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The terror my parents' generation had of a nuclear apocalypse, lest we forget
#1
The terror my parents' generation had of a nuclear apocalypse, lest we forget
I just watched the "barrel of laughs" Brit film telling, in a very powerful way, by my mind, how horrific death from radiation poisoning would be if there were a global nuclear war type scenario. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_the_Wi...1986_film)

My mother was in CND back in the day, and has told of the widespread panic and terror she experienced having just brought new lives into the world. Us relative younguns all too often forget about the paramount importance of NOT launching nukes I think, is the thing. 

Films like this...well, they should be shown in schools and stuff I reckon. Strange thread, I know. Australian wildfires got me in apocalypse mindset perhaps. 

Truce

I changed my avatar. Fire bad.
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#2
RE: The terror my parents' generation had of a nuclear apocalypse, lest we forget
Every generation faces unique threats.  Our parents had nuclear annihilation, we've got state-sponsored terrorism and cybercrime, Dog only knows what the future generations will face.

I suppose it would be easy to sneer at the terror of nuclear apocalypse simply because it never came off, but that doesn't alter the fact that the terror was a real.

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
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#3
RE: The terror my parents' generation had of a nuclear apocalypse, lest we forget
I was never terrified of nuclear war. If it got me out of Indiana how bad could it be?
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#4
RE: The terror my parents' generation had of a nuclear apocalypse, lest we forget
The threat of nuclear war hasn't really gone away. One can argue that it has lessened considerably but there is still the specter of it happening by accident.

I'm too lazy to look up all the examples on Google but there have been multiple occasions when it only was stopped by the actions of a single officer who took the chance that a false-alarm was just that. Then there was the NATO exercise in late 1984 when Russian paranoia - fueled in part by Reagan's insane Bible quotes - convinced many of them that the exercise was a ruse to lull them into complacency while NATO launched an actual attack - a pretty good military idea, really.

There is little current tension between the US and Russia that would justify either side in launching a massive, preemptive strike in response to early warning system errors but that remains a thing. Imagine being one of the people in control of the ICBMs and you have an indication that an enemy has launched a missile at you. How would you like to be the person who has to decide whether or not to respond?

Despite that danger, I still believe nuclear weapons have stabilized the world. Even the craziest of leaders understand that use of nuclear weapons is almost certain to reduce one's own standard of living considerably. It's not the best of situations but I like it when leaders of super powers understand that domination through military might is not the most practical way to go. It'll give you a good deterrent against aggression but if you want dominance, you'll have to achieve it through other means.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

Albert Einstein
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#5
RE: The terror my parents' generation had of a nuclear apocalypse, lest we forget
Cuban missile crisis youngster. We were still doing the duck and cover in school every time the civil defense siren went off.

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#6
RE: The terror my parents' generation had of a nuclear apocalypse, lest we forget
I remember the drills where we were to hide beneath our desks in case of a nuclear attack. That basically meant we had a slab of wood with a metal drawer under it over our heads. I couldn't figure out even at that young age what good that was for protection from anything.
Popcorn

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#7
RE: The terror my parents' generation had of a nuclear apocalypse, lest we forget
One item from the film linked in the OP, which my mother has also relayed to me, was that at the time of the Cold War tensions, UK gov guidelines included that, in the event of a nuclear attack, it recommended people put a paper bag over their heads. Just.....
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#8
RE: The terror my parents' generation had of a nuclear apocalypse, lest we forget
(January 10, 2020 at 10:54 pm)arewethereyet Wrote: I remember the drills where we were to hide beneath our desks in case of a nuclear attack.  That basically meant we had a slab of wood with a metal drawer under it over our heads.  I couldn't figure out even at that young age what good that was for protection from anything.

Protection from schrapnel and debris is a start. For instance, due to her position in the lobby of the Bank of Japan, a reinforced concrete building, Akiko Takakura survived the Hiroshima bomb despite being 300 meters away from the hypocenter of Little Boy's fireball, with a lethal zone that extended well beyond that. She lived until 2003.

Or thermal radiation. Covering from something as insubstantial as a newspaper can protect you from the burns of thermal radiation. 
[Image: he113c.jpg]
Caption from a site that showcased this photo:
Quote:The shadow of a Japanese fatsia exposed to the heat rays was imprinted on a telephone pole near the Meiji Bridge (about 1.3 kilometers south from the hypocenter). New shoots replaced the leaves that were burnt away, so the new outline differs from the shadow.

And apparently, in the interim between the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one cop from Hiroshima went to Nagasaki to explain that the police there to duck when the bomb went off. When the bomb dropped there, not a single Nagasaki cop died in the initial blast.

 Of course, Duck and Cover focuses on the initial blast. In the long term, though, especially if fallout and nuclear winter are a huge problem, and they likely will be, the living will probably envy the dead.
I was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad.

[Image: 161109-WlllQ6UaSpqY.png]

Trump 2017: We're all nihilists now.
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#9
RE: The terror my parents' generation had of a nuclear apocalypse, lest we forget
(January 10, 2020 at 11:41 pm)Rev. Rye Wrote: Or thermal radiation. Covering from something as insubstantial as a newspaper can protect you from the burns of thermal radiation. 
Aaah, so there IS some reasoning behind the "paper bag over head" advice. That's an improvement  Great
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#10
RE: The terror my parents' generation had of a nuclear apocalypse, lest we forget
(January 10, 2020 at 11:41 pm)Rev. Rye Wrote:
(January 10, 2020 at 10:54 pm)arewethereyet Wrote: I remember the drills where we were to hide beneath our desks in case of a nuclear attack.  That basically meant we had a slab of wood with a metal drawer under it over our heads.  I couldn't figure out even at that young age what good that was for protection from anything.

Protection from schrapnel and debris is a start. For instance, due to her position in the lobby of the Bank of Japan, a reinforced concrete building, Akiko Takakura survived the Hiroshima bomb despite being 300 meters away from the hypocenter of Little Boy's fireball, with a lethal zone that extended well beyond that. She lived until 2003.

Or thermal radiation. Covering from something as insubstantial as a newspaper can protect you from the burns of thermal radiation. 
[Image: he113c.jpg]
Caption from a site that showcased this photo:
Quote:The shadow of a Japanese fatsia exposed to the heat rays was imprinted on a telephone pole near the Meiji Bridge (about 1.3 kilometers south from the hypocenter). New shoots replaced the leaves that were burnt away, so the new outline differs from the shadow.

And apparently, in the interim between the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one cop from Hiroshima went to Nagasaki to explain that the police there to duck when the bomb went off. When the bomb dropped there, not a single Nagasaki cop died in the initial blast.

 Of course, Duck and Cover focuses on the initial blast. In the long term, though, especially if fallout and nuclear winter are a huge problem, and they likely will be, the living will probably envy the dead.

I am sure that there were incidences of people being in the exact right place at the exact right time and came out of the blasts in Japan just fine.

As for being protected by debris and shrapnel, those desks may have protected us from something falling straight down from above though I doubt the spindly legs of those desks would have held up under much pressure.  As for any debris and shrapnel that was ricocheting in directions other than straight down, I am pretty sure that the 1-1/2" metal pipe legs that held the desk up would not have provided protection...again, unless it was coming at you in the exactly correct position and could be fully stopped.

My point is more that it was quite unnerving as a first, second, third grader to be made to hide under a desk to save yourself from a nuclear or other air attack.  Hell, they moved us to an interior hall or room to save us from tornados and severe thunderstorms.  

Stop, drop, and roll if you caught on fire at least made sense and seemed like an appropriate reaction to that threat.
Popcorn

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