Saturday, September 23, 2017

Vox on nukes for another fake doomsday


Today is yet another predicted doomsday and it would a dereliction of my duty as a doomer blogger to ignore it.  That doesn't mean I have to take it at face value -- quite the contrary.  This particular doomsday, like the Rapture and Judgment Day of 2011, the Fake Mayan Doomsday 2012 and Ragnorak of 2014, deserves my mockery.  Today's apocalypse not features both Biblical numerology and Nibiru, the Planet X of conspiracy theory.*  At least this end of the world idea is eclectic.

That doesn't mean that the possibility of the end of western industrial civilization isn't real.  It's just that it will happen as a result of natural causes explanable by science.  One of those, which I examined at the beginning of the year in Trump helps move the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight and Nuclear war and how to survive it from ASAP Science and ASAP Thought then more recently but less seriously in SNL mocks Trump for Presidential Joke Day and Colbert on the nuclear crisis with North Korea, is the threat of nuclear war, particularly between the U.S. and North Korea.  Follow over the jump for three videos from Vox on the Doomsday Clock and nuclear war.

The first video and the earliest one posted by Vox is The Doomsday Clock, explained.

The clock's ticking.
...
The Doomsday Clock began as a graphic on the first edition of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ magazine. Since then, the Bulletin has used the clock as a symbol for their interpretation of humanity’s approach toward the end of times, changing the time as new threats arise or old threats resolve. Originally, the Bulletin only changed the time when they felt the threat of nuclear weapons became more or less imminent, but the clock today reflects other types of threats as well, from climate change to cybersecurity to reckless language to Donald Trump.
That's a very good history and explanation, one I'm glad I posted.

Next, The growing North Korean nuclear threat, explained [Updated].

North Korea has a new missile, and it can reach the US.
Eep!

Finally, The rise and fall of the American fallout shelter, which was just posted yesterday.

Whatever happened to fallout shelters? And would they have actually worked?
...
In this episode of Vox Almanac, Vox's Phil Edwards looks at the history behind one of the Cold War's more unusual legacies — the fallout shelter. Of course, any history of the fallout shelter has to include nuclear proliferation, civil defense, Presidential politics, and a turtle named Bert. The video above serves as a condensed history of the Cold War’s fallout shelter fad, from the kookily cheerful propaganda videos to the hobbled Federal agencies that tried to administer Civil Defense. Yes, it includes the classic Cold War film Duck and Cover, in which a bomb-fearing turtle named Bert teaches kids that hiding under their desks could be sufficient protection from nuclear annihilation.
Any history of fallout shelter culture (and Cold War propaganda) becomes an indirect history of Cold War nuclear escalation, from Hiroshima-sized bombs to hydrogen behemoths. As the nuclear threat increased in magnitude, the absurdity of civil defense amped up simultaneously. This video (and a day spend trawling the Internet Archive for darkly humorous videos) provides a more intimate portrait of Cold War paranoia as it was lived. Paired with Kenneth Rose’s comprehensive book about fallout shelter culture, it’s a look at daily life with the bomb — even when that daily life included the occasional jaunt to a thick-walled concrete bunker a few feet underground.
The description was right; a history of civil defense makes for a good vehicle to outline the history of the Cold War.

As for the prediction of doomsday today, USA Today just reported Man who said the world is ending Saturday changed his mind. It isn't actually ending -- at least not today.  Time for Martin the Martian.


No surprise, yet another failed doomsday.

*That's not to say there isn't a Planet X; there very well may be.  It's just not the rogue planet the supernatural and pseudoscientific doomsayers think it is.

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