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The Big Picture

This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 10, 2013 - 6 comments

PLUTONIUM MOUNTAIN

From 1949 onwards, the closed city of Semipalatinsk (now Semey, Kazakhstan) was the test site for 456 nuclear devices. The test site was known as "The Polygon." Testing was stopped in 1989, but the long term effects remained. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 6, 2013 - 11 comments

Destroyer Gods and Sons-of-Bitches

In the telling it has the contours of a creation myth: At a time of great evil and great terror, a small group of scientists, among the world’s greatest minds, secluded themselves in the desert. In secrecy and silence they toiled at their Promethean task. They sought the ultimate weapon, one of such great power as to end not just their war, but all war. They hoped their work would salvage the future. They feared it could end everything. - Prometheus in the desert: from atom bombs to radio astronomy, New Mexico's scientific legacy
posted by Artw on Nov 24, 2012 - 22 comments

Paradise*

The sky is a deep cobalt blue; coconut palms, orange-limbed and yellow-fringed, sway in the steady trade winds. There are still breadfruit trees and pandanus trees and flame trees with brilliant red blossoms. Two hundred yards to the north, a coral reef meets the full, transparent blue violence of the Pacific. There is just one problem, though you could stare at this palm grove for a lifetime and never see it. The soil under our feet, whitish gray in color with flecks of coral, contains a radioactive isotope called cesium 137. In high enough doses, it can burn you and kill you quickly; at lower levels, it just takes longer to do the job, eventually causing cancer.(via)

posted by ChuraChura on Oct 22, 2012 - 47 comments

The Cake Felt 'Round the World

Less than a year after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States detonated the fourth and fifth nuclear weapons under the name Operation Crossroads in July 1946. Beyond testing the capabilities of nuclear bombs, the Navy said it wanted the Bikini tests treated like "the story of the year, maybe of the decade, and possibly of a lifetime." Only two of the three bombs were detonated, and the project was shut down over the next months. To celebrate the efforts of Operation Crossroads, a cake in the shape of a mushroom cloud was featured at a publicized event on November 5, 1946. In response to this display, Reverend Arthur Powell Davies, the minister of the Unitarian All Souls Church in Washington, D.C., gave a sermon on the "utterly loathsome picture" and the message it sent to other nations. That sermon set off a flurry of replies and reactions, that extended around the world, including a connection formed between Reverend Davies' All Souls Unitarian Church and school children in Hiroshima. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 8, 2010 - 62 comments

Oppenheimer Centennial

J. Robert Oppenheimer Centennial: It is telling that the first atomic test would be named in reference to a poem by John Donne ("Trinity") and the next series of tests would be labeled simply alphabetically according to military protocol ("Able," "Baker," "X-ray," "Yoke," and "Zebra"). It is indicative of the changing of hands of the bomb, moving from the responsibility of intellectual eclectics like Oppenheimer into the protocols of military rank and policy. See also the Oppenheimer Affair. Via Science NetWatch.
posted by jjray on Apr 23, 2004 - 4 comments

Barefoot Gen

'Barefoot Gen is a vivid autobiographical story. Artist Keiji Nakazawa was only seven years old when the Atomic Bomb destroyed his beautiful home city of Hiroshima. The Artist's "Gen" manga (visual novel), tells the tale of one family's struggle to survive in the dreadful shadow of war ... '
"I named my main character Gen in the hope that he would become a root or source of strength for a new generation, one that can tread the charred soil of Hiroshima barefoot, feel the earth beneath its feet, and have the strength to say "NO" to nuclear weapons.... "
More survivors' stories :- Nagasaki Nightmare, the art of the hibakusha, or A-bomb survivors.
Voice of Hibakusha includes eye-witness accounts of the atom bombing of Hiroshima. Here are more testimonies of survivors. (Via the A-Bomb WWW Museum). A personal record of Hiroshima A-bomb survival, posted to a message board, with responses from readers.
Remembering Nagasaki, a slide-show of Nagasaki after the A-bomb.
The story of Sadako, an A-bomb victim, and the Thousand Paper Cranes project she inspired.
posted by plep on Apr 13, 2003 - 15 comments

How to build a bomb

How to build a bomb isn't all there is to the Internet as press would have you think. Anyway it's harder than just getting some plans, as this guy found out. So why not build a bomb shelter instead? Or build your own train, hovercraft, speedboat, car or plane - can't fly - don't worry build a flight simulator! Toast your success with DIY firewater cooked with your solar furnace. Enjoy your CB radio, listen to MP3s or toy with your sextant. And with all the kinky clothes and loads of pervy toys to make who has time to build bombs? I can see the bumper stickers now "Make leg spreaders, not war!"
posted by DrDoberman on Oct 14, 2002 - 13 comments

Of the three ways in which the A-Bomb can hurt you, RADIATION IS THE LEAST HARMFUL.

Of the three ways in which the A-Bomb can hurt you, RADIATION IS THE LEAST HARMFUL. An earlier post reminded me of this pamphlet from the Massachusetts Civil Defense Agency. Not as much fun as Duck & Cover, to be sure, but terribly earnest. Remember: Stay down for at least one minute.
posted by idiolect on Mar 14, 2001 - 3 comments

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