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After the atomic bomb in Nagasaki: Radiation today

Posted by on Oct 17, 2013 in All posts, Japan, Radiation levels around the world | 1 comment

I am no expert on the topic but an exploding atomic bomb does release a huge amount of radiation which effects humans, long after the actual explosion. Does radiation released in one place stay, or does it dissolve over time? During our recent sightseeing in Nagasaki, we were wondering about the current radioactive levels of the city, 50 years after the bombing. The results are somewhat intriguing. It seems that radiation has gone back to normal. In 2012, exactly one year after the Fukushima accident, we also visited Hiroshima (second city to suffer atomic bombing) – and we passed Fukushima Station and measured as well – see Radiation in Japan 2012. In Nagasaki, all measurements were taken on the 6th of October 2013 in various places: Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park, in Urakami, the northern district of Nagasaki. At the...

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Radiation in Seoul

Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in All posts, Radiation levels around the world, South Korea | 0 comments

Disclaimer: In case the concepts of nanotechnology, microorganisms or energetic waves are strange to you, this post will be a freakshow. As a positive germaphobe I believe in the workings of micro systems that make up our world. Even though we cannot see them, tiny organisms are there and can have major effects on our lives (I learned a lot in my German Abitur classes). So I like to poke around a bit and catch some of the invisible. I share this passion with a collaborator. Mr Gamma Scout is always there to assist me. In fact he is doing the dirty work, measuring radioactive waves why I simply document the measurements. Here are glimpses of our work in South Korea, in Seoul. If you like to be able to read Mr Gamma Scout, this post will give you...

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Perpetual travel tips: electronic must haves

Posted by on Feb 10, 2013 in All posts, Perpetual travel issues | 0 comments

When travelling around the world (see our travel map for details) we rely on solid equipment to work. I will talk about the selection of our electronic must haves in this post. We are a lightweight couple (I am not talking alcohol)  so it came naturally to us to travel light. OUR CAMERA. We love to walk around cities and do excessive sightseeing which we document with our camera (great pictures and stories I never manage to write up). Nevertheless we decided against a huge lens and photographic equipment which requires extra care and an extra bag. When we started our new way of life, we simply took the one camera we had – our digital Lumix from Panasonic. We were not really thinking about replacing it until the camera broke down in the middle of sightseeing whilst visiting...

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Radiation in England

Posted by on Dec 18, 2012 in All posts, England, Radiation levels around the world | 0 comments

“In physics, radiation is a process in which energetic particles or energetic waves travel through vacuum, or through matter-containing media that are not required for their propagation.” Yeah, Wikipedia. The way I see it, radiation is more ‘down to Earth‘. I am on a mission encouraged by the newest Wachowski movie Cloud Atlas, where possibly harmful environments (or radiation levels) are not stopping my spirit (eh, body) from travelling across time (well okay, across Earth) to do great things. Inspired by revolutionist actions of a female clone-worker (Doona Bae) and the ambitious Meronym (Halle Berry) with futuristic Star Trek look, I am, too, taking on a post-apocalyptic journey to make the world a better place. I am carrying the Geiger Counter for the good of human kind. To enlighten and raise awareness. That’s me. AND my body is marked by...

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Radiation at Beijing Airport and what to do

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in All posts, Radiation levels around the world | 0 comments

Because of an unexpected baggage mishap we missed our connecting flight to Tokyo (in March) and had some time to pass at the Bejing airport. If you are stuck at Beijing airport, this might cheer you up:       RADIATION LEVELS. Looking great. Not to high, not too low. Just perfect. 20th March 2012.   MACHA. Green tea ice cream at the airport’s Häagen Dazs. Macha tastes so good, I imagine it is made from luscious green leaves harvested by gorgeous girls wearing green dress, working day and night to conjure up a sweet concoction of light green powder and soft ice-cream, delivered to Häagen Dazs by tiny green elves. I like green. I like ice-cream. Macha is all that.   GO TO F4. That is the fourth floor, where you can sit at the food court, have...

