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Thursday Open Thread

by DoDo Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 11:41:18 AM EST

What's up, what's down?


Display:
BBC News - Train fire halts Eurostar traffic in Channel Tunnel
Train services are being resumed in the Channel Tunnel after a freight train fire on the French side caused traffic to be suspended, the operator says.

...Paul Cunningham, Europe correspondent for the Irish public broadcaster RTE, witnessed the fire from a London-bound Eurostar passenger train waiting to enter the tunnel at the French end.

In dramatic updates on Twitter, he described how the two trains passed each other.

"Train emerges from Channel Tunnel with car ablaze while on transporter," he wrote.

"The blazing saloon on the transporter passed within 20 metres of our Eurostar. Not exactly reassuring!

"The car closest to the transporter cab was ablaze. 2 other cars behind it - one of which also seemed to be catching fire."

This time it was only a service disruption and damage to cargo, but yet again, a fire affecting a freight shuttle, and yet again, exposure to wind in the open car fanned the flames. (I criticised this in Cost-saving and the Eurotunnel fire four years ago and again in Chunnel safety in February last year.) Maybe critics should focus on this, instead of the non-issue of distributed traction.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 11:50:11 AM EST
It will keep happening cos they'll not change it. After all, even if the insurers refuse to pay out, both govts are the final guarantors.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 11:54:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sun is up, temperature is down.
by asdf on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 12:12:10 PM EST
Actually, the temperature is up also. It's at least 65F outside.
by asdf on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 05:15:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was maybe 25 years ago that I was (first) told about but missed the 1983 American TV movie The Day After on a TV re-run. I heard it praised and heard it had an effect on Ronald Reagan, but feared a standard cheesy Hollywood script. Ever since, I never got to watch a TV re-run, catching maybe five minutes of it. But a few days ago when looking for something on nuclear bombs on YouTube, I found it uploaded in its entirety and watched it.

While the film started off with an awful lot of ideal-America scenes, and the special effects interspersed with old nuclear test film reels aren't that convincing today, I found the creators did a pretty decent job: the portrayal of the entry of the escalation into the public's collective sub-conscious, people choosing different routes to survival which all prove problematic, avoiding to tell viewers who fired the rockets first, the nowhere-to-go-home feeling of the scene when the people on the highway see several mushroom clouds rising in the distance, focus on the aftermath rather than the initial destruction (even though they left out nuclear winter), scenes when speeches by officials ring hollow as society disintegrates, and no ersatz happy ending as basically all main characters die or are close to dying by the film's end.

While watching the film on YouTube, I saw a link to another movie on the same subject uploaded in its entirety: the BBC's Threads from 1984. I watched it the next evening. Later I found this reviewer comment quoted on the film's Wikipedia page:

"Threads makes The Day After look like A Day at the Races."

I totally concur. For direct comparison there are even parallel scenes and situations (a shotgun wedding couple, a widowed bride going nuts and leaving the shelter, childbirth in living hell), which were done much more realistically and powerfully. A deviation into a spectacle is held in check by keeping to a faux docu-drama format, with sequences of narration and B&W photos and written text to put things into scale. The portrayal of the pre-war situation includes both an escalation of authoritarianism (clampdown on protests and 'subversives') and preparations for the aftermath. The film is then really meticulous in taking apart the preparations for the aftermath and showing how everything from healthcare to agriculture would fall apart. There isn't a hint of false sentimental positiveness for the survivors. Unlike The Day After, this film also covers the post-blast fires, hunger riots, the nuclear winter, miscarriage, and long-term non-lethal radiation effects. In fact, while The Day After covers a few weeks, maybe a few month's time, the plot of Threads spans about 15 years. The effects and acting in this film don't look as aged as those in The Day After (even if Thatcherite Britain does), so it's still not for the faint-hearted.

The Wikipedia page and the video's caption on YouTube indicates that this film disappeared into the archives for almost two decades, so I wonder: has any of you seen it?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 12:53:51 PM EST
Saw The Day After when it was broadcast and Threads on YouTube.  

Interestingly, polling subsequent to the TDA broadcast indicated a sharp increase in support for the US's "nuclear deterrent."  The depiction of how bad things would get following a nuclear war were so horrific the public decided no politician in their right mind would subject their country its effects, thus the nuclear deterrent actually dettered.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 01:19:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Evidently they were never aware of the lunatics, such as Curtis Le May, who had their fingers twitching near the button

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 01:29:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Curtis "Bombs Away!" Le May was a spent force by 1983.  Games Theorists had taken over Air Force planning and were well versed in the concept and nuances of a Zero Sum Game.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 01:49:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about the US, but over here we were so used to seeing bezerkers such as Le May having to be forcibly kept away from annihilating us that we no longer believed that adults might be in control

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 01:56:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More like functional pyschopaths than adults.  Whether the job of contemplating and planning for mega-death attracted them or 'turned' them is a open question.  Something about the Banality of Evil should be wedged in, as well.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 02:25:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually at the time both Cold War rivals had more than enough nuclear deterrents. That had been the scope of détente following SALT I. Détente was brutally murdered by Scoop Jackson and assorted Commie haters.

