End of the Year and X-Rays in Your Scotch Tape

Holiday Greetings from SparkFun, a new tutorial, and a couple other useful bits of information.

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It's that time of the year again! SparkFun will be closed December 25th and 26th, as well as January 1st. This means we will not be shipping any orders on those days. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Bodhi Day, Las Posadas, Muharram, Festivus, some other holiday, or nothing at all, we here at SparkFun want to wish you happy holidays and a great New Year!

Here is a great story to tell this holiday season as you are ripping apart the wrapping on your gifts. Scotch tape has recently been found to emit a small amount of X-rays when unpeeled! Yes, X-rays, the electromagnetic radiation that can go right through your skin, are absorbed in your bones, and, in large doses, turn you into the Incredible Hulk. Don't fret, I doubt the amount of energy is enough to cause harm and the few hundred thousand photons will only be generated through a vacuum sufficiently enough to X-ray a finger.


For those of you out there who know George Foreman is more than just a handy tool for making grilled cheese (mmm...), there is a new tutorial: the boxer timer. When boxers train, they use a special timer that helps simulate the physical demands of an actual match. With this tutorial you can build your own, but just be sure to take off your gloves to avoid any errant soldering.


For the Nokia LCD, Jamie Samayoa has created a handy new image converter. Jamie does all of the hard work, so you don't have to. Great work, Jamie!

We have uploaded new photos for the LED Light Bar and the Compass Module, and will be adding a few additional new photos each week. Hopefully the new photos (with measurements!) can help you incorporate these parts more easily into your next project.

Comments 13 comments

  • KenW / about 13 years ago / 4

    A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours. And a special thanks for a great year of news, tutorials and new products we can't find anywhere else. Here's to hoping next year is even better.

  • emmapeel / about 13 years ago / 4

    Is that why nerds always have a supply of scotch-tape wound-up on their glasses?.....X-ray vision????

  • Tom Davies / about 13 years ago / 3

    I thought George Foreman made SMD soldering equipment?

  • MattTheGeek / about 13 years ago / 3

    hmm..... well thats just weird. tape giving off x-rays.

  • that looks like fun! :P

  • rbarris / about 13 years ago / 2

    Is there some reason the image converter test image doesn't match up between the image seen on the display and the pattern in the lower left? Or is the photograph just not picking up the red very well. Seems like all the red is missing.

    • JaimeSamayoa / about 13 years ago / 1

      Hey rbarris,
      The reason the image looks faded in the picture is that the camera used to take the image is not the best. Try the program and you will see that the image comes up full color. I have shown this to many people in person and people are always impressed by the sharpness of the image produced. Enjoy!

  • noworries / about 13 years ago / 2

    Don't worry about x-ray exposure from Scotch tape under normal conditions, since the effect described requires the tape to be unwound in a high vacuum chamber. (The clear window in the video allows the generated x-rays to pass through the side of the vacuum chamber in their demonstration)

  • noworries / about 13 years ago / 1

    Hauk: The effect you are seeing is most likely triggered by electrostatic discharge exciting the strip material or its adhesive. To see a dramatic display of electrostatic discharge, try opening a new trash bag in a dry completely dark environment after you have dark adapted your eyes.
    O.K. why do I know this? Trash bags make a simple, temporary shelter from the elements for telescopes that won't be used for a few hours.

  • Hauk / about 13 years ago / 1

    Dunno if it's related (probably not) but I noticed that when I open a package of my anti-snore strips in a dark room the glue in the packaging emit a faint glow.

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