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[P]
Kiss Your Sorry Ass Goodbye

By MichaelCrawford in Technology
Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 12:44:03 AM EST
Tags: Nuclear War? There Goes My Career!, Mother Earth Is Dying, It's The Dirt That Does It (all tags)

Global nuclear war is imminent.

Why now, and not before? Because Iran may have nuclear weapons. As I will explain, it doesn't matter whether they really have the bomb. I am confident that the first use of nuclear weapons in anger since Nagasaki will happen within a month, six at the most.

The only Muslim country that is certain to have bombs is Pakistan, but it doesn't hate Israel like Iran does. It's farther away, and so could not bomb Israel if it wanted to. But it has a part to play in this game too, as we shall see.

(Pakistan's beef is with India, also a member of the Nuclear Club, over the disputed region of Kashmir. Both countries first tested their bombs days apart from each other in an obvious show of saber rattling: they each detonated several bombs all in one day. But I digress.)

Iran may not really posses a working weapon, but it does have advanced facilities to refine weapons-grade Uranium. It has never made a secret of this fact; quite the opposite, the Iranians have often boasted of it.

But first I'd like to explain just how and why any Popular Mechanics reader with the inclination, some simple hand tools, a few extra bucks and an afternoon to spare can rain Hellfire from the Heavens.


Why I'm Telling You This

First we got the bomb and that was good,
'Cause we love peace and motherhood.
Then Russia got the bomb, but that's O.K.,
'Cause the balance of power's maintained that way!
Who's next?

Egypt's gonna get one, too,
Just to use on you know who.
So Israel's getting tense,
Wants one in self defense.
"The Lord's our shepherd," says the psalm,
But just in case, we better get a bomb!
Who's next?

Luxembourg is next to go
And, who knows, maybe Monaco.
We'll try to stay serene and calm
When Alabama gets the bomb!
Who's next, who's next, who's next?
Who's next?

-- Tom Lehrer, "Who's Next?", That Was The Year That Was, 1965

This essay isn't actually about the Iranian bomb. It's just one example of several I could choose, but Iran is making front page headlines these days. Using Iran to illustrate my point makes it easier to drive it home.

In 1994, when I first realized the danger of which I should warn others, it was the North Koreans. They're rattling their saber again these days but I choose Iran because a North Korean bomb could only take out South Korea and not the entire Middle East.

In the 1980's, it was Saddam Hussein's bomb, but the Israel delayed it's production by sending Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in X-Wing Fighters to drop a bomb down the Death Star's stairwell.

Now unable to produce Plutonium synthetically, Iraq, in The Empire Strikes Back, set out to refine nuclear explosive from natural Uranium. But they blundered by striking the rebel base of Kuwait before achieving nuclear capability; the Rebel response decimated the Empire's forces and forced the Emperor to submit to humiliating weapons inspections.

There is no question that the Iraqis sought Weapons of Mass Destruction before the first Gulf War. UN inspectors found, buried underground, such weapon-making devices as Calutrons, used to refine Uranium. Calutrons require massive amounts of electricity and shelters the size of football stadiums; to avoid notice of their construction by American spy satellites, the Iraqis buried their Calutrons a hundred miles from their electric power stations, with the Calutrons supplied by undergound cables.

Calutrons are simple in principle, but in practice work very poorly. Thus the Manhattan Project scientists struggled for years to improve the Calutron's design to the point it could make enough Uranium for even one bomb. The designs thus had huge commercial value, so they applied for and were granted several top-secret patents.

The weapons inspectors also found photocopies of the Calutron patents. They were declassified after the war, you see, when far more efficient means of refining Uranium were invented, as the Calutron was then considered obsolete.

But, the Emperor figured, if the Calutron worked well enough for Hiroshima, then it would work well enough for Saddam.

My purpose in writing this is not to warn you of the bomb's danger, but of the ease with which it is made. Any country that doesn't already have atomic bombs either doesn't want them - Canada for example - or fear they would be attacked if they tried to make one.

Don't get me started about the Alberta Tar Sands. Just don't.

Be The First On Your Block To Get One!

The only real obstacle to building a bomb is obtaining the nuclear explosive; it requires either collosal amounts of electricity and a huge industrial plant to refine natural Uranium, or a large nuclear reactor and a great deal of time to synthesize enough Plutonium.

To put it more bluntly, you could build a bomb of your own if you just had enough time and money.

Or, you could just buy it on the black market from one of the former Soviet republics. But since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States has worked tirelessly to prevent this by buying up all the bomb-grade material it can get and shipping it to the US for safekeeping.

I don't recall clearly, but I remember reading that Vladimir Putin put a stop to this, to avoid diminishing the Russian Republic's capacity to rebuild its nuclear force.

The first atomic bombs were built with the technology of the 1940's; such technology is within the reach of any industrialized nation even if it is a member of the Third World.

Notably, the United States did not possess programmable computers until the Manhattan Project was well advanced, and even then it only had one, which was very slow and unreliable as it was built from vacuum tubes.

Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman, then a young man fresh out of graduate school, was in charge of the computer division at Los Alamos. I was told by a fellow student at Caltech that Feynman was given this task because he could figure numerical solutions to systems of differential equations in his head.

A Manhattan Project "computer" was a smart young man sitting at a desk with a table of logarithms and an adding machine. They worked together in large teams to run numerical simulations of the bomb detonations, simulations which would take weeks or months to complete. The bomb designers would then improve their designs based on the simulation results and the results of actual experiments, and run the simulations all over again.

Thus even a 386 PC with 640 kilobytes of RAM running DOS would dwarf even the capacity of the computers used to design the Hydrogen bomb after the war. What could even one PhD physicist accomplish with one of today's Linux boxes running MatLab?

A fully detailed understanding of all but a few of the bomb's design requirements can be had with a few months of research in the library of any major University as well as the archives of the US Patent Office. I once met two young men who set for themselves and met the challenge of designing a bomb before their eighteenth birthdays. Experts who studied their design said it was credible.

If you'd like to understand bomb design in more detail, I recommend:

Both by Richard Rhodes.

The reason I finally decided to go back to school to write my undergraduate thesis and get my Physics degree, followed by grad school, was that I read the A-Bomb book and said to myself, "Hey, I could do that!"

Ask for express shipping, as you won't have enough time to read both books otherwise.

Until Iran tests, there is no way even they could know that their bomb would actually work; even though the general techniques of making a bomb are well-known, some aspects such as the explosive lenses and the initiator in a Plutonium bomb are tricky and hard to get right.

Uranium bombs are much more reliable and easy to make, but it's much harder to refine enough bomb-grade Uranium from natural Uranium than it is to make enough Plutonium in a reactor.

The Manhattan Project scientists weren't certain which kind of fuel they could make enough of first, or whether either kind would really work in practice, so to play it safe they made both kinds of bombs. The Trinity test was Plutonium, Hiroshima Uranium, and Nagasaki Plutonium.

After the war, US bomb production focused on Plutonium bombs as they are smaller, lighter and more powerful. All Hydrogen bombs use Plutonium detonators.

The fissible isotope U-235 occurs naturally and in abundance, natural Uranium is a mixture of isotope 235 with a much larger proportion of the the non-fissile isotope U-238. Bomb-grade Uranium can only be refined by taking advantage of the two isotopes' tiny difference in atomic weight, for example by using their momentum to split a beam of Uranium vapour in a mass spectrometer known as a Calutron.

This works well, but requires massive amounts of electricity; the Manhattan Project used ten percent of the entire United States electrical capacity throughout World War II, as well as most of the US Mint's cache of silver as magnet wire for the calutrons.

Plutonium does not occur in nature but is easily made in a reactor, and from there easily refined chemically. However, even a very large reactor produces only tiny quantities of it, so one must run such a reactor for years to get enough fuel for just one bomb. Plutonium is so hard to make that Berkeley's Glen Seaborg had to develop techniques for handling chemicals in test tubes the size of a human hair in order to find a way to purify it.

Uranium bombs work by rapidly assembling a critical mass of U-235. One fires a Uranium slug out of a cannon into the center of a Uranium ring.

Plutonium bombs work by firing a spherical explosive lens to collapse a sub-critical sphere of Plutonium-238. The detonation also activates an initiator at the center of the Plutonium core, which kicks off the reaction by bombarding the Plutonium with neutrons. (I've never quite understood why one needs to shrink the Plutonium sphere.)

In either case, when a Uranium or Plutonium nucleus absorbs a neutron, it causes a chain reaction in which the nucleus splits into two large chunks and two more neutrons. The two neutrons then cause two more nuclei to split, causing four more to split and so on in a geometrically-growing avalanche that ended World War II with two hundred thousand sudden deaths.

But Wait! There's More!

Once one possesses a Plutonium bomb it is very easy to take the next step. Hydrogen bomb design has been common knowledge ever since The Progressive magazine successfully challenged government censors and published the details back in 1979.

The fuel is quite easy to obtain; Deuterium is abundant and much easier to separate from Hydrogen-1 than U-235 is from U-238 because of its much larger ratio of atomic mass.; "Heavy water" is actually produced distilling regular water!

Tritium also occurs naturally from the decay of Radon gas, which is produced by the decay of many radioactive isotopes, particularly Radium. Any nuclear reactor will make lots of it.