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Radiation at London Heathrow Airport

Posted by on Oct 30, 2012 in All posts, Radiation levels around the world | 0 comments

I was indifferent to physics at school, I couldn’t have cared less about wavelengths until the expert opinion of my favourite girl’s magazines declared that sun bathing is not just giving you a tan. People started to get suspicious about solar rays and electromagnetic waves, an invisible threat was surrounding us overall in the 90s. The word was out about health hazards when cooking with microwaves and I administered a personal safety distance when turning it on. That’s not all. I let go of my teenage dream to become a gorgeous stewardess and marry a handsome pilot, after I learned why flight crews have early retirement plans. Becoming a prima ballerina sorted itself out after I loudly complained about the pain I was going through being pushed down into a split during a dancers pre-selection exam – cutting life’s...

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Radiation levels in Norway

Posted by on Oct 29, 2012 in All posts, Norway, Radiation levels around the world | 0 comments

We carry a Geiger counter with us since we started the journey of perpetual travel and keep on checking radiation levels where ever we are. So far, we mostly have encountered friendly radiation levels, but occasionally freaky values do emerge. Here is some radiation we captured in Norway. To sum it up, in Norway, a country of nature, values of background radiation are not of concern at all, oscillating nicely at average levels. Values on the display of the Geiger counter are easy to understand, if you can compare them to typical values of background radiation. If you are the ambitious kind – or, at least for the sake of your physics teacher – read this, to be able to ‘read’ this:   14th August 2012. About 10 km from the craziest rock ever, called Preikestolen.   15th August...

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Radiation levels in Spain

Posted by on Oct 28, 2012 in All posts, Radiation levels around the world, Spain | 0 comments

I am obnoxiously curious, I hate secrets and can’t keep one myself (even if that involves making a neat pottery present for Tomek secretly one month before Christmas and then accidentally telling him the same day without even noticing. And Tomek, the gentleman, not telling me I had spilled the beans until Christmas day). I would be a terrible agent, especially if equipped with a Geiger counter, obliged to classified intentions. Luckily I am not an agent. Therefore, I will share with you uncensored pictures of Geiger measurements in the countries we visited. Radiation values can change from place to place, even in the same area. Levels are influenced by many factors, in cities values will depend on radioactive building materials and hotspots, so that figures can fluctuate enormously. In Spain, in Barcelona to be exact, we found a...

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Radiation on the plane and during flights

Posted by on Oct 27, 2012 in All posts, Radiation levels around the world | 4 comments

We got the Geiger counter, convinced to measure increased radiation while in Japan, when all we were about to find, were values as average as radiation can get, mainly hitting the bottom-end of average, surprisingly lower than in any country we have visited so far. Old story, I know. New story. It would turn out we didn’t buy the Gamma Scout for nothing. We would get sensational radiation on our way to Japan. During the flight, the Geiger measured levels of radiation that were spectacular. And it was the same sensational scenario on all long distance flights we measured thereafter.   GAMMA SCOUT ON PLANE It is safe to carry a Gamma Scout on an airplane. It passes FCC Sec 15 standards and will not emit radio interference. The x-ray machine will not damage the Gamma Scout. The Gamma...

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Radiation levels in Thailand

Posted by on Oct 26, 2012 in All posts, Radiation levels around the world, Thailand | 2 comments

After the Fukushima disaster in 2011, media and public were going crazy about the potential threat of radiation to the world. I was, admittedly part of that –  panicky, scared of the danger of invisible rays, speculating about health risks, almost having cancelled our trip to Japan in March 2012. Buying a professional Geiger counter (Gamma Scout) may well have been an overreaction and the result of exaggerated mistrust of public accounts, but you know what, it tremendously helped to get radiation into perspective and most of all, to find out about radiation levels we were actually exposed to. I sure was very surprised about those radiation levels we measured all over Japan. Here is another country we ‘inspected’. Pictures we took of the Geiger counter in Thailand. What are typical radiation levels? Everything between 0.100-0.200 micro sievert/hour is...

