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The Nasty Effects Of Radiation

The Nasty Effects Of Radiation

Usually when we think about radiation, we think about nuclear bombs. And this is a big cause of an intense radiation. The whole of the world could be covered in a blanket of radiation if a nuclear war were to occur. But the fact is that this is not the only radiation we can be exposed to.

There are naturally occurring substances on earth that have radiating effects — that is, they shed particles that are harmful to humans. Our own sun gives off radiation that can be harmful to us if we sit too long with our skin exposed to sunlight. However, nothing on earth is more intense than the radiation given off by a fission or fusion bomb.

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What really happens when you are exposed to radiation?

An intense dose of radiation of up to 50 rem (rem is the dosage of radiation akin to one rad of X or Gamma radiation) will cause minor changes in the blood. From 50 to 200, there is some illness and tissues breakdown, and your intestines boil inside you. A dose of 200 to 1,000 rem can kill you, and the higher the dose, the faster you die. No human alive can withstand a rem measurement of 1,000. This won’t be pretty for anyone. And if you do survive a high dose of radiation, your reproductive tract and other organs are changed so much so that your children will have problems in the form of nasty birth defects.

Where can I find radiation?

Some of the everyday things you can find radioactive isotopes in can even be found in your own kitchen! There’s a form of potassium found in bananas that is radioactive, but obviously not enough not harm you. Other sources include the aforementioned radiation from the sun and isotopes found in the soil right under your feet. Radium, uranium, or plutonium can be mined from the sediments in a wide variety of locations. No one country controls the world’s deposits of Uranium 235 or Deuterium gas, which allows the world to produce weapons of mass radiation.

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When the bombs drop

The only real case study we have for widespread radiation sickness is in Japan. This is from an array of events like the bombs dropped in World War II and the Fukushima industrial leak from a power plant. This leak is not like the events at Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Instead, there is a continuous leak from the plant that is endangering the ocean’s plant and wildlife.

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fukushima_radioactivity_2011_and_2012

    The fallout from a nuclear bomb is intense, and the effects of the radiation have been felt for generations after the events. Effects caused by the leak from the power plant will be felt long term as well. This is due to the fact that the leak continued for so long. Now, locals can’t eat many of the fish found near the area of the event. These fish may have more than two eyes or an extra fin by now, since fish reproduce rapidly.

    If a war did happen…

    In the event of a hypothetical nuclear war, certain steps could be taken to protect us from the radiation. Potassium Iodide can be taken to shield the body from the effects of radiation. Some organizations or countries have already given the pills to their people in the event of power plant failures or bombs. If you work in a nuclear power plant, you may be familiar with this substance as well as others that can treat or prevent the effects of radiation sickness.

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    The video game company Bethesda, along with others, created the Fallout video game series that places you in a post-apocalyptic world where bombs have already been dropped all around the world. Life goes on, but in an entirely different fashion. The keys to survival in reality may be hiding underground, but not all of us have the privilege of having underground bunkers and stores of food for a long nuclear winter. If one were to survive the initial blasts, you might find yourself fighting for survival like in the Fallout games — let’s hope this never happens.

    Featured photo credit: uıɐɾ ʞ ʇɐɯɐs via flickr.com

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    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

    “For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

    Primal Therapy

    Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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    How it Started

    “During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

    It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

    “I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

    Delving deeper

    Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

    Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

    Some Methods To Practice Screaming

    If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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    • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
    • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
    • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
    • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

    After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

    Scream Sing

    Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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    • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
    • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
    • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
    • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
    • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
    • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
    • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

    If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

    Scream into a pillow

    Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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    Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

    Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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