I won't discuss Hydrogen bombs in detail, except to say that a Plutonium bomb is used to both heat and compress Deuterium and Tritium, isotopes of Hydrogen with one or two neutrons in addition to its single proton.

When a temperature and pressure comparable to that of the Sun's core is achieved, the Deuterium and Tritium nuclei fuse - that is, join together - to form Helium. A Helium nucleus is slightly less massive than two Hydrogen nuclei; this difference is converted into light whose energy is given by Einstein's famous equation E = mC^2, where C is the speed of light.

Light is the fastest thing in the Universe; when you square it, it makes a Real Big Number. Thus you can see that converting even a tiny amount of mass yields a phenomenal amount of energy; the bombs dropped during World War II each shed the mass of a United States Ten Cent piece.

A modest Hydrogen bomb is a thousand times as powerful. There is no real limit to how big an H-Bomb can be; in practice, the limit is set by the delivery system, as heavy Hydrogen bombs are quite large.

The biggest man-made explosion in history was a 60 Megaton H-bomb dropped on a Siberian island from an airplane in a Cold War Soviet demonstration of military might. (One Megaton is the explosive force of one million tons of TNT.)

The bomb's fall was slowed by a parachute to give the plane's pilot a fighting chance to escape. He was told ahead of time that they weren't certain how powerful the blast would really be, thus his survival was uncertain.

He lived.

The Iranian Trigger

The crux of my argument is that, while no one but Iran can know whether they have a bomb, and even Iran cannot know whether it would actually work, they are close enough to joining The Nuclear Club as to possess a credible threat not just to Israel, but to every country that has taken either Israel's side in its wars with Lebanon and Palestine, or the United States' side in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially England.

How?

While Iran might prefer to bomb Israel, actually delivering such a bomb is problematic. Both kinds of A-bombs are always very heavy when first developed, weighing several tons, until a nuclear program has had enough testing to figure out how to shrink them. They are also very large: the US had to modify its conventional bombers to carry nukes, not because they were too heavy, but because they were too big to fit.

Thus Iran cannot possibly hit Israel with a nuclear missile. They would have to smuggle one into Israel via land or sea, and both are very heavily guarded to prevent any sort of enemy weapon, let alone atomic bombs, from getting into the country.

On the other hand, Iran has a huge shipping industry because of its oil. It would be trivial for them to send a shipping container with a bomb in it to a neutral country, and from there to a British or American port, where it would be detonated before it had to pass through customs.

The Big Red Button Won't Be Pressed By A Muslim Finger

It's not actually Iranian bombs that concern me, rather those possessed by Israel, England, and the US:

On July 15th, 2005, Colorado congressman Rep. Tom Tancredo advocated nuking Mecca if America was again attacked by terrorists. Speaking on a radio station in Florida, Tancredo said the "ultimate threat" would have to be met with an "ultimate response."

Then there's the news that the Pentagon, under instruction from Vice President Cheney, has assigned the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM), the task of creating contingency plans to conduct a large-scale air assault on Iran. The attack would include the use of tactical nuclear weapons and would be carried out in the event of another 9/11-type terror attack on U.S. soil.
-- Mark Vallen, We're Number One

coillte posted estimates in my diary that Israel may possess as many as five hundred bombs, possibly even heavy Hydrogen bombs. While Israel has never tested, it possesses some of the world's best scientific and engineering talent, with no shortage of either computing hardware or software engineers for accurate numerical explosion simulations.

Thus, there is no question in my mind that if Israel were to push the button, it would work on the first try. Iran is within range of Israeli planes that have the lift capacity and range to deliver.

I have no doubt whatsoever that the US has bombs aboard missile and aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Red Sea: cruise missiles were originally developed to bomb the Soviet Union, so I'm certain every cruise missile carrier in the US Navy has nukes.

Not to mention the submarines. The British have them too. (They had the bomb from the start, as the Manhattan Project was a joint US/British collaboration.)

Neither Israel, the United States nor Britain can possibly take the risk of Iran creating a working bomb. Thus they will bomb Iran back to the Stone Age should it ever seem imminent.

While the US or Britain could easily cripple Iran's nuclear program with conventional weapons, because of the distance, and the sheer size and number of the facilities required to refine either Uranium or Plutonium - a Uranium plant is the size of a football field - Israel could not hope to irreparably damage Iran's facilities with anything short of dozen nuclear weapons.

Why? Because Israel would only get one chance: before Israel's planes could return to base, refuel, and return with fresh bombs, Iran's air defenses would be at battle stations, with fighter planes swarming in the air above targets. Their first strike would thus have to kock out several square miles of industrial facilties, obliterate Iran's reactors, as well as dozens of electrical power plants.

Israel does not possess enough planes to take out more than one Uranium plant conventionally at that distance, let alone a hundred industrial facilities. Not in just one shot.

UN weapons inspectors discovered many of Iraq's nuclear facilities hidden underground after the first Gulf war, such has hundred-mile-long buried cables to power its Calutrons well away from its power plants; likely Iran his buried many of its facilities as well.

Even if Iran is taken out with conventional weapons, they haven't been weakened by a previous war with the West and a decade of sanctions as Iraq was. Iran has had decades to prepare itself for war with the US and Israel, is one of the world's top oil-producing nations, and therefore very wealthy. Is has also seen two of its neighbors annihilated by the US and British, who have no qualms whatsoever about torturing and murdering prisoners of war. Iran surely has no doubt who will be Bush' next target.

Thus there is also no doubt in my mind that if the US or Britain were to bomb Iran, Iran would invade Iraq. The US and Britain are up to their eyeballs fighting the insurgents, and don't have enough troops to repel an Iranian ground invasion. Iran might well be able to drive the US and Britain from Iran, unless...

Britain or the US fight back with nuclear weapons.

While Pakistan is a US ally, the Pakistani government is very unpopular with its people. Thus if any Muslim nation, not just Iraq, were ever bombed, the Pakistani government would be overthrown by its military and the new regime would come to Iran's aid in a nuclear way. The fun would then begin in earnest!

That's why I recently ran a poll in my diary regarding how many weeks we'd have to wait for the first bomb to drop. My vote was four weeks. That was a week ago, so now it's just three.

That's still my top pick, but I am as certain as I can be that Judgement Day will come before the year is out.

Hope that clears everything up for you. This might be a good time to buy a shovel and dig a fallout shelter: Dig a whole in your back yard, throw a piece of plywood or a couple doors on top of it, and cover that with a thick layer of dirt. As T.K. Jones once explained, "It's the dirt that does it."

Why Israel Is Toast

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. Good thing I previewed first. I read the other day that the Syrians developed their own models of Scud missiles that not only can hit any target in Israel, but carry far larger warheads than the missiles that the Hezbollah has been shooting at Haifa.

The same article said the Syrian's also have VX nerve gas. Thus the Forces of Allah don't actually need a bomb to put millions of Israelis to death in an instant.

But What Can I Do?

My message is not to the world's leaders but its people. That's why I beg of you, if you want your country's children to have a future and you live in one of the belligerent countries, do whatever it takes to persuade your leaders to stand down from the conflict.

I'll leave the definitions of "whatever it takes" and "persuade" as exercises for the reader.

Whose Side Are You On, Anyway?

No one's, in particular. None of the parties involved have clean hands in my honest opintion.

I am on the side of peace and disarmanent.

Failing that I also feel very strongly that every sovereign nation has both a right and a duty to its people to maintain troops and weaponry sufficient to preserve that sovereignty.

That's why, despite otherwise opposing most of what Canada's new Prime Minister Steven Harper proposes, I strongly support his goal of rebuilding Canada's once-proud military, which has fallen into disrepair as the result of neglect by previous governments.

That's why, as long as the United States possesses even one bomb, I support North Korea's right to make nuclear weapons too.

That's why, as long as Israel has bombs, and the United States shows the willingness to invade countries that do not threaten its territorial boundaries, even with conventional weapens, then I support the right of Iran to have atomic bombs too. Even Hydrogen bombs, as both the US and Israel possess them.

Despite being a lefty and a peacenik, and never having served, I still have some idea of what it's like to fight in a war: I was a Navy brat. My father, an officer of the US Navy, was proud to serve his country in Vietnam.

My Sick Little Private Joke

Question: What was the code name of the first successful Hydrogen bomb test?

Google is your friend.

-- Mike

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Display: Sort:
Kiss Your Sorry Ass Goodbye | 316 comments (225 topical, 91 editorial, 0 hidden)
Why you have to shrink it: (2.00 / 3) (#3)
by rpresser on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 01:19:12 PM EST

I've never been too clear on why one needs to shrink the plutonium sphere though.

It's been my (layperson) understanding that the plutonium sphere, though subcritical at rest, is actually critical when it shrinks, since its density increases due to the concussion.

------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty

the p needs to be taken out..in the (1.00 / 5) (#4)
by dakini on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 01:20:47 PM EST

 very first paragraph...

" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
Anger? (2.75 / 8) (#14)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 01:59:52 PM EST

What makes you think Nagasaki was done in anger? Japan had already lost the war and they knew it. Nagasaki was done to prevent Japan from falling to Stalin before it could fall to the Allies. It was a coldly calculated piece of geopolitical strategy.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Anger at the Soviets then, but still anger (2.66 / 3) (#24)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 03:18:32 PM EST

I'll grant you they may well have been innocent victims. Let's just say it was the first bomb of the next war, rather than the second of the last.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

that still doesn't seem like anger (3.00 / 2) (#276)
by Delirium on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 02:18:11 AM EST

If we're going to ascribe emotions, I would place fear of the Soviets before anger at the Soviets.

