The Scott Rollins Film and TV Trivia Blog: Blake Edwards: On set with the Maverick Hyphenate
My dad helped me until I tried to build a liquid fuel rocket using nitric acid and alcohol. TOM WOLFE (AUTHOR): Having Dennis Quaid play Gordon Cooper was a We'd work on the ground, meet with the aircraft, speak to the pilots, see what .. And he said, “Oh no, no, no, she is never going to come to Edwards again. Edwards again used his Heart as well as his Head. This isn't just a romantic comedy, it's a journey of power and the things we give up and gain when we go towards that. All of the children, except Joanna, have appeared in his movies. . -Met wife-to-be Julie Andrews after she'd heard that he once described her as being. I'm speaking of course, about Flash Gordon. At the beginning of the movie, Dale is unconcerned with anything but the material reality, or what.
Because I happen to have the movie. But I did have a one-act play that I had written for a directing exercise. Because, literally, I was sort of regarded as a pariah in the department.
So I made it a one-actor play because I knew one guy who would star in it for me. So I just performed the half-hour monologue. And he was on the 14th floor over in the Wasserman building. And I went there and pitched him. And what was it, the monologue? What was it about? It was a one-act play called Once I Was. It was sort of your typical first love gone wrong kind of thing. In fact, Jeff Buckley is my godson, he was sort of conceived on my apartment floor.
It was, it was. And I had no intention of paying taxes so, you know… I literally was home free for the next two years. And so I quit my job at the fish market, where I had been working on the Santa Monica Pier, and kicked back to live the life of a man of leisure.
I was under contract to Universal; had an office and everything; and then abruptly got by Lew Wasserman himself when I stole all the office supplies. They were all in my office. Tons of yellow legal pads, white out… It was enough to see me through my next two years of college.
And also enough for my friends; you know, if you needed office supplies, I can hook you up. Help me load it in the car, would you? And he actually did. So I knew someone was playing a joke on me. So I know this cannot possibly be Lew Wasserman. Now, no one had ever said that to Lew Wasserman in his life. The phone rings again and [imagining] the cord wraps three times around my neck and starts strangling me.
I thought it was a friend playing a joke. I would never say anything. That was on a Friday, then I came in on Monday and all my stuff was piled up in front of the door. My name was off the door. The locks had changed…and they had revoked my lot pass, so I had to pay to get out. Which is how they fired you in those days. Nobody ever said you were fired, you just ceased to exist. It was very Kafkaesque.
And I had never met Mr. I had only had two telephone conversations with him… Blake J. It is exhaled as easily as inhaled.
Although the concentration of radon gas in the mines was highly variable, there was a well-defined range of measured values, so the dose to the lungs could be roughly estimated.
Yet many other people had received much larger doses of x-rays to the chest, without experiencing any noticeable increase in lung cancer. Why were the lungs of the miners suffering so much damage from this alpha-emitting gas? Radon Progeny The answer was a long time in coming. In the early s, two American scientists [ 29 ] made the elementary observation that the miners were inhaling, not just radon gas, but its short-lived progeny as well.
It is surprising that no one thought of this before, since the decay chain for radon was worked out shortly after the discovery of radium, and was well known.
As radon accumulates in the mine atmosphere, there is a gradual build-up of short-lived radon progeny. Charged atoms of radioactive bismuth, lead and polonium hang suspended in the air. By electrostatic attraction, many of these charged atoms attach themselves to airborne dust particles and to droplets of respirable size. The others remain unattached, but airborne.
Once the radon progeny were taken into account, the estimated dose turned out to be hundreds or even thousands of times larger than earlier calculations had indicated. The size of the final estimate depends on several assumptions. The largest dose results when the radon is in equilibrium with its short-lived progeny; this occurs if the gas is allowed to stagnate in an unventilated space for several hours see A.
Under such circumstances, the gas contributes only slightly to the total dose; most of the damage is done by the attached and unattached decay products [ 30 ]especially the alpha-emitting polonium isotopes.
