Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 138

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 138

 …Daniels can sense the presence of a watchful eye, like when you know someone is lurking in the bushes, with bad intent…

“So my old friend Cephus has returned to the scene of the crime,” Pentateuch entertains himself by tracking all of his associates, like a pointy-eared Peeping Tom. In his native form, like other devilish doers, he is unattractive to the human eye, hence the many seductive shapes he assumes, save the asp of the GOE days.

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He knows a person’s weak spots and he will grab hold of it. In the case of L. Dick Cannon, the visage of a corporate type fills the bill. For Canisso and Cephus, he is very lordly like.

His newest mission is to steal away with whatever Cephus/Daniels is there for. Once he has established his presence within Argonne, no need of security clearance, he confirms what notion he had imagined, Martin Kamen there with designs of succeeding Libby. In his reality, Pentateuch believes he is going to pull off another of his covert coups, now without access to Daniels’ deepest thoughts.

Meanwhile

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“Let’s go over to Building Three to catch some lunch,” Martin serves as tour guide at the University of Chicago extension and Department of Defense weapons lab. And though Kamen doesn’t seek to annihilate millions by nuclear means, he has inherited Willard Libby’s office and reputation.

“Did you leave the papers where they can be easily taken?” Daniels can sense the presence of a watchful eye, like when you know someone is lurking in the bushes, with bad intent.

“There in a file cabinet, in a top drawer and labeled “Carbon-14”. Do you think Penty will get it?”

“We may want him to be an unwitting fool, but he is no moron.”

“Can he hear what we are saying?” asks Martin self-consciously.

“No. He would have to uncloak in order to listen in and if you don’t smell burnt flesh, you know he’s not physically present. He will know that I have left the room.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 121

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 125

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 125

…Since returning to from their trans-global Beelzebub ball-busting, Constance must indoctrinate Ace in the ways of The Libby Affair…

Since returning to from their trans-global Beelzebub ball-busting, Constance must indoctrinate Ace in the ways of The Libby Affair. This means he must be taken on an introductory tour, beginning with the subject and the subject’s subject, i.e. Willard and his carbon-14, “Carbon dating doesn’t mean a Brazilian beauty named Gabriela Carbõn  doing the samba at Carnival.”

Willard Libby is both grateful and gracious in Constance’s presence and he gladly does a breakdown of his research for the newcomer. But first, “Why is your hair as white as a Chicago blizzard, Mr. Ace?”

“My bell was rung while playing rugby in Australia; been white ever since.” Simple enough

Forever Mastadon 2-001Back to the old science-aroo, he covers things that Constance could only skim through in the course of their recent travels. He lays out the cold hard facts concerning the real age of mankind and its connection to carbon dating.

“Originally, I found evidence that science could not accurately formulate the age of the universe, or even the planet; which is true but we have had to modify that, because of certain Creation facts. Currently, I am prepared to put the earliest existence of life on Earth at 20,000 B.C.”

“That’s not what I’ve been taught,” comments Ace.

“No it is not, but every day, all around the world, in 10,000 languages children are reading that mans’ ancestors began emerging a million years ago. That is hogwash.”

“Well I am not going to argue the point. All I know is what’s happened in my 30-some years,” Ace puts his arm around Constance, “too many good people support you.”

Libby, for example, grabs Martin Kamen by the shoulder, “Like this guy!” The time they have spent in sequestered isolation has created an unbreakable bond between them. If it had not been for Martin’s proactive pursuit of independent investigation, Willard Libby may well have withered into hopeless obscurity.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 110

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 11

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 11

…“That would make me 17, I’d like that,” Fanny claims mistakenly…

On the way down U.S Highway Rt. 66, the iconic artery that begins in Chicago and ends in Los Angeles, Martin Kamen fills the girls in on just why he has summoned them 1100 miles north:

“Two weeks ago, a colleague of mine, well, more of a mentor of mine, Dr. Willard Libby disappeared from his office and has not been seen since. He had been acting a bit squirrelly lately, brilliant people often are, but normally you can set your watch by this man.

“He was still on the emotional high from having worked with Enrico Fermi a couple years back. The two of them met with me and Sam Ruben at the University of California-Berkeley to discuss our discovery of and about the carbon-14 isotope. Fermi had this idea that the 14 isotope was unique compared to carbons-12 & -13, based on its presence in all living things and its singular half-life.”

“That would make me 17, I’d like that,” Fanny claims mistakenly.

“No, no. Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 years when factoring in radioactive decay. For example, if someone discovers your remains, say 200 years from now, they will be able to determine how old you were when you expired. Now that won’t be for many, many years I hope, Miss Fanny.

