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November 1, 2010 12:42 PM   Subscribe

The nuclear weapons simulator at CarlosLabs (previously) has been updated to include fallout wind drift, pressure and thermal events to evaluate the impact of everything from a suitcase nuke to the Tsar Bomba on your city. The Missile Range Tool can show if you are in the vicinity of any delivery systems currently in service, or compare your location to the range of those used historically, such as the V2. For the effects of the cosmic collisions of asteroids and comets (and featuring rather more science) there's the Earth Impact Effects Program.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul (41 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Am I using the Missile Range Tool incorrectly, or does it just not include US nuclear missiles? Their general location, payload, and range are far from secret.
posted by muddgirl at 12:48 PM on November 1, 2010


Am I using the Missile Range Tool incorrectly, or does it just not include US nuclear missiles? Their general location, payload, and range are far from secret.

No British or French missiles either. Bad Guys only, evidently.
posted by theodolite at 12:49 PM on November 1, 2010


Good point.
posted by muddgirl at 12:52 PM on November 1, 2010


I'm trying to use the Earth Impact Effects Program to figure out how fast I'd have to be moving to knock the earth off its axis with my car.

So far, the answer appears to be "Really, really fucking fast."
posted by quin at 12:52 PM on November 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Bad Guys from the Past, even. Are you safe from missile attacks from Germany in 1918 and/or 1944? ARE YOU?!?!?!?!
posted by Gator at 12:52 PM on November 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


To save you some time, here's what happens if a 500 mile wide rock slams into New York at 0.9c:

"The Earth is completely disrupted by the impact and its debris forms a new asteroid belt orbiting the sun between Venus and Mars."
posted by theodolite at 12:59 PM on November 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


The clouds beneath the aircraft and in the distance were lit up by the powerful flash. The sea of light spread under the hatch and even clouds began to glow and became transparent. At that moment, our aircraft emerged from between two cloud layers and down below in the gap a huge bright orange ball was emerging. The ball was powerful and arrogant like Jupiter. Slowly and silently it crept upwards.... Having broken through the thick layer of clouds it kept growing. It seemed to suck the whole earth into it. The spectacle was fantastic, unreal, supernatural.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:10 PM on November 1, 2010


Is Hiroshima really that small? When I simulate Little Boy, it basically just destroys my little borough.
posted by smackfu at 1:14 PM on November 1, 2010


DEFCON
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:15 PM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bad Guys from the Past, even. Are you safe from missile attacks from Germany in 1918 and/or 1944? ARE YOU?!?!?!?!

Nazi Rocket Time Machines: "We raced Germany for the ultimate superweapon, but there was no way we could catch up."

Reich to the Future, coming to a theater near you.
posted by yeloson at 1:25 PM on November 1, 2010


Why is everyone trying to destroy the entire Earth? Folks, let's start small. First, destroy the Yankees. Then Texas. Then France. Then you can try destroying the entire world.

Priorities, people.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:36 PM on November 1, 2010


Is this post a warm up to the release of Fall Out New Vegas? Also can I download this on my Pip Boy?

Also fuck pepsi blue make mine a Nuka-cola !

ok i'm done.
posted by nola at 1:36 PM on November 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nazi Rocket Time Machines

Finally! Pynchon can now do sequels for both Gravity's Rainbow AND Against The Day in a single volume.

I would probably read that book.
posted by hippybear at 1:38 PM on November 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is Hiroshima really that small?

Nukes are surprisingly weak. The global cataclysm of nuclear winter is due to wildfires ignited by the blasts. A terrorist cell with a few white panel vans, a few crates of Molotovs, and a coordinated arson strategy aimed at dry vegetation would do thousands of times more damage than a short stack of mythical suitcase nukes.

Fallout from nukes is also overrated. Sure it's a problem for you if you get radiation sickness or cancer. But the majority of the daughter products decay away in a decade, and raised background radiation only has a marginal effect on wildlife.
posted by clarknova at 1:38 PM on November 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Is this post a warm up to the release of Fall Out New Vegas? Also can I download this on my Pip Boy?

New Vegas is already out, man!

