9. Questions & Answers
A lot of people are talking about underground homes nowadays. What's the story on this?
An "underground house" above ground can be had with a sod roof—the earth covering acts as a moisture barrier and insulates the roof. Actually, nowadays people are discovering that underground houses are very comfortable. In hot and cold climates, weather isn't as extreme underground, and the homes aren't dark, damp, or dismal either, which might be our first impression when thinking about living below the ground. Many homes are built with a regular south wall with windows, and the rest under the ground. In either case, skylights can provide lighting. Less heating or cooling needs to be done in an underground home, so energy is conserved, and underground buildings are quiet and blend nicely with their environment, leaving nature virtually untouched.
There is a subdesertic region of Turkey, Cappadocia, where people have been living in underground towns and cities since the years B.C. in settlements, some of which extend eight or ten stories below ground. They are hewn out of the soft stone common to the area. The climate there is comfortable despite harsh variations of heat and cold on the surface.
There are even some "luxury" caves in France's Loire Valley where some caverns were furnished and carpeted
and sold to wealthy city dwellers who appreciate the coolness in summer and natural winter warmth.
Underground homes don't need to be painted, roofs don't need to be replaced, pipes don't freeze, and they have a low-cost construction.
What is the effect of radiation in the gene pool?
For people still in their reproductive years, whether male or female, injury can occur either to the sperm-generating cells in the testes or the ovum-generating cells in the ovary, and injury to the genes there can cause hereditary changes or disease or death in generations for many generations beyond the irradiated individuals.
What about the effect of radiation on a developing fetus?
Radiation injures the genetic material that is guiding the cells in a developing fetus to form the various organs and tissues. Evidence indicates that the developing fetus is more sensitive to ionizing radiation in terms of the effects caused than children are, and children in turn are more sensitive than adults. (In fact, the fetus is even more sensitive to radiation in the first trimester of pregnancy than in the third.)
> Lesson 53 - Solar Energy And Your Health
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