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Posted by Steen (Member # 170) on December 14, 2006, 05:50:
 
It's going to be the best Christmas ever!
 
Posted by uilleann (Member # 1297) on December 14, 2006, 06:14:
 
I think we had lawn darts, but no-one lost any eyeballs.

But an atomic energy lab? Good grief! And it came out well past the end of World War II when the dangers of radiation were surely extremely well known by that point (anyone say "Hiroshima"?) Damn, man ...

Course, in some cases it sounds like the only missing ingredient was proper parental supervision. But I might make exceptions for things like a kiddy hot plate (!) and radioactive toys ...
 
Posted by Zwilnik (Member # 615) on December 14, 2006, 06:31:
 
You can actually still buy lawn darts in the UK. I've seen them alongside giant chess sets etc. in a local garden centre.

I want an Atomic Energy Lab for christmas though!
 
Posted by Demosthenes (Member # 530) on December 14, 2006, 06:36:
 
I was all about Creepy Crawlers when I was a kid. (I think I got mine sometime in the early 90s, though, after they'd changed the design from "open hot plate" to something a little more "EZ-Bake Oven.")
 
Posted by Astronomer Jedi (Member # 4699) on December 14, 2006, 06:37:
 
If it's way to increase child awareness of physics I'm all for it. The few we lose to radiation sickness and cancer are just the price we pay for progress. [evil]
 
Posted by Black Widow (Member # 3046) on December 14, 2006, 06:41:
 
I have a set of lawn darts that I picked up at a rummage sale a couple years ago.

And who gives their child a hammock as a toy?
 
Posted by Steen (Member # 170) on December 14, 2006, 06:45:
 
I had the lawn darts as a kid too. We sharpened the points on them and threw them at trees in the woods behind where I lived. Nobody was dumb enough to stand near the target, though, so no impalements.
 
Posted by MacManKrisK (Member # 955) on December 14, 2006, 07:24:
 
My parents have some fresh-out-of-the-70s Jarts. Funny thing about my parents though, they were actually responsible when I was growing up. They warned me (ad nausium) about the clear and present danger that the Jarts presented and how to stay safe while playing with them. And strangely enough, they didn't need to have a warning label for them to realize that they were dangerous!
 
Posted by canadiangeek (Member # 4946) on December 14, 2006, 07:59:
 
I love lawn darts - I used to play them all the time as a kid, and we used to throw them overhand at the hill in front of my folk's place (as with Steen, nobody was dumb enough to get between the hill and the person throwing them).

I think the GT snow racer should definately make it on that list... I've seen more broken bones and head injuries resulting from people (read: me) taking take the sled with the sharp pointy metal "brakes" over a jump, flipping backwards, and having said "brakes" slice open some flesh... only to crack my head on the hard snow once I hit the ground.

And that doesn't count sledding across a road by accident, or the trees that were run into.

Anyone else have any interesting sledding injury stories?
 
Posted by garlicguy (Member # 3166) on December 14, 2006, 08:37:
 
What a riot! Thanks for the link, Steen.

I owned both the Derringer firing belt buckle and the cannon. No mishaps with either, but Mom never knew about the cannon(s) and I don't think she was aware of the buckle's hidden charms. I bought them myself with proceeds from lawn jobs, etc. (Actually had two of the cannons hidden in the garage attic. We'd take them out and have wars shooting at each other when the parents weren't home.)

That Johnny Reb commercial brings back memories. Amazing how you can remember the words to a jingle from your adolescence.
 
Posted by Stereo (Member # 748) on December 14, 2006, 08:39:
 
Well, apart that we used to have a lot of fun, no "interesting" stories. But a kid was killed a couple of years ago in my area. He ran into a tree stading at the end of the slope. (BTW, the tree was illegally cut by some angry parent who thought the city was too slow to act.)

On the main subject, I'll side with MMKK's idea that irresponsible parenting is usually more dangerous than many dangerous toys.
 