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Radiation in Hungary

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in All posts, Hungary, Radiation levels around the world | 0 comments

Radiation can be fascinating, scary or simply boring. I think we can classify Hungary’s radiation in that latter category. No spectacular values, just average stuff. That’s why we only took two pictures of the Geiger and truthfully, there was sooo much cool stuff to do in Budapest that we neglected our precious device. After doing some easy background reading on radiation, you will return to this post as a pro and know how to evaluate the figures on the Geiger at a glance. 07th September 2012. At the window of our first flat in Budapest, not far from the city centre on Népszínház utca, Pest side. The windows were covered by a mosquito net, which was only one of many bonus features of the bachelor flat. We also rented a flat on the other side of the Danube river,...

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Radiation levels in Kuala Lumpur

Posted by on Sep 17, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia, Radiation levels around the world | 3 comments

Radiation in Malaysia is disturbing – in Kuala Lumpur at the Geo Hotel. That is where we stayed for a over a week, because the hotel was brand new and not yet worn down and dirty, like most hotels in Kuala Lumpur. I am being fair. We visited an enormous amount of hotels in Kuala Lumpur, from low to top end, and in the end, we were happy to spent more than 50 Euros per night for a clean room, without moldy walls, noisy aircon, gross carpets, crap furniture, no windows, aged and smelly interiors… Geo Hotel also offers superb location, close to the Central Market. Okay, let’s not sidetrack. Here is to radioactivity. After check in, we found radiation levels to be really high. Because internet wasn’t working at the first floor and a major bus station right...

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Radiation at Singapore Changi Airport

Posted by on Aug 11, 2012 in All posts, Radiation levels around the world, Singapore | 0 comments

During our short stay in Singapore we did a lot of sight seeing but there was no time to attend to our Gamma Scout. However, during our flight from Thailand to Norway, we got a second chance to make up. While waiting for our connecting flight to Oslo, we had enough time to check on radiation at Singapore Airport.   11th August 2012. Singapore Changi Airport. Average background radiation.   11th August 2012. Singapore Changi Airport. Background radiation is below average at the check-in counter. Probably because the counter is sort of in the way, blocking the Geiger tube. The other display on the violet check-in counter gives ‘kg’ instead of ‘micro sievert’. 22.3 kg is my bag. We carry two big bags, each weighing around 20-25 kg. Perpetual travel requires judicious preparation and skillful packing. We have got...

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Radiation levels in Japan

Posted by on Aug 4, 2012 in All posts, Japan, Radiation levels around the world | 13 comments

We were due to go to Japan in March 2012, one year after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, so we did a bit of background research about radiation levels and after weeks of reading news and corresponding with various sources of information through the net, we were definitely… confused. In a last minute act before the trip, we bought the Gamma Scout Geiger counter and took measurements throughout Japan. RADIATION LEVELS IN JAPAN Our Geiger measurements indicate that radiation levels are average (often even below average), as you can see in the pictures. To sum it up: background radiation is overall lower than in Europe. It is safe to go to Japan! Quick reminder of typical radiation values: Germany/Heidelberg has a background radiation levels of about 0.1 – 0.2 micro sievert/hour and I found that very...

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Radiation detection with the Gamma Scout Geiger Counter

Posted by on Aug 2, 2012 in All posts, Radiation levels around the world | 0 comments

While preparing for our trip to Japan by the end of March 2012, we were getting all kinds of information about safety in regards to radiation levels from family (fretting), friends (dissuading) and media (confusing). It was just about one year after the Fukushima accident in March 2011 and Europe, traumatized by the Chernobyl nuclear reactor blast in 1986, rather alarmed about travelling towards the catastrophe.   WHY WE HAVE THE GAMMA SCOUT To find out about radiation, we would actually be exposed to in Japan, we bought a Geiger counter to see for ourselves. We looked at various models and decided on a professional piece of equipment, the Gamma Scout, which is a fully featured radiation detector, made in Germany, that took 350 Euros out of our pockets.  It is very light and portable, the size of a...

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