[ Parent ]
how many more lives (2.50 / 2) (#273)
by Morally Inflexible on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 07:10:38 PM EST

would have been spent on a conventional invasion? by that point, it was clear that Japan had lost. However, during that conflict, the Japanese had a history of resisting until death.

Moral judgements aside, *I* wouldn't want to be on the first boat to have landed on a Japanese beach.

[ Parent ]

eh? (2.33 / 3) (#28)
by CodeWright on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 03:31:27 PM EST

what risk does a single iranian H-bomb pose to the United States?

I mean, the downtown of our financial capitol was eliminated and we shrugged.

So, what, they'll blow up downtown New York a second time, what?

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

10 million dead (2.66 / 3) (#61)
by DrToast on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 08:06:02 PM EST

is a lot more significant than 3000. Also, the US totally pissed themselves on 9/11. You go on like you didn't but we all saw it.

[ Parent ]
Dark Sun shows an H-Bomb over New York (2.66 / 3) (#82)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:45:10 PM EST

He has two large photos, each depicting the New York City skyline as viewed from New Jersey.

The first one shows the Trinity blast superimposed on top, set to scale: an A-Bomb would destroy the middle of Manhattan.

Then he shows the same skyline under an H-Bomb blast. It's clear that all five boroughs would be annhilitated.

I haven't bought the book yet, but it really gave me pause when I saw the photos while browsing in a bookstore.

Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb by Richard Rhodes.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Buy it and read it. (2.66 / 3) (#124)
by wiredog on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 07:53:38 AM EST

It's interesting. Especially the parts about the Soviet espionage against the US nuclear program. It goes into Venona, Klaus Fuchs, the Rosenbergs, and other stuff.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
i highly doubt 10 million dead (3.00 / 3) (#143)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 12:57:29 PM EST

consider all of manhattan lost.

that'll be what? 100,000? 200,000?

Maybe another 50,000 to 200,000 from firestorms and lack of emergency medical services in the chaos.

So call it half a million total.

That's like a tenth of a percent of the US documented legal population.

All that would serve to do is make the US population very upset and give political mandate to bomb the crap out of a miscellaneous set of third world countries.

I fail to grasp the Ragnarok here?

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Actually... (3.00 / 2) (#266)
by John Mytton on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 03:30:39 AM EST

Manhattan has 1.5 million people, and a hydrogen bomb could probably destroy more than that. Even if only the island of Manhattan were destroyed, it's still the headquarters of the UN and the home of the New York Stock Exchange. Not only that, but it's also one of the highest concentrations of wealth in the entire world, if not the United States.

9-11 destroyed several buildings, but a nuclear attack would be unimaginably catastrophic.

[ Parent ]

Your population estimates are way the hell off. (none / 1) (#286)
by Retarded Pelican on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 03:35:07 AM EST

"All of Manhattan" is well over a million people. The population density of the island is nearly 70,000 persons per square mile. 100-200 thousand people would be vaporized, with hundreds of thousands more killed instantly in other ways. And then a few hundred thousand more killed by day's end.

[ Parent ]
MichaelCrawford on world politics. (2.20 / 5) (#30)
by debacle on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 03:33:29 PM EST

lolwhat?

It tastes sweet.
Why I sectioned it in Technology, not Politics: (1.50 / 1) (#36)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 03:58:26 PM EST

It's not about politics or war strategy, but about how easy it is for any Popular Mechanics reader with a few extra bucks and an afternoon to spare to rain Hellfire from the Heavens.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Nah. You trippin' (2.50 / 4) (#31)
by ksandstr on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 03:40:24 PM EST

What a state gets for dropping nukes on anyone, regardless of whether it's supposedly in "self defense" (which, face it, the jews would obviously claim) or not, is economic sanctions. I'm talking like from the U of the fucking E and our little Switzerland, too. I expect that India and China would join in quite merrily.

Then again, I think Israel should already be subjected to sanctions for their crimes against humanity perpetrated in Lebanon. A nuke here or there might not actually cause the scale to suddenly flip over, what with the current Boltonificated state of the UN and all.

Fin.

Syrian SCUDs irrelevant (2.50 / 4) (#32)
by crazy canuck on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 03:43:23 PM EST

Iran bought Moskits from the Russians. These missiles can sink modern US ships and can cary conventional or nuclear warheads.
They fly at Mach 3 at high altitude or Mach 2.2 close to the ground. There's no defense against them.

Thanks for the tip. But first-generation nukes? (2.66 / 3) (#34)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 03:53:04 PM EST

I'd be surprised if they could deliver Manhattan Project-style weapons to Israel. Those things are huge and weigh several tons.

The US had to shrink its bombs before they could be delivered by missiles, and that requires several rounds of testing and redesign. I don't think there's much declassified information available about how to shrink a bomb, not like there is on the Manhattan Project bombs.

But then, there's always nerve gas.

I'll Google it, and add it to my piece.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

not first generation (3.00 / 5) (#39)
by crazy canuck on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 04:18:02 PM EST

but hey, if it comes to nuclear war, who says they woulnd't be able to acquire modern nukes too?

besides, even with conventional warheads, they still beat the AEGIS system and sevesal Moskits will sink a ship. Straight of Hormuz would be shut down immediately if there's a war with Iran and oil would skyrocket, plus any US warships in the persian gulf would be in severe danger of being sunk.

the missile is the 3M80 Moskit or SS-N-22 Sunburn (NATO designation)

[ Parent ]

OPN - other people's nukes (none / 0) (#305)
by iggymanz on Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 04:02:27 PM EST

Just a couple misplaced soviet-era nukes in Iran's hands means they don't need to do any R&D or manufacturing whatsoever.  We know the terrorist groups haven't any such thing, or they would have used them.  But governments, that's another story.

[ Parent ]
No defense (1.50 / 1) (#233)
by ShooterNeo on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:53:17 AM EST

CWIS doesn't even have a chance?

[ Parent ]
Lost me here (2.50 / 4) (#37)
by thefirelane on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 04:02:28 PM EST

Iran would invade Iraq. The US and Britain are up to their eyeballs fighting the insurgents, and don't have enough troops to repel an Iranian ground invasion.

The US is having trouble with the insurgents because of two reasons:
1) We are in the cities with them
2) We don't want to kill everyone

If a conventional war with Iran started up, we'd suddenly be fighting a real, marked, army. We pack up out of the cities and the US army would do what it does best: fighting a known entity. I'm not saying it would be easy, but I am saying that I don't think the insurgents would matter much then. We'd just camp out in the desert and shoot at what ever comes near.

agree?

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
I'm not so certain Iran's troops would be ident... (2.50 / 2) (#38)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 04:11:45 PM EST

... ifiable: the border between Iraq and Iran is long and largely unguarded, and it's already well-known that the insurgents are entering Iraq via Syria. I expect they could enter from the North as well.

I'd think any US war on Iran would be a lot more like it's war on Vietnam, fought by Viet-Cong guerilles, than it's war against the Nazis, with well-defined troop placements announcing themselves by smartly pressed uniforms.

I would be surprised if the Iranians weren't already smuggling men and weaponry into Iraq. A gallon jug of VX can do a lot of damage if you drop it on the pavement in a public place. It's already well-established that they will pay for the delivery of even light weaponry with their certain and instant death.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Fair enough, we're picturing different things (2.66 / 3) (#40)
by thefirelane on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 04:25:32 PM EST

I hear ground invasion, and I think: tanks, troops, and planes.

The probably could smuggle in a bunch of men, and some arms... but I don't know the countryside enough to know how much serious firepower they could sneak across the boarder if we were activly putting all our resources into stopping it.

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
I'm thinking insurgents with glass bottles of VX (2.66 / 3) (#44)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 05:03:01 PM EST

rather than bombs under their coat. Just drop them on the pavement in a crowded public place and thousands die within a couple minutes.

It's a never gas, lethal if only the tiniest quantities are inhaled or absorbed through the skin. There are many kinds of nerve gas; one was used by a Japanese cult to gas some Tokyo subway stations a few years back.

The Syrians are known to actually possess VX; Bush' chief claim that the Iraqi's possessed WMDs before the second war was mostly about nerve gas rather than biological or nuclear weapons.

I don't know whether the Iraqis actually posses any, but if some Tokyo basement chemists could make nerve gas for delivery in mason jars, I'm sure the Iranians could smuggle it by the tankerload into Baghdad.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

... or... (2.33 / 3) (#68)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:06:18 PM EST

Or out of Bagdad, as I believe the case to have been with the thousands of trucks that left Iraq for Syria right around the time of that earthquake... I believe the international media billed it as "aide".
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

thousands die within a couple minutes. (3.00 / 5) (#123)
by wiredog on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 07:49:36 AM EST

Not if it's deployed the way you're talking about. Nerve agents only work effectively if sprayed from the air. Either by aircraft or artillery shells outfitted for it. Drop a jug of it on the ground and it kills the guy who dropped it, anyone who is splashed, and anyone within a hundred feet or so. The last only if it's nighttime and hot enough to vaporize the agent and with enough wind to disperse it, but not so much wind to disperse it too much.

