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How much radiation is the average person exposed to during day-to-day life?
We are constantly exposed to radiation from a number of sources, including radioactive materials in our environment, radon gas in our homes, and cosmic rays from outer space. This is called background radiation and it varies across the country.
The average American is exposed to about 3 mSv (millisieverts) of radiation from natural sources over the course of a year. (A millisievert is a measure of radiation exposure.) Much of this exposure is from radon, a natural gas with levels that vary from one part of the country to another.
For example, because the earth’s atmosphere blocks some cosmic rays, living at a higher altitude increases a person’s exposure – residents in the plateaus of New Mexico and Colorado, have an annual exposure level of about 1.5 mSv more per year than people living at sea level. And a 10-hour airline flight increases cosmic ray exposure by about 0.03 mSv.
Smoking a pack of cigarettes a day exposes the smoker to an extra 53 mSv per year.
How much does an imaging test expose a person to radiation?
Often not much, but it depends on the imaging test used. A single chest x-ray exposes the patient to about 0.1 mSv, which is about the radiation dose people are exposed to naturally over the course of about 10 days. A mammogram exposes a woman to 0.4 mSv, or about the amount of exposure a person would expect to get in about 7 weeks.
Some other imaging tests have higher exposures. A lower GI series using standard x-rays exposes a person to about 8 mSv. A CT scan of the abdomen (belly) and pelvis exposes a person to about 10 mSv, this goes up to 20 mSv if the test is done with and without contrast. A CT colonography exposes you to about 10 mSv of radiation. Keep in mind that these are estimates, and studies have found that the amount of radiation you get can vary a great deal.
If you have concerns about the radiation you may get from a CT scan, or any other imaging test, check with the facility that will perform the test. (Remember that MRI and ultrasound exams do not expose you to radiation.) You may also want to keep a “medical imaging history” that will allow you to track your own medical imaging history and share it with your health care providers. (One can be found online at www.radiologyinfo.org. See the “To learn more” section.) The best advice at this time is to only get imaging tests that are needed and try to limit your exposure to all forms of radiation. If you do need to have a test that will expose you to some radiation, ask if there are ways to shield the parts of your body that aren’t being imaged from being exposed. For example, a lead apron can sometimes be used to protect parts of your chest or abdomen from getting radiation, and a lead collar (known as a thyroid shield or thyroid collar) can be used to protect your thyroid gland.
How much does the extra radiation increase a person’s cancer risk?
Researchers have estimated that radiation exposure from the average diagnostic x-ray may increase cancer risk very slightly (likely on the order of hundredths to thousandths of one percent). Of course, this can be affected by the type of test done, the area of the body exposed, and other factors.
Radiation experts say that the risk levels represented in imaging tests are only very small additions to the 1 in 5 chance we all have of dying from cancer. It’s hard to know if and if so, just how much the radiation exposure from imaging tests increases a person’s cancer risk. Most studies on radiation and cancer risk have looked at people exposed to very high doses of radiation, such as uranium miners and atomic bomb survivors. The risk from low-level radiation exposure is not easy to calculate from these studies.
We do know that children are more sensitive to radiation and should be protected from it as much as possible.
Because radiation exposure from all sources can add up over a lifetime, and radiation can, indeed, increase cancer risk, imaging tests that use radiation should only be done for a good reason. In many cases, other imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI may be used. But if there’s a reason to believe that an x-ray or CT scan is the best way to look for cancer or other diseases, the person will most likely be helped more than the small dose of radiation can hurt.
If there's a reason you haven't killed yourself by now, it's probably because you recently saw an animated GIF. But where do they come from? Where do they go? Can you make your own? Like Prometheus before us, we're going to share the divine power.
Let's get this out of the way: You're going to need Photoshop. I'm using CS6 for our purposes below, but any recent version should be fine. There are other ways to do it—we tried out the web-based GIF-makers picasion.com and makeagif.com, but they both uploaded pictures upside down and generally wasted our time. On an iPhone or iPad, apps like Flixel andCinemagram work pretty well, and for Android phones and tablets, we like Fotodanz.
But the point of this story is to show you how to make the best gif possible on a desktop machine in Mac or Windows. OK, let's do this like the pros do. (That's you, soon).
1. Pick something you want to make a GIF out of
You can use any video file. I kind of want to make a GIF out of Lana Del Rey's face, because she's funny lookin' and pretty—the combination of the grotesque and sublime make for prime GIF material.
Here's a Lana Del Rey music video on YouTube.
You can download any YouTube video using a number of services like KeepVid.
Important: Trim the source video file (the thing you want turned into an animated GIF) into a very short segment. Two or three seconds, max. If you don't do this, your file will be large and unwieldy.
2. Put the video in Photoshop
This part is very easy. File > Import > Video Frames to Layers. Your video file will be slurped into Photoshop and converted into a series of still images strung together. Think of it like a flip book.
It'll look like this.
3. Adjust quality settings
You're going to have to compromise here. The better your GIF looks—the less noise and compression junk in your image, the bigger the file. Hit File > Save for Web and mess around with some settings.
