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    My father told me about how he used these devices not even that long before I was born.

    Also reminds me of a story. My wife and I were flying to her sister’s wedding. My wife was pregnant at the time with our second child and they wanted to send her through the millimeter wave thingy at the airport. She said “I’m pregnant” and the TSA agent said “just go through, it’s not radiation.”

    (a) I’m aware of the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

    (b) My wife is already super civil libertarian (marches for causes, monthly scheduled donations to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, regular volunteer, election judge, etc).

    (c) I don’t know if she knew at the time the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation but even if she did, after having her (legitimate) pregnant-lady concerns minimized by a government agent…I’m surprised we were allowed to board the plane afterwards.

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      Although most of the dose was directed at the feet, a substantial amount would scatter or leak in all directions. Shielding materials were sometimes displaced to improve image quality, to make the machine lighter, or out of carelessness, and this aggravated the leakage.

      Holy crap, this was a lot worse than I thought. For 50 years we had untrained people doing the work of radio technicians. All the way into the 1970s!

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        Just imagine what they’ll be saying about us in 50 years.

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        They had one of these at the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices in Minneapolis. That place was great.