Both films did cool down for a brief period attempts by the Committee of Present Danger to launch into major armaments on the pretext that the Soviet Union had surpassed the US and was seeking first strike capabilities.

To set the record straight, it was Carter, the Nobel Peace prizer, who caved into rearmament. Reagan, despite his rhetoric never did go beyond what Carter had already set in motion. Fortunately, Reagan dumped Haig for the far more intelligent craftsman, Schultz, who effectively held a steady helm despite the crackpots in the Pentagon and Congress.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 02:45:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was Carter who agreed to put medium range missiles in Germany and who authorized the development of the neutron bomb, IIRCC. For most of his presidency Reagan was just a highly effective script reader and hit his marks and presented his speech as provided. But, when he met Gorby and figured out the enemy were human beings with children also, he got really excited about the possibility of actually eliminating nuclear weapons and seriously alarmed his national defense team. Also, this was around the time that the nuclear winter was just emerging as the clincher as to why a thermonuclear exchange would just kill almost everyone and leave those still alive wishing they were dead. Paul Sagan helped drive that into popular consciousness, bless him.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 08:17:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could you (both of you) write more about this?

I did know that the Carter admin re-launched the Cold War before Reagan came, in particular with nuclear deployments in Europe (though then West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt claimed recently that the Pershing deployment was his idea in which he took the Americans along). They were also the ones who started the meddling in Afghanistan with the idea to give the Soviet Union their Vietnam. However, it was my impression that the Carter admin stuff was still within the bounds of classic deterrence and MAD.

At least parts of the Reagan admin, however, seriously considered winning a nuclear war, as reflected in the missile defense boondoggle, the increased nuclear testing and the military budget increases. Words also have an effect, whether on or off the script, for example not a few of us outside the US well remember when Reagan thought it is a good joke to do a sound test with a mock announcement of the launch of an attack on Russia.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 04:29:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Doing a search on this, I found:

Jimmy Carter's Controversial Nuclear Targeting Directive PD-59 Declassified

Washington, D.C., September 14, 2012 - The National Security Archive is today posting - for the first time in its essentially complete form - one of the most controversial nuclear policy directives of the Cold War. Presidential Directive 59 (PD-59), "Nuclear Weapons Employment Policy," signed by President Jimmy Carter on 25 July 1980, aimed at giving U.S. Presidents more flexibility in planning for and executing a nuclear war, but leaks of its Top Secret contents, within weeks of its approval, gave rise to front-page stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post that stoked wide-spread fears about its implications for unchecked nuclear conflict.

...In this context, the press coverage quickly generated controversy by raising apprehensions that alleged changes in U.S. strategy might lower the threshold of a decision by either side to go nuclear, which could inject dangerous uncertainty into the already fragile strategic balance. The press coverage elicited debate inside and outside the government, with some arguing that the PD would aggravate Cold War tensions by increasing Soviet fears about vulnerability and raising pressures for launch-on-warning in a crisis. Adding to the confusion was the fact that astonishingly, even senior government officials who had concerns about the directive did not have access to it.

The details that follow are haunting, even more so than what was leaked in 1980. Like in Reagan times, both sides acted on a fear of the other side thinking of gaining a first strike capability but ignorant of the other side's similar fears. But what the Carter admin wanted was to reduce the threat of all-out nuclear war by creating the option of limited nuclear war (this idea was actually started by the Nixon admin). Launch-on-warning was in there already, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 05:29:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was thirty years ago, I have no written documentation of the period and I am glad you found the name Pershing, which would not come to my memory. Carter was a nuclear engineer and an acolyte of Hyman Rickover, the father of the nuclear navy. His '76 campaign targeted me early in primary season because of my physics degree. I supported him and voted for him both in '76 and '80.

I suspect that Carter never fully got his mind around all of the implications of Mutually Assured Destruction. He probably thought there were technical fixs available and being able to decapitate Soviet leadership with Pershing Missiles launched from West Germany was part of it and would make a nuclear war 'winnable'. Another part of it was the 'neutron bomb' which maximized damage to animal life while minimizing damage to physical infrastructure. I was reminded of the joke motto of the Army Chemical Corps, as related to me in the mid '60s by a Chemical Engineering grad student who had been in it and had been stationed at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey: "But we leave the buildings standing!"

But Carter was not truly bloody minded. During the Iran Hostage Crisis, when I would have supported dropping fuel-air explosive devices, 'daisy-cutters', such as Gerald Ford used on the captors of the Mayaguez, on assembled crowds in Tehran while they were chanting 'Death to The Great Satan!', he was concerned that we 'not do something that we will regret for a thousand years.' With respect to Carter and the use of nuclear weapons, I think the following by Alexander Pope sums it up:

Vice is a monster of such frightful mein,
As to be hated needs but to be seen.
But seen too 'oft,  familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 11:07:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow. How strange. The Atlantic is large. It was completely different seen from here.

