Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen joins the LFHCfS (Luxuriant Facial Hair Club for Scientists)

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845-1923) has joined the Historical Honorary Members of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists. Known as the “Father of Radiology”, he discovered and investigated X-Rays while experimenting with vacuum tubes in 1895.  He named them "X-Rays" because they were an unknown form of radiation and he refused to patent his discovery. […]

The naked truth (estimating body shape under clothing)

Remember ‘X-Ray Specs’? “Look at your friend. Is that really his body you ‘see’ under his clothes?” asked the advertisements. Though no doubt disappointing to some, the answer to the question was of course ‘No’. Since their invention however, progress has been made in computerised body visualisation systems, devices which also can’t ‘see’ under peoples […]

Booze, beer, and another way to protect mosquitoes

Mosquitoes can be resilient, but even they can use some help in surviving a sterilizing bout of x-ray radiation. This study studies several kinds of help: “The effect of the radio-protective agents ethanol, trimethylglycine, and beer on survival of X-ray-sterilized male Aedes aegypti.” Stacy D. Rodriguez, Ramaninder K. Brar, Lisa L. Drake [pictured here], Hannah […]

Broke a bone skiing? Get a skiagraph.

A century ago, the word “skiagraph” was sometimes used in place of “roentgenograph”, what we now call a radiograph or x-ray image. The idea was that a “photograph” represented light reflected off the surface of the thing being photographed, while a “skiagraph”, from the Greek for “shadow”, represented a silhouette. In a 1904 article(*), Dr. […]

He gave them the finger(s): A “Martyr to X-ray”

The March 25, 1925 issue of the New York Evening Post features this article about Dr. Frederick H. Baetjer, who gave his finger — actually eight of his fingers — to science: (Thanks to investigator Earle Spamer for bringing this to our attention.) BONUS: A few years later someone requested his autograph, prompting this letter from the good, […]