What is Radioactivity and what are alpha, Beta and Gamma Particles   

Radioactivity, also known as nuclear decay or radioactivity (Wikipedia, 2015, October 23), is the process by which particles are emitted by the nucleus of an unstable atom. These particles manifest as a form of radiation (Veritasium, 2011, April 9) and the most common form (Nave, 2014) of radiation is Alpha, Beta, and Gamma radiation.

Radioactivity is due to the decay of the nucleus of an unstable atom that has an insufficient number of protons and neutrons to remain stable. Radioactive occurs at a certain rate known as a Half-life (Nave, 2014), which is the time taken for half of a given sample of a radioactive material to decay from one form to another.

Examining the half-life of decay product i.e. Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation makes it possible to determine the age of objects, known as radioactive dating. Due to the equal distribution of radiation from radioactive sources, Radioactive particles obey the inverse square law. 

Alpha, Beta and Gamma Particles – Nature and Penetration

The Alpha particle, denoted by the symbol [α], is composed of two protons and two neutrons and is high energy nuclei of helium atoms that are ejected from unstable atoms. As such they are representing by the notation it has a large mass, 7000 time greater than the Beta particle and has a very short range. Its penetrating power is less than 1/10 of a millimeter inside of the body and is only dangerous to fast-growing membranes and living cells at close range.

Beta particles denoted by the symbol [β], are high energy electron ejected when a neutron decays (Whatisnuclear.com, 2015) to a proton. The excess energy release is a negatively charged particle, since neutrons are neutrally charged and protons are positively charged. These particles have a higher penetrating power than Alpha particle and are stopped using a small aluminum plate. Good to note that if a proton decays to a neutron, a positron (an anti-electron) is the result.

Gamma rays, denoted by the symbol [γ], are photons that are emitted from the nucleus in an excited state. The release of Gamma rays occurs when highly energetic electronic in higher orbital fall from a more excited state to a less excited state, releasing Gamma Radiation.

Gamma radiation is the same electromagnetic radiation as visible light waves and x-rays, just at a much higher frequency. Consequently, their penetrating power is much higher, only being stopped (Nave, 2014) by a lead plate.

Alpha, Beta and Gamma Particles – Declaration in Electric and Magnetic fields

Alpha, Beta and Gamma Particles are deflected differently in Electric Fields (Chac In Lam, 2000) depending on the application of the Fleming Left Hand Rule. As Alpha particles are positively charged, they are deflected strongly to the left, based on the diagram below.

What is Radioactivity and what are alpha, Beta and Gamma Particles

Beta Particles, which are negatively charged, are deflected weakly to the right, as they are moving in a direction opposite to conventional current flow as described by the Fleming’s Left Hand Rule.

Gamma Radiation is made up of massless photons and as such are not deflected by strong magnetic fields, travelling in a straight line form their source.


  1. Chac In Lam. (2000, November 10). Fleming’s Left Hand Rule and the Motor Effect. Retrieved from https://www.le.ac.uk/se/centres/sci/selfstudy/mam12.htm
  2. Nave, R. (2014). Radioactive Half-Life. Retrieved from http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nuclear/halfli.html
  3. Nave, R. (2014). Radioactivity. Retrieved from http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nuclear/radact.html
  4. (2011, April 9). Radiation vs Radioactive Atoms. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sehKAccM8p0
  5. com. (2015). What is radiation? What is radioactivity?. Retrieved from http://www.whatisnuclear.com/articles/radioactivity.html
  6. (2015, October 23). Radioactive decay. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_decay



Why the US$5 Raspberry Pi Zero is perfect Programmer’s Gift for New Year’s 2016

“Right now it appears that we’ve sold every individual Zero we made (that’s roughly 20,000 units) and most of the 10,000 MagPi issues with cover-mounted units; people are scouring the country for the last few Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury and Smiths branches that haven’t sold out”

Raspberry Pi Foundations creator Eben Upton on the sales of the US$5 Raspberry Pi Zero in an interview with Wired Magazine

Raspberry Pi certainly knows how to spring as surprise on Programmers!!

Just why you thought it couldn’t get any better with the improved US$35 Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (Deer, 2015, February 3), Raspberry Pi Foundations creator Eben Upton outdid themselves.

This time the Welsh foundation has gone even lower and better with the launch of the Raspberry Pi Zero (Collins, 2015, November 26) on Thursday November 26th 2015. The Raspberry Pi Zero is a US$5 minicomputer designed for one purpose; to get kids without access to a computer the ability to learn how to write code.

