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Atomic Stephanie

Posted 2011.11.03 21.07 in Life On Drugs by Stephanie

So today was my second adventure in Nuclear medicine. I didn’t get any superpowers when I had my first experience with these guys, so I don’t have my hopes up this time around either.

With or without superpowers, I was feeling fairly relaxed about the whole procedure as I’ve been through it before. The big differences were this time, I (mostly) knew what to expect, and I brought a camera with me to take some pictures. Well, really I only got one decent picture, but it’s a good one…

Syringe, inside a lead-lined steel cannister.


You know they’re serious when the needle is delivered in a lead-lined steel tube. They sat this infront of me on a little cart then left for a while, allowing me ample opportunity to sneak a photo.

Inside the needle is something called Technetium-99m-MDP. The MDP part refers to the medical component, which is that it binds to living bone structure. The Technetium-99m part is the radioactive part. This has a gamma-decay half-life of about 6 hours – meaning that in about 6 hours, half of it has decayed emitting a gamma wave. Or particle. Or wavicle.

Technetium-99m decays into Technetium-99, which then has a half-life of over 200,000 years, emitting beta wavicles as it decays into Ruthenium-99. Something about this feels like it should be at least slightly unhealthy. But then, I’m not a doctor.

Having been suitably irradiated, I was then left to my own devices for the next 150 minutes, to allow the isotope to bind to my bones. The clinic was near enough to home that I could come back here to wait out the delay.

Another difference between my first radiological experience and this one, is that this time, I own a geiger counter! More specifically, I’ve built one into my home MCP project.

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Higher and Higher!

Posted 2011.07.22 8.37 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Forget yesterday’s UV factor ten.

Today it’s getting cranked up all the way to Eleven!

This is getting crazy.

Two Screens: Still Better Than One

Posted 2011.06.21 23.11 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

So with all the features and functions I’m adding to my Master Control Panel, one screen just wasn’t enough any more to display all the data it’s collecting.

I’ve used standard character LCD screens before, on my Thermostat and the randomizer, so I figured I could just add one to the MCP as a secondary display. Then I thought, why limit myself to a measly two rows of 16 characters?

The 20×4 screen sounded like a way better idea… I just didn’t realize it was going to be so physically big!

It feels bigger than the primary display. Now I’m all unsure if I like it or not. I want more display resolution, to display more data. I don’t know whether to stick with two displays, or these two displays, or try different displays…

Decisions decisions.

Meanwhile, the radiation sensor is telling me that at the current rate cosmic and gamma rays are passing through my livingroom, I can expect to develop superpowers in approximately never.

Time for Tourism

Posted 2011.04.26 17.44 in Uncategorized by Stephanie

If you’re looking for somewhere interesting and off-the-beaten-track to visit, maybe consider touring scenic Pripyat?

Ok I’m being a little bit tongue-in-cheek but in actual fact, this is something I would probably enjoy seeing. There’s a lot of history there, frozen in time for the past 25 years.

Here’s a photo that was taken almost exactly 25 years ago, give or take a day. I don’t want to think about how much radiation the photographer absorbed in this fly-over. Even today, visits near the plant involve radiation dosimeters and close monitoring.

Still, it would be a fascinating place to visit.

Uncategorizable Updates

Posted 2010.03.10 15.31 in Family/Friends by Stephanie

Uncategorizable because I don’t really know what sort of heading to use, or where to file them, or how to respond or react or what to do, really. Sometimes things happen and I guess reactions are deferred or just fail to trigger, because it’s either far enough outside the comfort-zone so as to be a bit un-processable, or gets lost somewhere between being startled and denial. Or, maybe I’m just a bad person and don’t know how to deal with stuff.

Anyhow, in the last month or so, my dad was diagnosed with cancer, but from the sound of it, they’ve found it early enough. There’s a lot of questions still. He’s going to have surgery to remove it, but first he might have chemo to shrink it, then radiation later. Or maybe there’ll be radiation first, and chemo after. Or maybe radiation and chemo first, and surgery later. As I said, lots of questions, particularily what’s and when’s.

Today they installed a valve in his arm so that they can plug the chemo in. I think they call it a pic line or a stint or something like that. 18 inches of tube though, they snaked in through a vein in his arm, leaving a little valve thingy on the outside. So he has that, but doesn’t know if they’re actually going to start the chemo this week, next week, come summertime, or whatever.

My dad seems fairly calm, but I’d like to have some of the whens and whats filled in.

The other wierdness is that my aunt has seemingly disappeared. She lives in BC so it’s not like we see her or speak with her too frequently, but from what I understand, she has vanished and been missing for several days now. My dad called the RCMP out in BC to ask them to start looking into the situation, but they have decided that she isn’t really missing.

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Still Waiting For My Super-Powers…

Posted 2008.06.06 0.00 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

I got injected with radiation last month! I was in a lab and they had a tiny little syringe that was delivered in a great big lead box. They stuck it in my hand and pumped radiation into me. (Side note – radiation is slightly cool and you can feel it travelling up your arm.)

After getting irradiated, there was a thing like a giant photocopier that I got (slowly) slid in and out of, while big chunky sensors called “Gamma Cameras” detected the radiation.

It was pretty freaky, you could just go and stand next one of these “Gamma Cameras” and it would start picking up the fuzzy glow of radiation emanating out of me.

I forgot to ask how long I’d be radio-active for, but it’s been a few weeks now, so I’m probably safe. Still no sign of any super-powers though, which is dissapointing. I was hoping to be able to fly, or at least teleport. Laser vision would not be unwelcome, either.

The “Power to Imprint Images on Gamma Cameras” is ok I guess, but I think it has a pretty limited range of usefulness. And it’s a mouthfull – by the time you’ve said it, the bad guys have already finished their Evil Plan and escaped.

Come to think of it, I don’t think the bad guys would be all too impressed anyhow. Unless they had some Gamma Cameras that they needed to keep in an unused and pristine condition. Maybe you can’t get a refund on them if they’ve been used… they’d be back at Henry’s or Blacks, they’d have the receipt and everything, trying to return the Gamma Cameras, and the store manager would be all like “Sorry, this camera’s been used. I can’t give refunds on used equipment.” And they’d be all “We didn’t use it! Curses – it was that masked heroine with her ability to imprint images on gamma cameras! She foiled our plan!” and the store manager would try and smile in a sympathetic but noncommittal way, while gradually edging back away from the conversation.

So take heed, troublemakers! Abandon your treachery, or I will come and seep radiation on your gamma cameras, preventing you from returning them for full refund! Ha ha!

Yeah ok, it’s a slow week and my mind has been wandering. Laser vision would have been really cool, though.