I will never in my life forget the scary name "Pershing". We did our best to be in denial of all the weapons aimed at us, but with the Pershings all attempts of that broke down. They increased our danger enormously.

I remember that I certainly felt with the hostages in Iran, but even then I put the danger of a world war first. My reaction when the news of the attempt to free them came, was pure relief at the failure. Otherwise WWIII would have been on.

by Katrin on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 12:07:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had mixed feelings. I knew and liked many Iranians. I knew the history of CIA involvement in the overthrow of PM Mohammed Mosaddeq. I knew of 3,000+ year history and cultural continuity, etc. But I despised fundamentalism and its baleful effects on politics and society no less in Iran than in Oklahoma and I saw the Hostage Crisis being used as a cudgel against Carter to install Reagan as the next president. I knew Reagan from having lived in California since 1967 and feared what he would do to US politics and for prospects for world peace.

Given the nature of US politics I thought dropping 'daisy cutters' on several mass demonstrations on the same day might have an effect. I was recalling the answer to my question to an Iranian colleague as to why the revolutionaries in Iran blew up movie theaters. He explained that, under the Shah, the audience was made to stand and salute the screen while an image of the Shah was shown, etc. etc. If that worked and was good for the revolutionaries..... But also I felt that it would be comparable harm for forcing Reagan on the US public.

I have never been a pacifist. I just haven't wanted to fight the enemies selected by our political process - since the early '60s. But it is easier to rage when you don't have the actual possibility to act on that rage. Some of my then attitude was just the obverse side of typical jingoist braggadocio. A later suggestion, keeping in mind the effectiveness of Trotsky's League of the Militant Godless, was to make a deal with the Soviets. They could have their warm water port on the Persian Gulf and sell us the oil but they would have to exterminate the fundamentalists in Iran. Some of that was just me being deliberately outrageous.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 01:26:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm. Iwas sad and furious when the Iranian left was persecuted and eliminated. I never thought that the US Air force would do anything that favoured those whom I supported. I can understand your misgivings because of the alliance of Reagan and the Iranian hardliners, but wouldn't it have made more sense to wish Reagan was bombed?
by Katrin on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 10:57:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I was no friend of Reagans. When I was 21 and LBJ doubled down on Vietnam I suggested organizing a 'National Day of Prayer' where participants would pray for LBJ to have a heart attack. Sardonic humor, I guess.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 12:31:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From 1963 to 1967 I lived in Tuscon, Arizona. The Air Force had Titan II missiles based at Davis-Monthan but installed around Tuscon, at 20 to 40 miles from city center in several directions. U of A scientists calculated that, were a nuclear exchange to occur, one hour afterwards the radiation levels in downtown Tuscon would be 20,000 Roentgen, IIRCC. All the roads out led past Titan II bases. So it really was: "Put your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye!"

Titan IIs were also installed around Wichita, Kansas and Little Rock, Arkansas. Those in Arizona were decommissioned by 1984, the first to go and those around Little Rock were last, going finally in 1987. Karen might be familiar with that history first hand. They were replaced by MinuteMan solid state missiles which were installed in Montana and the Dakotas.

Living next door to The Angel of Death has a definite effect on the psyche. I never really tried to deny that, were nuclear war to come, I would likely be killed or be wishing that I were dead. In Los Angeles I was aware that, even if there were no immediate damage from blast or radiation, which would have been possible, that the city was an island in the desert at the end of a long pipeline for water and electricity and for a population of 15+ million in the greater metropolitan area - not where one would want to be in a post-apocalyptic scenario.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 01:36:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it depends if you believed in a first strike capacity of the Soviet Union, I guess. Or their ability to target very well in their second strike. I never did.
by Katrin on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 10:56:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All that was needed was for the Soviets to try to hit the silos. The fear was that they would use multiple strikes on each silo and that they would be ground bursts, which would produce the maximum fallout. To the survival of the denizens of Tuscon or other cities near missile silos it was largely irrelevant as to whether Soviet strikes were successful.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 12:27:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He probably thought there were technical fixs available and being able to decapitate Soviet leadership with Pershing Missiles launched from West Germany was part of it and would make a nuclear war 'winnable'.

