With ‘What If? 2’, Randall Munroe Is Again to Reply Your Unattainable Questions

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I used to be first simply studying about how MRIs have gotten actually large magnets in them, and pondering: I do know that the magnetic discipline extends out away from them. It might probably’t prolong out endlessly, as a result of after I drop my keys, they don’t go flying off to the closest MRI.

So the primary query is: How far out does that magnetic discipline go? That I may work out by taking a look at MRI manuals. I used to be studying via these guides, they usually had been like: “When you’ve got this form of gear, it’s good to put it this distant. And when you’ve got this form of gear, it must be this distant. Right here’s a diagram displaying the zones across the machine the place you shouldn’t have any magnetic tape gear. You may’t have bank cards inside this distance.” After which it might point out that this far out, you would possibly get interference with delicate magnetic sensors.

That was neat, simply realizing that in a hospital, you may need a lot of completely different gear, so there’s a complete sophisticated course of for determining what can go how near an MRI … after which I’d simply begin Googling “helicopter MRI,” “MRI helicopter report,” making an attempt to determine: Has this ever come up? After which was kind of shocked to search out that there was an incident report.

Is there something just lately that you simply’ve learn that has actually excited you, that you simply want extra folks knew about?

I really feel like all I’m is a pile of details that I’m excited to inform folks about. There was a chapter on disintegrating a block of iron. Somebody was like: “What if I vaporize a block of iron in my yard? What penalties does which have?”

I do know that should you vaporize iron it’ll react with the oxygen within the air and kind iron oxide, which is able to precipitate out into little particles that float round. However I don’t know what that does. Is that good? Is that dangerous?

And so I ended up getting in contact with an professional in iron transport within the environment, Natalie Mahowald, who labored on the IPCC Local weather report. I requested: “Okay, what occurs should you simply inject a bunch of iron into the air?” Which seems to be an attention-grabbing query that they’ve checked out for local weather and ocean fertilization causes. One thing she stated that caught out was: “If you happen to stay downwind, and this iron vapor comes via and also you breathe it, it’ll be dangerous for you.”

And I requested: “Is that as a result of it’s a metallic? Is it poisonous? Is it dangerous to your lungs?”

She stated one thing alongside the strains of: “It’s not that it’s a metallic, it’s simply that your lungs are alleged to breathe air. And there’s simply not quite a lot of particulates you may breathe in which are good for you.”

Huh! It doesn’t actually matter what it’s. It’s simply not air.

It’s humorous how usually that’s come up since then. We consider toxins, or we take into consideration how these chemical compounds are dangerous for you, or these substances are dangerous for you. However ever since I noticed it framed that means, I’ve realized what number of completely different areas of life the place the query of, “Are these small particles that you simply’re inhaling dangerous for you?” has, time and again, the reply of, “Something that is not air just isn’t nice for you.”

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