Edward Teller dies
September 9, 2003 11:26 PM   Subscribe

Edward Teller dies What would it be like to have your obit identify you as "Father of the Atom Bomb?" "Teller exerted a profound influence on America's defense and energy policies, championing the development of the atomic and hydrogen bombs, nuclear power and the Strategic Defense Initiative...."
posted by Lynsey (22 comments total)
 
"Oh my god! What about Penn?!" Oh, 'father of the atom bomb.' I'm damned culturally illiterate.
posted by kfury at 12:13 AM on September 10, 2003


All I can think of is the often-disproven theory that Celebrity Deaths occur in Threes...
Leni Riefenstahl, Edward Teller and.... who?
Candidates must be historically significent, unliked by a solid majority of MeFites, retired and pretty old...
posted by wendell at 12:15 AM on September 10, 2003


Wait a minute; E. Teller was Father of the HYDROGEN Bomb...

Penn and Teller haven't bombed since 1977 (audience didn't know their act)...
posted by wendell at 12:18 AM on September 10, 2003


What would it be like to have your obit identify you as

Honestly, I don't think people notice what their obit says...
posted by freebird at 12:54 AM on September 10, 2003


A very educated 'guess' at what the Tellar-Ulam configuration looks like: here, courtesy of the Nuclear Weapon Archive for those who want to see the man's work.

Tellar was a god in his field, and even my incomplete and rough understanding of how his configuration operates leaves me in awe of the man. Someone smarter than anyone who will be commenting here on his death has passed away.
posted by Ryvar at 3:06 AM on September 10, 2003


Teller was the "father of the H-Bomb", not the A-Bomb. The father of the A-Bomb would be Oppenheimer. Teller later got Oppenheimer's security clearance taken away, preventing him from working in the field.
posted by Xoc at 4:20 AM on September 10, 2003


Peace Through Strength. RIP, Teller.
posted by davidmsc at 4:42 AM on September 10, 2003


And he never met up with Dr. Edward Anti-Teller. RIP to both of them.
posted by Zonker at 5:28 AM on September 10, 2003


Telller also was a big supporter of the Star Wars plan under Reagan, opposed to the ratification of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and took part in the smear campaign against Oppenheimer. Not exactly the nicest civil servant.
posted by skallas at 6:17 AM on September 10, 2003


Well, he's a dead son of a bitch now.
posted by trondant at 6:50 AM on September 10, 2003


I personally won't miss the man who could eventually lead to the extinction of the human race.
posted by tljenson at 7:22 AM on September 10, 2003


Tljenson, this article was about Edward Teller. The man you're describing is still very much alive and eating Count Chocula cereal every morning in the White House dining room...

(Knock-knock... Um, FBI who...?)
posted by JollyWanker at 9:19 AM on September 10, 2003


My grandfather had a lot of things to say about Teller whenever he was mentioned on the news, most of which were unprintable. Teller was indeed a very accomplished scientist and engineer, but his politics alienated him from many of his colleagues, especially those working for arms control. All of the Los Alamos scientists I ever met seemed to have opinions much closer to trondant's than to Ryvar's.
posted by nickmark at 9:23 AM on September 10, 2003


These Edward Teller quotes from a previous Metafilter thread made the rounds among my friends. If they represent a fair survey of the man's mind, it was a very scary place. He comes off as coldly mathematical in his estimation of what he's been a part of. At the time I wondered whether a man could really be that even-tempered about mass destruction, or whether he had simply developed a very useful defense mechanism. Anyway, somebody should make a movie about him.
posted by Hildago at 9:36 AM on September 10, 2003


Well, Teller's gone. I wish I believe in Hell so I could believe he was burning there. Now we need Kissinger...

Vaca
posted by vaca at 10:06 AM on September 10, 2003


this quote from Hildago's link just about made me throw up:

As a human being, I was sorry for September 11. As a political person, I thought, Thank God that they killed six thousand people rather than the president.
posted by goddam at 10:51 AM on September 10, 2003


Bastard or not, the man made what is probably the largest single-handed contribution to world peace, except perhaps the Marshall Plan.

There's been a never-ending string of people who claim to have invented a weapon so deadly that it would surely bring an end to war, from Alfred Nobel and dynamite to the machine gun to the bomber. Edward Teller actually did it. The huge wars between powerful countries that were a regular occurence up until about 1955 are now a thing of the past, and for that, I thank him.
posted by jaek at 10:52 AM on September 10, 2003


I'm the father of the F-bomb.
Oh, and good riddance, Teller.
posted by ghastlyfop at 11:04 AM on September 10, 2003


There's been a never-ending string of people who claim to have invented a weapon so deadly that it would surely bring an end to war ... Edward Teller actually did it.

I feel a sweet thousand years of peace coming on.
posted by boaz at 11:06 AM on September 10, 2003


We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when,
But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.
Keep smiling through, just like you always do,
'Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away.

So will you please say hello to the folks that I know,
Tell them I won't be long.
They'll be happy to know that as you saw me go,
I was singing this song.

We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when,
But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.

So will you please say hello to the folks that I know,
Tell them I won't be long.
They'll be happy to know that as you saw me go,
I was singing this song.

Keep smiling through, just like you always do,
'Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away.
posted by kablam at 6:40 PM on September 10, 2003


From an article (03 April 2003) in the New York Times, concerning the acquisition of Terry Southern's literary archives by the New York Public Library:

"Writing to a journalist, Southern denied that Henry A. Kissinger was the model for Strangelove, saying that he was not a known quantity to him or Kubrick when they wrote the film in 1961 and 1962. The character, he said, was more or less a composite of Werner von Braun and Edward Teller, but, he added, the physical resemblance to Mr. Kissinger was 'quite remarkable and a bit scary' because of his 'ultra-hyper-super detached "logic" that can allow one to speak in terms of megadeaths.'"


Hey, kablam, thanks for the lead in!

ps. ♥ that Bob the Angry Flower!
posted by y2karl at 8:26 PM on September 10, 2003


Edward Teller simply loved technological solutions to human created problems and conflicts.

For example, he had no doubt all at that Global Warming was real or a threat. So, he proposed seeding the World's oceans with nutrients which would promote vast algal blooms to suck the extra CO2 out of the atmosphere (to then die and sink to the dead floor.) It might work too, at least in the very short term. In the long term it would be completely disastrous though, for the algal blooms would use up of most of the oxygen in the immediate sea area. This would kill off non-algal living creatures in the area and so create vast "dead zones" (like the eutrophied "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico).

It's a good thing Teller isn't still around to propose such crazy and ignorant schemes, since the GW Bush Administration might actually consider trying out some inane quick fix solutions such as this one.
posted by troutfishing at 9:17 AM on September 11, 2003


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