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.