Australian news, and some related international items

The problem of deigning a LASTING radiation warning sign

How To Make A Warning Label For Humans 10,000 Years From Now, Fast Code Design,  18 May 14  Nuclear waste can remain deadly for thousands of years. Plutonium-23, an isotope used in nuclear weapons production, has a half-life of more than 24,000 years. By contrast, some of the earliest human writing emerged only 5,000 years ago. This presents a challenge of near-eternal proportions: How do you create a label that will convey danger to someone thousands of years in the future–someone who probably won’t share any common culture or language with you?……

Think of how much language changes in just a few hundred years. The Middle English works of Chaucer bear a passing resemblance to today’s English, but still require a hefty vocabulary lesson for contemporary readers. Beowulf, written in England sometime in the 11th century, requires complete translation.
Even symbols change meanings over time. The skull and crossbones, widely recognized as a symbol of danger now (albeit one that decoratesbaby clothes) once symbolized rebirth. The fallout shelter symbolmeans nothing if you can’t read the words. How do you convey that a waste storage site isn’t the fun-to-explore variety of danger, but real, death-by-radiation-poisoning danger?…….Listen to the whole thing here.  

Episode 114: Ten Thousand Years

May 19, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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