They all lodge in the respiratory tract, and some end up delivering high doses of radiation to the bronchi, where most lung cancers originate. Complete equilibrium between radon and its short-lived progeny is seldom achieved, but in poorly ventilated spaces it is often a good approximation. Radon Seeds Meanwhile, radon began to replace radium as a therapeutic agent. Since the most intense gamma rays associated with radium needles come from the short-lived radon progeny anyway, why not use radon from the outset?
Medical practitioners learned how to cull the radon from a sample of radium, enclose it in a special golden capsule called a "seed", and implant the seed in or near a solid tumour. The same quantity of radium could be used over and over again to generate more radon Since radon has a half-life of only 3. Thus the total accumulated dose is automatically limited, even if the seed is left implanted for a long time. The maximum possible dose can be calculated beforehand, thereby reducing the chances of accidentally overexposing a patient.
Removing the implant is also safer for the medical staff. Genes and Chromosomes In the late s, researchers discovered another kind of biological effect from ionizing radiation: Some of this damaged genetic material may be transmitted to future generations. In this section and the next, some rudimentary facts about genes and chromosomes are summarized.
Every cell contains thousands of genes. They are housed in a small number of thread-like bodies called chromosomes, usually located in the nucleus of the cell. Each gene is sited at a precise location along its thread-like chromosome. A cell having no direct role in sexual reproduction is called a "somatic" cell. It normally contains twice as many chromosomes as a reproductive cell. In humans, for instance, a somatic cell typically has 46 chromosomes, whereas a sperm or egg has only When sperm meets egg, the fertilized egg gets two sets of 23 chromosomes for a total of This is the first somatic cell of a new human being.
It has its own unique combination of genes, which will determine the inherited physical characteristics of the developing offspring. All the genetic material in a somatic cell is meticulously duplicated just before it undergoes normal cell division. Then, when the cell cleaves in two, a complete duplicate set of 46 chromosomes is given to each of the two daughter cells. This process is known as "mitosis".
As the foetus grows, every somatic cell in its body gets an identical copy of the original 46 chromosomes inherited from its parents -- if nothing goes wrong.
Reproductive cells are formed by a different sort of cell division called "meiosis", occuring only in the gonads. In meiosis, the 46 chromosomes of a somatic cell are not duplicated but segregated into two equal sets of 23 chromosomes shortly before cell cleavage. Then each daughter cell receives only 23 chromosomes, becoming either a sperm or an egg, able to participate in sexual reproduction to produce further offspring.
In this way, half of the genetic material originally inherited from one's parents may be passed on to one's own child, who can in turn pass some of it on to his or her descendents. The Nature of Genetic Damage A mutagen is any agent causing damage to genetic material.
Genetic damage falls into two main categories: Most chromosome damage is visible, often involving some form of breakage. A "deletion" occurs when a segment of a chromosome is broken off and lost. An "inversion" occurs when the broken segment reattaches, but in the reverse order. A "translocation" occurs when a broken segment from one chromosome attaches itself to a different chromosome. A "reciprocal translocation" occurs when two broken segments from two chromosomes reattach, but each to the wrong chromosome.
Ring chromosomes, dicentric chromosomes and other abnormal chromosomes may be formed in a similar fashion. Chromosome damage can have serious medical consequences. In the s, it was discovered that specific chromosome deletions give rise to the "cri-du-chat" syndrome and the "Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome" in humans -- two hereditary disorders involving severe mental retardation, stunted growth and a delay in psychomotor development.
But too much genetic material can be just as damaging as too little. If either the sperm or egg happens to contain an extra chromosome 24 instead of 23the fertilized egg ends up with 47 chromosomes rather than Instead of 23 pairs of matched chromosomes -- one of each type from each parent -- there are 22 pairs and a triplet.
This condition is called a "trisomy". Sincefour hereditary human diseases have been linked to specific trisomies. Some children displaying full-blown symptoms of Down's or Edwards' or Patau's syndrome do not exhibit any trisomies in their somatic cells.
