Nuclear explosion porn: watch newly declassified 1950s-1960s nuke test films

Weapon physicist Greg Spriggs and his colleagues at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have just uploaded dozens of declassified videos to YouTube of nuclear tests from the 1950s and 1960s. From LLNL:

The U.S. conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, with multiple cameras capturing each event at around 2,400 frames per second. But in the decades since, around 10,000 of these films sat idle, scattered across the country in high-security vaults. Not only were they gathering dust, the film material itself was slowly decomposing, bringing the data they contained to the brink of being lost forever....

For the past five years, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) weapon physicist Greg Spriggs and a crack team of film experts, archivists and software developers have been on a mission to hunt down, scan, reanalyze and declassify these decomposing films. The goals are to preserve the films' content before it's lost forever, and provide better data to the post-testing-era scientists who use computer codes to help certify that the aging U.S. nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective. To date, the team has located around 6,500 of the estimated 10,000 films created during atmospheric testing. Around 4,200 films have been scanned, 400 to 500 have been reanalyzed and around 750 have been declassified.

LLNL Atmospheric Nuclear Tests

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Slow-motion footage of an airburst nuclear explosion hitting the ground

From the newly-released archives.

After collecting dust in high-security vaults for more than 65 years, hundreds of reels of film showing Cold War nuclear bomb tests have been declassified by the United States.

From 1945 to 1962, the United States detonated more than 210 nuclear bombs, with multiple cameras capturing each explosion at around 2,400 frames per second.

There's so many to watch! Read the rest

Spoiler: the watermelon explodes when you run 20,000 volts through it

"What happens when you pump 20,000 joules into a watermelon?" rhetorically asks The Backyard Scientist. "Two words. Pink Mist." Read the rest

Hedgehog walks nonchalantly away from the explosion behind it

Cool hedgehogs don't look at explosions
I believe this may be photoshopped, or perhaps clipped from a forthcoming blockbuster reboot of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. [via] Read the rest

Explore other star systems' habitable zones -- and our own billions of years hence

The Circumstellar Habitable Zone Simulator provides detailed views of six star systems known to have exoplanets. You can change the stars' mass and the planetary distances and fool around with Goldilocks' breakfast, but it's the timeline control that's scary: drag it right to fly through the billions of years, watching the habitable zone head out of town as the star goes nova then contract to nothing. Read the rest

Better video of the legendary "controlled" explosion of a beached whale

We've posted about this in the past, but it was brought to my attention that the legendary exploding whale news report was rebroadcast not long ago, meaning that the best quality possible (given the age of the 8mm film) is now available for your whale-exploding pleasure.

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SpaceX rocket explodes on launchpad; Facebook satellite destroyed

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its payload—a communications satellite backed by Facebook—were destroyed this morning during launch tests at Cape Canaveral, Fla. No-one was hurt in the explosion. Read the rest

"Earthquake" off Daytona Beach, Florida was really military test

On a Saturday, a 3.7 magnitude "earthquake" was detected about 168 miles off Florida's Daytona Beach Shores. It now appears that the quake was actually a "shock trial," an explosive test conducted by the US Navy to test the fortitude of the USS Jackson, a new combat ship. From the Daytona Beach News-Journal:

Asked about the reported earthquake on Monday, Dale Eng, a public information officer for the Navy’s Sea Systems Command in Washington, said the Navy is working on a statement it expects to release this week.

Seismographs as far away as Minnesota, Texas and Oklahoma, as well as along the coast of Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, registered the event on Saturday, said Bruce Presgrave, a geophysicist and shift supervisor at the Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in California.

(After being shown the above photo of a shock trial conducted last month) Presgrave said, "That's a smoking gun, isn't it?"

Presgrave planned to contact the Navy to learn more about the charges used in the shock trials as part of the agency's ongoing investigation.

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All this bulletproof glass couldn't stop an RPG

Crash Zone knew you had been wondering about this ever since you decided to become Lord Protector of the forthcoming New English Republic and know you'd need some breathing space. Is it possible to create a vehicle able to withstand an RPG attack without being buried in metal armor?

The answer is "No."

It's quite a firm no, too: even 45 layers (15.75 inches!) of the stuff can't protect what's on the other side. [via sploid.gizmodo.com] Read the rest

Watch: Add butane to a bottle of Coke, get a totally unsafe high-powered bottle rocket

It's always the Russians, beating us in the never-ending arms race of Totally Unsafe Things That Are Fun to Watch. Read the rest

Nitrogen triiodide: "So volatile that a mosquito landing on it will make it explode"

The Royal Institution posted this demonstration of an explosively unstable substance called nitrogen triiodide. I love the purple smoke it makes.

Nitrogen triiodide is so unstable that even something like a mosquito landing on it can set it off. Three iodine atoms cluster around one side of a nitrogen atom. Being crowded around one end causes something called bond strain as the atoms repel each other in a small space. The result is that the molecule is prone to falling apart, explosively.

[via] Read the rest

Explosion at NIST offices was a meth lab

An explosion last weekend at a National Institute of Standards and Technology lab in Gaithersburg, MD threw a blast-shield 25 feet. Investigators found "pseudoephedrine, drain cleaner, and a recipe for meth" in the wreckage. Read the rest

Wheelbarrow launched into air with powerful firecracker

Against the backdrop of a beautiful Sound of Music type village, this fellow sent a wheelbarrow 15 meters into air. It did not achieve escape velocity, but it did make a perfect landing. According to our friends at Geekologie he used a Cobra 6 firecracker, "which packs 48.5-grams of explosive powder (versus 2-3 grams for an M-80)."

Image: Pyrotalk Read the rest

Something big exploded in Russia

And it was probably not a meteor. The videos and photos collected here and here suggest the explosion occurred on the ground. Read the rest

Explosive reaction of sodium in a pond

These young folks have a lot of fun throwing a big hunk of sodium into a pond. If you're impatient, forward to the boom at :53. Read the rest

Man "seriously injured" by exploding toilet

Michel Pierre of New York received serious shrapnel wounds to his face, arms and legs when the toilet exploded in his Brooklyn apartment. From AFP:

'The 58-year-old information technology specialist is now so fearful that he uses a rope to flush the toilet from behind the bathroom door at a safe distance.

"Those fears are part of his damages," said his lawyer Sanford Rubenstein. "Clearly toilets are supposed to flush, not explode." Three other tenants were also injured by what the Daily News website dubbed "the porcelain bomb."'

Air pressure in the pipes, or something. Read the rest

How to: Demolish a truss bridge

Like the people cheering at about :25 into this video, I'm a sucker for dramatic explosions. This one comes from Texas, where the transportation department blew up an old bridge in the city of Marble Falls on March 17th. Also, apparently, it's warm enough in Texas that multiple gentlemen could watch a bridge explode from the comfort of their jet skis. Read the rest

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