Sit. Rep. #74: Electromagnetic radiation.

1- Light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum.  Also called electromagnetic radiation.  In Ham Radio we call it RF – short for Radio Frequency.  The electromagnetic spectrum is broadly divided into 7 different parts depending on the wavelength of the radiation.   Remember that the frequency and the wavelength are directly but inversely related.   So we could say “… divided into 7 different parts depending on the frequency of the radiation.”
     There are multiple subdivisions in each part.  And the boundaries between the parts and divisions are soft & fuzzy.  Or you could say the parts overlap.  Also, note that different wavelengths ie. frequencies behave differently.
The common names given to the 7 parts are radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma-rays. 

      Here are the 7 parts:  (Note: you can get more than one kind out of or from a single device.)

  • Radio Waves:  Ham Radio,  FM Radio, AM Radio, TV.
  • Microwaves: Radar, and your kitchen appliance.
  • Infrared: Heat, Check out infrared heat lights at the hardware store, coals from a campfire late at night glowing red and are hot.
  • Visible Light: What you see.
  • Ultraviolet Light: What gives you sunburn, is also used as a disinfectant.
  • X-Rays: See-through things like animal & human flesh to give us medical and dental x-rays.
  • Gamma-rays: Are really strong waves that can penetrate steel.  Lead and concrete are better at shielding us from Gamma-rays.

O- What is Sol’s favorite candy?
P- A Milky Way of course.

2- The energy level of the individual photon goes up as the frequency goes up.  So that brings us to a problem and a solution at the same time.  The problem is that Ultraviolet, X-ray, and Gamma-ray emissions/photons are strong enough to break the chemical bonds in our cells and hurt us.  There are limited doses that the human body can absorb and not be injured.  Always remember the 3 basics of protecting yourself from these radiation sources:
Time, Distance, & Shielding.

2B- This science will help you with Medicine Merit Badge, Astronomy Merit Badge, and Nuclear Science Merit Badge.

Q- Why did Sol turn down the scholarship to go to college?
R- It already had a million degrees.

3- Parts of the human body are characterized by location. 

  •    Medial – means the middle, think nose, and belly button.  The inside of the knee or ankle.
  •    Lateral – means toward the left or right part of the body – away from the middle.
  •    Anterior – means toward the front of the body – think nose.
  •    Posterior – means toward the back of the body.

4- I like simple rules of thumb – try this one:  It takes (roughly) 200 food calories to backpack 1 mile.  Yes; I know it take more calories to climb a mountain than to walk on a flat trail – but try this next time you are planning menus for hiking and backpacking trips.  This estimate does not include the (average) 2,000 calories that you burn in a typical day.  A simple way to augment your calorie intake is through food bars and/or trail mix eaten along the trail.  Do not forget to count those calories in your menu planning.

5- When we are out in the wild, our feet are our transportation, our auto, our car.  We MUST do routine and regular maintenance on our feet.  How would you do _____ without your feet in proper working order?

 A- Inspect your hiking boots.  Look for worn spots from the day’s hike.  Inspect the insides as well as the outsides.  Are your feet rubbing a particular spot in the boot?  Shoelaces OK?  Tread OK?  Any additional wear or damage that needs addressing?  Air and dry the boots out.

B- Inspect and wash your socks – at least rinse them out.  Dirt becomes rough like sandpaper to the fabric of the sock and to the skin of your feet.  Look for spots where the fabric is wearing thin and may cause a blister.

 C- Inspect your feet.  Check to see if any toenails need cleaning, trimming, filing, or cutting.  I carry a nail file in my shaving kit for foot maintenance.  Inspect for hot spots, blisters, bunions, ingrown toenails, and calluses.  Wash your feet before bed.

      Preventing foot problems is easier and less painful than solving the problem after the fact and in the wild.   If you know you have foot issues before the trip – pack extra first aid supplies to deal with the problems.  Also, ask your adult leaders for suggestions to help prevent foot problems.

S- Why did the Scoutmaster wear sunglasses?
T- Because the Scouts were so bright.

Respecting & inspecting my feet, 

Scout Skits: by Thomas Mercaldo

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