UnNews:Sticky Tape the Source of X-rays

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26 October 2008

Los Angeles, USA (UnPI) In a stunning scientific development researchers here have shown that peeling sticky tape from a surface is the source of X-rays, a high-energy form of electromagnetic radiation.

"Well, this must put the X-ray stars in perspective," said Greek astrophysicist Stari Skiez. "There must be a danged lot of sticky tape floating around the universe, yes, quite a danged lot."

X-rays were discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen when he experimented with vacuum tubes held together by cloth tape. For over a century it has been assumed that the vacuum tubes -- Crookes tubes, to be precise -- produced the radiation, but now we know that it was in fact the tape. Röntgen received the Nobel Prize in 1901 for his discovery, and for showing the usefulness of X-rays by using them to photograph the inside of Kaiser Wilhelm's head -- which he found to be filled with sardine tins, bits of string, soiled knickers, and other rubbish. It is believed that the decaying knickers in the Kaiser's head were a major cause of WWI, though some historians cite the sardine tins as a likelier culprit.

X-ray

X-ray images are now simply and readily available to anyone with a roll of tape.

Reactions from the medical industry were mixed. "I just took delivery of a $3.2-million tunneling-dissecting-laminating X-ray machine," said Dr. Ivan Tocutyu of the Cedars of Sinai Hospital and Morgue. "What do I tell the board of directors -- that we could have done fine with a case of Scotch Tape?"

Uncyc reporters flew to Ulan Bator to interview Lena Wayover, the discoverer of the X-ray tape effect. Upon landing we realized that Dr. Wayover lives and works in Los Angeles, and so we got back on the plane and flew to California. The charming Dr. Wayover demonstrated the effects of tape in her office. "See?" she said. "I simply stick the tape to the surface of the coffee table and pull it off again. Then, momentarily projected on the wall behind you, I can see an X-ray image of -- OOOOO! You naughty boy! Too bad that it's so crooked. That's quite a deformity. Surgery could correct that, you know."

Dr. Wayover's demonstration was enough to convince us. As we walked down the street we could not help noticing that nearly everyone carried a roll or two of plastic tape. Passersby paused to stick the tape to any convenient surface, ripping it off and then looking quickly to catch the X-ray image of their fellow pedestrians. Girls giggled, old men sniggered, matrons with poodles lusted openly upon the sidewalks. We might as well have been visiting a nudist colony. It will take some getting used to, this tape-X-ray society.

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