Learning about Radiation µµµµµµµµµµµµ

When the quake occured in 2011, I was here in Fukushima City. Soon after the quake, we became aware of issues at the nuclear power plant, and the tragedy twisted into a terrible drama that unfolded like the plot of a best-selling book…except that there was no handsome hero who saved the day, and there was no happy ending.

My son and I left Fukushima City for my husband’s hometown in Yamagata Prefecture. Most people (including my husband) either had to stay, or wanted to stay, and deal with the literal fallout.

That was years ago.

Looking back, something that was absolutely huge is that I. Did. Not. Know. Anything. About. Radiation.

I got my information about radiation from pop culture. Wasn’t Spiderman bitten by a radioactive spider? Yes, that’s what happened in the original comic. Wasn’t Godzilla roused from the sea by nuclear radiation? Yep.

But scientific knowledge? Um, no.

If I achieve ONE THING with this blog, I’d like to see today’s kids and teens and young adults learn more about the scientific issues. And using that knowledge, they can build a better world. Environmentalism can NOT be achieved without scientific knowledge.

After the meltdowns, my husband purchased a dosimeter off the internet. Cuz, you know, we didn’t already own a device that measured radiation. So anyway, he ordered one. This is what is said this past week when I laid it on our kitchen table and snapped a photo. (Photo from February 2019, downtown Fukushima City)

I know, right?






See that µ thingie? Yeah, it looks like a u to me, too. But it’s not. I swear it’s not! µ is actually a Greek letter and in this case it means “micro.”

It is VERY important not to mix up “m” with “µ”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



m means milli 1/1,000

µ means micro 1/1,000,000


The Sv stands for “sievert” which is (according to this website) “equivalent dose.”

Are you still with me here?

I know, I know. My attention span is not long, either.

But we stuck through it together, and as a reward, let’s look at a cute cat:


If you don’t like cats, here’s a dead pancake.

If you don’t like cute cats and you don’t like dead pancakes, I got nothin’.


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