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A new way with X-rays is a-peeling


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POSTED: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In these days when developing alternative forms of energy is on everyone's mind (in Kaneohe we speak of little else), it's encouraging to find out that power can be generated from even the most mundane of household items, like a roll of Scotch tape.

The scientific journal Nature (in Kaneohe we read little else) recently reported the amazing discovery that peeling regular old Scotch tape creates X-rays. Researchers reportedly even made an X-ray image of one of their fingers. This new form of energy creation likely will become important in the X-raying of millions of little fingers in kindergartens across the country.

The researchers at UCLA stress, however, that the X-ray-emitting potential of regular old Scotch tape poses no health dangers, mainly because the X-rays can only be produced by regular old Scotch tape in regular old massively expensive vacuum chambers. Few kindergartens have their own vacuum chambers, so the kiddies lucked out there.

The potential to refine the process so that the production of X-rays via Scotch tape on a massive commercial scale apparently is so great that the researchers have already snuck off and applied for patents. Those weasels. But there could be a financial upside for everyone else. As your columnist, I recommend you sell your house and all other liquid assets and buy stock in Scotch tape.

  This could be just the beginning of a new tape-related energy industry. If peeling Scotch tape can emit X-rays, just think what peeling duct tape will do. Duct tape is about a million times stronger than Scotch tape, so it should have much greater energy production potential. I wouldn't be surprised to see a duct tape laser weapon before long. We always knew duct tape was the handiest thing to have around the house, but who thought it might eventually power our major appliances?

The one thing that bugs me about this Scotch tape/X-ray discovery is how it happened. Where'd the money come from that allowed some pointy-head scientists to sit around playing with Scotch tape? I would like to see the grant application for that program. And how many other common school and office items were tested but failed to produce X-rays or other forms of energy? Did they go through Play-Doh, crayons, popsicle sticks and Elmer's glue first? (Researchers' Preliminary Report: “;While the Play-Doh and Elmer's glue failed to produce any measurable amounts of energy, we found both items quite tasty.”;)

When you consider that the use of Scotch tape in scientific laboratories had been largely limited to secretly sticking crudely drawn “;Dr. Dork”; and “;Super Nerd”; signs on the backs of fellow researchers, the discovery that simple adhesive tape can generate X-rays is astounding. Imagine what might happen when research begins on more sophisticated office products like staplers, hole punchers and paper clips.