0933: "Tattoo"

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0933: "Tattoo"

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:20 am UTC

Image

Alt Text: I calculate that the electrons in radiation therapy hit you at 99.8% the speed of light, and the beam used in a 90-second gamma ray therapy session could, if fired with less precision, kill a horse (they did not let me test this).

This comic makes me wonder if all radiation based superpowers are a metaphor for surviving cancer...
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Re: 0933: Tattoo

Postby Artorp » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:28 am UTC

To be honest, that's actually pretty hardcore for a tattoo.
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Re: 0933: Tattoo

Postby TaylorP » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:31 am UTC

So that's what a stick figure looks like without a shirt. I'm glad we finally got an answer to that question.

Also is it just me, or Randall do an excellent job with the panel 4? It's almost like she's actually glaring out of the screen.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby EdgarThePeaceable » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:37 am UTC

Randall, best wishes from an anonymous internet poster to you and yours.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby AvianMinded » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:42 am UTC

All of my friends are getting "tatted up" and I just don't understand it. How do you know you're going to like that for the rest of your life? I like the idea of a tattoo; a symbol so important that you'd dedicate a section of your body to that image. Awesome. But do you really think that you'll be that passionate about 'Where the Wild Things Are' in your mid-forties?
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby 123 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:42 am UTC

:oops: :oops: :oops:
Nevermind
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Kirby » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:48 am UTC

Wait a minute. Don't all electrons travel at the speed of light?

EDIT: Whoops. I need to get some sleep before I question The Great Randall's knowledge of physics.

(Editing because a new post would be completely irrelevant to the thread.)
Last edited by Kirby on Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:18 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Xof » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:53 am UTC

Kirby wrote:Wait a minute. Don't all electrons travel at the speed of light?


Nope, you're thinking of photons. Electrons have mass, so they can't reach the speed of light.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby TheRedSeven » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:54 am UTC

Kirby wrote:Wait a minute. Don't all electrons travel at the speed of light?

Depends on your frame of reference. But I think you're thinking of photons in a vacuum. Electrons travel at different speeds, depending on the medium through which they're traveling (through a copper wire is different than through a vacuum), and depending on the energy being acted upon (they go faster when accelerated at the LHC than when they're accelerated at FermiLab's Tevatron), etc.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby ConMan » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:01 am UTC

123 wrote:Now I wonder, which parts are holding her back? Do I really need a spleen?

Spoiler:
She's talking about her cancer. Her entire dialogue is describing the use of radiotherapy, but making it sound incredibly awesome.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby tsarna » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:09 am UTC

Right on, six dot girl!

"You think I'm impressed by [stupid body modifications]? Mods you bought? Anyone could have bought those. I earned mine. This expanse of splotchy wrinkly burned skin here, these couple jagged scars? I got those from life, not from some crappy body mods parlor."

Six dots, now that's a body mod that earns my respect.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby jpk » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:09 am UTC

AvianMinded wrote:All of my friends are getting "tatted up" and I just don't understand it. How do you know you're going to like that for the rest of your life? I like the idea of a tattoo; a symbol so important that you'd dedicate a section of your body to that image. Awesome. But do you really think that you'll be that passionate about 'Where the Wild Things Are' in your mid-forties?


Most tattoos are shallow and meaningless. So are most people.
If someone decides to get a tattoo that strikes you as juvenile and ill-considered, maybe they're trying to tell you something. That's right: if you think their tattoo is stupid, you probably think they're stupid, and you should probably put your pants on and go, because it'll be really awkward later on. I mean, you stay the night, and in the morning, what? "I, uh, enjoyed that, but, um, that Smurfette tattoo? Really? Isn't that kind of dumb?" Or maybe you wait until after breakfast - hoping to soften the blow. But then you can see she's already really into you, and you think, well, I'll call her in a few hours and let her know that it's not going to work. But a few hours later, you try to do that, and somehow you can't, and then it's six months later and, she's talking about moving in together, and then you're married, and you have a kid, and then two, and every day you're deeper and deeper in the quicksand with this horrible awful doofus that you can't stand, and every day it's harder to get free.

No, there's only one thing to do. You see a dumb tattoo, just walk away. With your pants on, natch. It's better for everyone.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Jay Bazuzi » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:15 am UTC

How do you know you're going to like that for the rest of your life?


You don't. You can't.

Humans make decisions with life-long effects all the time, like getting married or divorced, having a child, getting surgery, joining the military, committing major crimes, choosing a major, living another day.

We do this without knowing for sure how we will feel about those choices in the future. We often regret choices we have made in the past. That's life, as they say.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:17 am UTC

tsarna wrote:Right on, six dot girl!

