Wednesday, September 09, 2009

There's An Atom-Bomb Squad?

You bet there is, only they go by NEST -- and no, they do not fight SMERSH. My online subscription to Physics Today often yields unexpected gems and this month, one of them was a review of Defusing Armageddon, a history of the organization, or at least the parts they didn't classify. (I can't link to the PT review, subscriber-only -- you wannit, sign up).

Some fascinating stuff is covered in the book, like an extortion attempt against GE in '79 (and 103 others through 1993! -- some kids took the comic books too much to heart) and the effort to recover the power plant from a de-orbited Soviet satellite that, well, crashed in Canada.

I poke fun at a lot of government goofiness but the men and women who go hands-on with this kinda stuff? All kinds of brave. There aren't any do-overs.


Unknown said...

You should have heard the watering-hole concern here in the Military District of Washington about the publication of this book.

While it's important for folks to know other folk are keeping an eye out, and have plans for dealing with evil bastards, you're always worried about giving out too much information.

It was a real hassle, with the BRAC, and moving DARPA. At the houses of worship around here, we had to carefully re-align the alters.

Tango Juliet said...

OK, another football for Team Obama to fumble. Great.

Joe in Reno said...

Local rumor has it, they have a "substantial" presence in Area 51.

Matt said...

This on the day that this shows up on Jalopnik?

Conspiracy, I say.

Comrade Misfit said...

NEST did show up in a movie once, the one with Nicole Kidman as a Ph.D nuclear physicist.