I got lots of training on chemical weapons when I was in the army. They're not really all that effective. Given even a minute or two's warning competent troops (and civilians: Get in the car, roll up the windows, turn off the AC, and drive slowly upwind a block or two.) can be fully protected long enough to get clear.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

thank you. (2.75 / 4) (#146)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:18:42 PM EST

Crawford's chicken little yammering about the sky falling full of VX was beginning to wear on my nerves.

its obvious that VX is his latest bogeyman, never mind the fact that he has no idea how that kind of weapon would really work or the (low to moderate) risks it represents.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Man (2.00 / 2) (#226)
by ShooterNeo on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:27:50 AM EST

That would SUUUCk.  I enlisted a couple years ago, though I'm National Guard, which it turns out is kinda like not being in the military.  But man, gas mask drills suck ass.  I can't imagine what it would be like, deployed over there, if just ONE asshole dropped a vial of VX.  Even if no-one died, the higher ups would be making us haul that heavy shit (mop suits especially) everywhere, and doing gas drills.

[ Parent ]
But Iran must know this, too (3.00 / 2) (#271)
by dukerobillard on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 10:12:06 AM EST

So, wouldn't the logical Iranian invasion be to send 10,000 SUVs with 4 guys each, spread out to all the cities?   Seems to me in a couple of weeks, there could be a sniper on every rooftop in Iraq, and a cache of explosives on every block.


[ Parent ]
lol @ the inevitable psychotic breakdown (2.40 / 5) (#47)
by indubitable on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 05:30:46 PM EST


What kind of sick fuck doesn't want to roger some dude wearing a bear suit?

It happened in 1994 over this very topic (2.80 / 5) (#48)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 05:38:07 PM EST

back then it was the North Koreans. I'm absolutely dead-serious; I spent four days in the inpatient unit. That's when I was first prescribed Risperdal. It had only been licensed a few months before, so the hospital staff was completely dumbfounded by how well it worked for me. I described it as "A breath of fresh air blowing through my mind". Risperdal is the shit, I'm telling you.

One difference between then and now is that I've had twelve years to reflect on just what made me crack, I've had and recovered from three less-serious psychotic breaks, and come to understand what made me crack and how I was able to recover in each incident, and I've been on Risperdal faithfully for twelve years.

But it concerned Bonita enough when I told her what I'd written this this morning that she broke down in tears. I've since been able to console her, help her to understand why it's so important to warn others this way as to risk my sanity, and what I'm doing to ensure that doesn't actually happen.

I'm not going to crack up. It's not that this is to important to me; it's too important to the people I'm trying to save.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

delusions of grandeur (1.33 / 3) (#49)
by i have aids on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 05:46:21 PM EST

arent they a symptom of schizophrenia

crazy programmers really shouldn't comment on international politics or try to save people

[ Parent ]

No, it's a degree in physics actually (2.75 / 4) (#51)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 05:52:16 PM EST

There are many kinds of physics, most of which don't apply to weaponry, but I focused largely on the experimental study of nuclear and radioactive phenomena, with a little bit of high-energy particle physics right at the very end.

One doesn't have to be crazy to want to save the world. Understanding a danger in a way others don't is enough. My challenge has always been to find a way to explain it in a way that really gets my point across. I think I'm finally able to do so today, with the help of the edit queue.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

well physicists (1.60 / 5) (#55)
by i have aids on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 06:01:05 PM EST

shouldn't comment on politics either, just look at einstein and his ridiculous socialists ideas.

[ Parent ]
Einstein signed the letter that started the Atomic (2.75 / 4) (#74)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:25:10 PM EST

... Age. It was actually written by Leo Szilard, who was the first to conceive of an atomic bomb, but Einsten signed it to ensure it would be taken seriously.

This letter was then delivered to President Roosevelt, who agreed with both of them and initiated the Manhattan Project.

It cost many billions of dollars to produce the three bombs detonated during the war, plus a few that weren't, and employed tens of thousands of people in huge industrial plants all over the US, not just Los Alamos.

Thus physicists have their place in history aside from discovering things. It's just that they aren't always as on the ball about politics as they are about science.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Yes. Leave political discussion to the kurons. $ (3.00 / 5) (#83)
by Trickle of Gold on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:48:04 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Why would you want to save the world? (3.00 / 3) (#87)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:55:48 PM EST

This place is a shithole.

Burn, baby, burn!

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

what a waste (2.00 / 3) (#149)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:22:24 PM EST

i mean, how can you have a degree in physics yet make the most trivial mistakes when it comes to estimating the lethality of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons?

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
all it would take is one little nudge (2.20 / 5) (#54)
by indubitable on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 06:00:59 PM EST

to push you over the edge. it would be a shame if someone trolled you into a padded room for a week.

What kind of sick fuck doesn't want to roger some dude wearing a bear suit?
[ Parent ]

holy shit. you've already cracked again = (1.50 / 2) (#148)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:21:10 PM EST



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Are you completely insane? (1.80 / 5) (#56)
by I love you but your dog smells on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 06:49:12 PM EST

Oh, according to google, you are.

Never mind. I do love you but your dog does smell.

Michae-1 Crawford $ (1.14 / 7) (#57)
by akostic on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 06:59:36 PM EST


--
"After an indeterminate amount of time trading insane laughter with the retards, I grew curious and tapped on the window." - osm
I was unaware (1.75 / 4) (#59)
by FizZle on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 07:35:00 PM EST

that fingers are capable of adopting religious doctrines

---
"Leave a tip if you're datin' a girl from Eaton, or vice versa." - tip jar at B&D
Eh? I'm not sure I understand your meaning. $ (1.50 / 1) (#72)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:18:22 PM EST


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

US nukes (2.00 / 4) (#62)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 08:06:21 PM EST

While it's possible that carriers and such have nukes, such an assertion demonstrates a lack of knowledge of how our military forces are arranged.

Nukes, if launched by the US, will come from submarines. Submarines are, by a long shot, the indisputed king of the seas right now (in the terms of firepower) and they are not often talked about as they are infrequently seen. They are currently deployed throughout the world's oceans and seas; we have 18 Ohio class ballistic missile submarines alone, and each are outfitted with 24 Trident II (ie ballistic nuclear missiles) launch tubes. We have 50 Los Angeles class attack subs; each are complimented with . Thirty one of these LA class subs have an additional 12 vertical tubes for launching Tomohawk cruise missiles - also potentially nuclear in function. The nukes on board one of these ships are many times the potency of the ones dropped on Japan.

In short, we've got enough nuclear weapons floating about the world beneath the waves to glass the entire world several times over. Any one of these subs could sufficiently destroy most countries and their inhabitants in a matter of minutes (with repetitive launches).
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

No, I'm absolutely certain the ships have nukes (2.66 / 3) (#63)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 08:31:55 PM EST

The United States does not have enough submarines to deliver all the bombs it possesses. Not even if you consider strategic bombers. Subs and bombers are just for strategic weapons. Surely you haven't forgotten about tactical nuclear weapons? These can be fired by artillery!

No, I have no doubt that missile carriers have bombs too. I won't explain in much detail except to say that my father, a Naval officer, once worked in a small, specially secured highly-classified facility smack in the middle of the extremely large Concord Naval Weapons Station. To give you an idea of its size, that page says it's 12,800 acres.

That, and that one time when my Dad was riding in a truck on its way to a delivery at the Hunter's Point base in South San Francisco, one of its tires threw a tread on the Oakland Bay Bridge, which is in the Guiness Book of World's Records for having the world's largest toll plaza.

Hilarity ensued.

I can only tell you this because my father passed away in 2003.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

oh, I know (2.66 / 3) (#73)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:24:00 PM EST

Oh, I know carriers have a full compliment of nuclear gear for anything and everything they carry or can launch; I was just saying that subs have a much more... immediately expendable... compliment of nuclear weapons - a compliment which is more than capable of doing enough nuclear damage to make any enemy's day quite unpleasant.

But then again, I'm not sure of the range of the Tomohawk, et al missiles employed; I've forgotten mcuh of what I've learned on the matter. I'm fairly certain they've got the range to make Tehran overly warm for the region for several thousand years.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

The Navy hit Baghdad from the Red Sea (2.66 / 3) (#76)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:29:46 PM EST

That's on the opposite side of Saudi Arabia from the Persian Gulf. So they do have quite some range.

The main reason I don't think they'd launch a missile from a sub is that they don't need to. It would be a waste of money and valuable ammunition. Those things are for busting cities, as well as preventing retalation by hitting missiles in hardened silos.

It would only require a much lighter weapon to take out the United States' Oak Ridge National Laboratory. I'm not certain a cruise missile could carry one, but a fighter-bomber could; I don't think it would even require a strategic bomber.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Nukes on ships (none / 1) (#287)
by xnixman on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 04:45:02 AM EST

Nukes were taken off carriers, etc in the mid 90's...Try to keep up.

Nukes are a pain in the butt to maintain... Besides, it is not like we really need Nukes on a day to day basis.

I don't think the US has any 'traditional' tactical Nukes (backpack, artillary, torpedo)any more either.  I think a tomahawk is about as tactical as you can get these days from uncle sam.

By the way, the explosive lens to compress the plutonium is there to create a shockwave that collides with itself and increases the density of the plutonium until it reaches critical mass.  You should ask for your money back from your university.