“As I was telling you, Doctor Libby was out our Argonne offices and seemed to be distracted while he was in preparation of his scientific papers concerning this assertion – and then he vanishes without a trace. We were supposed to have a seminar on the topic, between those of us in the know last week, but it had to be canceled. Without Libby what would be the point. We all expected him to address the rumors that he supported the notion that the Universe may be aged 20,000 years, 4.52 billion.”

“That’s what we are taught in science class, Martin.”

“Yes you were, but to extrapolate the half-life of carbon-14 out to inorganic material is a fundamental stretch of the truth, or at least we were coming to find out.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 12

CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I. ~ Episode 227

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Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 227

…The P.I. talks to her people before the Comiskey Park Greater Chicago Crusade Revival Grand Finale…

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She saunters over to the shorter Martin Kamen to plant a kiss on top of his head. Of all the people and situations that Fanny and she have encountered, it is Willard Libby’s closest colleague who has been there every step of the way. Whatever it took, whenever it was needed, Martin stepped out of his comfort zone to make things happen. He opened his home to two strange ladies and allowed them to take the lead.

 

“Without Martin, I am afraid we are not standing here ready to ride around a baseball field filled with people, in C-14 Coaches. He discovered carbon-14, which prior to very recently, we thought were 14 pieces of burnt toast. If he doesn’t get someone else involved, Willard may still be squirreled away in a mental hospital, right Dr. Steinberg?”

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Looking at Willard’s Aunt, she comments, “I understand that you and our man of many names, let’s see: Jesse James/Agent Daniels/Bernard Spencer/The Rogue and whatever else Penty and Forever Mastadon calls him, have bonded over that lightning strike; Mother Teresa meets Elliot Ness meets Mother Nature.

 

“You’re a man who travels in more circles than a carnival pony, Jesse. If you ever want to write a book, I have a friend named Gwenny who can help you with that; such are the quality stories you can tell. But even if you keep your secrets close to your vest, you have renewed my faith in government employee and again, without your dances with the devil, we’re not successful.”

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CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I.

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Episode 227


 

 

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Constructive Radioactivity – WIF Science

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WIF Space-001

When Radiation Comes in Handy

We already know that radioactive elements can be used to make electricity, treat cancer, and create bombs with massive destructive power. But radiation is also has many other uses in our everyday life that might not have occurred to you.

10. Sterilize Food

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Yep. Food. Meats, shellfish, vegetables, and even spices have all been approved by the FDA for irradiation. Exposing food to radiation kills any bacteria or organisms that may cause nasty illnesses like E. Coli or Salmonella. The process also kills any bugs that may be living on fruits shipping from tropical locales. Anyone who has read about the Brazilian Wandering spider knows this is a very good thing.

While putting the words ‘food’ and ‘radiation’ together may sound scary, the process doesn’t make our food radioactive. In fact, you really can’t tell the difference between irradiated and non-irradiated food in terms of taste, texture, or nutritious value. But you definitely will be able to tell the difference between lettuce with E. Coli and lettuce without E. Coli. Trust me on this one.

9. Treat Pain

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In the medical world, radiation can be used to treat patients with severe pain resulting from late-stage cancer. This procedure is called palliative radiation therapy and it can really transform the quality of life for cancer patients.

In some patients, the cancer can metastasize to the bone causing painfultumors. Shooting these tumors with radiation can shrink them and result in significant pain reduction for the patient. This treatment will not cure the cancer, but it can be a lifesaver for patients with advanced stages of cancer. A study was published in 2010 that demonstrated the incredible effects of radiation therapy. The study examined five patients with bone marrow cancer. All suffered from intense pain. Some were even wheelchair bound as a result. After receiving radiation therapy, the majority were pain free, and the results lasted as long as three years. Pretty amazing, right?

8. Test Welds for Cracks

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Picture this. We’re standing on the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, admiring the beautiful view of Dubai. Beneath us is almost 55,000 tons of steel rebar and 110,000 tons of concrete. This is the time we should be really thankful for radiographers. They are the ones that test welds for cracks, irregularities, or weak spots. Here’s how it works: radiographers place a detector behind the weld and then use a small radiation source to shoot x-rays or gamma rays at it. Any places where the weld is thin or cracked will allow the rays through where they are picked up by the detector, giving a clear picture of any weld deficiencies.