Why the US$5 Raspberry Pi Zero is perfect Programmer’s Gift for New Year’s 2016 (2)

At US$5, it’s so cheap, it costs only £4 in Wales and comes free (Hern, 2015, November 26) for with any purchase of the £5.99 MagPi magazine. Already, as of Friday November 27th 2015, they’ve sold (Rundle, 2015, November 15) some 20,000 Raspberry Pi Zero.

So how powerful is the new, cheaper and smaller Raspberry Pi Zero?

US$5 Raspberry Pi Zero – Give the Gift of Programming for 2016

The petite Raspberry Pi Zero which has dimensions of 65mm by 30mm by 5mm, was inspired by a conversation that creator Eben Upton had with Alphabet CEO and Chairman Eric Schmidt in 2013 (Mizroch, 2015, November 26).

Why the US$5 Raspberry Pi Zero is perfect Programmer’s Gift for New Year’s 2016 (1)


It has all the necessary hardware needed for programmers to produce code, and runs on Raspberry Pi Foundation’s custom built Open Source Linux program Raspbian. It comes with programming IDE (Integrated Development Environment) Scratch and Sonic Pi, with the added distraction of Microsoft owned Minecraft (Deer, 2014, September 26) for those times when you need to chillax between intense coding sessions.

Sprinting on a 1GHz ARM processor, which is 40% faster than Raspberry Pi 1, it also has the support of a Broadcom BCM2835 Application Processor that’s useful for interfacing with external devices that you wish to send commands. This can be done via a 40-pin GPIO header that has the same pin configurations as the original Model A+/B+/2B Raspberry Pi.

The processor is supported by a 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, it comes with a microSD card slot to store your programs on a micro SD card. The single Micro-USB sockets allows you to connect various peripherals such as the US$60 Raspberry Pi 7” Touchscreen (Deer, 2015, September 8).

Why the US$5 Raspberry Pi Zero is perfect Programmer’s Gift for New Year’s 2016 (3)

Finally there is also a composite video header for connecting to older monitors that’s complemented by the more modern Mini-HDMI port. This makes it possible to connect this likkle but tallawah Raspberry Pi Zero to a HDMI display, such as a HD screen or a television set (Deer, 2015, November 9) so that you can see what you’re doing.

In this day and age, many HDTV basically have a resolution so high, it’s almost pointless to buy a Computer display, as if you’re a serious programmer, you’ll do most of your programming in the living room.

More importantly, it’ll get your children engaged in the wonder and power of learning about programming instead of watching what’s on Television come the Year of the Monkey in 2016!


  1. Deer, L. (2014, September 26). US$2.5 billion purchase of Mojang by Microsoft – How Minecraft will help Microsoft Reaching Future Teenage Gamers to build on Xbox Success. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/09/us25-billion-purchase-of-mojang-by.html
  2. Deer, L. (2015, February 3). US$35 Raspberry Pi 2 Model B to run Windows 10 – Why Windows Developer Program for IoT is Microsoft ‘s IoT Push. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/02/us35-raspberry-pi-2-model-b-to-run.html
  3. Deer, L. (2015, September 8). How the US$60 Raspberry Pi 7” Touchscreen can be used as a Touchscreen Controller. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/09/US60-Raspberry-Pi-7-Touchscreen.html
  4. Deer, L. (2015, November 9). What Does TV Mean to You and the Samsung SUHD Revolution. Retrieved from http://geezam.com/what-does-tv-mean-to-you-and-the-samsung-suhd-revolution/
  5. Rundle, M. (2015, November 15). Raspberry Pi Zero already sold out, says ‘amazed’ founder. Retrieved from http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-11/27/raspberry-pi-zero-sold-out
  6. Collins, K. (2015, November 26). Raspberry Pi’s latest computer costs just $5. Retrieved from http://www.cnet.com/news/raspberry-pis-latest-computer-costs-just-5/
  7. Hern, A. (2015, November 26). Raspberry Pi’s latest computer so cheap it comes free with magazine. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/nov/26/raspberry-pi-zero-computer-cheap-free-magazine-magpi
  8. Mizroch, A. (2015, November 26). How Google Inspired Raspberry Pi’s $5 Computer. Retrieved from http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/11/26/raspberry-pi-rolls-out-5-computer/


Why GraceKennedy Dunn’s River Nurishment line in Nigeria, Africa is a bet for the Future

“While flavoured milk is a very big market but low-margin, our target is the high-margin enriched milk drink segment which is in excess of US$100m [in value]. The dry spice market we estimate to be well over US$500m”

CEO of International Business-GK Foods Ryan Mack on Monday November 23rd 2015 as GraceKennedy launches Dunn’s River Nurishment line in Nigeria

Nigeria is about to get some serious Nurishment. GraceKennedy has launched their Dunn’s River Nurishment line, an enriched milk Drink in Nigeria (Collinder, 2015, November 25) long with a range of Dry spices.

