Friday, July 23, 2010

What the Hell were We Thinking?

I'm almost finished reading a very interesting book about US nuclear weapons design and testing. Much of the information is only recently declassified. It's absolutely fascinating stuff. And profoundly depressing, just how willing humanity was to come to the brink of apocalypse and stare into the abyss.

A Japanese artist, Isao Hashimoto, made a flash animation of every nuclear detonation between 1945 (the Trinity tests, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki) and 1998 (India and Pakistan). It's very sobering, watching over 2000 blips on that screen. Each one wquivalent to between 100 and 50,000,000 TONS of trinitrotolulene (TNT). It's well worth the 13 minutes to watch. It starts out slow, but around 3:30 in it gets crazy.

The only possible detonations not shown are the 2006 and 2009 North Korean tests and the Vela Incident, a possible Israeli test in 1979.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is... sobering, scary, and eerie at best. I'm pretty sure that when I saw this on BA, I linked it to almost everybody I thought would watch it...