What They Learned about Radiation After the Bomb

Within six weeks after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, three US and two Japanese teams studied the impact of radiation. The Japanese wanted to know the medical effects on survivors. The American’s wanted to know how and why people died from the blast. The Americans gathered information for a few months and left. Later, President Harry Truman approved a broader research effort. What they learned about radiation after the atom bomb blasts and what we continue to learn affects all of us today. The ABCC and the RERF The National Research Council formed and funded The Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) to study the medical and biological effects of radiation after the A-bomb. They hoped to produce useful data for peacetime uses of atomic energy. By 1950 the ABCC employed 143 allied and 920 Japanese personnel in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Unfortunately, the ABCC did not help the Japanese they studied. Signs and magazines were in English. Linoleum floors caused pregnant Japanese women wearing traditional wooden clogs to slip and fall. They didn’t offer or give medical treatments. And they offered little or no compensation for lost work to their study participant. Over time, the hibakusha (atom bomb survivors) lost […]

How to Create a Safe Place in Your Mind

For most people, home is your safe place during this pandemic. But after three or four weeks of isolation, home may become more than a little claustrophobic. If the hubby, the kids, the roommate, or the same four walls are getting you down, create a safe place in your mind. How? Read on. A Little Privacy Find a place where you can be comfortable and alone for ten to fifteen minutes. You may wish to set a timer. Got little ones? No problem. Take two minutes. It will take more practice to get that to that safe place when you use a shorter time period, but you can do it. Places or Activities  Make a list, mental or written, of the simple activities that replenishes you. Any activity that makes you happy or tranquil. Examples are: laughing, singing, sleeping, drawing, reading poems or quotes, or even walking or running. Also, make a list of places that make you happy. It could be a favorite vacation spot, a place you dream of visiting, or it could be when you’re in the swimming pool, or perhaps curled up in front of a fireplace. If it’s an activity, which muscles do you use? […]

With Words, She Made a Difference

This week’s woman of peace is author Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880). One of the most influential American women writers from the 1820s through the 1860s she was a prolific author, a literary pioneer, and a tireless crusader and champion for America’s excluded groups. With words, she made a difference.  Early Life Born on February 11, 1802 in Medford, Massachusetts, she was the youngest of six children. Her father, Convers Francis, was stern and religiously orthodox. Susannah (Rand) Francis, her mother, was ill and distant. Her mother died when Lydia was twelve.  After her mother’s death, they sent Lydia to live with a married sister in Maine. Norridgewock, a frontier society, exposed Lydia to a small community of impoverished Abenaki and Penobscot Indians.  Lydia moved back to Massachusetts at nineteen. She lived with her brother Convers, a scholarly Unitarian minister. Her brother guided her education in literary masters such as Homer and Milton. She reportedly hated the name Lydia. So when she converted to Unitarism and was re-baptised, she gave herself the name of Maria. She chose to go by Maria  (Ma-RYE-a) from then on. Early Career Lydia read an article in the North American Review discussing the field offered to the novelist by early New England history. That […]