MICO WARS - Why GraceKennedy Dunn's River Nurishment line in Nigeria, Africa is a bet for the Future - 25-11-2015 LHDEER

Nigeria is a US$600 million market and the Grace Foods Nigeria pus is being monitored by Managing Director for Grace Foods UK Ltd with the help of their Nigerian Sales Representative. Grace Foods Nigeria’s main competitors, Sport Shake for the milk drink category and Maggi for the dry spice market, but they not going for any specific measurable growth.

Instead, they’re trying to associate their brand as one that make quality product at reasonable prices, a process that may take several years.

To quote CEO of International Business-GK Foods Ryan Mack: “[The] main challenge is to develop brand recognition. Most of our marketing activities will be around building product awareness and brand recognition”.

GraceKennedy Dunn’s River Nurishment line in Nigeria – Establishing a brand in the Continent with the Faster Growing Population

Gracekennedy has been Growing Strong, Game of Thrones style, with the company already eyeing 20% growth (Deer, 2015, October 31) from Amazon USA. Their Manufacturing, Grace Foods & Services and chain of supermarkets Hi-Lo are on a roll in the past three Quarters ending September 2015:

  • JA$47.11 billion in total from their Food Division
  • JA$40.148 billion in total from their Food Division in 2014

This represents an increase of JA$7 billion. Grace Foods & Services has been doing well, despite a US$26 million spend in July 2014 to purchase La Fe Foods Inc:

  • JA$609 million in total from their Grace Foods & Services
  • JA$879 million in total from their Grace Foods & Services in 2014

With such positive results thus far, promoting their brand in Nigeria to gain future profits is a long term bet on Africa (Deer, 2015, August 12), the continent with the fastest growing population by 2050 according to the UNDP (United Nations Population Division) by 2100.


  1. Deer, L. (2015, August 12). United Nations Population Division says 11.2 billion people by 2100 – Why Africa and India Population exploding as Insect Meat is coming. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/08/United-Nations-Population-Division-11.2-billion-people-by-2100.html
  2. Deer, L. (2015, October 31). How GraceKennedy will achieve 20% growth in the USA via Amazon. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/how-gracekennedy-will-achieve-20-growth-in-the-usa-via-amazon/
  3. Collinder, A. (2015, November 25). GK launches Dunn’s River brands in Nigeria. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/GK-launches-Dunn-s-River-brands—-in-Nigeria_19240353


Why US$299 Z2 Sapphire Razor from Zafirro will cut Gillette Disposable Razor Business

Zafirro, makers of the world’s most expensive Razor back in 2011, the US$100,000 Z2 with iridium handle and Sapphire blades, has decided to throw us blokes a bone.

Zafirro is floating a kickstarter to make a US$299 Z2 Razor with Sapphire blades (Hodgkins, 2015, November 20), a significant price drop. Already they have some 942 backers who have pledged some US$203,006 and as such make Zafirro well on their way to breaching their $250,000 with forty one (41) days to go.

Why US$299 Z2 Sapphire Razor from Zafirro will cut Gillette Disposable Razor Business (1)

The Z2 Sapphire Razor will be fully funded by Tuesday, January 5 2016 at 8:00 am EST, just in time for the New Year’s but you won’t get it shipped until October 2016, an improvement on the projected shipment date of December 2016.

Kickstarter packages start at US$149 for a single Zafirro Razor, US$150 shaved off the US$299 Z2 Sapphire Razor‘s retail price. Limited tiers priced from $179 to $229 still exist, but you can beat the street by pledging US$279 to receive your Razor in October 2016.

US$299 Z2 Sapphire Razor – Why Sapphire blades from Zafirro will cut Gillette Disposable Razor Business

So what’s so special about the US$299 Z2 Sapphire Razor?

For one, the company makes Razors as their business, making them a much more sure, albeit less futuristic bet than US$189 Skarp Laser Razor (Deer, 2015, November 8). The Skarp Laser Razor which as kicked off kickstarter for not having a working prototype, is now resurrected on Indiegogo (Deer, 2015, November 13) and hopefully will deliver by March 2016.

