I haven't posted any QSL cards — confirmations of the receipt of a radio transmissions that are used by amateur radio operators — in about half a year. (See past posts here.)
So here's one that seems a bit unique. It's also undergone some revisions. The undated card is for Eileen and Fred Inns of Newport Beach, California.
The best parts are the two hand-colored illustrations. One is a logo for "The 10-99 Club." In ham radio lingo, 10-99 typically means "mission completed, all units secure."
And then there's this...
It kind of looks like an alien with Spock-like ears in a blue jumpsuit. He's wielding a sledgehammer and looks like he's about to strike a slightly-off version of the international radioactive trefoil symbol.1 Anyone care to offer an interpretation?
1. In 2007, a new ionizing radiation warning symbol (below right) was introduced to supplement the traditional international symbol for radiation (below left). According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the red symbol — which was tested on groups in Brazil, Mexico, Morocco, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, China, India, Thailand, Poland, Ukraine and the United States — will "help reduce needless deaths and serious injuries from accidental exposure to large radioactive sources."
But will the skull-and-crossbones and the running man work 100,000 years from now, when future generations will still need to be warned about the nuclear waste that we're responsible for? Here are a few more articles that take a look at this difficult question:
- Grist: "How to tell future generations about nuclear waste"
- "Multigenerational Warning Signs," a paper by Charles Dunn
- The Science Bit: Sending a warning 100,000 years into the future
- Damn Interesting: This is not a place of honor