The Radioactive Boyscout isn't looking too good.

This guy is a real, live Trashcan Man, bringing his A-bomb payload into downtown Vegas to lay at the feet of his master, Flagg. He looks exactly like I pictured Trash in The Stand. That’s some crazy shit right there.

In the original article, he was quoted as saying that he figured he’d decreased his life expectancy by five years or so, due to the radiation exposure he’d experienced. I wanted to take him aside and explain Shroedinger to him. Either the radiation did some damage, or it didn’t. Either you’re going to get cancer or you won’t. If it did some damage and you get cancer, your life expectancy won’t be diminished by five years. Try fifteen or twenty.

Apparently, he’s really trying to get all the uncertainty out of the equation.

Wow! There was a piece about him, probably an excerpt from the book, published in The New Yorker back when he was still a teenager. It was so fascinating.

I recall thinking that his Mom’s denial was part of the problem.

I read the book about him last summer. Dude is nutty as squirrel crap.

Textbook science-kook behavior…
-The solution to all problems is science.
-The solution to any problems posed by science is more science.
-Just remember to leave logic out of your science and anything is possible and YOU can control the entire friggn universe.

Don’t worry about it too much, I tore one apart to test my CD V-700 because from the outside of the detector I found no increase in radiation. They seem to be fairly well shielded, but once you get the external shielding off they pump out some pretty good radiation… if you swallow it.

I had no interest in removing the material from the internal container, so I’m not sure what it’s like in there (I ain’t purty, but I don’t want to look like that guy)

Um…why you has Geiger counter?

Gah. He had to be from my area, didn’t he?

Bobo, mind if I borrow that geiger counter?

Why hazn’t u?

I worked hazmat for a while, but can’t afford a good one like I used on the job, so I picked up a civil defense one for recreational use (poking around these mountains, it’s not too unusual to find slightly increased levels) and worrying people that don’t understand background radiation.
You can pick one up under a hundred without trying too hard

IANAMD, but I wonder if any people with medical training hang around here.

I could (and probably am) totally wrong, but I’m really suspicious about his skin condition being due to the radiation, as opposed to perhaps a really bad case of acne or something else gross but non-radiation-related. If he’s had such severe radiation exposure that the radiation caused that skin condition, I’m puzzled how he’s well enough to be running around swiping smoke detectors as opposed to being flat on his back in an ICU somewhere with no functioning bone marrow and various other icky problems.

The Mayo Clinic’s precis on radiation sickness. Short-term radiation exposure has significantly differing effects depending on the type of radiation, degree of exposure, how the person is exposed and whether the source is accumulated in the body or comes from an external source, and then overall health of the person. I’d tend to agree that his eyes look curiously unjaundiced for heavy radiation exposure, but it’s possible that he has had some kind of contact to the face that isn’t otherwise intrusive only causing localized damage to the facial dermis. This guy is just the kind of f***tard to stare into a radiating source.


Someone over at Marvel has probably already started work on turning Hahn’s story into a comic book.

I fully accept that the symptoms could vary wildly depending on the above-mentioned circumstances, but your cited article almost seems to back me up. Compare the Darwin Award candidate’s face with the picture of radiodermatitis in the cited article.
PS I suspect he’s not just a Darwin Award CANDIDATE any more if he’s had that much radiation exposure. :eek:

Dunno what happened there, but the linked page tried to install SystemDoctor2006 (a trojan) on my computer - throwing up several popups/dialogs of increasing urgency, then closing the page when I killed the dialogs.

Not an expert, but it seems to me if the guy got radioactive stuff on his face, and it happened to radiate the sort of radiation that has poor penetration, then his skin could end up getting a much higher dose than the rest of him.

In fact, I believe that the stuff in smoke detectors is precisely that sort of radioactive material; it can be used in the things reasonably safely because it’s easily shielded against. In fact Cecil did a column on it in fact.

At a guess, stealing smoke detectors and extracting the radioactive component goes well beyond accident or carelessness.

That would be alpha particle radiation, or the nucleus from a helium atom. You have to work really hard to hurt yourself with it. Carry it against naked skin for hours or days at a time, or ingest it. The former Russian spy who was assassinated in the UK ingested a fatal dose of Polonium-210, which gives off primarily alpha radiation.

I was thinking of the bolded; perhaps he got some on him and didn’t wash it off.