Last week Trump infamously suggested nuking hurricanes. Loopy, of course -- but it also put me in mind of a similarly bananas idea from 1965: Using nukes to dig ditches and excavate earth.
As Matt Novak notes in the Paleofuture vertical at Gizmodo, Athelstan Spilhaus -- a scientist and educator -- wrote the comic "Atomic Ditch Digging", and got it published in US newspapers on July 4, 1965.
Spilhaus was pretty stoked about it, as Novak notes:
“For an explosion equivalent to 2 million tons of TNT, chemical explosives would cost $2 million, nuclear just $600,000!” the strip exclaimed.
The strip went on to explain that by placing a small nuclear device, just 4 feet in diameter, inside Earth, the explosion would be entirely safe. Or, that was what they claimed anyway.
“Most of the radioactivity could be kept underground so that workers could go into the craters within a week or two and people live nearby within a year,” the comic strip said.
The last panel of the strip explained that a “second Panama Canal” could be dug for “a tenth of the cost of doing it mechanically.” If only President Teddy Roosevelt had been able to use nuclear bombs in the first decade of the 20th century, right?
Go check the rest of Novak's post at Paleofuture to see the other scans from that comic. They're quite something! Now I want a t-shirt with just that image of a shovel bedecked with an atomic symbol.
By ‘grace of God,’ no one was injured in a massive explosion at the Androscoggin Mill in Jay, Maine, earlier today, reports the Bangor News.
I’ve lived long enough in America to know that… A) “Shelter in place” means “you’ll probably be OK”, and that… B) There is no footage so awesome it can’t be ruined by graphics, chyrons and the inane narration of news presenters.
The Tappan Zee will meet its maker on Saturday as New York state contractors plan to blow up what’s left of the 63-year-old bridge. Replaced by the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in 2017, the iconic Tappan Zee will be loaded up with explosives and sent to a watery grave in the Hudson River. The […]
The average US household replaces their mattress about every seven years. So if it’s been more than that, or even a lot more than that, it might be time to invest in a new slumber HQ. And most sleep experts will tell you the right mattress really should be looked at as an investment. Because […]
If there’s any knock on most smartwatches, up to and including the industry-leading Apple Watch, it’s probably that the bands aren’t…well, they aren’t usually the greatest. While Apple is certainly making strides in the watchband game, most models are just as black, boring and nondescript as you’d expect from a tech company. And where many […]
For all their obvious similarities, language learning apps will often each take unique approaches to teaching a foreign tongue. Or, in the case of many services, a whole bunch of foreign tongues. While some providers give you access to training across overwhelming menus of more than 150 different languages, the people behind the Busuu Language […]