From what I read (also see the link about the recently declassified Presidential Directive downthread), Carter et al saw the Pershing II as the answer to the pinpoint strike capacity of the Soviet SS-20, and thus a restoration of deterrence. What these guys failed to contemplate was that the Soviets will see the first strike capacity and respond accordingly, increasing rather than decreasing the probability of not just nuclear war but all-out nuclear war.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:13:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To be even more specific, the threat scenario that worried Carter and Schmidt and their men was this: what if the Soviets use SS-20s for a limited nuclear strike on Western European targets, calculating that the US will not reply for the sake of its allies, because its would lose more using ints only option, an all-out nuclear war? As you can see, they had the same view on the SS-20 as later the Soviets on Pershing: they assumed that the Soviets would want to do a first strike, while in truth it was a move meant to correct a perceived disadvantage in the balance of deterrence. And this just underlines again that MAD is mad. (I would like to hear ATinNM's comments on this.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:34:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the US the Pershing was sold as a "Theater Weapon."  And you're right: they were intended as a middle step between nothing and launching US based ICBMs and/or penetration of Soviet/Warsaw Pact airspace with B-52s.  From both the US and USSR's POVs it was a way of fighting a nuclear war without either side having to necessarily bomb their opponents country ... which could quickly lead to full scale nuke tossing.

As far as MAD ...

shrug

in a world where there is no defense against ICBMs it's either MAD or hoping your side can take out enough of the other side's nuclear first and THAT strategy ensures, sooner or later, nuclear war.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 05:10:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What these guys failed to contemplate was that the Soviets will see the first strike capacity and respond accordingly, increasing rather than decreasing the probability of not just nuclear war but all-out nuclear war.

That was the criticism at the time. Of course Carter thought 'WE would never make the first strike.' I don't even think that assumption still holds as a general rule. But, at the time, our own self image kept us from seeing how others might see us.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 04:22:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Precisely on that subject, I found this reckoning on Reagan's part in the Wikipedia article on Able Archer 83

Three years had taught me something surprising about the Russians: Many people at the top of the Soviet hierarchy were genuinely afraid of America and Americans. Perhaps this shouldn't have surprised me, but it did ... During my first years in Washington, I think many of us in the administration took it for granted that the Russians, like ourselves, considered it unthinkable that the United States would launch a first strike against them. But the more experience I had with Soviet leaders and other heads of state who knew them, the more I began to realize that many Soviet officials feared us not only as adversaries but as potential aggressors who might hurl nuclear weapons at them in a first strike ... Well, if that was the case, I was even more anxious to get a top Soviet leader in a room alone and try to convince him we had no designs on the Soviet Union and Russians had nothing to fear from us.

He got that Soviet leader a few years later in the person of Gorby. The article also contains a quote that seems like a prelude to what you claimed about Reagan's disarmament enthusiasm alarming his national defense team (my emphasis):

Able Archer 83 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Later in October, Reagan attended a Pentagon briefing on nuclear war. During his first two years in office, he had refused to take part in such briefings, feeling it irreverent to rehearse a nuclear apocalypse; finally, he consented to the Pentagon official requests. According to officials present, the briefing "chastened" Reagan. Weinberg said, "[Reagan] had a very deep revulsion to the whole idea of nuclear weapons ... These war games brought home to anybody the fantastically horrible events that would surround such a scenario." Reagan described the briefing in his own words: "A most sobering experience with [Caspar Weinberger] and Gen. Vessey in the Situation room, a briefing on our complete plan in the event of a nuclear attack."[42][43]


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 09:32:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I recall correctly the 'No first strike' policy was repudiated under Bush 43.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 10:16:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Katrin on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 10:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The following was probably most influential on my views of Reagan at the time he was in office and for years after (in particular the ending):



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 12:03:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Edward Teller was, to me, one of the scariest of those with some influence at that time and Reagan's 'Evil Empire' rhetoric was very disquieting. That was when I first thought that it was fortunate that there were sane leaders in other countries. I remain grateful towards Gorbachev.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 08:48:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I recounted this on ET sometime before, but here it is again: I attended Teller's first post-Cold-War visit to his former alma mater in Budapest. He was to hold a lecture in front of the packed main lecture hall, but a group of students with anti-nuclear banners turned up. Teller was visibly furious, and refused to start his lecture until the protesters left the building. (It was then his standard lecture on a bright nuclear future which sounded anachronistic already back then.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 06:06:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I didn't watch it. I remember there was considerable hysteria about it in the papers as we were going through the beginnings of the cruise missile debacle at the time.

I felt I didn't need to watch it as I'm not the sort of person who needs to watch an enactment of disaster on tv before I understand that it's a bad thing. In fact, my own view was that the film was impossibly optimistic as it shows humanity surviving. A nuclear interchange involving the thousands of warheads currently stockpiled would turn this planet into a cinder, nothing would be left

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 01:28:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Humans would have survived.  We're much like cockroaches, in that respect.  Very little, if any, direct damage would have been done to the southern hemisphere with the secondary affects and effects spread-out over hundreds of years.  