Posted by Snaggy (Member # 123) on December 14, 2006, 08:47:
 
Proud owner of Fright Factory. I have the third degree burns to prove it. [Cool]

MMMMMM.... GLOW IN THE DARK PLASTI-GOOP!
 
Posted by Ashitaka (Member # 4924) on December 14, 2006, 09:53:
 
I had lawn darts. The plastics fins are now long broken so I cannot play anymore. They are perfectly safe if used properly.

They should start selling them agian but put a warning label on the package along the lines of

"DO not use if you are stupid, Yes this means YOU!"
 
Posted by Sxeptomaniac (Member # 3698) on December 14, 2006, 10:55:
 
The derringer belt buckle reminds me of a guy I knew on a trip to Mexico once. Down there they sold these garbanzo beans coated with some kind of material that would make the whole thing spark and pop if you threw it against a wall or the street. For obvious reasons, the garbanzos were sold in bags of sawdust, but this guy decided the bag was too bulky, so he took the beans out of the bag and put them in one of the front pockets of his pants. A couple of us realized why this was a bad idea, but were unable to convince him of that (fortunately, we talked another guy out of doing the same thing).

I'm sure you can guess what happened, and he probably had about 40 of the things in his pocket at the time. The garbanzos burned a hole through the pocket and the front of his jeans. I confess to not feeling terribly sympathetic, even though he was in a fair amount of pain.
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on December 14, 2006, 11:25:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zwilnik:
You can actually still buy lawn darts in the UK. I've seen them alongside giant chess sets etc. in a local garden centre.

I want an Atomic Energy Lab for christmas though!

Wear a mask and wash your hands when you're finished playing.

Seriously though, you don't need a hazmat suit to work with alpha emitters. You just need to exercise very good hygiene.
 
Posted by quantumfluff (Member # 450) on December 14, 2006, 11:33:
 
Great list!. I had lawn darts, creepy crawlers, a smaller cannon that shot pointy shells rather than balls. Dangerous toys rock!
 
Posted by littlefish (Member # 966) on December 14, 2006, 12:19:
 
quote:
Seriously though, you don't need a hazmat suit to work with alpha emitters. You just need to exercise very good hygiene.
I can't remember exactly what we used them for, but we did a labelling experiment, and our hygeine wasn't great!

But then, a little bit of radiation may be good for you!
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on December 14, 2006, 14:29:
 
Well, the thing with alpha is it can't hurt you unless you ingest it, or inhale it. Once that happens, though, you're going to get dosed. What in the world were you labeling with alpha for, anyway? Beta and gamma are much easier to detect!

We use radiolabels all the time, but they spit out beta radiation. We use shields and gloves. Lots and lots of gloves. And when the gloves get contaminated we stick them in a shielded waste bucket. And god help you if you don't check everything very carefully and track that crap all over the lab or contaminate something with lots of little holes and tight corners.

X-rays are easy. You just close the shield and don't go behind it unless the shutter is closed. If you do find yourself on the wrong side of the shield when the shutter's open, you just get out. Or close the shutter. That's all. No mess, no Radiacwash, no tracking radioactivity all over the place, no scaring everyone as you wander about with a clicking geiger counter while wearing glasses, gloves, coat, and dosimeter. Very nice and easy. Like turning off a light switch.
 
Posted by Steen (Member # 170) on December 14, 2006, 14:39:
 
Xanthine wrote:
scaring everyone as you wander about with a clicking geiger counter while wearing glasses, gloves, coat, and dosimeter.

If you faked the geiger counter so you could control the rate of the sound, that could make for a fun Halloween costume.
 
Posted by littlefish (Member # 966) on December 14, 2006, 14:51:
 
quote:
What in the world were you labeling with alpha for, anyway? Beta and gamma are much easier to detect!
I don't know if it was alpha, it was 8 years ago, as an undergrad. It was a pharmacology course, so probably something to do with radiolabelled neurotransmitters and/or receptors.

X-rays are fine, all the sources fail safe, so it should be impossible to die. I did a radiation protection course when we acquired an XPS. Can't remember much from it, and as I don't really do any work with radiation, it doesn't matter. Had to watch a lecture and answer questions when I used ISIS (neutron spallation source).

