In World War II, the Nazis made a bunch of different booby trapped items, including thermos flasks, mess tins, motor oil cans, watches, and even a chocolate bar designed to kill Winston Churchill when he bit into it. Fortunately, England's Prime Minister did not sink his teeth into the candy-coated bomb, and the MI5 hired an artist to illustrate it and the other German booby traps it had discovered. These drawings were lost in a drawer for 70 years, but were recently found and have been published by the BBC. Read the rest
At least twenty people are dead following an explosion in Bangkok, "reports the BBC—but footage from the scene already offers a suspect.
Videos taken by nearby CCTV and tourists show how the blast hit a crowded shrine in Thailand's largest city.
Police are now hunting the yellow-shirted man seen dumping a backpack at the site of the blast.
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In the new footage, he is shown carefully and deliberately removing his backpack inside the shrine, getting up without it and immediately leaving the scene.
The spot where he was sitting is precisely where the bomb went off a few minutes later, says the BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok.
"There is a suspect... we are looking for this guy," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters.
Authorities were "quite close" to identifying the suspect, Thai government spokesman Maj Gen Weerachon Sukhontapatipak told the BBC, but other leads were also being pursued.
It's like a mash-up of the games Simon and Global Thermonuclear War.
At the New Yorker, Paige Williams visits forensic chemist Adam B. Hall to talk about the surprising things you can learn about bombs and their makers by looking at the effects they produce
— from the type and color of the smoke, to the smell that lingers in the air, to what the "boom" sounds like. I'd take Hall's speculation about the Boston Marathon bombings with a grain of salt (he's making his judgements from low-grade video and isn't part of the investigation), but the process he describes is absolutely fascinating. Read the rest
At Scientific American, Larry Greenemeier has a piece about the science behind the three (possibly four) improvised explosive devices that killed at least three people yesterday in Boston
. It might be easy to build bombs like these, but their DIY construction techniques also leave clues that help investigators find the people responsible. Read the rest
De-mining workers from Laos
are speaking in the US about the urgent need for funding of bomb clearance and survivor assistance efforts in Laos.
Baker was a 23-kiloton nuclear weapon that was detonated underwater at Bikini Atoll in 1946. The goal was to see what would happen to Navy boats if they were in the region where a nuclear bomb went off. The boats you see in this photo were unmanned, but there were sailors relatively close by, taking these shots. There's evidence that they weren't properly protected against fallout, and later used contaminated water to drink and bathe in. (Also, as a fictional side effect, Bikini Atoll nuclear tests like Baker might have been responsible for the creation of Spongebob Squarepants.)
My Modern Met has compiled several photographs and video that give you an up-close, mind-boggling view of the explosion — including the massive column of water that shot into the mushroom cloud and the 2-mile-high tidal wave that followed. Read the rest
When the feds busted the Unabomber they found a live bomb under his bed. They needed it for evidence. But they also needed it to not explode. Enter a crack team of bomb experts who were flown in to Montana to dismantle the explosives in Ted Kaczynski's backwoods cabin. Read the rest
"Whatever your attitude toward use of the atomic bomb, you must live with the fact that it exists," commands this ad. About the self-protection steps it details, "The wise citizen of this atomic era will memorize them so thoroughly that their use would be almost instinctive."
A vintage Mutual of Omaha insurance company advertisement from 1951, lovingly scanned and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by v.valenti.
So, I'll need to look into this further, but did Mutual of Omaha offer "surprise atomic attack" coverage at the time? The ad doesn't make that clear.
(Update: Cory blogged this back in 2010.) Read the rest