[ Parent ]

how do you figure... (3.00 / 3) (#150)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:28:03 PM EST

...that we can glass the whole world several times over?

are you cognizant of the total surface area of the earth (196,935,000 square miles)? and that even if every nuclear weapon had a blast coverage of 1000 square miles and we assumed 10,000 nuclear weapons, all designed to optimally spread blast area, we would still only be able to "glass" 10,000,000 square miles (or only 10% of the world's surface).

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Triple that (2.50 / 2) (#175)
by godix on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 03:09:24 PM EST

It's estimated that there are roughly 29,000 nuclear weapons in the world with over 90% being controled by the US or Russia.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
yeah... (2.66 / 3) (#181)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 03:56:58 PM EST

...but a big chunk of those are tactical weapons with a crappy yield... less than a kiloton up to one or two kilotons.

We're talking blast radii measured in a few tens of meters.

Good against tank concentrations at a crossroads or light bunker busting, but not the kind of mass destructive power mentioned above.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
let's bomb all the oceans, too (none / 0) (#292)
by guinpen on Tue Aug 01, 2006 at 05:57:58 PM EST

subtract from that our own country, maybe countries we don't want to bomb (though i'm sure that doesn't exist), and, of course, surface area of the earth taken up by water, which i believe makes up the majority of our earth's surface

[ Parent ]
flawed assumptions (2.00 / 4) (#64)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 08:35:27 PM EST

Thus there is also no doubt in my mind that if the US or Britain were to bomb Iran, Iran would invade Iraq. The US and Britain are up to their eyeballs fighting the insurgents, and don't have enough troops to repel an Iranian ground invasion. Iran might well be able to drive the US and Britain from Iran, unless...

There's a problem with this assumption (and others you've made about Iran's military competence): you assume that Iran has much more in terms of "conventional weapons" outside of millions of foaming-at-the-mouth jihadis. They've got very little in terms of military vehicles - tanks, APCs, cargo trucks, etc. Their airforce is also fairly antiquated (mostly several-generations-old Migs, IIRC). They had several F-15s (may have been F-16s? I don't recall), but they have not been combat ready for years due to the inability to acquire service parts from us. Even if they had modern planes, their pilots are nowhere near the skill level of US, Israeli, or hell, even Chinese pilots - and the tech systems in modern US and israeli planes greatly augment these skills.

The most modern technology they have are probably their missiles and rockets - the ones they've acquired from China and Russia (and then subsequently made lesser copies of). The thing about nukes is that they're basically a force multiplier in terms of combat: delivery systems like planes, tanks, and submarines are inconsequental, as they work outside the innate rules and restrictions of warfare like fronts and force projection (granted, having a nice F-18 to deliver the weapon is useful).

Also keep in mind the US military's record during this war when confronted

Iran is not going to pull off a successful attack against the US into Iraq - unless they use "tactical" nukes against our troops and the local inhabitants. It's just not likely to happen. The biggest asset Iran has in this regard is their massive standing army (the 2nd largest in the world, IIRC, second after only China). This isn't much of an advantage against the US, either; we've got easily concealable, unmanned weapons (the name of which currently escapes me) which have a firing rate of 60,000 rounds a second - perfect for long-range (2000+ yards) massive troop movement bombardment. (This is a technique used to great success by the Finns during WWII against the Russians - the Russians were massacred.)

This doesn't even bring into light the fact that we've got many weapons delivery systems in Iraq - tanks, Strykers, and artillary, all of which are capable of longer range engagement than 99% of what Iran has. Even the Humvee is capable of engagement out to about 2,000 yards with its mortar canon.

(There was an engagement at the beginning of the most previous war in Iraq where a batallion - IIRC - of our troops in Humvees and several strykers (slightly up-armored compared to a HV) was surrounded and attacked - at night - by a numerically superior IRA force (IIRC it was many times larger, like 10) composed of T70 Russian tanks, RPG troops, trucks, ground troops, and what have you. The result? We had a small handful of injuries on our side, and we completely destroyed the attacking tank force. Wish I could remember which battle that was...)

If Iran does move on Iraq, it will be through hundreds of thousands of troops sneaking across the Iraq/Iran border and then waging a massive "insurgency" once they're native, overwhelming troops in a fashion not too different than the fiasco in Somolia during Clinton - escept on a much larger scale. I wouldn't personally rule that out.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

It will be even more like Vietname than Iraq is... (2.50 / 2) (#71)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:16:34 PM EST

... now. Those legions of foaming-at-the-mouth jihadis are the key; my assumption is that they will be armed with weapons more lethal than guns and suicide bombs, such as suicide nerve gas.

I agree completely with your assessment, actually. I'm certain Iran wouldn't win, but neither would Iraq. The US will occupy Iran in the end, but I'm certain it will have to use nuclear weapons to do so.

But the US will really have lost because it will have had to cause the death of far to many innocents on both sides, as well as US troops, for it to be considered any kind of victory.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

my suggestion (1.50 / 1) (#75)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:27:40 PM EST

Mike, I like your posts on here. They're honest, both intellectually and emotionally.

My suggestion: go buy some rice and beans in large quantities. I've got the feeling they'll be needed sooner than later - well before their "sell by" date.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

lolwhat? (2.00 / 2) (#151)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:33:35 PM EST

you're certain?

the US army has chemsniffers all over. the moment they detected a chemical agent, the troops would don their masks (or even heavier gear).

in effect, US military casualties would be low to none.

iraqi civilians would be hard up, but even then the casualties wouldn't be that high.

in a conventional war, iran doesn't stand a chance.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
No (2.50 / 2) (#236)
by ShooterNeo on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:58:14 AM EST

From friends who have been in Iraq, this isn't remotely true.  The gas mask is at the BOTTOM of the duffel bag.  Once in country, you don't do MOPP drills.  The chemical guys might get off their lazy asses and set up the monitoring gear...maybe.  

That would all change if the enemy actually attacked us.  And we're spread out enough that even a major suicide gas attack probably wouldn't get any more soldiers than a successful truck bombing.

[ Parent ]

thanks for clarification... (1.50 / 2) (#250)
by CodeWright on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 10:40:07 AM EST

...but i understood that.

it is why i said that casualties would be low to none.

the first few US soldiers hit by poison gas likely wouldn't be prepared...

but you can bet your sweet cheeks, they would be after that.

and, as you say, a single poison gas attack is unlikely to kill more than a single IED truck.

what i was arguing with was crawford's calamitism of "ZOMG VX GAS!!!!eleventyone"

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
WMD (none / 0) (#306)
by iggymanz on Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 04:06:05 PM EST

anyone that did use chemical or biological weapons against the U.S. including its soldiers would immediately become fair game for nuclear attack.  It's standard U.S.  strategic doctrine now.

[ Parent ]
not just nuclear (none / 0) (#308)
by CodeWright on Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 04:24:55 PM EST

we reserve retaliatory right with all manner of "special weapons"

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
quite true (none / 0) (#311)
by iggymanz on Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 04:44:12 PM EST

but those require special gear for our troops that make them all hot and bitchy.  Whereas with nukes we've already been quite willing to have them rush into ground zero as the 'shroom cloud rises. Decades later they will get their lawsuits smacked down again by the supreme court.  

[ Parent ]
sad but true = (none / 0) (#312)
by CodeWright on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 11:45:12 AM EST



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
60,000 rounds /per second/? (1.66 / 3) (#100)
by pwhysall on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 12:47:13 AM EST


--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]
metalstorm = (1.50 / 1) (#152)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:33:50 PM EST



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Metalstorm (3.00 / 2) (#158)
by jobi on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 02:00:44 PM EST

He's talking about Metalstorm:
Demonstration video of 600, 30,000, 60,000 and 1,000,000 rounds per minute from a 36 barrel prototype
PopSci article
Darthmouth Review article

---
"[Y]ou can lecture me on bad language when you learn to use a fucking apostrophe."
[ Parent ]
Iran is a Real Country (2.50 / 2) (#107)
by unknownlamer on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 02:02:49 AM EST

With a real military.


--
<vladl> I am reading the making of the atomic bong - modern science
[ Parent ]
OT: the name of that 60,000 RPM weapon (1.50 / 2) (#162)
by jobi on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 02:08:12 PM EST

we've got easily concealable, unmanned weapons (the name of which currently escapes me) which have a firing rate of 60,000 rounds a second

It's called Metalstorm:
Demonstration video of 600, 30,000, 60,000 and 1,000,000 rounds per minute from a 36 barrel prototype
PopSci article

---
"[Y]ou can lecture me on bad language when you learn to use a fucking apostrophe."
[ Parent ]

Several things (2.42 / 7) (#65)
by godix on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 08:49:12 PM EST

The detonation also activates an initiator at the center of the Plutonium core, which kicks off the reaction by bombarding the Plutonium with Alpha particles. (I've never quite understood why one needs to shrink the Plutonium sphere.)

How can you be getting a physics degree and not understand this? I'm not trolling, I'm genuinely curious how critical mass eludes you while you are able to understand everything else well enough to get a degree.