7. Track Substances in the Body

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If you have ever had a heart attack, you may be familiar with this one. This nifty application allows scientists to attach a radioactive “tracer” to a substance and use the radioactivity coming from the tracer to follow the path of the substance. This is used a lot as a diagnostic test to determine heart health. The patient is injected with a radioactive isotope with a short half life (so they aren’t leaking radioactivity all over the place for weeks), usually Technetium-99. Doctors can then get a clear picture of how the blood is moving through the heart. A similar method can be used to trace groundwater movement. By adding tritium (a radioactive hydrogen isotope) to water, we can see exactly the path the water is taking. Three cheers for science!

6. Carbon Dating

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Now this is one you have probably heard of. In case you haven’t, carbon dating is a method of using radioactivity to determine the approximate age of an artifact, as long as that artifact was once alive. For example bone, wood, fabrics can all be dated. Metal, stone not so much. This is because carbon dating requires that the object contain a little carbon-14.Plants get it by absorbing carbon dioxide. Animals get it by eating the plants. When the animal or plant dies, it stops taking in new carbon-14 and the radioactive element slowly decays away with a half-life of 5,700 years. By measuring the current amount of carbon-14, scientists can figure out how much time has passed. Even though it can’t be directly used on non-living things, any particles attached to an artifact that do meet the carbon-14 criteria can be tested (i.e. a stone bowl with some linen particles embedded), giving a rough age estimate. And when we are talking in terms of thousands of years, a rough estimate will do just fine.

5. Smoke Detectors and Exit Signs

Neon Green Exit Sign set on black

When we accidentally burn our morning eggs, radiation comes to the rescue in the form of a smoke detector. The vast majority of homes have ionizing smoke detectors in them. These detectors have teeny tiny amounts of radioactive material (typically americium-241) and electrically charged metal plates. The radiation ionizes the air, creating an electrical current between the plates. When the smoke from the eggs enters the chamber, the smoke particles disrupt the current causing the detector to alarm and giving us plenty of time to put out the egg fire. But what happens if we put on our super noise cancelling headphones to have a quick pre-work dance party and totally miss the alarm until the rapidly descending smoke layer becomes noticeable? Well then we will see radiation at work again in the form of exit signs. These handy signs sometimes have radioactive tritium gas in them that glows in the dark, lighting our way even when the power goes out.

4. Genetically Mutate Plants

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As we all learned from Spiderman, radiation exposure can cause DNA mutations. In humans, this can lead to not so good stuff like cancer. But doing the same thing to plants can result in some pretty useful changes to plant DNA that can improve taste, yield, and even resistance to disease. This method is already pretty widely used and scientists think it could make a dent in solving the world’s food crisis by producing crops that are easier to grow and use less land and pesticides. Now if the idea of mutant Hill People food makes you nervous, fret not. It doesn’t make the food radioactive and it is not the same process used to create Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) where DNA is spliced into a species, adding material that wasn’t there to begin with. Plants experience natural mutations all the time, this process just speeds that up. It’s the equivalent of hitting shuffle on your favorite party playlist. The songs are the same, but the vibe can totally change.

3. Ice Cream Quality Control

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Did you ever wonder how every tub on Ben & Jerry’s is perfectly creamy and delicious every single time you eat the whole tub while binge watching Netflix in your PJs? The answer lies in radioisotope density gauges. A radioactive source is directed at the product, the material reflects some of the radiation back the source, where a sensor records it. The ratio of the source that is reflected back versus passes through can be used to calculate the density. Any carton that doesn’t make the cut isn’t shipped to stores. I think a lot of us would heroically volunteer to help out with the subpar sweets. These density gauges are used all over the food industry to ensure consistency in soup, beer, and coffee, amongst many other things. They can even be used to test egg shells for thin, weak spots. It definitely isn’t as important as the ice cream thing, but I guess it has to be done.

2. Blue Topaz

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Blue topaz does occur naturally, but most are artificially made by exposing more common varieties of topaz to radiation. The radiation changes the structure of the stone, knocking the atoms around and causing the gem to change color. The gem is then heated, producing a lovely blue color. The stone is stored until the levels of radiation emitted fall below allowed levels. This same process is also done to diamondsand other gems to produce fancy colors at less than fancy color prices.

1. Check Food for Metal

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Have you ever bitten in to a hot dog and gotten a mouthful of bone? No? Well you may have food x-ray scanners to thank. Many manufacturers have started requiring that their food go thorough specialized x-ray machines that can check for metal shards, bones, rocks, and any other items that we generally don’t want in our pizza or ice cream. The scanners use sophisticated software that does the hard work of detecting any foreign objects.

Constructive Radioactivity

– WIF Science