targets.
And dare I say, other targets exist that can inflict far more grief.
Undoubtedly they will try, but vigilance is necessary. UK has a lot more
experience of this than the US. IRA terrorists have been blowing up our
city centres fairly regularly since the 1970's.