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Annual Radon Warning

Radon can be dangerous

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Site MeterOne of the persons in this photo claims to have discovered the origins of radon.  And no, it's not Chuck.  Chuck discovered the origins of gravity!

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The following is a rant.  You don’t need to read this unless you’re interested in such.

My being told by the above mentioned person that they were the person who discovered the origins of radon was the most grievous insult I’d ever received.

The only other insult I’d ever received that was in the same category was when I was in the eighth grade and a close friend told me he was the person who, in his words, “Invented Batman.”  I knew all about how Batman was created.  I told my friend that I wasn’t going to hang out with him anymore until he told me the truth.  He never did tell me the truth, and I had nothing more to do with the guy.

But I digest.  Where was I?

Oh yeah.  Anyway, the person who claims to have discovered the origins of radon –- we’ll refer to this person as **.

So back in the late 1990s I came up with the idea for a Science Fiction story.  This story, “One Man’s Meat,” became the first story of mine ever published.

Though “One Man’s Meat” is Science Fiction, it’s also a Police Procedural.  I knew nothing of Police Procedurals, so I decided to read some.

I discovered that Police Procedurals could be very entertaining, and I read many of them.  One of them concerned a murder in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The murder victim, if I remember correctly, was sitting in a pick-up truck.  The only eye-witness to the crime was a retired, American Indian uranium miner who was coming out of a laundromat.

This retired uranium miner was dying of lung cancer.  The author of the story made much of the fact that the indian had contracted the cancer working for the U.S. Government, mining uranium for the Manhattan Project and the Cold War.  Now, said indian was dying, his illness caused by service to the U.S. -- despite the fact that indians had been oppressed by the U.S. Government.

So, I’m 1/16th (at least) American Indian.  I’m also interested in World War II history, Physics,  related subjects.

I Googled articles on the above subjects and discovered that in the post WWII era, census takers working in the American Southwest discovered that uranium miners had a lung cancer rate some 24 times greater than the general population.  The census takers also discovered that persons living downwind from uranium mine tailings had a lung cancer rate six times the national average.

A scientific investigation into this phenomena found that naturally occurring uranium ore was the origin of radon, which was the cause of the lung cancer.

I also came across an article in Google which described some geology professor working in Madison, Wisconsin who discovered that Ice Age glaciers, coming down into the U.S. from Canada had established a silt line across the northern U.S.  Said silt line had uranium ore that emitted radon.

Madison, Wisconsin?  Madison, Wisconsin?  For some reason, Madison, Wisconsin sounded familiar.

My goode wyfe was in the next room.  I hollered to her, “Hey Laurie, why does Madison, Wisconsin ring a bell with me?”

Laurie replied, “Isn’t that where (**’s spouse) went to medical school?.”

Oh yeah.  I resolved that the next time I saw **, I’d ask about the professor.

But every time I saw **, I forgot to ask.

So, some years later, **, another friend and I were taking lunch in McMenamin’s Brewpub in McMinnville, Oregon. We were sitting in a booth.  I was sitting directly across from **.

** and I, we’re both pompous prima-donnas.  I can’t find any English words to describe what we did during the course of that lunch, so I’ll have to use some French.

We got into a bit of a pissing contest.  (Again, forgive my French.)  We bragged about our various accomplishments.

Remember what I’d learned about the origins of radon.

So, ** looked me straight in the eye, leaned forward across the booth, announced, “I discovered the origins of radon.”

I was shocked to the core.  Forgive me my conceit.  Anyone who knows me would never dare say such a thing.  I am renowned for my knowledge and intelligence.  I was deeply insulted.

I managed to stammer, “You mean, if I Googled the words “radon” and your name I would find references confirming your statement?”

Smugly, his voice dripping disdain and contempt, ** replied, “Prove it.”

** turned to our friend, referred to me as a “yokel.”

I resolved then and there to have nothing more to do with **.  I’d been insulted enough by this character.

Over the many years we’d known each other, ** had frequently bombarded me with insults, lies, disdain and contempt.  Enough was enough.

I now refuse to have anything to do with ** or **’s unfortunate spouse.

END OF RANT. Thanx for reading.

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