Keiko Horikawa is a Japanese freelance journalist whose work, unknown in English translation until now, deals with the value of life and the weight of death. Her two subjects are the death penalty and the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, which has gained new urgency as bomb survivors, the hibakusha, die out after 70 years. Here is a translation of an event promoting her book about the Genbaku Kuyoto, the mound containing the unclaimed remains of approximately 70,000 bomb victims, and her effort to reunite the 815 identified remains with their families.
Scrapper, directed and produced by Stephan Wassmann, is a film about a group of survivalists, desperadoes, and range runners who risk their lives scavenging scrap metal from exploded and unexploded ordnance from the impact areas of the U.S. Navy and Marines Aerial Gunnery Range in the Chocolate Mountains of southeastern California.
Pixar's new film, The Good Dinosaur, is the second animated dinosaur film to come out in time for Thanksgiving. The previous one came out 22 years ago, with executive producer credits for Steven Spielberg and a whole host of stars lending their voices to the film, telling the story of dinosaurs coming to New York City. And it bombed. Let's go back in time and look at We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story. [more inside]
The Doomsday Scam. For decades, aspiring bomb makers — including ISIS — have desperately tried to get their hands on a lethal substance called red mercury. [more inside]
The MSF (Médecins sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders) Trauma Center in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was attacked by US forces on October 3rd. The rationale for the attack remains unclear, with differing accounts being given by US officials. MSF has condemned the attack, in which at least twenty-two people were killed, and called for an independent inquiry into the bombing. [more inside]
Someday this country’s gonna be a fine, good place to be. Maybe it needs our bones in the ground before that time can come: An essay on the summer of the Atomic Bomb, by Joni Tevis. Originally published in The Diagram
A 14 year old in Dallas builds a digital clock. He takes it to school to show his teacher. The school has him arrested. [more inside]
Alberto Nisman accused Iran and Argentina of colluding to bury a terrorist attack. Did it get him killed? [more inside]
Get your guit on. As chosen by the staff of Guitar Player. Rumble!
"In other words this bomb is so sensitive that the slightest movement either inside or outside will cause it to explode." In 1980, a bomb was smuggled into Harvey's Wagon Wheel Casino in Lake Tahoe. In an attempt to defuse it, it exploded and severely damaged the hotel. It was the largest domestic bomb to be detonated in the US until the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. And yet, no-one was killed. [more inside]
Unedited footage of the bombing of Nagasaki: This silent film shows the final preparation and loading of the "Fat Man" bomb into "Bockscar," the plane which dropped the bomb on Nagasaki. It then shows the Nagasaki explosion from the window of an observation plane. This footage comes from Los Alamos National Laboratory. (SLYT)
Gary Bolton has been found guilty of selling fake bomb detectors to countries including Iraq. In May James McCormick was sentenced for 10 years for committing a similar fraud (previously, previously, previously). The original fraud is now 20 years old.
" The House In The Middle" A 1954 Civil Defense film shows how you can protect your home against atomic firestorms via good housekeeping (13 min, YouTube)
Bomb vessels were heavily-fortified sailing ships designed to carry explosive shells. The Hecla Class of bomb vessels lived particularly interesting lives. [more inside]
So what happens when a variety of B-list actors and some extremely strange looking full-body puppets make a movie with a children's marketing expert? You get the worst opening weekend for any movie, ever.
Nearly a decade ago, Sun Jifa lost his hands in a fishing-related explosion (he was building a bomb for blast-fishing). He soon realized that he couldn't afford the prosthetic hands recommended by the hospital. Undeterred, he decided to build his own bionic hands. Eight years later...
NPR show us and tells the story of five men who agreed to stand directly below and observe a nuclear explosion.
On July 19, 1957, five Air Force officers and one photographer stood together on a patch of ground about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. They'd marked the spot 'Ground Zero. Population 5' on a hand-lettered sign hammered into the soft ground right next to them.
3... 2... 1... fontBomb! Detonate your favourite websites in stylish fashion with this experimental bookmarklet by Philippe-Antoine Lehoux. [more inside]
The Feynman Files. For the first time, FBI records for Dr Richard Feynman have been released to the public. They document the Bureau's apparent obsession in the 1950's with outing him as a communist sympathizer, and include notations from several background checks as well as interviews with his colleagues, friends and acquaintances.
"A day after the 44th nuclear test explosion in the U.S. rent the still Nevada air, observers cautiously inspected department store mannequins which were poised disheveled but still haughty on the sand in the homes of Yucca Flat."
To the Iranian people. To all the fathers, mothers, children, brothers and sisters. For there to be a war between us, first we must be afraid of each other, we must hate. I'm not afraid of you, I don't hate you. I don t even know you. No Iranian ever did me no harm. I never even met an Iranian...Just one in Paris in a museum. Nice dude. [more inside]
Los Alamos National Laboratory has posted 10 minutes of newly discovered color home movie footage of the scientists of the Manhattan Project, at work and at play, shot by physicist Hugh Bradner. Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrets Blog notes some highlights and adds context.
