Posts tagged ‘test’

Fake Art Can Be Detected Because of Nuclear Bombs Detonated in 1945

By Chad Upton | Editor

Art forgers have become experts at creating the types of paints and canvases used during popular and valuable art periods, to the point that art experts may not be able to distinguish a fake from the real thing.

But, Dr Elena Basner, a long time art curator, worked with scientists to create a much better way to detect forged oil paintings.

Prior to the first nuclear bomb detonation in July of 1945, isotopes such as strontium-90 and cesium-137 simply did not exist in nature. They were created by the massive neutron bombardments that occur during a thermonuclear explosion.

Since those isotopes didn’t exist in nature prior to 1945, paintings created prior to 1945 could not contain them originally.

550 nuclear bombs were detonated from 1945 to 1963, when most nations agreed not to test nuclear weapons any longer. The isotopes created during this period bind with the types of crops that are used to produce oil based paints. Therefore, oil paintings created after 1945 will contain trace amounts of these new isotopes.

If someone is trying to pass a work that is dated prior to 1945, but it contains these isotopes, it is almost certainly a fake.

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Sources:, Wikipedia (Nuclear Weapon)

November 20, 2012 at 2:00 am 23 comments

Poppy Seeds Can Cause Drug Test Failures

By Chad Upton | Editor

Poppy seeds are tasty, especially on bagels or in muffins and lets not forget about cakes either. But, poppy seeds can cause serious situations that might make you think twice the next time you see poppy seed encrusted baking. There are many documented cases of people losing their jobs or even their children because of drug tests with false-positive results.

Poppy seeds are oilseeds that come from the opium poppy. Although the seeds are not used in creating opiate drugs such as morphine or codeine, they do contain a small amount of opiates. If a person consumes enough seeds in the 48 hours leading up to a drug test, they can test positive for opiates in their system.

US federal prisons test inmates for drugs and therefore, they do not serve food containing poppy seeds within the prison. Prisoners on furlough, who are allowed to leave the prison, are forbidden from eating poppy seeds, so they can’t use it as a defense if they do test positive for opiates.

Because there have been so many false positives, testing standards were updated in 1998 to allow a higher amount of opiates before it is considered a positive result. This was done reduce the number of false positives from poppy seeds. Some labs still use the old standards and some medical journals claim that the new standards can still report false-positives in certain cases.

So, if you are at the mercy of drug testing, you might want to avoid poppy seeds entirely.

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Sources: Snopes, Wikipedia (Poppy Seeds, Opiate),

Photo: Johnson (cc)


There are a lot of unpleasant opiate withdrawal symptoms that an opiate abuser will have to deal with to finally eliminate the drug from his system.

May 2, 2011 at 3:00 am 3 comments

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