Instead they show translocations affecting the very same chromosomes which are trisomic in most other cases of these genetic diseases. By contrast, a gene mutation causes no visible damage to the chromosome.
There are two types of gene mutations: The effect of a dominant mutation can be seen in any offspring inheriting the mutant gene from either parent. The effect of a recessive mutation is not fully expressed in the offspring unless the same mutant gene is inherited from both parents. Thus a dominant mutation carried in sperm or egg will be expressed in the first generation offspring, whereas a recessive mutation may not become apparent for many generations.
It may take a long time indeed before a sperm and an egg, both carrying the same mutant gene, happen to meet. Muller began irradiating the reproductive cells of fruit flies before allowing them to mate.
Following several thousand such irradiated fly populations past the second generation, he found a frequency of gene mutations up to times greater than in the unirradiated control populations. Reduction of dosage led to a corresponding reduction in the frequency of mutations. Male and female reproductive cells in all stages of development were found to be susceptible to these mutagenic effects.
Muller reported that the vast majority of radiation-induced mutations were fatal, leading to the production of unviable organisms. These are called "dominant lethal mutations". Of the remainder, most but not all reduced the viability or fertility of offspring.
While "new" mutations were by far the most frequent, he also found some repetitions of familiar spontaneous mutations. He noted that the visible effects of mutations were often relatively inconspicuous, and that recessive mutations greatly outnumbered the dominant ones. Muller found that most of the radiation-induced effects he observed were due to "point-mutations" affecting a single gene, although there was an occasional "line-mutation" involving a whole row of neighbouring genes, as if an ionizing particle had passed parallel to a chromosome segment containing these genes.
Point-mutations and line-mutations both leave the chromosomes unchanged in physical appearance. In his irradiated fruit fly populations, Muller also noted frequent chromosomal abnormalities, involving inversions, translocations, and duplications leading to extra chromosomes, as well as other irregularities. Within a few years, researchers found evidence of similar mutagenic effects in mice, rabbits and other small mammals, as well as plants.
Only much later were such chromosomal abnormalities observed in irradiated human cells. Genetic Damage in Human Populations In Muller's time, there was no direct evidence of observable genetic effects in humans, nor was there much concern. No one anticipated that large populations of human beings would ever be irradiated beyond the unavoidable background levels found in nature.
The power of ionizing radiation to effect genetic change was regarded as a boon to researchers rather than a threat to people. With the advent of nuclear fission, these perceptions changed. It became evident that large numbers of people could become irradiated as a result of nuclear weapons fallout or accidental emissions from nuclear reactors.
The initial motivation which first led to the setting of exposure standards for members of the general public as opposed to radiation workers was to limit the genetic damage to the human species. Teratogenic Effects Inone year after Muller announced his results, two doctors, L. Murphy, published a study of children born after their mothers had received pelvic x-rays. While the numbers are small pregnancies in allthe results are of interest because of the ramifications.
Over half of the children born to women irradiated during pregnancy were unhealthy, while the corresponding figure for women irradiated before conception was only 11 percent.
That discrepancy suggests that in utero irradiation of the developing foetus, with its rapidly-developing cells, may be a more effective cause of ill health in the immediate offspring than genetic damage caused by irradiating the eggs of the mother before conception.
Subsequent research has tended to support these initial tentative findings. Goldstein and Murphy reported a marked increase in congenital malformations among the children exposed before birth. Such developmental defects, caused by in utero exposure, are called "teratogenic effects" to distinguish them from genetic effects. The distinction is an important one. Defective genetic material inherited from the parents will be displayed in every cell of the offspring's body, including the reproductive cells.
On the other hand, damage done to the developing foetus after conception will affect only some of the child's cells, and may indeed be limited to one or more organs. In the majority of cases, such damage will not extend to the reproductive cells. Thus the damage will not be transmissible to future generations. For example, Goldstein and Murphy noted that an unusually high number of the children exposed in utero were born as "microcephalic idiots": The same condition, caused by a failure of the brain to grow to its proper size, was later observed among children born to mothers who were pregnant at the time of the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
It is a condition clearly caused by ionizing radiation that adversely affects the unborn children; but it is a teratogenic rather than a genetic effect. Units of Exposure and Dose The need to quantify radiation damage became increasingly evident, despite obvious difficulties in doing so. The first two units introduced dealt with radiation as it flies through the air, and as it is absorbed in living tissue.