Zafirro is also taking advantage of the fall in the price of Sapphire, which means they can make a lower cost version of their famous US$100,000 Z2, with the same classic style of the original Z2 model.

Why US$299 Z2 Sapphire Razor from Zafirro will cut Gillette Disposable Razor Business (2)

Still, you’re getting the sharpest shave possible with a blade that’s guaranteed 10 times sharper at 80 atoms thick, making it better than the best stainless steel versions from Gillette and sharp for at least 6 to 12 months, albeit Zafirro claims 2 to 3 years is possible.

With replacement cartridges costing US$49 every 6 to 12 months, the US$299 Z2 Sapphire Razor isn’t such a bad deal as these Razors will last longer than Gillette Disposable Razors made to last longer (Deer, 2015, October 5) using special drying techniques.

More interestingly, these Sapphire blades can be use in Barber shears for professional barbers as well as to make cutting implements like scissors and even kitchen knives!

With so many potential spinoffs, the traditional expensive Gillette Disposable Razor Business model is going to get cut really deep.

Here’s the link:

US$299 Z2 Razor with Sapphire blades kickstarter


  1. Deer, L. (2015, November 13). How US$189 Skarp Laser Razor was kicked off kickstarter and resurrected on Indiegogo. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/how-us189-skarp-laser-Razor-was-kicked-off-kickstarter-and-resurrectred-on-indiegogo/
  2. Deer, L. (2015, November 8). US$189 Skarp Laser Razor is a Close shave in the Nick of Time. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/us189-skarp-laser-Razor-is-a-close-shave-in-the-nick-of-time/
  3. Deer, L. (2015, October 5). How to make JA$150 Gillette Double-bladed Disposable Razors last for Months. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/gillette-double-bladed-disposable-Razors/
  4. Hodgkins, K. (2015, November 20). This $200 Razor has a Sapphire blade that’s 10x sharper than a scalpel, and it lasts for years. Retrieved from http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/zaffiro-z2-Razor/





How to clean your Laptop using the cellphane tape method

It’s almost the end of the year and you’re thinking of cleaning out your laptop’s hard-drive (Deer, 2013, August 23) to make it run faster.

MICO Wars - How to clean your Laptop using the cellphane tape method - 23-11-2015 LHDEER (2)

However, you may have paid scant regard to the keyboard, which is also in need of cleaning, which prevents it from getting damaged (Deer, 2013, July 1) and needing to be replaced.

One simple way to clean your keyboard, aside from using iso-propyl alcohol, which is also good for Smartphone screens (Deer, 2012, November 8) not so easy to come by, is the good ol’ cellphane tape method (Bradford, 2015, November 23) of cleaning.

This method works as follows:

  1. Tear off an inch of tape
  2. Fold so that non-sticky sides are facing together and sticky sides are facing outward
  3. Slip the tape underneath the edges of the keys
  4. Rub back and forth a few times.
  5. Pull the piece of tape out
  6. Repeat until all of your keys are clean

You’ll turn up a lot of stuff, from your pubic hair, cat hair to bits and pieces of those Doritos you ate several years ago…still chewable by the way. Even better results are yielded if you can individually remove the keys, though this requires some level of patience and expertise.

MICO Wars - How to clean your Laptop using the cellphane tape method - 23-11-2015 LHDEER (1)

Remember, Santa is lookin’ to see if you naughty or nice. Be nice to your laptop and clean it for Christmas!


  1. Deer, L. (2012, November 8). How to make your own Cleaning Fluid and Cleaning Tips for your Smartphone or Tablet. Retrieved from http://geezam.com/make-your-own-cleaning-fluid-tips-smartphone-tablet/
  2. Deer, L. (2013, July 1). How to protect and prevent your Laptop or PC Keyboard keys from Fading. Retrieved from http://geezam.com/how-to-protect-and-prevent-your-laptop-or-pc-keyboard-keys-from-fading/comment-page-1/
  3. Deer, L. (2013. August 23). Tips and Tricks on how to make your computer run faster. Retrieved from http://geezam.com/tips-and-tricks-on-how-to-make-your-computer-run-faster/
  4. Bradford, A. (2015, November 23). Clean between your keyboard’s keys with a piece of clear tape. Retrieved from http://www.cnet.com/how-to/clean-between-your-keyboard-keys-with-a-piece-of-clear-tape/