Vaguely Interesting Snippets | 28 January 2014

Bananas are radioactive

The world’s favourite fruit is a natural source of radioactive isotopes. It is used to demonstrate and reassure people on exposure to radiation by a measurement known as the ‘banana equivalent dose’. Flying from New York to London will give you a BED of 500 – you’d have to eat 500 bananas to get an equivalent dose of radiation. A dentist’s x-ray is just 50 BEDs. On the other end of the scale, ten minutes next to Chernobyl reactor core after explosion and meltdown gave 500 million BEDs. And is this why bananas are yellow? Although this would make a great fact it isn’t, unfortunately, true. Banana skins turn yellow because of a chemical process caused by exposure to the sun.

A Catholic order made plans to buy a Caribbean island to house paeodophile priests

An astonishing documentary on abuse in the Catholic Church makes an extraordinary claim – that an order responsible for dealing with paedophiles in the church made plans to purchase an island in the Caribbean to house offending priests. The claim is made in Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God, with filmmaker Alex Gibney telling The Nation magazine that:

“there was a man named Gerald Fitzgerald who ran an order called the Servants of the Paraclete, charged with dealing with pedophile priests. He became so concerned about the number of priests who were abusing children that he actually put a down payment on an island off the coast of Grenada to house pedophile priests there. That didn’t happen.”