Still think the chances of a nuclear war happening in the next 50 years is 40/60.  My bet is a nuclear "exchange" - in the jargon - is most likely between Pakistan and India and that likelihood increases as the snow pack on the Himalayas thins, causing a drop in surface water flow during the dry season.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 02:36:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I recall a 1950's film whose title escapes me about a group of people in the Southern Hemisphere waiting for the effects of the northern nuclear exchange to hit them. It came off as sci fi but was terribly effective. Was it "On the Beach?" something like that.

As for the Day After I never saw it as the the whole thing seemed too optimistic. The idea that there was daylight the day after was simply ridiculous. Threads was far more effective in its depiction.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 02:56:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup,
On the Beach (1959) is a post-apocalyptic drama film directed by Stanley Kramer and written by John Paxton, based on Nevil Shute's 1957 novel of the same name and starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and Anthony Perkins.

...

The story is set in a then-future 1964, in the months following World War III. The conflict has devastated the northern hemisphere, polluting the atmosphere with nuclear fallout and killing all life. While the bombs were confined to the northern hemisphere, air currents are slowly carrying the fallout south. The only areas still habitable are in the far southern hemisphere, like Australia.

...

The Australian government arranges for its citizens to receive suicide pills and injections, so that they may end things quickly before there is prolonged suffering from the inevitable radiation sickness. An Australian naval officer, Peter Holmes (Anthony Perkins), and his naive and childish wife, Mary (Donna Anderson), who is in denial about the impending disaster, have a baby daughter. Assigned to travel with the American submarine for several weeks, Peter tries to explain to Mary how to euthanize their baby and kill herself with the lethal pills in case he's not yet home when the time comes. Mary reacts violently at the prospect of killing her daughter and herself.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 04:38:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it was "On the beach". Now you mention it, it was probably a considerable influence on my gloomy view of the future

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 05:02:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yup i read that book when i was in my teens and it definitely marked me, though the kicker was 'the war game' by peter watkins

Peter Watkins - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

the BBC commissioned him for another ambitious production, the nuclear-war docudrama The War Game, for The Wednesday Play series.[3] The production was subsequently released to cinemas and won the 1966 Academy Award for Documentary Feature, eventually being screened by the BBC on 31 July 1985 after a 20 year ban.[4]

they showed it in notting hill classic cinema during the 60's and it scared the living crap out of me, i can totally see why the bbc didn't air it.

the beach was an excellent book, and the movie pretty good too.
the other book that blew my mind was 'the last of the just' by andre schwartz-bart, a harrowing account of the jewish diaspora and holocaust.
those books, along with a few others i have mentioned here before were all pivotal experiences whose traces are still very present in my consciousness.

writers have so much power...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 08:10:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I read The Last of the Just in '59 or '60, while still in high school. It wasn't until adulthood that I appreciated the quality of the paperback book selection that Shelly Berman kept at Berman's Rexall Drug Store in Shidler, Oklahoma. It was also there that I found Rex Warren's The Greek Philosophers,  Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams, Rudolph Thiel's And There Was Light, an excellent popular history of astronomy that went into enough detail to include the Lagrange Points and Roche limit, and many other fine books.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 08:41:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I first watched that film as the projectionist at The Osage Theater in Shidler, Oklahoma. Great film.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 08:21:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
when I did an essay on the subject for a year-2 Ecology paper at university, in ummm... 1979. My hypothesis was that New Zealand would be the target of one Soviet MIRV missile, which would take out the major cities, but that most of the population would survive. Given the small number of southern-hemisphere targets overall, we would have been spared the worst of the climate effects.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 05:18:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuclear weapons are powerful, but not all-powerful. The current global arsenal is 5,000 Megatons, by far not all of which is immediately deliverable (not to mention hits on nuclear bases). In the eighties it was 13,000 Mt. In the scenario of Threads, 3,000 Mt are actually used (with 210 Mt falling on Britain). For scale, the impact of an average 700 m asteroid would have a yield of 15,000 Mt and produce a 12 km crater.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 05:38:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That said, in "Threads", it's the after-effects which kill off most of Britain. IIRC they had around 10 million immediate deaths, but population declined to 4-11 million by 10 years after the war, and basically everyone was sick.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 05:41:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While looking up data for the above comment, it dawned on me that I was mistaken about something fundamental in the history of the nuclear armament race. I always thought that the global nuclear stockpile peaked in the eighties. However, that was only true when measured in the number of warheads. In total destructive power, the peak was reached much earlier: there was a trend for lower-yield bombs with more precise delivery systems. Now I found some good sources on this. First on the trend, from the 1998 book Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940 (my emphasis):

In 1954 hydrogen bombs—hundreds of times more powerful than their fission predecessors—began to enter the stockpile in great numbers, and the megatonnage increased sixfold in five years. It peaked in 1960 when it equaled almost 20.5 billion tons of TNT—equivalent to nearly 1.4 million Hiroshima-sized bombs–largely because the Strategic Air Command dominated the nuclear force of the day with a fleet of some 1,600 bombers, armed with thousands of high-yield bombs (the explosive power of the arsenal today equals some 120,000–130,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs).