As for the core of your arguement, I think you're vastly underestimating Iranians sanity. Ahmadinejad is a loud, obnoxious, insulting troll. However HE is not the ultimate power in Iran. In fact, judging by what little news the west gets, it seems that right after he became President. I picture it like K5 actually, Balderson blathers all he wants and an outsider might mistake Baldersons rantings for offical statements but the real authority lies in Rusty and it's a mistake to assume Balderson speaks for Rusty. Besides, an unstable country wouldn't be aiding groups that attack Israel, it'd  be attacking Israel itself. Ditto for Iraq insurgents. Despite their presidents words, their actions show Iran is interested in self preservation and stability.

Which, oddly enough, is what is provoking this crisis to begin with. Keep in mind that Iran and Iraq fought a war that was basically at a standstill. They've proven to be roughly equal militarily speaking. Iran had front row seats to view how easily America rolled Iraq and I'm sure watching a country they're equal too being destoryed in a few days gave them something to think about. Granted, the US can't rebuild worth a damn but when we want to invade then your governments lifespan is measured in days, and not even all that many of them. So, realisticly speaking, the only way to prevent invasion is to make it too costly for the invaders. Which means nukes. Iran is betting it can stall military action against it until they have a couple nukes to 'defend' themselves. Given how things are going so far they're probably right. Especially now that Israel/Gaza/Lebanon is pushing to Iran nukes talks into the background. Mighty odd timing that a group Iran supports started shit that took focus off Iran just before the G8 leaders met.

Now the other thing to keep in mind is how many nukes Iran can reasonable make. Odds are within the next decade they wouldn't have more than a small handful, I doubt they'd even hit double digits. The purpose of the nukes is to make attacking them to painful an option. With that in mind, they aren't going to waste any on a terrorist incident. After all, if they have four nukes and they use one on NY harbor then they suddenly have 25% less deterance against an enemy suddenly given a LOT of reason to take military action. Iranian leaders are fanatical, violent, and have an entirely different morality of war than the US but they aren't insane and they aren't stupid.

Incidently, about Syrias VX nerve gas. Their missle capability has nothing to do with it. A typical missle is a very VERY poor way to distribute nerve gas. Most of the gas would be burned away in the initial explosion. What gas isn't would be released right when the momentum carries it straight into the ground. A missle can be specially designed to distribute gas like this but Syrias missles aren't. The VX nerve gas fear is the more traditional 'drop a tube of it in the subway' type of delivery system.

If you want to fear nukes anywhere, fear the India/Pakistan standoff. Currently relations are better than they used too (which is astounding considering the recent train bombings in India) however that standoff is one revolution in Pakistan away from bombs flying. And considering China is right in that area and Afghanistan (with US troops) isn't that far there would be four of the worlds nuclear powers involved right off the bat.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.

Does shrinking the pit make it critical? (2.50 / 2) (#69)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:08:06 PM EST

It's a subcritical mass to start with. You make it smaller, while at the same time bombarding the center with alpha particles.

I understand how the initiator sets off the detonation. What I've never been able to understand, and never once have found any explanation of, not even in Rhodes' book, is how making the pit's atoms closer together makes a subcritical mass critical.

It just doesn't make sense to me geometrically, but I've never tried to work it out on paper so maybe my reasoning is flawed.

I actually agree with your analysis. Perhaps I should say somewhere that my scenario is not the only possible one, just one of many all of which are certain to end in dropping a bomb.

That never occurred to me about China and the US getting involved in the Kashmir conflict. I'll see if I can find a way to work it into the piece. I wouldn't want anyone to feel left out.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Not that I know jack about nuclear physics (2.66 / 3) (#91)
by godix on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 10:08:07 PM EST

but I've always viewed it as sub-critical is where there's enough space between atoms that the particles will miss other uranium/plutonium atoms entirely, or at least enough will miss that one atom going bang will statistically speaking cause less than one other atom to go therefore the entire chain reaction dies quickly. Smash your fuel together so the the atoms are more packed in and the particles will now hit instead of miss, one atom going critical will now statistically cause more than one other atom to go critical therefore feeding the chain. I believe the higher the number of atoms a single one can set off is related to the final yield of the bomb but I'm not sure, that part of nuclear physics is where I start going from 'out of my depth' into 'absolutely no fucking clue what I'm talking about'. I picture it like a freeway. When it's rush hour and a car goes spinning out of control you can damn near guarentee it'll end in a 20 car pileup. When it's 2am on the freeway and a car goes spinning out of control chances are no one will be affected other than that car. As far as I know the entire point behind the bomb is to get that 20 car pileup on demand.

I've also heard the really tricky part of making a bomb is how to change from subcritical to critical quickly enough, most means would actually be slow enough that inital few atoms going would blow apart the remaining nuclear fuel before it could go. Again, this is venturing into the 'fucking clueless' territory for me.

Of course, this is all a matter of odds rather than cold hard certainty but when talking about sub-atomic particles what isn't?

Keep in mind, I have no degree in physics so I could be really really off. This is just stuff I gather from books like Rhodes and the like.

Speaking of books, you might want to check out "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" Both are autobiographies by Richard Feynman of a non-technical sort. In one of them (I forget which) he talks about how he able to perform calculations in his head.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]

Crawford here claims to have actually been taught (3.00 / 2) (#93)
by Trickle of Gold on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 10:22:54 PM EST

by Feynman at Caltech.

[ Parent ]
Didn't realize that (3.00 / 2) (#94)
by godix on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 10:44:46 PM EST

Ok, consider those interesting books for people other than Crawford to check out.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
He may not have read them. It didn't sound like he (2.66 / 3) (#95)
by Trickle of Gold on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 10:58:04 PM EST

knew Feynman well. Just some random encounter on his road to insane kuron and programmer.

I second the reccomendation of those books. I also enjoyed The Pleasure of Finding Things Out. I think there may be some overlap with some the stories.

[ Parent ]

I only read Rhodes' A-Bomb book (2.50 / 2) (#180)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 03:53:53 PM EST

and not the h-bomb one. But he devotes a chapter towards the end of his first book to h-bomb design and history. I don't think he'd planned a sequel until after he won the Pullet Surprise.

While I studied Physics at Caltech, and really was taught by Feynman, Physics X was an informal, non-credit question and answer period he offerred each week.

I attended for about a year. One of his conditions was that we not require him to work out equations, so our questions had to be strictly conceptual.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

hmmmm. (1.50 / 1) (#153)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:37:08 PM EST

how does he fail it so hard when it comes to physics then?

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
he's old, he's crazy, he's a programmer. (3.00 / 2) (#165)
by Trickle of Gold on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 02:09:57 PM EST

That's my guess.

[ Parent ]
i'm all those (2.50 / 2) (#167)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 02:16:08 PM EST

why don't i fail it?

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Do you live in Canada too? (2.00 / 2) (#172)
by Trickle of Gold on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 02:25:32 PM EST

Maybe that's the foruth essential ingredient.

[ Parent ]
Ahhhh, no, I don't. It must be the key = (2.00 / 2) (#174)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 03:03:35 PM EST



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
He's right. It's been twenty years (1.50 / 1) (#179)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 03:49:37 PM EST

I showed a friend of Bonita's my homepage the other day, and she said "I wish I knew what you have forgotten" and I said, "If you did, you'd have a degree in Physics".


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Yup. (3.00 / 4) (#130)
by mumble on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 10:30:42 AM EST

You have it pretty close to my understanding of how it works. I might quickly add that Mike's comment: "...while at the same time bombarding the center with alpha particles" is probably off. Alpha particles are terrible at initiating nuclear fission because both the alpha particles (helium nucleus) and the uranium/plutonium nucleuses, are positively charged. You need a neutron emitter instead.

There are two key conditions required to build a decent atomic bomb (that I know of...).

1) You want it stable, so that it doesn't self-detonate until you want it to!
2) When you do trigger it, you want as much as possible of the uranium/plutonium to fission before the energy rips the bomb apart.

(1) and the critical mass, which is roughly the mass of material needed for a spherical hunk of uranium/plutonium to self trigger and detonate, puts an upper limit on the size and yield of an a-bomb *.

(2) implies that to get high yield (and efficiency) you have to take into account the geometry, the volume, and the density of your fissile fuel**. U bombs work by increasing the volume. I have a vague memory that Pu bombs can't work like this because of (1). They are too unstable in that geometry. Instead Pu is converted from stable to critical by increasing the density. And if this isn't perfectly spherical, then only a small part of the Pu fissions, while the rest gets blown away by the part that did fission. Resulting in lots of radioactive waste, and a very low yield.

* This is the beauty of the hydrogen (or thermo-nuclear) bomb. It is absolutely and completely stable regardless of size, and only detonates under the extreme conditions of an atomic-bomb primer. Hence, in theory, you can build a h-bomb with arbitrarily large yield!

** The reason volume, geometry, and density affect the reaction is pretty simple. Given any neutron in the core, you want to maximize the number of fission events (ie. collisions with U/Pu) before it leaves the core, and/or the core is blown apart. So a sphere has different critical mass than say a cylinder. Likewise, higher density implies lower critical mass, because the neutrons run into more nucleauses before escape. ie. pretty much what you said about cars on a highway.

BTW, godix, this mostly NOT aimed at you. It is more of a general comment for the story, and for Mike.

-----
stats for a better tomorrow
bitcoin: 1GsfkeggHSqbcVGS3GSJnwaCu6FYwF73fR
"They must know I'm here. The half and half jug is missing" - MDC.
"I've grown weary of googling the solutions to my many problems" - MDC.
[ Parent ]

Wel (1.50 / 1) (#228)
by ShooterNeo on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:40:02 AM EST

Arbitrarily large yield...I always wondered if that meant a doomsday device was pratical.  One nuke so large that no matter where on earth it goes off, all human life not in bunkers is wiped out.

