Mike the Mad Biologist

What the hell is this?

…than develop a new radiation warning symbol? According to the IAEA, the old symbol had “no intuitive meaning and little recognition beyond those educated in its significance.” OK, then. But I’m going to miss this guy:

Radiation symbol 2 J


  1. #1 John McKay
    February 19, 2007

    And anyone who sees the new sign will immediately understand that if you leave the foot-warming vent in your car open it will lead to pirates and running men.

  2. #2 John McKay
    February 19, 2007

    My mistake. Make that toothless pirates and running men.

  3. #3 Bubba
    February 19, 2007

    Oh! No!! I think I have one of those!!! on my Weber Grill!!!! On my back porch!!!!! Run Away!!!!!

  4. #4 llewelly
    February 19, 2007

    So the best response to radiation is to turn right, and run.

    Despite the potential to get the wrong impression from the direction of the arrow, I like the new sign better.

  5. #5 Joshua
    February 19, 2007

    That’s ridiculous. Who doesn’t know what the original radiation symbol means? The key is that it’s really simple. This new one is too complicated. It doesn’t have any obvious meaning, either. It’s open to interpretation, e.g. what John McKay said. 😉

    It also contains the poison symbol on it, which is confusing. Radiation is not poison! It behaves totally differently. What if somebody sees the new symbol and thinks, “Oh, it’s poison. Well, as long as I don’t eat it I should be fine.”


  6. #6 Janne
    February 19, 2007

    Black and yellow is universally recognized as danger. Yellow and red likewise. But black and red is not. Also, this sign presupposes “reading” the sign, not just see a symbol. Methinks someone’s “very talented, really, but the job market is hard right now” niece got themselves a lucrative design contract…

  7. #7 Alex
    February 20, 2007

    I think the new sign isn’t as elegant as the original, but it does convey the best course of action to take. After all, intensity changes with the inverse square of the distance.

  8. #8 Janne
    February 20, 2007

    Alex, and what if you can’t run to the right as the sign says you should?

  9. #9 BlueCollarScientist
    February 20, 2007

    Does the sign mean I’m supposed to run away, or bad things will happen to me if I do run away?

    I spent at least 20 seconds thinking about this before reading the text and learning what this sign was all about.

  10. #10 KeithB
    February 20, 2007

    And how do you know *when* to run? When you see squiggly arrows flying through the air?

  11. #11 Anderebu
    August 26, 2007

    I know I’m a bit late to comment on this, but in other words the sign is telling me to stand there and be killed by squiggly lines or run and bash my skull into a black line at the end of a triangle.

  12. #12 Niveus_Leo
    August 26, 2007

    No No No Its Obviosly an alien death ray and you should run away to right looking over your shoulder liek the idiots in the movies i cant belive none of you can see that!

  13. #13 Coin
    August 27, 2007

    What that sign says to me is





  14. #14 Phildor
    August 29, 2007

    One teeny little contradiction I’d like to point out:

    The (apparently) obscure and unknown old radiation symbol… is still prominently featured on this new symbol… accompanied by a man running from pirates.

  15. #15 Phildor
    August 29, 2007

    Ignore that previous statement. I just figured out what the symbol really means.

    It’s a public service announcement against ultraviolet rays.
    Basically, it’s saying that if you jog or are a pirate (as both activities usually require you to be outdoors), you should wear sunglasses to protect yourself form UV radiation.

  16. #16 Andrew
    January 1, 2008

    Who cares! If you just look at the sign it tells you that there is something bad around. Who cares anyway if which way you run (except for running into it) Neither signs are helpful though.

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