With the sudden retirement of about 940 warheads in 1961, the megatonnage was cut almost in half. The reason was that the retired bomb, the B36, had a yield of 10 megatons. Until recently, the largest warhead in the arsenal was the 9-megaton B53 bomb, though only about fifty remained and were replaced following the introduction of the B61-11 into the active stockpile in April 1997.5 As ballistic missiles were introduced and accuracy improved, high-yield weapons were further reduced. The rule of thumb is that making a weapon twice as accurate allows an eightfold reduction in yield to achieve the same level of destruction. Lower yields also permitted the use of substantially less plutonium and highly enriched uranium in warheads, lowering the cost of many weapons and contributing to the eventual surplus of fissile materials.

A diagram for number of warheads and megatonnage from a web article by the same author:

Actual figures are here. For the Soviet arsenal, here, and although estimates are wildly apart, in all but one the megatonnage peak is the mid-seventies.

There is a connection to the Threads scenario. The Wikipedia article says it was developed based in part on the 1980 home defence exercise Square Leg:

Square Leg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

...It was assumed that 131 nuclear weapons would fall on Britain with a total yield of 205 megatons (69 ground burst; 62 air burst).[1] ...

Mortality was estimated at 29 million (53% of the population); serious injuries at 7 million (12%); short-term survivors at 19 million (35%).

Square Leg was criticised for a number of reasons: the weapons used were exclusively in the high yield megaton range--with an average of 1.5 megatons per bomb--whereas a realistic attack based on known Soviet capabilities would have seen mixed weapons yields, including many missile-based warheads in the low hundred kiloton range...

In Threads, the total megatonnage is almost the same, while the initial casualty figure is lower and the final higher, so the film-makers' scenario probably did account for sub-megaton bombs hitting military targets in less-populated areas.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 04:26:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that the comparison is spot on.  I've seen both, and I make my students watch Threads in my international relations course. At this point, most of them were born in the 1990s, so the Cold War is a bit of a mystery to them.  Threads is intense, and without any drop of the hope that you get at the end of The Day After. Everyone dies horrible deaths.

So after I've thoroughly shocked them with the film, I break out the FEMA report on what a Soviet nuclear attack would have looked like. Black dots mark direct hits with near 100% fatalities, with surrounding areas marked to show where buildings would be destroyed, and fallout would fall.  I put the map up, and I start off by asking how many of my students live in areas marked in black.  About 2/3rds raise their hands.  I tell them that in a nuclear attack the would be lucky because they'd be incinerated.  Then I go through the different shadings.  I think it really brings home what the Cold War was to them.


And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 01:58:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and the scene it which the woman is showing urinating herself when she sees the mushroom cloud rise is a real shocker.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 02:01:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Haven't seen Threads, but I'm going to try to find and watch it immediately.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 02:14:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, at least now I know from whence my nightmares will spring this week.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 04:39:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I warned you...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 05:44:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know why there is so much use of the past tense in the comments here. There are still plenty of missiles and warheads on hair trigger alert, ready to go whenever some nutjob of a politician decides that's how they will get re-elected. It's almost like "ok, the Berlin Wall is down, the commies in the USSR have fallen and now it's a nice capitalist country, so no more worries."

Well in excess of 4000 warheads are active, probably targeted at the same cities they were at the height of the Cold War.

by asdf on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 05:26:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose everyone here is familiar with the  Russian man who saved the world by NOT triggering a nuclear attack even though his equipment showed an imminent attack by the USA?  He decided not to believe his readings and not to warn higher ups, and saved the world.

We all owe his our lives.

by stevesim on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 07:04:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It happened twice. Once in '64, once in '82.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:38:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean Stanislav Petrov. The funny thing was that according to what the Soviets thought how the US would attack, this could only be a mistake, not an attack. The Soviets thought the US would attack with all their missiles at the same time, not just with a few as Petrov's info suggested. This was wrong. Petrov says, if he had known that, he would have notified Moscow.

As Helen says, he wasn't the only one. During the Cuba Missile Crisis Vasili Arkhipov very courageously refused to okay launching a missile. This is the most remarkable incident in my view: there must have been considerable pressure on him, the other officers (and probably the crew) of his submarine were for shooting that missile. Arkhipov did not give in to them, although he had no support and was alone.

by Katrin on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:52:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On Arkhipov's case, I also find this:

Vasili Arkhipov - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Aleksandr Mozgovoy's 2002 book, Kubinskaya Samba Kvarteta Fokstrotov (Cuban Samba of the Foxtrot Quartet), retired Commander Vadim Pavlovich Orlov, a participant in the events, presents them less dramatically, saying that Captain Savitsky had merely lost his temper, but eventually calmed down.[11]

There was a third, less well-known case when WWIII was hours away: the Berlin tank standoff in October 1961, which was both born out of and resolved thanks to a series of mis-understandings. Quoting my own (slightly edited) summary of research by historian Raymond Garthoff from 2006:

  1. In October 1961, East German leader Walter Ulbricht, widely seen as just the Soviet's puppet, was trying to gain credibility for his state. He ordered border controls for Allied officers entering East Berlin. But US general L.D. Clay thought this happened at Russian orders, and as such could only have been the prelude to another attempt at taking over all of Berlin - so Clay sent armed patrols and tanks to secure border crossings.