[ Parent ]
critical (none / 0) (#309)
by iggymanz on Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 04:32:49 PM EST

The actual phrase is "critical configuration", as critical mass is amount in sperical shape for fissionable material under standard pressure and temperature to be critical.   And the "multiplication factor" "becomes greater than unity" when the mass becomes supercritical. Merely compressing plutonium can achieve a critical configuration, but the initiator makes for going far beyond mere critical and releasing much more energy before the bomb disassembles itself.  In fact, there's plenty of nuclear fuels (like  enriched unranium of several percent) that would merely become extremely hot and melt in a critical configuration as pieces moved into proximity, but blast that with enough neutrons at the right energy as it goes critical and you can get a bang.

[ Parent ]
Uhh (1.50 / 1) (#227)
by ShooterNeo on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:35:50 AM EST

Michael, I only took freshman physics and I can understand this one.  It isn't MASS, it's obviously a relationship between the flux of neutrons and molar density of the fissionable material.  (translation : flux just means that amount of activity per unit area, it often is used to describe electromagnetic fields.  Molar density would be number of particles per unit volume.  I made the second term up actually)

Critical mass only means anything when the metal is at its normal density.  It actually has nothing to do with why you need a certain amount of moles of the fissioning isotope to get a chain reaction.  

It's just a leftover concept from the actual experimental science that led to all of this, it has no meaning by itself.  Critical mass rules only apply if the material is close to pure, in a sphere, and at normal density.  

[ Parent ]

agreement (2.60 / 5) (#66)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 08:52:38 PM EST

While I do disagree with your statements about how things will come about (for instance, I don't think Israel will be annihilated - though I do think we here in the US are in for a world of hurt, probably economically), I do agree with you, in general, the timeframe of events.

At the beginning of the year I was predicting that something fairly massive and catalyzing would outbreak August of this year. Lo and behold, earlier this month Lebanon/Hezbollah started attacking Israel.

Personally, I think Iran already has the Bomb - otherwise they wouldn't be talking about it. They're playing their hand well, as they have been doing for the past 30 years since their revolution. They're waiting for the ideal political and economic situation to provide the best impact for them, and to hopefully pin the guilt on someone else (as has been their modus operandi from the start), effectively avoiding the wrath of the US.

Personally, I see one or maybe both of two possible situations. One, Iran or one of their puppet terrorist groups sets off a nuke in Allahland, maybe Mecca or Sedina. Maybe they use a conventional or chemical weapon and kill a lot of people while keeping their precious lands and holy places intact (say, a chemical bomb or series of bombs in Mecca during the time of the gathering, or something at the Dome of the Rock), bringing the worldwide Muslim foaming to a climax. I can see this happening by the end of the year, so as to allow time for our partisian machine here in the US to start cying about not entering another war, blame Bush for the problem, and what have you, so as to guarantee that we don't enter the chaos that is sure to ensue. This would allow them to more tidily take care of Israel once the US is out of the picture due to a lack of oil supply and internal political turmoil.

Two, they wait a while - probably until either the 2008 Presidential primaries to provide a distraction for the US, or until after the Democrat candidate (ie someone more blindly pacifistic) takes office, and then they launch an attack here on the US. I suspect this next attack will be nuclear. My guesses for the locality are Houston, New York, Chicago, or San Diego as the 4 most likely, and that whoever does the deed will have snuck into this country through Mexico.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

also... (1.50 / 1) (#67)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 08:57:54 PM EST

Also, I wouldn't rule out November 1st as the date of any such attack using nuclear weapons. It seems some attacks so far have had some sort of numerogical meaning - 7/11, 9/11 - and 10/01 seems as likely as any (not to mention its historical significance).
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

why would iran nuke mecca? (2.66 / 3) (#112)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 04:50:00 AM EST

yes shiites hate sunnies and visa versa, but that doesn't mean shiites are ready to defile and irradiate ground holy to their own religion

it's more true to say they would want to "liberate" mecca as something that was "taken" from them... not destroy it


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Muslim terrorists attacked Mecca once (2.50 / 2) (#168)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 02:18:37 PM EST

Of course they were dealt with ruthlessly and quickly once. But lots of Muslims hate Saudi Arabia, if not because of the Shiite/Sunni animosity, then because they invited the American military to come and stay after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and allowed them to stay.

That's one of the reasons Al Qaeda has given for their work - to drive the Americans from the land of Mecca.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

simple (3.00 / 4) (#197)
by CAIMLAS on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:57:58 PM EST

Simple: the end justifies the means. If they could attack Mecca, nobody would believe that Muslims would do it. Your incredubility towards the fact that they might illustrates this fact.

Do you think the US government would willfully allow a domestic terror attack to take place? How about Pearl Harbor? It's pretty much indesputed at this point that Pearl Harbor was allowed to happen to draw us into WWII. What about other conflicts?

Why wouldn't the Muslims do the same? Sure, the Iranian leaders might appear to be religious nuts and couldn't conceiveably do that, but then again, to many people Bush appears to be a divout Christian with the best interests of the US citizenry in mind, too.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

MOD PARENT UP (1.50 / 1) (#203)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 06:39:08 PM EST

+1, Insightful.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

people not real estate (none / 0) (#307)
by iggymanz on Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 04:13:23 PM EST

a black market soviet neutron weapon could kill alot of people and leave the holy places intact.  or nerve gas or germ warfare, done in such a way that Israel or the U.S. is to blame.

[ Parent ]
It's a nice troll Mike (1.60 / 5) (#77)
by eavier on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:35:31 PM EST

But I don't think it'll happen.

You're assuming the leaders of all these countries are irrational psychopaths, capable of such deceit and guile that even Machiavelli would blanche. You're also assuming that these leaders don't love, nor want a tomorrow for their children.

Using nuclear weapons on a nation that is hell-bent on fighting to the last man and to bring about the end to a six year war is one thing, dropping bombs on another as a preventative measure is quite another.

Any western leader knows that once they pop the nuclear cork, every other nation that wants to ensure some form of future security is going to covertly secure their own nuclear arsenal.

How will the US feel about an Indonesian bomb, a Malaysian bomb, a Vietnamese Bomb? Then probably an Australian bomb, perhaps even a Venezuelan bomb? As your neighbour seeks the ultimate defense, you will too.

Bird flu will get us before nuclear war. In the ensuing calamity and clamour for self-preservation, this will be the stick that breaks civilizations back. I'd put money on that.

Whatever you do, don't take it into your house. It's probably full of Greeks. - Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi

Ufology Doktor in da house

Such proliferation is actually my whole point (2.50 / 2) (#79)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:38:47 PM EST

Did you read the beginning of my very last draft of the article, where the first section starts with the lyrics to a song by Tom Lehrer?

I say at the end of the section that I write not to warn of the bombs danger, but the ease with which they can be obtained. Thus I don't doubt the Vietnamese could have one someday if they were determined to get one. The Australians could easily do so, without even breaking a sweat.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Yes I read it (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by eavier on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:42:12 PM EST

but your other point is to proclaim yourself the 'harbinger of doom', as in, we all have between four weeks to six months to live.

That's the part I don't accept.

Whatever you do, don't take it into your house. It's probably full of Greeks. - Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi

Ufology Doktor in da house

[ Parent ]

who cares, really? = (2.50 / 2) (#155)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:39:18 PM EST



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
I already kissed my ass (2.71 / 7) (#81)
by bushmanburn on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:42:17 PM EST

goodbye about 10 years ago. I am still waiting for my lips to come back.

Why I'm not worried (2.91 / 12) (#86)
by localroger on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:55:25 PM EST

It's true that even I could probably build an A-bomb in my basement back yard if I had the Plutonium. However, it would be the size of Fat Man and have the yield of Fat Man, and improving on that would be very hard.

While computers help you design more powerful bombs computers don't build them, and that's where the problem comes in. More powerful bombs have to be miniaturized and boosted; you have to do this even if you don't care about the final weight because a Fat Man style bomb is barely fast enough to pull off the hat trick of sending out a pulse of gamma rays that can compress, ignite, and react to completion its fusion-fission secondary before its hydrodynamic shock wave blows the whole assembly apart.

Boosting also requires Tritium gas, which is quite a bit harder to make than Plutonium and has a rather short half-life, a factor affecting the shelf life of our own nuclear weapons.

Finally, machining Uranium and Plutonium is a non-trivial operation; Plutonium has several metallic-crystalline states which are sensitively temperature dependent, and is prone to deform in strange ways when being machined. While it's probably straightforward to make a solid core like Fat Man used you can't make an H-bomb with a solid core, you have to use a levitated core (a hollow sphere with the initiator suspended in the center on strong wires) which is much trickier to fabricate. Both Plutonium and Uranium are prone to oxidize into fine toxic dust when heated and exposed to air.

I'm ready to believe that North Korea has Fat Man style bombs, and that Iran could pull one out of a hat in a pinch, but none of that affects us. You can't put such a bomb on a missile. It takes a very large aircraft to deliver one, and while you can deliver it by barge or truck it's much less effective as a ground burst than it would be at a couple of thousand feet altitude. A ground burst Fat Man-style A-bomb would probably knock out a square mile or two of whatever city it was planted in, certainly a bad thing but not the end of the world. If that was the end of the world, the world would have ended when Hurricane Katrina destroyed over 100 square miles of my city, an effect even most modern H-bombs couldn't match.

