Return to Website

Number Watch Web Forum

This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

Number Watch Web Forum
Start a New Topic 
View Entire Thread
Re: Godzilla flees from luminous watch

I'm extremely amused at the ultra-sensitive expletive detector here. It appears to have trouble with such innocuous words as Fµkushima. I wonder what it would make of Sçunthorpe.

Re: Godzilla flees from luminous watch

Or Penistone.

Re: Godzilla flees from luminous watch

I can think of another example of "Godzilla fleeing the luminous watch" in connection with the ƒukushima nuclear accident. In this case Godzilla would be the Japanese financial industry (bankers, traders, etc), specifically the foreign worker contingent of the industry.
This news article from April 2011, about five weeks after the tsunami, gives details about how various groups of foreign workers had fled the country (the whole of Japan, not just in the vicinity of the stricken nuclear plant):


The financial people got out in substantial numbers, and were out of the country very fast. By contrast foreign workers in other industries evacuated to a much more limited extent.

I'm not sure why the financial people were so nervous about a nuclear accident. I wouldn't be surprised if the worldwide financial industry is being heavily lobbied by the Greenies with a view to scaring them off in regard to financing nuclear projects, so they might be going around with the idea in their heads that when a major nuclear accident occurs then the whole country is effectively 'toast'.

The article also mentions that most foreign workers from nearby Asian countries like the Philippines, Korea and China had left within a few weeks following the tsunami. The Philippines advised their citizens to evacuate, and I suspect that seeing the Filipinos evacuate may have triggered the departure of the Koreans and Chinese (who were not advised by their governments to leave). The Philippines is basically an anti-nuclear country - nuclear power is associated in that country with the dictatorial regime of President Marcos. After Marcos was overthrown in the mid-1980s, the single nuclear plant that had been built during his regime, and had finished construction about the time he was overthrown, never started operation.

Re: Godzilla flees from luminous watch

On the subject of radioactive luminous timepieces, I noticed an interesting video where somebody looked at Geiger counter readings for an alarm clock with a luminous dial bought in the USA in the 1960s:

In the video the background CPM (counts per minute) starts off at 36 and jumps up to as high a reading as 6785 when the alarm clock is put next to the counter, nearly 200 times the background count. I don't know if this represents a typical alarm clock from the days when radium material was included as part of the luminous paint. The practice of using radium paint was more or less discontinued by about 1970 in Western countries due to health and safety regulations for manufacturing of the timepieces becoming stricter, which made the use of radium paint uneconomic. After 1970 the luminous paint consists entirely of a phosphorescent material like zinc sulphide, which is less effective and requires 'charging up' in daylight. Watches which use radium paint would have only a small fraction of that applied to an alarm clock.

I don't recall ever seeing the Greenies ever run a campaign against radium paint, even back in the 1970s. The Greenie version of radiophobia is specifically targeted at predominantly one industry, the nuclear industry, though they also run a less well-known campaign against the use of radioactive material in the space industry (some space probes and the recent roving vehicle landed on Mars use atomic batteries). Other industries that use, or have historically used, radioactive material in some way seem to get no hassle from the Greenies.

Most clocks and watches that have a luminous dial which includes radium paint will have been thrown away by now, and will be sitting in landfill sites. The only watches that might have some radium paint in them that are still in circulation are likely to be expensive watches (brands like Rolex) manufactured before 1970 that tend not to get thrown away.