(If you consider that bug-ridden piece of crap out. Sigh. It's broken and it crashes every ten minutes, but I still can't stop playing it. Just imagine if they had released a game that actually worked.)
posted by kbanas at 1:40 PM on November 1, 2010


theodolite: unfortunately, the tool doesn't seem to take into account relativistic effects, so it thinks that rock has only one-third as much kinetic energy as it actually does!
posted by Serf at 1:46 PM on November 1, 2010


Metafilter: powerful and arrogant like Jupiter.
posted by notsnot at 1:50 PM on November 1, 2010


hippybear: "Nazi Rocket Time Machines

Finally! Pynchon can now do sequels for both Gravity's Rainbow AND Against The Day in a single volume.

I would probably read that book.
"

I thought I already had.
posted by Splunge at 1:50 PM on November 1, 2010


and raised background radiation only has a marginal effect on wildlife.

There's also some belief that low-dose radiation exposure may be cancer-preventive; there was at least one study of nuclear dock workers that showed they lived longer than non-irradiated peers, statistically about the same as not getting cancer.

Ingested radiation is, apparently, always bad, even in the smallest doses, but if it stays external to you, it appears that small amounts may be somewhat beneficial. This effect is called 'hormesis'. Much like small amounts of alcohol can prevent some kinds of brain disease, it appears small amounts of radiation can trigger cell-repair or destruction mechanisms and prevent cancer. This not yet widely accepted, however.... I believe 'lifetime total dose' is still mainstream thinking on the matter.

We do know that wildlife gets along great in environments that will kill humans quite quickly. It apparently only takes a few generations for latent genes for rad-resistance to become active again, and then populations set up shop and live pretty normal lives. The radiation is a lot less dangerous than humans are.
posted by Malor at 1:59 PM on November 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hot Fudge Tuesdae!
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 2:03 PM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


disturbing.
posted by bhb at 2:05 PM on November 1, 2010


I opened the website and noticed that the default map was centered on Beijing.

Jee whillikers, guys!

Then I reloaded and oh, it's just a random pick.
posted by circular at 2:15 PM on November 1, 2010


I thought the extensive range of the DF-5 was rather alarming, so I looked it up. Apparently, "Dongfeng" is Chinese for "East Wind." Pretty! However, "One of the downsides of the missile is that it takes between 30 and 60 minutes to fuel." Awww, bummer.
posted by Gator at 2:33 PM on November 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've been trying and trying to come up with some joke about how anything to do with Fallout will inevitably be full of so many bugs you can't use it, but I failed, and anyway this is really cool so I probably shouldn't try to derail it.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 2:33 PM on November 1, 2010


Damnit, kbanas, I didn't see your comment.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 2:34 PM on November 1, 2010


Is the fallout backwards? The prevailing wind is a west wind in Calgary, i.e. it blows to the east, but the simulator is showing the fallout blowing west. Same thing for Santa Monica, which as far as I know has a prevailing west wind as well.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:49 PM on November 1, 2010


In the Carloslabs map, "Pressure" and "Thermal" show graded colors in concentric circles that, I presume are ranges of temperature and pressure. Is there a legend somewhere that indicates what those values are, and what the estimated destruction levels associated with them might be? Is the outermost circle just a lower value of "total destruction", or is it the lowest range of values for "if you are outside of this you will see a bright flash and hear a really loud noise, but your two story wood frame house will probably be mostly intact"?
posted by Xoebe at 2:51 PM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I sincerely hope we never find out how accurate the Simulator is.
posted by bearwife at 2:54 PM on November 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Xoebe, if you click on the marker in the middle of the map you get the legend.
posted by Paragon at 2:57 PM on November 1, 2010


It's too bad the E.T.A. kids in Infinite Jest didn't have this for their hardcore Eschaton games.
posted by elder18 at 3:41 PM on November 1, 2010


Metafilter: Nukes are surprisngly weak.
posted by timsteil at 3:46 PM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now why don't you just take it easy, Group Captain, and please make me a drink of grain alcohol and rainwater, and help yourself to whatever you'd like.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 4:03 PM on November 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ah, cool, thanks, Paragon!
posted by Xoebe at 4:13 PM on November 1, 2010


ATTENTION: CANE RATTLING ABOUT TO BEGIN

If I may:

I grew up with the Cold War, through the Cuban Missile Crisis and in a very weird way, I sort of liked it. In the same way people get their ya yas out reading a horror novel, mine was 24/7, and real. It was pure danger and adrenalin to me.

