Thursday, January 29, 2015

Nuclear Meltdown: A fictional short story

Dying is one of the most terrifying topics that you could ever bring up in a conversation. As a society we are very morbid, we accept death and all of its disadvantages. We fear dying but we also fear not living, we celebrate someone's life knowing that they will never be celebrated again. Most people get a proper funeral but I guess my family and I will never get that pleasure of knowing we will be celebrated. I crouch down to hug and kiss my children and immediately I am stuck with this troubling thought that my kids will never understand the severity of the situation. 

Then we get the news. Evacuation. I am completely shocked that something like this is truly going to happen; there has already been some talk about one of the reactors failing but no one believed that it would actually happen. My first instinct was to pack everything. I wondered if I would ever come back to the city, to the house that my family has lived in for three generations. I remember as a kid waking up and the smell of blueberry pancakes hit my nose and I ran down and my mom walked over and kissed my forehead and told me she loved me. That brought me to the mornings I cooked pancakes for my children and all those I love you's shared up until this moment right now. 

I look back at my kids and as I stare at them trying to take in their faces one last time, my moment of peace is broken by a loud bang. 

My eyes quickly open and I jolt up to find myself covered in sweat and in a hospital bed. As I start to panic I realize that I have been in this hospital bed for about a month now and have stage 4 terminal cancer. The doctors say that this dream is the only thing that has been keeping me alive this long. At first I thought it was a message, but over time I've realized that this is a memory from a point in my life were I felt the most vulnerable, but it has become one of my favorite memories. I am old now and no longer afraid of dying, I take each day as anyone can and I do not regret anything that I have or haven't done.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Chernobyl photography

Passion and inspiration are the two things that drive a person to the point of excellence. Some people think it is easy to write about something your passionate about but really it's not, it's trying to convince someone to find something that you like interesting. Photography is one of the ways to get your reader interested, by allowing your reader's eyes to move from the bottom to the top giving them a clear photo to represent your topic. Photos are a great way to document disasters, weather it be a natural disaster or a man made one, Chernobyl was one of the man made disasters.

What happened there was a horrific event causing many people to evacuate their homes, however close to 40,000 men, woman, and children were predicted to have died due to radiation spewed from the reactor. Chernobyl would not have had the same reaction from the world if it weren't for the photos taken during the accident. Photos have documented the reactors, there are photos documenting the abandoned building, and even the mutations formed by people who had some exposure to the radiation. Even today when you Google the Chernobyl disasters you see what happened almost 28 years ago. 

One photo in particular had a lot of impact on how I looked at the Chernobyl disaster. This photo from the Denver Post shows children's toys and a gas mask abandoned after word spread about the soon to be nuclear disaster. One can only imagine the terror that teacher must have felt and the level of strength that that teacher had to show when evacuation the building with all of those preschoolers not old enough to know how this may affect them. Photos have a huge impact on the world and can affect how we see these disasters.  
This is from the Denver Post

Friday, January 16, 2015

One of the many affected by the Chernobyl disaster


The effect on the human body due to nuclear radiation

Some people think that what they don't know wont hurt them, I'm here to tell you that this is not always the case. The 3 different types of radiation are: Alpha particles, Beta particles, and Gamma rays. Alpha particles attack the atoms and strip away any electrons leaving positively charged atoms called ions. Extremely high amounts of radiation are called ionizing radiation. The releasing of electrons produces 33 electron volts (eV) of energy that heats the surrounding tissues and disrupts certain chemical bonds. In some cases, very high radiation can destroy the nuclei, and this releases more energy causing even more damage. However Alpha particles are the least damaging in terms of outside exposure, but unfortunately you can inhale Alpha particles through the form of radon gas. Alpha particles can be found in some smoke detectors. Some smoke detectors have a small electrical currents pass through plate 1 and a small amount of radiation pass through plate 2, and when the Alpha radiation plate is blocked by smoke, then the alarm is sounded. 

Beta particles can move several feet when put out by a radioactive source, but they can be blocked by most solid objects such as an aluminum sheet. Beta particles are 8,000 times smaller than Alpha particles, making them more dangerous and able to pass through clothing and even skin causing burns and tissue damage. If your food and water is exposed to the radiation, it can be ingested or even inhaled just like Alpha radiation. Internal exposure can be way more severe than external  exposure. This can cause mutation and cancer as any radiation can. 

Gamma Rays are the most dangerous form of ionizing radiation; these extremely high energy photons can travel though most any matter, and it would take several inches of lead or several feet of concrete to effectively block gamma rays. Gamma rays travel throughout our entire body, effecting our tissue from your skin all the way to your bone marrow. Gamma rays is the most effective way to kill cancerous cells and can also sterilize medical equipment that can be compromised by bleach or other disinfectants. The lesson to gather from this blog post is to be aware of what is around you and that these rays can be found in many household objects. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Chernobyl Diaries: The film that inspired this blog

"The Art of Destruction" is the type of title that English teachers tell you to use when writing anything. A type of title that will grab your readers attention and make them want to read more. I personally think it's all about the pictures. When looking for actors for a horror movie, I've noticed that they always try to pick the best looking people for a movie because, let's face it, we are attracted to the attractive. So when I watch horror movies, I look at the front cover and if i like the cover then I will rent it. I know this isn't the most efficient way to find a good movie because the worse the movie is, the more likely that they will spend a greater amount of money into enhancing the cover. Tricking you... kind of like what the English teachers teach you to do, because most of the time the actual writing is never as good as the title. 

Whenever I see a horror movie and it says "based on a true story" it immediately intrigues me. When horror movies say that, it means they took what really happened and create a hook, like a love story or a brutal death or both as horror movies like to do. Who doesn't love a horror movie that shows us what we are most afraid of: losing someone you love the most. Chernobyl Diaries is one of those movies with a tragic love story. It starts with an adventurous young couple Chris (Paul McCartney) and Natalie (Olivia Taylor Dudley) and their mutual friend Amanda (Devin Kelley) who are traveling across Europe to a final destination in Moscow where the Chris plans on proposing to his girlfriend Natalie. Before heading to Moscow they stop in the Ukraine to visit Chris's brother, Paul (Jonathan Sadowski) where they all decide to go on an "extreme tour" to an abandoned nuclear disaster city, called Chernobyl. Now the truth about this movie is the nuclear disaster that forced many people out of there homes overnight.  I don't like this movie for the story, but for the impact that the reactor had on the town, having to evacuate their homes overnight and bringing nothing but the clothing on their back was crazy to think about. This is the film that inspired my blog about disasters around the world.