  2. Chrushchev, who was maintaining a tension-easing period and had direct orders for Ulbricht to avoid provocations (violated by Ulbricht), got intel that Clay's troops exercised breaking across walls on a dummy Berlin Wall - so he guessed that the US moves are a prelude to a planned destruction of the Berlin Wall. He too ordered his tanks out.

  3. On 27 October, at 17:07, 33 Soviet T-54s stoped in front of Checkpoint Charlie, loaded their guns and aimed them across the line, with orders to shoot in case of any US move on border installations. Soon, 33 US Pattons lined up on the other side, loaded and aimed, with orders to shoot at any threatening Soviet move. Both sides were certain that the other plans something big, and the generals prepared to hit back 'big' -- all was set for a very quick escalation should just one shot be fired.

  4. Kennedy, whom Clay didn't inform about those Wall-crossing exercises, and who believed his side checked a Soviet move, signalled through a contact person that he wants to end the crisis. Chrushchev believed he won, and told the US must be allowed to save face. Thus at 10:50 the next day, the T-54s departed, an hour later the Pattons.

  5. While the Soviets saw themselves as victors, so did General Clay. He believed the T-54 lineup was not a real threat, but Chrushchev communicating that he backed off from a plan to use Ulbricht to sabotage the status quo of the Four Powers' shared responsibility for Berlin!

What is amazing is that neither side had the right judgement of enemy intentions at any point during the whole affair!


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 04:49:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow. That would make a great movie scenario. Played for laughs of course.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 05:27:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, tho' Dr Strangelove came close. I always imagined the good Doctor was a model for Teller, who was, as already mentioned, a genuinely scary man

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 05:37:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I almost said that when I made my comment about Teller.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 04:27:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The comparison is quite apt in one way (also see the 2004 article in The Guardian, Meet the real Dr Strangelove). But in some ways, it is off. The fictional Dr. Strangelove was a Nazi scientist imported to the USA (like von Braun) who retained the Nazi outlook on life. Teller however was a Hungarian Jew who got to work in Göttingen but fled Germany to Britain and the USA during the early years of the Third Reich, later some of his relatives perished in the Holocaust, still later Hungary's Stalinist government persecuted his surviving relatives, all of which contributed to the development of his extremist views.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 09:46:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Coen Brothers should do it.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 06:03:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The David Forrest book "And to my nephew Albert I leave the island what I won off Fatty Hagan in a poker game" would probably be a good start for the screenplay

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 06:08:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Billy Wilder was still alive....

His 1961 quickfire comedy One, Two, Three was set in Cold War Berlin before The Wall.

Highly recommended for ET members! 6 quid from Amazon.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 07:22:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The movie bombed because the Wall was being built just as it came out...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misčres
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 10:17:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the shopping list it goes.

How about a "films to buy for Christmas" thread?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 10:29:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not a bad idea. And you'd be supporting the Musical-Industrial Complex too.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 02:17:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by asdf on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 01:30:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just got around to watching One, Two, Three on Youtube. It's a pretty typical comedy film from the era, but has a lot of nice images of Berlin, some location and some studio. Other than generic wisecracks, no political significance.
by asdf on Fri Dec 7th, 2012 at 08:46:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't need a nuclear armed enemy in order to be nuked, though. A few times the US
almost managed that without outside help.
by Katrin on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 03:57:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Duluth Bear is quite funny.

Obviously in the UK we have the Windscale Fire of 1957 which was actually a partial meltdown. And I can't seem to find any mention of an incident I was told about that happened in 61. Seems there was a fire on a nuclear base and there were nuclear bombs in the middle of it. Fortunately they weren't armed. But the airport was near Manchester and would probably have dented it a bit if they'd gone off

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 06:29:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could it be that you recall one or both of these?

Broken Arrows: Nuclear Weapons Accidents | atomicarchive.com

Date: July 27, 1956
Location: Great Britain
A B-47 bomber crashed into a nuclear weapons storage facility at the Lakenheath Air Base in Suffolk, England, during a training exercise. The nuclear weapons storage facility, known as an "igloo," contained three Mark 6 bombs. Preliminary exams by bomb disposal officers said it was a miracle that one Mark 6 with exposed detonators sheared didn't explode. The B-47's crew was killed.

...

