Tuesday, 28 April 2015

X: I can't see clearly now

Ah, the letter X. Horse racing fans might regard X as the Becher's Brook of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For sure there are a surprising number of words in the English language that begin with X but how many of them can I say are reasons to be cheerful?

Despite this, X has to be gone through. Our journey from A to Z takes us through X. We've seen off Q and we've still got Z, but by then I'll be so relieved to have made it I'll probably latch on to any word that begins with the letter Z.

But back to X. It's quite straightforward, my letter X reason to be cheerful is X-rays. Discovered by Rontgen in 1895, X-rays have a variety of uses. I suppose two that many of us come in to contact with are for medical purposes enabling doctors to see inside us (note the non-technical description) and for security reasons at airports.

X-rays mark the spot.
I am dreadfully nosy and quite happily look over the shoulder of the X-ray machine operator to see what they can see in the baggage as it passes through. Fortunately, I've never seen anything illicit, that would be a bit too scary just as I'm about to board a plane, but I'm still fascinated by what people do carry in their bags.

So that's X-rays. As a child I was intrigued by the adverts for X-ray specs, which claimed that purchasers would be able to see through clothing. Phwoar! How much did I want a pair of those remarkable specs? Needless to say, my parents were never going to give me money for such frivolities and I never had the necessary cash so all was not revealed.

If I had been able to get a pair of X-ray specs, in my imagination it would have been like the short video that goes with this post's music offering. I'm not entirely sure of the name of any of it. It's labelled X Ray Glasses.

  • Question: Were you lucky enough to get a pair of the X-ray specs I so much wanted as a child? Did they work? Please say they did and tell us what you saw in the comment section while at the same time bearing in mind that this is NOT an adult content blog.
* Picture of X-ray scanner by User:Mattes (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Hi Mark - I'm glad about X-rays ... seeing my 'deformed' hip was interesting - more so as I'd lived with it all my life - still I have a new one now and am fit and up and running with it. My younger brother was into X-ray eyes ... always looking into the future .. his imagination was greater than ours .. probably still - but perhaps ours is more channelled .. cheers Hilary

  2. I have several x-rays having had both knees replaced and numerous surgeries on both feet and ankles. It was almost alarming to see the number of screws that were in my foot: I felt like I was looking into a toolbox in my garage! My father just had a swallow test: an x-ray that shows the path of liquids going down the esophagus. That was pretty interesting to watch. I got to see him drink liquids, eat a cookie, cracker and swallow a pill. Fascinating things, x-rays. They're also scary. I've looked at too many x-rays of my dogs who had bone cancer and it's always devastating to see the cancer eating its way through the bone... But the x-ray is very revealing and helps diagnose and plan.
    I never heard of the x-ray specs! Loved the video.
    Michele at Angels Bark


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