Even worse radiological stupidity than usual.

The show Bones seems intelligent.  It certainly tosses out a lot of technical jargon very rapidly.  Well, it finally got around to my area of expertise.  And judging by that performance, the writers and consultants are glib morons.

So, a body with glowing bones was found.  Naturally, they assume radiation because…well, they didn’t say.  So Booth and Bones toss back a couple of potassium iodide pills (which wouldn’t happen in this scenario).  But as Bones says, it’s to protect against the “absorption of radiation”.   Which, of course, is wrong.  It’s for uptake of radioiodine.  Meaning contamination.  CONTAMINATION.  CONTAMINATION!!

Then they step inside the house and provide possibly the highest density of error I’ve ever seen.  The “expert”‘s rad instrument is clicking away at maybe a few counts per second.  Booth is worried so the expert says, “300 milli-rem.  That’s perfectly normal.”

Let’s see…they’d been in there 5 seconds.  If they were getting 60 mrem per second, those  levels would fatally poisoned them in about 2 1/2 hours.  Perfectly normal.  Perhaps he meant “300 mrem per hour”–which is how we actually measure dose rates.  Is that perfectly normal?  It is if “perfectly” normal means “50,000 times” normal.

Otherwise, the rad guy was only off by a factor of thirty-six million or so.

Finally, he was doing that survey with a clicking Geiger-Mueller counter.  Those usually measure in cpm, “counts per minute”, and not “mrem” or even “mrem per hour”.  True, the noble Teletector has small GM detectors and can measure up to one million mrem/hour.  So how many “clicks” would you hear at dose rates of 216,000 mrem/hour?  None.  There would be too many to hear individually.  What you’d actually hear is “insane shrieking peal”.

All I can say is…wow.  Just wow.

Fortunately, they determined that the body wasn’t radioactive.  Otherwise, this post would be novel-length.  They managed to cramm all that idiocy into a minute of screen time.

Say, maybe I should apply to whatever agencies provides technical experts to TV shows and movies.  Many of them venture into my field, and none of them ever get it right.

About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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9 Responses to Even worse radiological stupidity than usual.

  1. Edohiguma says:

    Now you know my suffering whenever shows depict something IT-ish. There’s an episode in NCIS where two guys fight off a hacker attack on the NCIS typing… at the same time… at the same keyboard. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

  2. Pingback: It’s a cancer of the Bones, all right. | World's Only Rational Man

  3. Firehand says:

    I once offered to help Syfy channel cull some of the firearms idiocy out of their ‘Made For!!’ movies(“No, you CAN’T get semi-automatic fire from a bolt-action rifle”), but alas, no go.

    • Edohiguma says:

      Welcome to the madness.

      Yeah, I’ve had that complaint for a while as well. In Last Samurai (a movie I’d like to purge with fire for all the crap spewed in it, most famously “We are samurai, we don’t use guns” (whoever cooked that up needs to be beaten), and the utterly un-period -even today a Japanese woman will usually NOT address a stranger with “anata”- and partly WRONG use of the Japanese language -Tommy tells an imperial soldier to stop in one scene, but he actually tells him to shut up- makes me scream) in the end battle the imperial troops are effectively using M1s. They fire and fire and fire and never work the bolt until several shots in, and then only once. It’s so stupid, it actually hurts.

      Heck, it’s not just that. I’ve been shooting for 20 years now and the amount of utterly f*cked up grips I tend to see in Hollywood movies is utterly appalling for me. If they’d shoot live ammo, some of these morons would probably hurt themselves. One thing’s sure, they could never control the recoil from a real bullet. The guns would be kicking like crazy. I have to say that Hanchou season 5 (Japanese detective series), so far, has been pretty good in that department. Some grips are good, others would require some minor adjustments, but overall so far it’s been much better than Hollyweird.

  4. Pingback: A crime against both truth and beauty. | World's Only Rational Man

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  6. Pingback: Wheee, a brand-new radiological error! | World's Only Rational Man

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