The two corresponding quantities are called "exposure" and "absorbed dose". A roentgen is a quantity of x-rays or gamma rays which will cause a precisely defined degree of ionization [ 35 ] in one kg of dry air.
The roentgen unit does not apply to particulate radiation such as alpha, beta, neutron or high-speed ionsnor does it involve biological tissue. To rectify these shortcomings, the concept of "absorbed dose" was introduced. One rad is that quantity of ionizing radiation of any type that will deposit ergs of energy in each gram of absorbing tissue. The relation between "exposure" and "absorbed dose" depends on the tissue involved. An x-ray "exposure" of one roentgen will deliver a "dose" of very nearly one rad in soft tissue e.
Here, the units are almost interchangeable. In bone, however, an exposure of one roentgen corresponds to a dose of considerably more than one rad. Here, the units are not interchangeable. The difference in dose results from the fact that bones are opaque to x-rays, so they absorb most of the x-ray's energy, while flesh is transparent, allowing much of the x-ray energy to pass through without being absorbed. Biological Effectiveness of Ionizing Energy Ionizing radiation is remarkably effective in causing biological damage.
In this section we will make a quantitative comparison with another, more familiar form of energy, to illustrate the point. Based on data from the Japanese atomic bombings and from animal experiments, the best estimates are that a dose of rads of whole-body radiation, delivered quickly, is enough to kill about half of the humans so exposed in a period of days to weeks from acute radiation sickness.
Since all forms of energy are interconvertible, we can use heat units as a basis of comparison. The conversion from ergs to calories is: But this amount of energy would raise the temperature of one gram of water by less than 0. That is, less than one one-thousandth of a degree Celsius!
It is an imperceptible amount of heat. This calculation highlights the enormous difference between energy in the form of heat and energy in the form of ionizing radiation.
An amount of energy which is absolutely inconspicuous in one form can be lethal in another. When a radioactive material gives off any degree of perceptible heat, it is capable of killing thousands of people. What is the reason for the difference? It is because the energy of ionizing radiation is not uniformly distributed among all the molecules of a gram of tissue, the way thermal energy is.
Instead, ionizing energy is transferred to just a few electrons in a relatively few molecules, thereby disrupting the molecular basis of living cells. That cellular damage is then multiplied and amplified by normal -- and abnormal -- biological processes. In short, the energy transfer resulting from exposure to ionizing radiation occurs in an extremely concentrated and biologically effective fashion compared with the even diffusion of heat energy.
Prompt Effects Radiation damage can be classified in various ways. One of the simplest and most important has to do with the time it takes for the damage to be felt. This leads to a distinction between "prompt effects" and "delayed effects". Prompt effects are, by convention, those which become manifest within a year usually within days or weeks following exposure. All of the immediately obvious effects of exposure to ionizing radiation fall into this category.
It includes such things as visible skin damage and loss of hair, as well as the classic symptoms of acute radiation poisoning nausea, vomiting, epuration Most of the non-cancerous blood changes caused by ionizing radiation are prompt effects. Teratogenic effects, whereby malformed embryos are produced following in utero exposure of the foetus, are also prompt effects.
Dose Dependency and the Concept of a Threshhold The severity of a prompt effect generally depends on the dose received: This is evidently so in the case of skin damage.
The same can be said for loss of fertility: Similarly, the degree of hair loss depends on dose, up to and including total baldness. The severity of microcephalic damage to infants born within a few months of the Japanese atomic bombings depended on the absorbed dose delivered to the mother's wombs between 8 and 25 weeks after conception.
In such cases, the circumference of the baby's head was directly dependent on the distance of the mother from the bomb's epicentre at the time of the explosion: The degree of mental retardation was, in turn, closely related to the size of the baby's head.