In the service, I was ( and yes this might sound like night manager at McDonalds to some of you) Asst. Nuclear WeaponsTraining Officer, in a a place that stocked, and loaded nuclear weapons, and was alway on ready alert.

They are incredibly seductive. You run your hand over one of those babies, and I swear it is hotter than the best piece of ass you could ever imagine. This ain't about an hour of fun, this is I can destroy your country with this. If I load this son of a bitch, I can bring about the end of all human existence on this planet. I can destroy this world, and by doing so, create a new one.

I have become God.

This is why it pains me a tad to see this laid out as a video game, and hear folks dismiss it so easily, wondering about the "playability" of the game and whatnot.

There are subs right now from a lot of nations, underwater, off your coast and ready to launch. There are silos all over the world with guys waiting for a launch order, There are missles sitting with command and control in the hands of a 1st LT somewhere in Eurasia who might just be having a bad day. They are all still there, and pointed at the exact same places they have been for 50 years.

Nonproliferation my ass.

When I got out of the service, I interviewed four Hiroshima survivors, and obviously the stories they had were terrible to hear, and I was certanly moved by what I heard. But i am not sure it changed my mind much.

That's why these weapons will never, ever go away. Because once you know what you can do with one, you know you have the power of life and death. It's the same way you hear about a cop who served thirty years and never drew his weapon, yet he always had the power of life and death over one person should he need it.

You pat one of those bad boys, and you know you have the power of life and death over a planet, should you ever need it.

Forget where the quote comes from, but something to the effect, that "I know the Third World War will be fought with nuclear weapons, and the Fourth will be fought with sticks and rocks."

Just saying, as enjoyable as the game may be, it would be wise to remember it is still out there, in the real world and all.
posted by timsteil at 4:29 PM on November 1, 2010 [15 favorites]


Is the fallout backwards? The prevailing wind is a west wind in Calgary, i.e. it blows to the east, but the simulator is showing the fallout blowing west. Same thing for Santa Monica, which as far as I know has a prevailing west wind as well.

Yeah, same with Vancouver. It must be a default thing.

Nothing in the simulator disturbed me as much as timstell's comment has, to be honest.
posted by jokeefe at 5:30 PM on November 1, 2010


I don't think I've ever flagged something as "fantastic comment" without favoriting it. Yikes.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:03 PM on November 1, 2010


"I know the Third World War will be fought with nuclear weapons, and the Fourth will be fought with sticks and rocks."

Einstein, I believe it was. Who would have been thoroughly shocked by what you just wrote, timsteil.

I'm kinda shocked too, but I can understand what you're saying, I get it. I felt that way when I learned how to shoot a rifle and found that I was surprisingly good at it. Knowing you have that kind of power to kill from a distance, it's kind of an intense thought...

...when you're 16.

I got over that feeling before I turned 18, and since you remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, you're older than I am, so I'm kind of dismayed that you would still roll that feeling through your mind so clearly. I can't feel the same way that I did about using a rifle. I got really upset when I taught my wife about and how to use my shotgun, because imagining a situation where she would have to use it was heartbreaking. I don't ever want to use my shotgun against a person, it would be horrific.

Thinking "godlike" thoughts about using a nuclear weapon... that's rather far outside the realm of my consciousness, I think. I'm sure it would happen to a lot of people in your position, but that's a very dangerous line of thought to go down. :\
posted by zoogleplex at 9:31 PM on November 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


The Einstein quote is closer to
I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
but it sounds like he said several variations.

I don't find timsteil's description of the seductiveness of power surprising or shocking. I think it's a very human failing.
posted by hattifattener at 12:11 AM on November 2, 2010


it's kind of an intense thought ... when you're 16.

Some people never grow up.
posted by moonbiter at 1:38 AM on November 2, 2010


Interesting that the suitcase bomb at 1 kiloton bomb does more damage than the Fat Boy (21 kiloton) in that demonstration.
posted by rmmcclay at 2:19 AM on November 2, 2010


"I do not believe that civilization will be wiped out in a war fought with the atomic bomb. Perhaps two thirds of the people of the Earth might be killed. But men capable of thinking, and enough books, would be left to start again, and civilization could be restored."

Albert Einstein, "Atomic War or Peace?" - 1945
posted by timsteil at 6:57 AM on November 2, 2010


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