Date: February 28, 1958
Location: Great Britain
A B-47 based at the U.S. air base at Greenham Common, England, reportedly loaded with a nuclear weapon, caught fire and completely burned. In 1960, signs of high-level radioactive contamination were detected around the base by a group of scientists working at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (AWRE). The U.S. government has never confirmed whether the accident involved a nuclear warhead.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 09:17:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, this was an entirely British RAF incident. I was told by someone who was there.

It's probable that the Official Secrets Act squashed all knowledge.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 1st, 2012 at 04:10:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find that the Duluth bear story was yet another close call during the Cuba Missile Crisis. It was less severe as it sounds, because the jets with nuclear missiles that were scrambled were interceptors (against expected Soviet bomber planes) rather than bombers. The danger was in friendly fire:

False alarm: How a bear nearly started a nuclear war

The story, outlined in declassified Air Force documents, was first reported by Stanford University professor Scott Sagan in his 1993 book, "The Limits of Safety."

...While there was no actual Soviet threat, Sagan said, a nervous pilot, believing the U.S. was under attack, could have mistaken a friendly aircraft for an invading bomber. And even though the interceptors did not carry offensive weapons, a crash with an armed nuclear warhead also could have been catastrophic.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 09:24:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Threads is one of the best pieces of TV ever made. That's all.

Apparently the makers disowned it. I still don't understand why.

Incidentally, there was another documentary made around the time which was banned. It detailed the secret plans for internment (not just clamp-downs) of subversives, tactical demolition of property around military bases, and so on.

Unfortunately I didn't bookmark it, but I might be able to find it again.

Incidentally too, Reagan claimed that The Day After made him realise that nucular war was Serious Business and that it was something he should talk to Gorbachev about trying to avoid.

So maybe it made a real difference.

Threads was just horrific. Thatcher was a lunatic anyway so I don't supposed it changed her mind about anything, if she even saw it at all.

Everyone else I know was traumatised by it.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Nov 30th, 2012 at 10:32:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
High-fructose corn syrup linked to diabetes | www.ajc.com

Nov. 27, 2012 --

Countries that mix high-fructose corn syrup into processed foods and soft drinks have higher rates of diabetes than countries that don't use the sweetener, a new study shows.

In a study published in the journal Global Health, researchers compared the average availability of high-fructose corn syrup to rates of diabetes in 43 countries.

About half the countries in the study had little or no high-fructose corn syrup in their food supply. In the other 20 countries, high-fructose corn syrup in foods ranged from about a pound a year per person in Germany to about 55 pounds each year per person in the United States.

The researchers found that countries using high-fructose corn syrup had rates of diabetes that were about 20% higher than countries that didn't mix the sweetener into foods. Those differences remained even after researchers took into account data for differences in body size, population, and wealth.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 02:27:41 PM EST
Who Could Have Predicted?

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 02:36:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
interesting.  because Germany has one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe.

diabetes II is such a strange disease, because people die of it, yet it is so easy to get rid of -  exercise and change of diet will usually "cure" someone of it.

by stevesim on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 02:53:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
High fructose diabetes study is flawed, says corn refiners group, in advance of study's release | Health, Medical, and Science Updates
"This latest article by Dr. Goran is severely flawed, misleading and risks setting off unfounded alarm about a safe and proven food and beverage ingredient.  There is broad scientific consensus that table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are nutritionally and metabolically equivalent.  It is, therefore, highly dubious of Dr. Goran-without any human studies demonstrating a meaningful nutritional difference between high fructose corn syrup and sugar-to point an accusatory finger at one and not the other.  Dr. Goran commits the most fundamental of research errors:  Just because an ingredient is available in a nation's diet does not mean it is uniquely the cause of a disease.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 03:19:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
Just because an ingredient is available in a nation's diet does not mean it is uniquely the cause of a disease.

Doesn't mean it's good for you either.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 03:22:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From today's Democracy Now! news section:

Geithner to Meet with Congressional Leaders for Talks on "Fiscal Cliff"

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is meeting for talks with congressional leaders today over a possible deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. The White House has signaled it may be willing to accept cuts to Medicare and other social programs as part of an agreement with Republicans to avoid the looming tax cuts and spending increases set to kick in at the end of the year. On Wednesday, Obama appeared optimistic about a potential deal.

President Obama: "Our ultimate goal is an agreement that gets our long-term deficit under control in a way that is fair and balanced. I believe that both parties can agree on a framework that does that in the coming weeks. In fact, my hope is to get this done before Christmas."

So now FOX is writing Obammer's material. Wonderful!

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 03:49:04 PM EST
Two alligators, a pole dancer and pot at Olympia area shooting scene

Alligators, a pot growing operation, an exotic dancer and gunfire were all elements of the criminal investigation inside the house in the normally quiet Scott Lake neighborhood.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 03:57:03 PM EST
So Finnish people get a cute maternity package when a child is coming...

I'm jealous of that bit of natalism (especially as a baby is coming soon)

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misčres

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Nov 29th, 2012 at 07:50:52 PM EST


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