Anatoli Bugorski, The Man Who Survived a Beam from a Particle Accelerator

From Wikipedia:

As a researcher at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino, Bugorski used to work with the largest Soviet particle accelerator, the Synchrotron U-70.[2] On July 13, 1978, Bugorski was checking a malfunctioning piece of equipment when an accident occurred due to failed safety mechanisms. Bugorski was leaning over the piece of equipment when he stuck his head in the part through which the proton beam was running. Reportedly, he saw a flash “brighter than a thousand suns”, but did not feel any pain. The beam measured about 200,000 rads when it entered Bugorski’s skull, and about 300,000 rads when it exited after colliding with the inside of his head.

The left half of Bugorski’s face swelled up beyond recognition, and over the next several days started peeling off, showing the path that the proton beam (moving near the speed of light) had burned through parts of his face, his bone, and the brain tissue underneath. As it was believed that about 500 to 600 rads is enough to kill a person, Bugorski was taken to a clinic in Moscow where the doctors could observe his expected demise. However, Bugorski survived and even completed his Ph.D..[3] There was virtually no damage to his intellectual capacity, but the fatigue of mental work increased markedly.[2] Bugroski completely lost hearing in the left ear and only a constant, unpleasant internal noise remained. The left half of his face was frozen, due to the destruction of nerves, and does not age.[1] He is able to function perfectly well, save the fact that he has occasional petit mal seizures and very occasional grand mal seizures.

More pictures here (the article is in Russian)

(via Digg)

Teller Talks About His Experiencing Zero G

Teller (from Penn & Teller) took a trip on the Zero Gravity flight which is now operating out of Las Vegas that offers a similar experience to NASA’s Vomit Comet. That’s if you can afford the $3,500 bucks for the flight. The Movable Buffet is covering Teller’s report about the trip:

You hop on a bus and they take you out there and they have an aircraft that looks like the aircraft you could dream of. The plane is like a tubular gymnasium. It is padded all around. There are a couple of windows, but those are very small. There are airplane seats at one end. The entire time I was thinking this is such a wonderful good time, how did they ever get this by the FAA? Of course, they have been working on this for 10 years. But what they got from the FAA is a 100 mile long and ten mile wide corridor to run the plane. I am in awe of their ability to navigate government bureaucracy. But you still go through a TSA screening on your way on. It killed me to see TSA people wanding down heads of casinos and newspaper owners like somehow a terrorist could slip onto such a flight. This is really for people with the money and the enthusiasm, who want to float around like they dreamed of when they were kids.

When you take off they have given you instructions ahead of time. So, you know what is about to happen and that the plane is going to be moving in this parabolic pattern. When you are at the bottom the of the parabola you are going to be about 1 1/2 times your usual weight and when you are at the top you are going to be 1/6 gravity or completely weightless.

Zero G’s homepage

Domino PCs

The best thing to come from the Dot Com crash… Domino PCs! 86 PCs lined up like dominos. Filmed on a saturday afternnon in Belmont, California, by an Irish bloke and a Spanish guy. The final attempt…. Everything goes well but the heavy machines near the end almost put a halt to the whole thing… thankfully there was enough weight behind the toppled machines to slowly topple the heavy ones!

Frustrating but Typical Customer Service Call

From The Consumerist:

Peter, who is the CEO of a company called Vocal Laboratories Inc. (they conducts call center customer service surveys for companies like Apple, Dell, and HP), felt compelled to add video commentary to a call to HP that was recently logged by one of their participants.

As Peter says, there’s nothing really horrible about the call except that it’s exactly like every customer service call you’ve ever had to make. It’s oddly infuriating. Listen for yourself.

The 6 Foot Long Worm Incident

My first 500 gal reef system was started in February of 2001 with about 800 pounds of Fiji live rock. All went along swimmingly for about two years. In early 2003, I began to notice the severe recession of soft corals like ricordea, xenia, and zoos. While this occasional recession was always present in the past, it was now getting to the point of being ridiculous. I suspected that something was feeding on these corals as they would be fine by day and gone by morning.

I staked out the tank one evening with a red lens flashlight in an attempt to catch the suspected villainous shrimp or crab. What I saw caused many sleepless nights. Through an opening in the live rock, I spied what looked like a worm with a diameter of about ¾”. This worm was passing through this live rock opening…and passing…and passing…and then passing some more…just how long was this thing? Suddenly, the worm stopped…and way over on the other side of the tank,

(via Reddit)