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Cabinet papers reveal 'secret coal pits closure plan'

Newly released cabinet papers from 1984 reveal mineworkers' union leader Arthur Scargill may have been right to claim there was a "secret hit-list" of more than 70 pits marked for closure. The government and National Coal Board said at the time they wanted to close 20. But the documents reveal a plan to shut 75 mines over three years. A key adviser to then-PM Margaret Thatcher denies any cover-up claims. The miners' strike began in March 1984 and did not end until the next year. [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jan 3, 2014 - 16 comments

Odessa Catacombs

"Hello. I`d like to tell you about Odessa katakombs. [Warning: disturbing images.] Odessa is not far from the capital of Ukraine - Kiev. Under Odessa consists the biggest katakombs in the world. Their total length is more than 2500 km, so this katakombs are much more bigger than Paris katakombs...During the World War II a lot of citizens were hiding in catacombs. A lot of them used to live there for a year and more. So even today it is possible to find weapons, equipment and even dead bodies. Every year a lot of explorers lost and even die there."
posted by Ouisch on Feb 27, 2013 - 24 comments

I Think I'm Getting The Black Lung, Pop

The harrowing lives of child miners in the early 1900's. [more inside]
posted by gman on Mar 2, 2012 - 28 comments

Furniture that really is da bomb.

"Estonian sculptor Mati Karmin creates mind-blowing furniture made out [sic] from sea mines." That is all. [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet on Apr 18, 2011 - 23 comments

Photos of the West, 1880-1890

Between 1887 and 1892, John C.H. Grabill sent 188 photographs to the Library of Congress for copyright protection. Grabill is known as a western photographer, documenting many aspects of frontier life – hunting, mining, western town landscapes and white settlers’ relationships with Native Americans.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 6, 2011 - 30 comments

Cursed By Gold

Georgina Cranston travelled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to photograph the women who work deep inside some of the country's disused gold mines. [more inside]
posted by gman on Dec 4, 2010 - 13 comments

The mother lode of contaminated sites

NASA once sent a robot in - and nobody ever saw the machine again or collected any scientific data from it... [more inside]
posted by rtha on Sep 2, 2010 - 70 comments

“So happens this dog achieved the rank of colonel in the United States Army.”

They were in the stairwell that led down to the commode, a dangerous place in its time, the Grand Central Station Men’s, but for different reasons. I saw the dirt tracks leading there, and I left the monkeys in the chandelier and followed them. I kept to the tracks careful as I could. There were pits and corrugations everywhere in the old tile, any one of which could hide a man killing gob of explosive. At my back I heard Spot complain: “Leave ‘em be, Blacks. We’ve warned ‘em, ain’t we? If they blow themselves up, it ain’t on us.”
UXO, BOMB DOG by Eliot Fintushel (single-link short fiction)
posted by grobstein on Jun 15, 2009 - 15 comments

Fire and Ice underground

Weird scenes inside the gold mica mines Russians photograph and play in an abandoned mine.
posted by Kirth Gerson on Mar 21, 2008 - 8 comments

Trespassed Against: Nickel Mines, One Year Later

"My first day on the job was the Amish school shooting at Nickel Mines in Lancaster County, Pa. in October of 2006. Here is some video of what I saw that day." Raw footage from that terrible day, recently posted to YouTube. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Oct 7, 2007 - 28 comments

damn hippies

bomb sniffing flowers. Danish, Canadian and U.S. scientists are closing in on a genetically engineered plant that will send up a floral signal: “DANGER—land mines below." Scientists in Denmark have been tinkering with Arabidopsis thaliana [...] to produce a plant [that] will turn a warning red whenever close to a land mine.” Arabidopsis can be genetically sensitized to the nitrogen-dioxide (NO2) that leaches from buried explosives.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht on May 15, 2006 - 29 comments

The Ted Kierscey Collection

The Narrow Gauge Circle hosts, among other fine features, the Ted Kierscey Collection -- page after page after page of historical photographs of Colorado's railroad and mining towns.
posted by Gator on Mar 23, 2006 - 7 comments

My favorite government agency

More than 16,000 photos related to the USGS from the years 1868 through 1992 are now available online where they may be easily searched, viewed, and downloaded free of charge. These are old stereo pairs, sites drowned by dams, geologists and surveyers in horse drawn wagons, petroglyphs, national parks, Mount St. Helens, John Wesley Powell, hoodoos, arches, ruins, mines...
posted by the Real Dan on Apr 14, 2005 - 16 comments

Damned mines

Current U.S. Administration chooses "smart anti-personnel mines" versus "dumb mines".The U.S. military will stop using always-armed, live landmines after 2010. Some may appreciate this move as a valid step toward..more "intelligent" mines, others disagree. More links inside.
posted by elpapacito on Feb 28, 2004 - 23 comments

Salt Mine Under Detroit

The history of the salt mine under the city of Detroit. Mined until 1983.
posted by NortonDC on Jun 13, 2003 - 18 comments

From Beneath You, It Devours.

Centralia, PA is a small town on top of rich, seemingly inexhaustible coal reserves in rural Pennsylvania. In May of 1962, an above ground fire ignited these underground coal mines, and the fires have burned ever since, for forty years straight. The towns population (and landscape) have been decimated. More info here.
posted by jonson on Jan 11, 2003 - 11 comments

The Self-Healing Minefield

The Self-Healing Minefield From the current Village Voice: "Utilizing commercial off-the-shelf computer chips and 'healing' software, the networked minefield detects rude attempts to clear it, deduces which parts of itself have been removed, and signals its remaining munitions to close the hole using best-fit mathematics."

Bonus ubertasteless Flash animation courtesy of DARPA here. Color me fascinated and repulsed in equal measure.
posted by Armitage Shanks on Nov 27, 2002 - 40 comments

Minesweeper

Minesweeper - It offends me so ban it!
posted by twistedonion on Jun 21, 2001 - 21 comments

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