Rich Galen

Polonium isn't something you mix up in your garage by cooking cold tablets containing pseudo-ephedrine. According to one source only about 100 grams are made worldwide annually - about two-tenths of a pound.

Although it is extremely toxic, a tiny amount of polonium is available for purchase by you, or me, or Vladimir Putin (if he uses a fake US address) from an outfit in New Mexico known as United Nuclear Scientific Supplies, LLC for $69.

United Nuclear's webpage states (I suh-wear this is true): "The sole purpose of United Nuclear Scientific Supplies, LLC is to put the "fun" back into science."

NEW TOPIC: The award for the dumbest spam has to go to the dopes who sent this to me yesterday:

From: PayPaI (sic)

To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Re: New email added to your account

Dear Customer, You or some other person have added a new email address [] to your PayPaI account. If you don't agree and want to change this email or you need assistance with your account, click the link, modify and save your profile.

A. Pay Pal would not send me an e-mail addressed to undisclosed-recipients.

B. Did they think I wouldn't notice that the link ends in ".ch" which is the two-country Internet code for Switzerland when Pay Pal is located in San Jose, California?

I'll have the tuna sashimi, please.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Definitions of half-life and atomic number; a link to a periodic chart of the elements and to United Scientific's web site. Two photos of objects in space, one from my back window, the other from the Hubble.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at