You'll want to keep the "Colors" setting as high as possible. Knocking it down means the GIF is created using fewer colors mixed together, which makes it look less and less like the original video. This saves a lot of space, though. Try to stick with 256, going down a level only as a last resort.
Dither: The higher the better. Lower means crappy looking, but smaller file.
Web snap: Ignore this.
Lossy: Like dither, only reversed. Higher means a worse, smaller file. Slide it around until you hit a sweet spot.
You should aim for a GIF file that's no bigger than a few megabytes or so, to be a good internet citizen. Bigger files slow down browsing, and that's a pain. You can always resize the image with the "Image Size" parameters to cut down on bulk, too.
Save the file. Click the save button. This whole thing should have taken you no more than a few minutes.
5. Share with and impress your friends
Use a free file hosting site like Imgur to upload and distribute your new craze acros the web. Maybe it'll become a hit viral sensation!
Un simple truco visual hace que los GIFs animados parezcan tridimensionales, según reportan Gizmodo y otros medios.
Al parecer todo lo que hay que hacer es tomar una fotografía normal o un un GIF animado y añadirle unas barras blancas verticales.
Y aunque a simple vista pueda parecer que tiene que haber algo más, el caso es que no. Tan sólo es tu cerebro el que te hace percibir lo que hay sobre las barras como una imagen en tres dimensiones.
Claro que no es auténtico 3D, pero si los GIFs animados ya eran todo un éxito, imaginaros ahora con este simple truco.
Por cierto, que si añades algo de texto al pie de la imagen, el efecto puede ser incluso más impresionante.
Como explica Jesus Diaz en Gizmodo:
Estos archivos GIF utilizan la profundidad de campo y los elementos gráficos para lograr su efecto, al igual que muchas pinturas clásicas. Las líneas blancas definen el plano donde está la pantalla, creando una división mental entre el fondo, el medio plano y el primer plano. Combinado con el desefoque de la cámara en la profundidad del campo, nuestro cerebro es engañado y piensa que las cosas están fuera de la pantalla
Una buena colección de este tipo de GIFs puede verse en Tumblr. Tan sólo tienes que buscar la tag #3d-gifs
2. I’m coming to get you!3. Why the long face?4. Didn’t you learn anything from Pinnochio?5. And they said the devil wasn’t real6. A gourd that quacks!7. Can’t anybody bathe privately anymore?!?8. This eggplant is a showman (or woman)9. Rubber ducky, you’re the one10. Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!11. This one’s too easy – strawBEARy12. Do you mind if I take a load off?13. Stop looking at me swan!14. Scary face, scary face, scary face15. Little bunny Foo Foo
1. Bleeding Tooth Fungus (Hydnellum peckii) – Looks like jelly
2. Golden Jelly Fungus (Tremella mesenterica) – This one looks like The Blob3. Veiled Lady Mushroom (Phallus indusiatus) – Is this mushroom about to get married?4. Amethyst Deceiver (Laccaria amethystina) – That purple is stagerringre5. Glow-in-the-Dark Mushroom (Mycena chlorophos) – Love things that glow6. Blue Fungus (Entoloma hochstetteri) – As blue as the ocean
7. Dog Stinkhorn (Mutinus caninus) – Interesting name8. Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) – Nailed it!9. Devil’s Cigar (Chorioactis geaster) – Not seing the cigars. Looks like a starfish10. Brain Mushroom (Gyromitra esculenta) – Look at those folds!11. Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantea) – Biggest mushroom I ever saw12. Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) – Now THAT is cool13. Indigo Milkcap (Lactarius indigo) – Looks like it broke14. Cordyceps (Cordyceps ophioglossoides) – Looks like tiny fingers15. Fly Agaric (Amanita muscariaj) – I just want to get my Mario Kart out and start bouncing on these16. Violet Coral (Clavaria zollingeri) – This looks like it belongs in the ocean17. Fancy Peach (Rhodotus palmatus) – Those jelly spots are intense18. Anemone Stinkhorn (Aseroe rubra) – Definitely belongs in the ocean19. Caesar’s Mushroom (Amanita caesarea) – Et tu Brute?20. Pixie’s Parasol (Mycena interrupta) – Considering the zoom on this one, they could definitely be umbrellas for fairies
Don’t these photos just make you want to head out in the forest and start turning over logs to see what you will find?
Update: Many people have been writing in and asking which of these mushrooms are actually edible. The ones labeled as “DO NOT EAT” are potentially deadly and/or will make you very sick. Please see the key below:
Edible, but known to be psychoactive.
DO NOT EAT. Known to be very bitter.
DO NOT EAT
DO NOT EAT
Edible and quite tasty!
DO NOT EAT. Awful smell
DO NOT EAT
DO NOT EAT
DO NOT EAT
Edible, but must be properly prepared (a Chinese delicacy). Toxic and fatal if not dried or cooked.
DO NOT EAT. Tastes awful
DO NOT EAT
DO NOT EAT
DO NOT EAT
Edible - Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth stunning time lapse of it (see below)