"You think I'm impressed by [stupid body modifications]? Mods you bought? Anyone could have bought those. I earned mine. This expanse of splotchy wrinkly burned skin here, these couple jagged scars? I got those from life, not from some crappy body mods parlor."

Six dots, now that's a body mod that earns my respect.



Well said. Except I make an exception for military tattoos (for comradery purposes only) and Polynesians (rite of passage).
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Soral » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:18 am UTC

6 dots? I was hoping for a DnD reference.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby 123 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:18 am UTC

ConMan wrote:
123 wrote:Now I wonder, which parts are holding her back? Do I really need a spleen?

Spoiler:
She's talking about her cancer. Her entire dialogue is describing the use of radiotherapy, but making it sound incredibly awesome.


Hmm..I feel bad now. Thanks for telling me... :oops:
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby KShrike » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:21 am UTC

Kill a horse? You did this?
"They did not let me test this"
Thank goodness.

And I don't have anything against tattoos, nor against people who wear them, and on and on and on.
I just won't ever get one because of my moral sense (whether be it right or wrong).
And I will not stop my kids from getting one if they ask for it, but that does not mean I'm going to let them blindly get one without knowing the consequences.

Be that as it may... wow, cool comic.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:25 am UTC

I haven't read it for years (lost interest and cutdown on webcomics in general) but in any case I accidentally reminded myself of this
ImagePlay the game of Time! castle.chirpingmustard.com Hotdog Vending Supplier But what is this?

GAZEBO OINTMENT HARPSICHORD CREDENZA BUNGALOW
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Soral » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:28 am UTC

KShrike wrote:And I will not stop my kids from getting one if they ask for it, but that does not mean I'm going to let them blindly get one without knowing the consequences.


Like stretching. Someday that dove of peace will become an emu.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby comsciguy82 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:35 am UTC

Xof wrote:Nope, you're thinking of photons. Electrons have mass, so they can't reach the speed of light.

TheRedSeven wrote:Depends on your frame of reference. But I think you're thinking of photons in a vacuum. Electrons travel at different speeds, depending on the medium through which they're traveling (through a copper wire is different than through a vacuum), and depending on the energy being acted upon (they go faster when accelerated at the LHC than when they're accelerated at FermiLab's Tevatron), etc.


My physics may be a bit rusty, but if I recall photons also have mass (although infinitesimally small compared to an electron, but explains why the gravitational force prevents photons from escaping a black hole), but the speed that we call the speed of light is the measured speed of photons in a vacuum. Also, doesn't special relativity suggest that a body travelling the speed of light will be observed at that speed regardless of the frame of reference (creating distortions in perceived time intervals, etc.)? But it seems to me that there is some relativistic speed that is slightly faster than the measured speed of light in a vacuum (due to the mass of the photon and resulting inability to reach this speed) around which special relativity ought to hinge.

I've also heard that the speed of light is slowing down, and I have also read theories on dark matter, and how the amount of mass in the universe ought to be much more than has been observed. So maybe our observations of photons aren't actually in a vacuum after all, resulting in the apparent decrease in the speed of light?

Anyway, that's enough rambling on and stuff for one night :)
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby ghotiful » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:39 am UTC

AvianMinded wrote:All of my friends are getting "tatted up" and I just don't understand it. How do you know you're going to like that for the rest of your life? I like the idea of a tattoo; a symbol so important that you'd dedicate a section of your body to that image. Awesome. But do you really think that you'll be that passionate about 'Where the Wild Things Are' in your mid-forties?


Well, the same goes for majoring in the humanities. Or getting married. You can't always base your decisions on how high the probability is that you'll regret them 10, 20, 50 years down the line. Everybody has to come to terms with the fact that their past is a part of who they are. Otherwise, your regrets will disfigure you even worse than your tattoos.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby phlip » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:43 am UTC

comsciguy82 wrote:My physics may be a bit rusty, but if I recall photons also have mass

Photons can be considered to have relativistic mass, but they have no rest mass. They can only exist travelling at the speed of light - if they were travelling at a sublight speed, they'd have zero energy, and thus for all intents and purposes would not exist. The same applies for all light-speed particles (generally called "massless" particles). On the other side, particles with nonzero rest mass must always be travelling at less than the speed of light - to get to the speed of light, they'd need infinite energy; any finite amount of energy would only get it to a sublight speed (these are the "massive" particles).

As for the other stuff about the speed of light slowing down or such... sounds to me like the usual combination of misunderstood science, pseudoscience, sci-fi and good old-fashioned nonsense.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby ConMan » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:59 am UTC

comsciguy82 wrote:My physics may be a bit rusty, but if I recall photons also have mass (although infinitesimally small compared to an electron, but explains why the gravitational force prevents photons from escaping a black hole), but the speed that we call the speed of light is the measured speed of photons in a vacuum.

