nuking roaches

Just read your column, O Bearer of Light, about why roaches dont die when nuked, and I’m affraid to challenge your multiple hypothesis. The roaches dont die in microwaves because their exoskeletons, just like metal, reflect microwaves, thus their moisture never warms up. Sorry you didn’t hit it right this time. Thanx.:wally

Creative hypothesis, though I admit I don’t see any obvious mechanism for the claimed effect. Still, we’d be happy to review your research in the field of cockroach microwave reflectivity if you would be kind enough to post it. Thanx.

I´m sorry, Dear Gods Of Knowledge, but I am a humble student which has never performed any experiments on roaches or such; perhaps my impressions are just mumbo-jumbo, but I had learned this particular piece of useless information fron the top electrichians and chemists of my collecge here in Costa Rica, ITCR, and they seemed to tret this subject as common knowledge, next to the laws of thermodynamics and other useless facts, which compells me to believe them. plus, it sounds more logical than most of cecils explanations to this phenomena. Please try to investigate this, and you´ll find truth. believe me…

Chitin (insect exoskeleton is made up of this) reflects microwaves!:wally

Oh, they have chitlin? That changes everything. Thanx for clearing that up.

Welcome to the SDMB, and thank thee for posting thy comment.
Please include a link to Cecil’s column if it’s on the Straight Dope web site.
To include a link, it can be as simple as including the web page location in thy post (make sure there is a space before and after the text of the URL).

Cecil’s column can be found on-line at this link:
I nuked a roach! He didn’t die! Why? (24-Sep-1982)

The column can also be found on pages 25-26 of Cecil Adams’ book «The Straight Dope (1984; reissued 1986, 1998)».


moderator, «Comments on Cecil’s Columns»

So what is the conductivity of chitin? How does it compare, say, to copper, or aluminum? And can it be mass-produced cheaper than either of those?

You do, of course, realize that conductivity is the property of interest in reflecting electromagnetic radiation (such as microwaves).