Sunday, March 20, 2011


Yeah, and....?

Remember how the exact construction of even the WW II-type atom bomb was still a closely-guarded secret, super-duper tip top secret?

...So secret that physicists in a whole bunch of tiny little countries ginned up their own, and some of them didn't get the Cliff Notes to work from, either.

But still, to figure that stuff out, you have to be an Atomic Scientist with a whole country footing the bill, right? Not a truck driver from Wisconsin.

Er, right?

In fact, wrong.



Anonymous said...

Just because it's "classified" doesn't mean that it's not published publicly someplace. Take take the various "Jane's All the Worlds..." for example. (Not that everything is there is correct mind you...)

A number of years ago Analog Science Fiction Magazine published a "fact article" _How to build an Atomic Bomb and Impress Your Neighbors_. Everything used to build the thing, with the exception of the fissionable material, you could by off the shelf no questions asked. Seeing as how the explosion would occur in a gravel filled basement to call it "dirty" would be something of an understatement.

Anonymous said...

I do believe I must obtain a copy of his book, on principle never mind profound curiosity.


Kirk A said...

Wow. Adventures of another curious character. Thanks for the pointer.

Stingray said...

A few years ago, some several later than cited in the relevant portions of the article interestingly enough, I was taking some friends or family through the Bradbury Museum, and found it rather odd that the Fat Man and Little Boy displays were gone. I asked the rather old volunteer, whose name tag sported a surname that placed her in the category that I would cautiously compare to our hostess' position within the starship industry. A sort of unacknowledgeable knowledgeable, as it were.

Some idle chit chat established our mutual positions in the bizarre sociopolitical structure that makes aspects of this town make the Medicis look like pikers, and she revealed to me that the bombs were removed because they were, in fact, bombs. One heist into the, ah, less than totally secure museum, add fissile material and you've got the best prop ever for your historical reenactment society.

I took the tale with a grain of salt at the time, but seeing as how the returned versions sported new paint and markings similar to the ones described in the article, I'm suddenly inclined to give a bit more credit to the tale.

Of course, it does make me stop and think a little differently on the time going through there pre-renovation when I waited until the staff were all busy elsewhere and climbed aboard, Slim Pickens style on a dare.

Roberta X said...

Hmmm. H'mmmm. One does wonder.

LabRat said...

Given that this place both draws and breeds individuals of a temperament similar to Mr. Coster-Mullen, of the sort whose reaction to a self-directed or given task of "create a replica" would be to create a replica, I took the story with at least two grains of salt, myself.

mikee said...

Wonderful article about the personal freedom we often take for granted in our country. There is no question of "need to know" that "want to know" cannot overcome.