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Californium coal monitorIn 1969, the use of californium-252 radioactive material in monitoring the sulphur content of coal was announced by the Atomic Energy Commission. Using this intense neutron source to measure the sulphur content of coal, as it moved on a conveyor belt through a coal processing plant, would enable better control of the air pollution caused by burning coal. When coal is burned, for example at electrical power plants, its sulphur is released as sulphur dioxide, a pollutant which needs to be reduced, because it contributes to acid rain. In turn, this results in acidified soils, forest damage and building corrosion. A shipment of 18 micrograms of the isotope had been sent from its Savannah River plant to South Carolina to the Bureau of Mines research centre at Morgantown, West Virginia. (A microgram is one millionth of a gram.)«
Devil at the congregation
One bright, beautiful Sunday morning, everyone in the tiny town of Johnstown got up early and went to the local church. Before the services started, the townspeople were sitting in their pews and talking about their lives and their families.
Suddenly, the Devil himself appeared at the front of the congregation. Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.
Soon everyone was evacuated from the Church, except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew, not moving, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God's ultimate enemy was in his presence. Now this confused Satan a bit, so he walked up to the man and said, "Don't you know who I am?"
The man replied "Yep, sure do."
Satan asked "Aren't you afraid of me?"
"Nope, sure ain't," said the man.
Satan was a little perturbed at this and queried "Why aren't you afraid of me?"
The man calmly replied "Been married to your sister for over 48 years."