Phlip's already mentioned that that's not true (although I think relativistic mass is being phased out these days, possibly because it causes these kinds of misunderstandings), but I thought I'd also point out that it's not the reason that photons can't escape from a black hole. Photons follow "straight line" paths (actually called geodesics, but based on the idea that in any small region of space it looks like a straight line), and in a black hole space is so distorted that the straight lines all point towards the inside of the hole - even the ones that you try to make point outwards just bend back in on themselves. For more detailed explanations, pop down to the Science forum on these boards and read through all the threads on Relativity.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby ocean_soul » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:03 am UTC

comsciguy82 wrote:
Xof wrote:Nope, you're thinking of photons. Electrons have mass, so they can't reach the speed of light.

TheRedSeven wrote:Depends on your frame of reference. But I think you're thinking of photons in a vacuum. Electrons travel at different speeds, depending on the medium through which they're traveling (through a copper wire is different than through a vacuum), and depending on the energy being acted upon (they go faster when accelerated at the LHC than when they're accelerated at FermiLab's Tevatron), etc.


My physics may be a bit rusty, but if I recall photons also have mass (although infinitesimally small compared to an electron, but explains why the gravitational force prevents photons from escaping a black hole), but the speed that we call the speed of light is the measured speed of photons in a vacuum. Also, doesn't special relativity suggest that a body travelling the speed of light will be observed at that speed regardless of the frame of reference (creating distortions in perceived time intervals, etc.)? But it seems to me that there is some relativistic speed that is slightly faster than the measured speed of light in a vacuum (due to the mass of the photon and resulting inability to reach this speed) around which special relativity ought to hinge.

I've also heard that the speed of light is slowing down, and I have also read theories on dark matter, and how the amount of mass in the universe ought to be much more than has been observed. So maybe our observations of photons aren't actually in a vacuum after all, resulting in the apparent decrease in the speed of light?

Anyway, that's enough rambling on and stuff for one night :)


Photons have no rest mass and thus travel at the speed of light. They do have relativistic mass equal to m=p/c where p is the momentum of the photon. This is why gravitation can act on photons and other massless particles. Particles which do have a non-zero rest mass can never reach the speed of light, no matter what your reference frame is.

Also photons in a medium technically, in a field theoretical description, still travel at the speed of light but are constantly being absorbed and re-emitted. This makes it look like they are going slower.

Finally, given the way in which the second and the meter are defined the speed of light can never change. It is however possible that the length of a meter or a second would change as the universe gets older.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby DreadLindwyrm » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:26 am UTC

Good luck with everything. I'm also in the small tattooed dot group, but mine are low on my back.

1 year clear and counting.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Talanshiar » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:38 am UTC

For those interested in the alt text, I recommend looking up the Therac-25. Pretty sure it would take a lot less than 90 seconds with the right machine used the wrong way.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Karasu » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:46 am UTC

The moment I read the first panel I hoped her "six dots on my chest tattoo" would be something like the Hacker Emblem, until I realized it uses only 5 dots :( :

Code: Select all
 _|O|_
 _|_|O
 O|O|O
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Paulmichael » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:49 am UTC

The title-text got me! :mrgreen:
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby oliphaunt » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:52 am UTC

I just want to point out here that "bicep" is not a word; "biceps" is singular.

Oh, one dictionary does list it as a back-formation (1955-60) from "biceps"; another one just says "false sing. of biceps (q.v.)."
ylno thgir ot tfel morf txet siht daer esaelp
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Tass » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:46 am UTC

oliphaunt wrote:I just want to point out here that "bicep" is not a word; "biceps" is singular.

Oh, one dictionary does list it as a back-formation (1955-60) from "biceps"; another one just says "false sing. of biceps (q.v.)."


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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby tjunction » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:48 am UTC

oliphaunt wrote:I just want to point out here that "bicep" is not a word; "biceps" is singular.

Oh, one dictionary does list it as a back-formation (1955-60) from "biceps"; another one just says "false sing. of biceps (q.v.)."


If you're being really picky, you have biceps muscles in your leg (Biceps femoris) as well as your arm (Biceps brachii).

Personally I'm in the "language moves on, deal with it" camp though. :-)
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby colombo » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:17 am UTC

Nice thing about proton therapy is that you can target in which depth most of the particle energy is deposited (done by adjusting the beam energy); This way the damage on surrounding tissue can be reduced - as long as you exactly know the tumor position and are able to make this info availible to the system. Hence the tatoo.....
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby ilarge » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:55 am UTC

I've just two dots. I feel quite shortchanged!