The B53 wasn’t just any old megabomb. It was the first bunker buster. U.S. nuclear doctrine called for it to be delivered over suspected underground Soviet command-and-control facilities. The dumb bomb wouldn’t destroy them so much as it would destroy everything remotely near it, leaving — literally — a smoldering crater. That was the U.S. plan for “victory” in a nuclear war right up until the implosion of the Soviet Empire. (related) [more inside]
Hiroshima after the atomic bomb 360º panoramas of the destruction, taken six months after.
The Bomb That Didn't Go Off. Since September 11, 2001, we have finely honed our fear of the other. But the truth is, the overwhelming majority of our terrorism has always been homegrown. And it is times like these — times of anger and disaffection — when we turn on ourselves, and kill. [more inside]
John Coster-Mullen didn't finish his university degree in physics, yet in less than ten years of spare time, he figured out how to make Fat Man and Little Boy, while driving semis for a living. What started as an effort to make replicas of the bombs for the 40th anniversary of the detonation of the two atomic bombs became a larger challenge to simply to present readers with accurate information about the past. [more inside]
Back in 2003, MetaFilter noted a very strange bank robbery in which the robber was also a particularly desperate victim. Seven years later, the story has become even more gnarled and mysterious, despite the ultimate conviction of a 'mastermind'. The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist. [more inside]
Sam Cohen, Father of the Neutron Bomb RIP. Remembered by many for his influence on Alex Cox's movie, Repo Man. He wrote an interesting autobiography. It was initially published on the web but now has become a rare book. [more inside]
This list of commercial airliner bombings appears in the Ask a Rocket Scientist section of Aerospaceweb.org. It presents a comprehensive and descriptive catalog of 86 bombings and attempted bombings since 1933, 54 of which resulted in fatalities, and offers some information that might be relevant to the question of airline security.
Lookout Mountain Laboratories (Hollywood, CA) was originally built in 1941 as an air defense station. But after WWII, the US Air Force repurposed it into a secret film studio which operated for 22 years during the Cold War. The studio produced classified movies for all branches of the US Armed Forces, as well as the Atomic Energy Commission, until it was deactivated in 1969. During this time, cameramen, who referred to themselves as "atomic" cinematographers, were hired to shoot footage of atomic bomb tests in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and the South Pacific. Some of their films have been declassified and can be seen here. [more inside]
In 1969, George Schlatter was riding high as the producer of the high ratings blockbuster, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. So when Schlatter pitched a show to ABC that was like Laugh In only more so (with faster jokes, faster editing, and even more outrageous topical humor), ABC was willing to let Schlatter have free rein. The result was Turn-On, a show that bombed so badly it was cancelled the very night it aired. [more inside]
"With the renewed interest in nuclear weapons I have been struck by how few people there still are who have seen one explode." Jeremy Bernstein looks back on the two above-ground tests he witnessed in 1957. "Smoky" and "Galileo" were part of Operation Plumbbob, a series of 29 tests.
Iraq Swears by Bomb Detector U.S. (Correctly) Sees as Useless. Similar to the now debunked Sniffex (as seen previously on Metafilter), the ADE651 detects explosives, firearms, grenades, narcotics, elephant ivory, bank notes, and according to its manufacturer's website, "human research." [more inside]
Ground Zero 1945: Pictures by Atomic Bomb Survivors. Astonishing works created more than 25 years after the event, many accompanied by artist's comments. [disturbing, possibly NSWF artworks] [more inside]
I am Myra Breckinridge whom no man will ever possess. Clad only in garter belt and one dress shield, I held off the entire elite of the Trobriand Islanders, a race who possess no words for "why" or "because." Wielding a stone axe, I broke the arms, the limbs, the balls (nsfw) of their finest warriors, my beauty blinding them, as it does all men... [more inside]
The Unabomber was right. Kevin Kelly explains.
Yarn Bombing. I guess it had to happen eventually. Graffiti with yarn some say. Keeping trees, benches and what have you warm and fuzzy.
"When you’re on your own in that pit with the bomb in the middle of a city, it’s strange how everything suddenly goes totally quiet..." Interview with one of Germany's most experienced bomb disposal experts as he retires. Photogallery.
This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. - The BBC releases its script for use in the event of nuclear war.
Jack "Marvel" Whiteside Parsons was the right hand man to Aleister Crowley, a founder of modern US rocket science, and early partner to L Ron Hubbard. Celebrate July 4th by investigating this major character in the birth of our age. [more inside]
Remember Tang? The news from England is that the 2006 terrorists were going to use it to create an in-flight bomb. [more inside]
"There is not a bomb by the entrance of the museum" was the telephone message delivered to a museum employee at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum Wednesday evening. This, along with the posting of a video on YouTube entitled The fake bombing at the ROM, Toronto, 28.11.07 led to the cancellation of a gala AIDS fundraiser at the Museum and a massive police investigation. Today, Ontario College of Art and Design student Thorarinn Ingi Jonsson claimed responsibility for the "art project".
They claimed they would destroy all television with their business. $100 million and one cast member of First Kid later, all they had were massive amounts of failure, tremendous parties with Bryan Singer, and many, many, many allegations of sexual molestation. Now they hide in the Spanish Riviera and hire Chinese sweatshop workers to mine for World of Warcraft items. Check as well the original 2000 LA Times expose on the company, to say nothing of the "gay pedophile version of Silver Spoons" which remains their finest artistic achievement. via boingboing [more inside]