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Mainstream media journalists flunk high school physics when reporting on radiation

Mike Adams
Natural news
April 3, 2011

I’ve seen a lot of lousy, inaccurate reporting from the mainstream media over the years, but some of the reporting we’re seeing now on the Fukushima catastrophe is just astonishing in its ignorance of basic physics. Today, the Boston Globe published a story containing this whopper:

Nuclear safety spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama says the air above the leak contains 1,000 millisiverts of radioactivity.

Source:http://www.boston.com/news/world/as…

For starters, even the unit is spelled incorrectly. It’s not “millisiverts” but rather “millisieverts.” But that’s a small issue compared to the bigger one.

Millisieverts describe a measured dose of received radiation. Exposure to millisieverts only makes sense in the context of this nuclear catastrophe when it is measured over time. In other words, it makes no sense to say “the air has 500 millisieverts of radiation.” That’s a complete nonsense sentence. The correct statement is that a person standing in that area would be exposed to “500 millisieverts of radiation PER HOUR.”

Without the unit of time, the sentence makes no sense. This writer of this article, it seems, must have flunked high school physics. Do they also describe the speed of their car as “55 miles?”

Do they describe their gas mileage as “20 miles?”

When they buy bulk foods at the grocery store, do they understand what it means to paydollars per ounce?Or is that just too complicated for these people?

Millisieverts are emitted over time

Furthermore, the air does not “contain” a fixed quantity of millisieverts. The radioactive particles in the air are EMITTING radiation at a certain rate (millisieverts per unit of time). If the air only “contained” 1000 millisieverts, as explained by the Boston Globe, then once it emitted those 1000 millisieverts, there would be no more radiation, right?

But in reality, the radiation being emitted by the particles in the air can continue to emit that radiation for weeks, months, years or even millennia, depending on thehalf lifeof the radioactive isotopes contained in the air.

The half-life of iodine-131, for example, is much shorter than the half-life of cesium-137. The half life of cesium-137 is roughly thirty years, meaning that air contaminated with cesium-137 that’s releasing 1000 millisieverts of radiation per hour right now would still be emitting 500 millisieverts of radiation per hour30 years from now. And then 250 millisieverts of radiation per hour60 years from now.

The story was actually written by the Associated Press

Now, here’s something else may truly shock you: This story published by the Boston Globe wasn’t even written by the Boston Globe. It was written by the Associated Press (AP).

The AP, of course, is the centralized news agency that writes a lot of the news that all the other newspapers just copy and paste onto their own websites. You know how Google says it penalizes websites for copying and pasting identical content onto their own websites? The mainstream media does it every single day, and they get no penalty from Google. In fact, the mainstream media is the largest “news copying” operation in existence today, and Google News strongly favors them by removing smaller, truly independent news sources from its index. And most of these mainstream media news sites just take news written by the AP and slap it onto their own sites, regardless of its accuracy.

This particular AP news story containing this blatant error about millisieverts appeared on all the following websites:

• The Sydney Morning Herald (http://www.smh.com.au/world/japanes…)

• Yahoo News (http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/…)

• CTV (Canada) (http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/an/lo…)

ABC news gets it right

ABC news is one of the few mainstream media sources that actually got this story right. They said, “The air above the radioactive water in the pit is measuring 1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour, according to Nishiyama.” (http://abcnews.go.com/International…)

That is the correct description of it, showing that ABC news has writers who are a lot better educated about the laws of physics than the Associated Press writers (who would no doubt flunk high school Physics).

So if the Associated Press doesn’t understand radiation, and they’re the news source feeding “canned news” to most of the mainstream media websites that are heavily favored by Google News, did you ever wonder why the masses are so misinformed? It’s obvious: Most of the mainstream news is canned, copied and wildly inaccurate, written by poorly educated people who don’t understand the laws of physics, or economics, or even cause and effect for that matter.

So where can you get news that’s truly intelligent? The answer, of course, is the alternative media. Sites like NaturalNews.com, InfoWars.com, Rense.com and many others. This is where you get real news from people who are, by the way, far more intelligent than your typical AP writer. Not only do we understand radiation a lot better than these AP writers, we also understand how dangerous it can be. That’s why we’re all warning you to get prepared while you still can, just in case the media is lying to you about the true status of the Fukushima facility.

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