My description was that the lower one was a Reed-Sternberg cell and the upper was a minuscule avenging eagle diving down to savage it. Still a badge of pride. Slashed, burned and poisoned in the name of medicine...
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby sellyme » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:10 am UTC

A-hem?

"They did not let me test this"

He ASKED?!
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Aelfyre » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:49 am UTC

I have those same six dots!:) ok well technically I have my own set of six dots but I am sure they are very similar. Kinda dark blue.


CorruptUser wrote:This comic makes me wonder if all radiation based superpowers are a metaphor for surviving cancer...


All I have to say to this is RAHH! AELFYRE SMASH! :mrgreen:
Last edited by Aelfyre on Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:53 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Beardhammer » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:50 am UTC

AvianMinded wrote:All of my friends are getting "tatted up" and I just don't understand it. How do you know you're going to like that for the rest of your life? I like the idea of a tattoo; a symbol so important that you'd dedicate a section of your body to that image. Awesome. But do you really think that you'll be that passionate about 'Where the Wild Things Are' in your mid-forties?


Most people get tattoos while drunk or high. "Thought" probably never fully enters the equation.

ghotiful wrote:
AvianMinded wrote:All of my friends are getting "tatted up" and I just don't understand it. How do you know you're going to like that for the rest of your life? I like the idea of a tattoo; a symbol so important that you'd dedicate a section of your body to that image. Awesome. But do you really think that you'll be that passionate about 'Where the Wild Things Are' in your mid-forties?


Well, the same goes for majoring in the humanities. Or getting married. You can't always base your decisions on how high the probability is that you'll regret them 10, 20, 50 years down the line. Everybody has to come to terms with the fact that their past is a part of who they are. Otherwise, your regrets will disfigure you even worse than your tattoos.


Or you could just live a life without regrets.

DreadLindwyrm wrote:Good luck with everything. I'm also in the small tattooed dot group, but mine are low on my back.

1 year clear and counting.


You wanted a trampstamp that badly? :mrgreen:
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Plasma Man » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:00 am UTC

A couple of years ago, the head of the Medical Physics department at the hospital in which I work retired. At his retirement party, he gave a little talk about how much things have moved on in the time he'd been working there. Apparently, he was involved in radiotherapy and used to have to do the checks and make sure the machine was focusing the beam correctly. This being quite a while ago, the focus was tested by using a small coin (yes, an actual coin, such as anyone might use). If you could focus the beam accurately enough so that it would irradiate the coin and nothing else, that was considered an acceptable level of accuracy.
Fast forward to now, and the beams can be focused with accuracy measured in millimetres. Progress is good.
Please note that despite the lovely avatar Sungura gave me, I am not a medical doctor.

Possibly my proudest moment on the fora.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Aelfyre » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:03 am UTC

EdgarThePeaceable wrote:Randall, best wishes from an anonymous internet poster to you and yours.


+1 from another AIP. coming up on 20 years clear myself. So thoughts are with ya. First choice would be never coming down with it of course but at least the research has a come a long way since I was treated so just hang in there!

and Randall as normal is absolutely right.. go with Science.. cuz it *works* bitches!
Xanthir wrote:To be fair, even perfectly friendly antimatter wildebeests are pretty deadly.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby tahrey » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:12 am UTC

Wow... I already thought radiotherapy machines were pretty kickass, but this has got to be the most awesome description of what they do that I've yet seen. Way to take the tragedy and misery and bring something more positive out of it. 8)

Plasma man: Seriously, if you ever need to find something to bring to the table in an argument with someone who's convinced that computers and electronics have only ever done bad things for us, the enhanced scanning and dosing resolution of xray/NM/MRI/radiotherapy that's possible with modern machinery - and particularly the very newest stuff that was just becoming available to the most stinking rich of hospitals when I left it all behind ~5 years ago (e.g. for RT, very fine rapidly/accurately moveable (computer controlled) metal "finger" grates on the output beam, CAM 3D dose adjustment based on CT/SPECT/PET/MRI scans, the aforementioned laser tracking, and even use of different particle types (eg neutrons) because of their unique absorbtion properties which again need careful modelling) - is a pretty good one. It blows the previous graphpaper-and-protractor calculations (based on an assumed body shape) and beam shaping using lead blocks (admittedly CNC'd, but using a puck digitiser running over the graph paper, so it could've been done by hand with a little more time and care) out of the water like a nuclear depth charge.
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Re: 0933: "Tattoo"

Postby Michael.K » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:33 am UTC

". . . The beam used in a 90-second gamma ray therapy session could, if fired with less precision, kill a horse."

Not less precision, just different precision.
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