Anyway, the biggest problem I had was stray microwaves, or putting my eye out with a laser. But I'm still OK, so obviously I'm safe.

The hysteria surrounding radioactivity annoys me. You get a substantial dose whenever you fly, and if you live around granite, you will be irradiated. I did see an interesting horizon programme a while back, which suggested that the current linear approximation model is rubbish, and small doses of radiation may be beneficial.
 
Posted by Sxeptomaniac (Member # 3698) on December 14, 2006, 15:20:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
Xanthine wrote:
scaring everyone as you wander about with a clicking geiger counter while wearing glasses, gloves, coat, and dosimeter.

If you faked the geiger counter so you could control the rate of the sound, that could make for a fun Halloween costume.

I always thought having a fake geiger counter with a hidden trigger in the handle to make it go off would be fun. I bet you could get an interesting reaction by pointing at someone's cellphone and making it go nuts. [evil]
 
Posted by Astronomer Jedi (Member # 4699) on December 14, 2006, 15:46:
 
It'd be more fun to point it at someone's nuts and make it go nuts. [evil]

This year I did some lab exercises with some low level beta emitters. No protection or anything. If the physics department aren't concerned I'm happy.
I can always sue them for negligence if anything happens. And make a deposit before the radiotherapy begins.

By no means were they the hottest sources in the room. [Wink]
 
Posted by zesovietrussian (Member # 1177) on December 14, 2006, 16:32:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
quote:
Originally posted by Zwilnik:
You can actually still buy lawn darts in the UK. I've seen them alongside giant chess sets etc. in a local garden centre.

I want an Atomic Energy Lab for christmas though!

Wear a mask and wash your hands when you're finished playing.

Seriously though, you don't need a hazmat suit to work with alpha emitters. You just need to exercise very good hygiene.

Really? I think Mr Litvinenko might have a slightly different opinion on that subject [evil]
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on December 14, 2006, 16:52:
 
Well, if he hadn't eaten or inhaled that crap he would still be alive today. Alpha radiation is very dnagerous once it gets inside you, but a layer of dead skin cells can stop it. Which is why, if you wash your hands after handling it and avoid candy from strangers, you'll be fine, and if you get particles in the air you're fscked.
 
Posted by quantumfluff (Member # 450) on December 14, 2006, 17:01:
 
You know what's fun. Put on a hazmat suit, get a clipboard, and walk up and down a random block in your town looking at each house and writing something down. Then get in a van and driving away.
 
Posted by Steen (Member # 170) on December 14, 2006, 17:02:
 
Xanthine wrote:
avoid candy from strangers, you'll be fine

*suppresses a giggle*
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on December 14, 2006, 19:59:
 
If my hair starts falling out I am so hunting you down and beating you with a great big stick.
 
Posted by Steen (Member # 170) on December 15, 2006, 04:18:
 
[Big Grin]
 
Posted by garlicguy (Member # 3166) on December 15, 2006, 07:21:
 
You've been mailing candy to the girls again Steen, haven't you?

Nice. [shake head]
 
Posted by Steen (Member # 170) on December 15, 2006, 07:31:
 
Yes.

Gum, actually. I really had no choice. It fit with the card too well to not do it.
 
Posted by Moe Monkey (Member # 1900) on December 16, 2006, 06:34:
 
No mention of Clackers? They were like bolas with two hard plastic balls. I only remember seeing them once or twice before they got pulled off the market...
 
Posted by SpazGirl (Member # 4915) on December 16, 2006, 09:16:
 
I had a set of those! Then I almost broke my hand and my mom took them away [Frown]
 
Posted by zesovietrussian (Member # 1177) on December 16, 2006, 10:06:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
If my hair starts falling out I am so hunting you down and beating you with a great big stick.

It did say Nuclee's Polonimints on the wrapper, didn't it? Comrade Steenchenko, keep it up, and you won't have any left for the primary target! [Big Grin]
 


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