Many prompt effects, such as visible skin damage, loss of hair, nausea and the other symptoms of radiation sickness, can be prevented altogether by lowering the dose sufficiently or by spreading the dose out over a longer time period. In such cases, there is a "threshhold" of exposure below which that particular effect will not occur. In other cases, such as mental retardation following in utero exposure, it is by no means clear whether there is such a threshhold. Among children exposed in utero during the Japanese atomic bombings between 8 and 25 weeks after conception, the degree of microcephaly was strikingly dose-dependent.
But even those showing no apparent microcephaly consistently scored lower on intelligence tests than children who were not so exposed, and the degree of under-achievement was demonstrably dose-dependent. The school performance of such children was also significantly degraded in a manner directly related to their absorbed dose.
These data offer no clear evidence of a "safe threshhold" below which such effects will not occur. Relative Biological Effectiveness RBE Equal doses of ionizing radiation are not always equally effective in causing biological damage. For example, children who experienced in utero irradiation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki less than 8 weeks after conception, or more than 25 weeks after conception, showed no evidence of microcephaly or mental retardation.
This is in sharp contrast to those who were irradiated between 8 and 25 weeks following conception. Moreover, those who were irradiated in the period between 8 and 15 weeks following conception were at least four times as sensitive to this type of cerebral radiation damage than those irradiated in the period between 16 and 25 weeks following conception.
Another example is provided by the radium dial painters. As Martland observed in connection with radium deposited in the bones, alpha radiation is considerably more potent than x-rays, beta rays or gamma rays in causing cancer.
IRA bomb survivor from Helsby reflects on 20 years since that fateful day - Cheshire Live
Quantitatively, a dose of 1 rad of alpha energy seems to be equivalent to a dose of about 10 or 20 rads and sometimes, as in the case of protracted doses of radium, up to rads of x-ray or gamma ray energy. Similar considerations apply to radon. When it was realized that the radon progeny play such a vital role in lung cancer induction, scientific estimates of doses to the lungs of the German and Czech miners increased dramatically.
Nevertheless, there still remained a sizable gap another factor of 20 or so between the dose of radon-and-its-progeny required to provoke a certain amount of lung cancer, and the corresponding dose of x-rays or gamma rays needed to achieve the same result. In any given situation, when two different doses of ionizing radiation produce the same measurable biological result e.
IRA bomb survivor from Helsby reflects on 20 years since that fateful day
Clearly, the physical unit of exposure, "rads", does not translate directly or easily into a biological unit of injury. In general, a given dose of alpha or neutron radiation is much more effective in causing biological damage than an equal dose of beta, gamma or x-radiation.
Equal doses of alpha and beta radiation will cause the same degree of ionization in tissue; however, since the track of an alpha particle is shorter and thicker than that of a beta particle, the ionization is much more dense. Morgan, "the father of Health Physics", has said that the difference between a beta particle and an alpha particle going through tissue is like the difference between a jackrabbit and a bulldozer going through a cornfield. Sparsely ionizing radiation such as beta, gamma or x-rays will create many ions, but these are farflung and widely separated from each other.
The LET or linear energy transfer coefficient, which measures the number of ions created per unit of track length, is relatively small. Accordingly, beta, gamma and x-rays are described as "low-LET radiation". On the other hand, most of the ions created by an alpha particle are quite close together, confined in fact to just a few cells.
The same can be said for protons which are set in motion by collisions with neutrons. Thus alpha particles and neutrons are described as "high-LET radiation". However, the exact value of the RBE depends on circumstances. Also, it should not be assumed that low-LET radiations of different types necessarily have the same biological effectiveness.
Units of Dose Equivalence: This unit is intended to indicate, however roughly, the relative degree of biological damage caused by a particular exposure to ionizing radiation. Thus a dose of 1 rad of gamma radiation delivers a dose equivalent of 1 rem, whereas a dose of 1 rad of alpha radiation delivers a dose equivalent of 20 rems.