Ready For The News

You can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.

Fifty seven years ago, on the morning of May 22nd, 1957, the Cold War nuclear arms race came incredibly close to explaining to the world, all by itself, exactly why it is such a bad, bad idea.

A 42,000-pound, 10-megaton hydrogen bomb, dropped, by accident, from a B-36 bomber of the U.S. Strategic Air Command over Kirtland Air Force Base, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The bomb, codenamed “Mark 17”, had a yield equivalent to 1 million tons of TNT, or approximately 625 “little boys”, which was the name of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

Unlike Hiroshima, or Nagasaki, Albuquerque was spared from complete obliteration that day, for reasons that are outlined in a fair amount of detail in the two articles that this post links to. What this editor thinks is most important however, is the manner in which we humans used to, and in fact continue to, toy around with forces too terrible to really ever understand.

Perhaps this is the reason why Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, released a mere seven years after the events described above, is such an extraordinary film (other of course than the fact that it is an extremely well-made film): because it states, in the most ingenious and genuinely comedic way, without ever averting its gaze from that of the viewer, that humans can sometimes be utterly and completely stupid.

Do read more here and here, while enjoying the music.

Aberrations of Light

“And your reason for so meticulously observing and reproducing the lines of this hideous creature?” you might ask.

“Its exquisite hideousness!” I would almost certainly feel obliged to reply.

Max Schreck, as the terribly charming Count Orlok.