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Tagged with “war” (21)
Philly band The War On Drugs perform material from their 2014 release "Lost In The Dream". Recorded 3/28/2014 - 4 songs:
- An Ocean In Between The Waves,
- Eyes To The Wind,
- Red Eyes,
Berlin makes for an interesting backdrop for President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss recent revelations about NSA surveillance. It was there, during the Cold War, that the United States and the Soviet Union focused much of their espionage activity.
After World War Berlin lay in ruins, its buildings reduced to rubble. The Russians used tons of that rubble, including parts of Hitler’s chancellery, to build a giant war memorial in what would become Soviet East Berlin.
The Americans created a hill out of their rubble. The artificial hill, built on top of a never-completed Nazi military-technical college, was dubbed Teufelsberg, German for “Devil’s Mountain.” At 260 feet, it was hardly a mountain. But it was tall enough for the NSA to point antennas hundreds of miles into East Germany.
Samantha Nutt, Founder and Executive Director of War Child Canada, and author of the book Damned Nations speaks at The Grandest Challenge Symposium.
Good times. Bad Movies.
The movie: Future War
Episode guest: Lauren Beukes
The Highlights: Robots with mustaches, The Beard of Alan Moore, Dinosaurs, Thumbs, Guns, Nuns, and Flannel. So much flannel.
In November 1941, two warships from Australia and Germany clashed off the coast of western Australia. Both sank. Despite extensive search efforts during and after World War II, the ships weren’t found until 2008, after a team of psychologists analyzed the statements given by the surviving German crew members.
On 17 June 1940, HMT Lancastria was sunk by a German bomber while evacuating troops from St Nazaire; over 9,000 troops were packed on board. The exact number of soldiers who died that day will never be known, though even the lowest estimates rank this as the worst British maritime disaster in history, with losses exceeding those of the Titanic and Lusitania combined. This talk attempts to explain why so many who were lost will never be accounted for.
The evening began with a short version of Isao Ishimoto’s animation of all the world’s atomic explosions in the period 1945 to 1998. The total is shocking to most people—-2,053. Rhodes commented that seeing the bomb tests on a world map over time shows how much they were a strange form of communication between nations. He also noted how the number of tests dropped from decades of intensity to near zero after 1993. In this century only North Korea has tested bombs, and those could be the last explosions.
Most Americans, he’s found, think that we don’t have nuclear weapons any more, and that may reflect a realistic perception that we no longer need them. But our government keeps looking for reasons to keep them, and maintaining the current much reduced arsenal still costs $50 billion a year.
How much did the Cold War cost everyone from 1948 to 1991, and how much of that was for nuclear weapons? The total cost has been estimated at $18.5 trillion, with $7.8 trillion for nuclear. At the peak the Soviet Union had 95,000 weapons and the US had 20 to 40,000. America’s current seriously degraded infrastructure would cost about $2.2 trillion to fix—-all the gas lines and water lines and schools and bridges. We spent that money on bombs we never intended to use—-all of the Cold War players, major and minor, told Rhodes that everyone knew that the bombs must not and could not be used. Much of the nuclear expansion was for domestic consumption: one must appear "ahead," even though numbers past a couple dozen warheads were functionally meaningless.
Rhodes noted that people fear the blast and radiation effects of atomic bombs, but it’s really the fires that are most destructive. The fireball ignites everything far beyond the blast effects. As a result, nuclear winter remains a threat. Former researchers of nuclear winter used sophisticated new climate models to assess what would happen if, say, there was an exchange of 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs (1.5 kilotons) between India and Pakistan. The smoke clouds would disrupt the weather long enough to collapse some agriculture, leading to starvation of as many as a billion people.
Serious efforts are underway to get the world’s nuclear weapons down toward zero. All weapons-grade highly enriched uranium (HEU) is being tallied and secured. Sophisticated, unrestrained inspection systems are gaining ever more access. In some cases, arsenals are being "virtualized"—-nuclear capability substitutes for weapons stockpiles. India and Pakistan, for instance, have disassembled their nuclear weapons into widely separated parts that would take considerable time and deliberation to reassemble.
In the course of his research, Rhodes shifted from opposition to nuclear power for electricity to becoming a strong proponent. Among its benefits is offering a way for the thousands of warheads to be converted into something useful when diluted into large quantities of reactor fuel. Also the international fuel banking proposed for bringing proliferation-free nuclear power to developing nations can help enable more thorough inspections of all fissile material.
At dinner Rhodes reflected that nuclear weapons may come to be seen as a strange fetishistic behavior by nations at a certain period in history. They were insanely expensive and thoroughly useless. Their only function was to keep a bizarre form of score.
Black Sabbath’s War Pigs vs. Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love.
Ever wondered what might have happened if Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin got together for a studio session 37 odd years ago?
Wonder no more…
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