jm + til   3

TIL you shouldn’t use conditioner if you get nuked
If you shower carefully with soap and shampoo, Karam says [Andrew Karam, radiation expert], the radioactive dust should wash right out. But hair conditioner has particular compounds called cationic surfactants and polymers. If radioactive particles have drifted underneath damaged scales of hair protein, these compounds can pull those scales down to create a smooth strand of hair. "That can trap particles of contamination inside of the scale," Karam says.

These conditioner compounds are also oily and have a positive charge on one end that will make them stick to negatively charged sections of a strand of hair, says Perry Romanowski, a cosmetics chemist who has developed personal hygiene formulas and now hosts "The Beauty Brains" podcast on cosmetics chemistry.

"Unlike shampoo, conditioners are meant to stay behind on your hair," Romanowski says. If the conditioner comes into contact with radioactive material, these sticky, oily compounds can gum radioactive dust into your hair, he says.
factoids  conditioner  surfactants  nuclear-bombs  fallout  hair  bizarre  til  via:boingboing 
9 weeks ago by jm
the etymology of the anatomical term "Thagomizer"
'The term was coined by Gary Larson in a 1982 Far Side comic strip, in which a group of cavemen in a faux-modern lecture hall are taught by their caveman professor that the spikes were named "after the late Thag Simmons". The term was picked up initially by Ken Carpenter, a palaeontologist at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, who used the term when describing a fossil at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting in 1993. Thagomizer has since been adopted as an informal anatomical term, and is used by the Smithsonian Institution, the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, the book The Complete Dinosaur and the BBC documentary series Planet Dinosaur.' (via John Looney)
via:john-looney  thagomizer  the-far-side  comics  til  dinosaurs  funny 
october 2011 by jm

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