And while much better weapons are possible they are much, much harder to build. I'm really not worried about even India and Pakistan getting H-bombs in the near future, much less pissant wannabes like North Korea and Iran.

And BTW your reading recommendations are dead-on, Rhodes is THE scholar for nucular matters.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer

Well, there is a difference... (2.66 / 3) (#96)
by jandev on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 11:16:55 PM EST

If that was the end of the world, the world would have ended when Hurricane Katrina destroyed over 100 square miles of my city, an effect even most modern H-bombs couldn't match.
The difference is of course that in Katrina's case, there was no retaliation. The nuclear 'end of the world' is not so much the first bomb, but more the 'my five H-bombs trump your 2 A-bombs'.

On the other hand: NOAA tells me that Katrina originated in the Turks and Caicos. So go right ahead...


"ENGINEERS" IS NOT POSSESSIVE. IT'S A PLURAL. YOU DO NOT MOTHERFUCKING MARK A PLURAL WITH A COCKSUCKING APOSTROPHE. APOSTROPHES ARE FOR MARKING POSSESSIVES IN THIS CASE. IF YOU WEREN'T A TOTAL MORON, YOU WOULD BE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE "THE CIVIL ENGINEER'S SMALL PENIS". SEE THAT APOSTROPHE? IT'S A HAPPY APOSTROPHE. IT'S NOT BEING ABUSED BY SOME GODDAMN SHIT-FOR-BRAINS IDIOT WITH NO EDUCATION. - Nimey
[ Parent ]

Hopefully we'd be... (1.66 / 3) (#99)
by localroger on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 11:44:57 PM EST

...sorry, I almost said "smarter than that" before I remembered who our prezimadent is. Still, as a nominal USAian I am not so much worried about the dawgs of war coming from the Korean Peninsula and the Middle East as I am about the ones my government is unchaining as I write this.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
fallout nt (1.50 / 2) (#111)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 04:45:13 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Don't buy milk for the next two months (2.25 / 4) (#127)
by localroger on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 08:26:41 AM EST

Seriously, this would kill people -- probably a lot more people than we realize counting old people and children whose immune systems are weakened. But this still isn't "kiss your sorry ass goodbye." Hundreds of thousands of people were killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki but both cities have been reinhabited since not long after the attacks; my sister in law actually lives in Nagasaki today. My point is that Mike's panic attack is not justified. We survived 9/11, we survived 8/29, our parents survived worse than those in WWII, and we will survive anything that Iran or North Korea might do with a couple of antique tech nukes.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
ummm... your complacency is reassuring (1.50 / 2) (#132)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 10:34:13 AM EST

not really

do you wish what happened to new orleans on anyone else?

even one one hundredth of what happened to new orleans?

no?

then why is your attitude so cavalier about nukes?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

It's not that I don't care (2.50 / 2) (#170)
by localroger on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 02:20:47 PM EST

It's that there are things that worry me a lot more. No matter what Iran or N. Korea might do, there will be more hurricanes, and we are doing jack squat to deal with the situation.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Tritium gas is commercially available... (2.66 / 3) (#120)
by wiredog on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 07:38:37 AM EST

In small quantities, true, but you could work through shell companies to accumulate enough.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Quantities? (2.00 / 4) (#126)
by localroger on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 08:21:22 AM EST

I'd suspect you need at least several grams for boosting a warhead. That's a lot of Tritium, and it's pretty dangerous stuff to handle in macroscopic quantities too.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Costs a bundle, too. (3.00 / 3) (#133)
by wiredog on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 10:44:01 AM EST

But you could, if sufficiently determined, get enough of it.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
I don't believe you actually have a physics degree (2.20 / 5) (#88)
by Brogdel on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 09:59:50 PM EST

At least not from a real college. You're a helluva bullshitter though.

It hasn't actually done me a damn bit of good. (3.00 / 4) (#92)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 10:09:29 PM EST

I'd certain that writing this article is the very first use I've ever made of it outside of school.

When I decided I wasn't going to be able to make it as a college professor someday, I dropped out of school, got this real awful, low-paying programming job, and bought a used Mac 512k so I could learn GUI programming.

While I was admitted to Caltech as an astronomy major, they would have permitted me to immediately switch to computer science. I don't know how many times I cursed the fact that I didn't.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

A CS degree these days is pretty much worthless (3.00 / 2) (#103)
by HackerCracker on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:34:21 AM EST

Ask me how I know. :-(

[ Parent ]
really? (1.50 / 1) (#274)
by Morally Inflexible on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 07:38:46 PM EST

the job market for nerds looks rather nice from my point of view.  But then, I have a whole lot of experience, and zero education.  

[ Parent ]
A CS degree isn't actually what they're looking fo (3.00 / 2) (#275)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 08:06:14 PM EST

what they want is the proven ability to ship working, commercial quality code and that's completely orthogonal to whether you know how to prove theorems about the runtime and memory consumption of algorithms.

That's why some schools like Carnegie Mellon offer Software Engineering degrees, where they teach formal methodologies. If you want to get a high-paying programming job, get one of those.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

yes, although there is still demand for CS (none / 0) (#279)
by Delirium on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 02:43:25 AM EST

The CS jobs that actually use CS mostly require either a lot of experience, or a Master's or PhD, though. If you have any of those, and any experience in a hot area, it's really easy to get hired. "Hot areas" currently include basically anything to do with computational statistics or machine learning: bioinformatics, technical analysis of financial markets, statistical natural language processing, etc. So a Master's in CS with a concentration in machine learning would serve one pretty well.

[ Parent ]
IAWTP, two times = (1.50 / 2) (#156)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:44:01 PM EST



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
I'll say no (2.00 / 5) (#102)
by Eight Star on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:31:50 AM EST

No Nuclear country has ever gone to war with another.
MAD Works.

Also, the pakistani military already overthrew the government, in 1999, shortly after pakistan developed nukes, and thay is why they are our ally.

Say what you will about the CIA, but they know what they doing.

You're also assuming that the US will do a nuclear first strike in response to losing ground war, which is a stretch, even for Bush.

Ob Weird Al (2.66 / 3) (#105)
by HackerCracker on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:39:01 AM EST

What's the matter little pisser,
think this party is the pits?
Enjoy it while you can,
we'll soon be blown to bits!

The monkeys in the Pentagon
are gonna cook our goose,
Their finger's on the button
all they need's an excuse

It doesn't take a military
genius to see,
We'll all be crispy critters
after World War III!

There's nowhere you can run to!
There's nowhere you can hide!
When they drop the big one
we all get fried!

C'mon boys and girls, sing along, OK?


the iranians won't nuke israel (2.00 / 8) (#108)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 02:18:59 AM EST

why?

muslim extremists (i said muslim EXTREMISTS, not MUSLIM extremists... emphasis on the EXTREMISTS... there is nothing wrong with the vast majority of muslims, they are perfectly good tolerant people) want to take the holy lands back from the jews. they don't want to corrupt and irradiate the holy lands

however, it's open season on who keeps the jews in power: the great satan. there are no holy lands in north america. no fancy shmancy missiles needed either. just one suitably lead-lined shipping container

BOOM

another idea i had was nuking the canary islands. what am i smoking?

i'm smoking this: this story says a mega-tsunami won't happen from the canary islands, because the la palma volcano will naturally fragment in bits, not in one big slide... gee... what could trigger one big slide? hmmm...

sound too much like the plot of the superman movie to you?

just remember: people thought that 9/11 sounded like a bad movie plot too. we live in an age where the plot of an old james bond movie sounds like the next possible terrorist plot. that's not funny or cool, that sucks

yes, i am as pessimistic about the future as michael crawford is. too many hotheaded religious assholes in this world. it's just a matter of time

i'm fatalistic at this point. not enough of you realize what is really at stake here. the fat lazy rich and spoiled children of the west, won't even defend the principles that made them fat lazy rich and spoiled. ignorant children, ready for slaughter. a lot of you in your blindness and willingness to believe nothing really threatens you... kind of reminds me of the eloi in the time machine, living perfect little indulgent lives in your perfect little bubbles, completely blissfully unawares of the wider darker world out there... nothing can pierce certain concepts in your mind that you think are immovable pillars of your western society... but aren't immovable. morlocks don't exist, right? me, circletimessquare, i'm just a false alarmist right? the concept of false complacency doesn't exist, right? some of you just have no idea what kind of venom exists in this world. sad, really

a lot of you think evil comes from political halls of power, or from business conglomerate boardrooms

no, real evil comes from the demented minds of religious fundamentalists. people who are absolutely ready to slaughter you without a second thought. why? because you are subhuman. you're not an equal. why are you subhuman? because you don't follow the same creed. do you deny the venom in that concept? do you deny that a lot of committed assholes who think just like that exist?

you can't extend tolerance to those who have no tolerance for you. tolerance is a two way street. to tolerate those who don't tolerate you and your multicultural beliefs is to tell them it is ok to disrespect you. and they will, and they do. your kindness is mistaken for weakness

you'd think the mounting evidence of recent history would teach some of you what religious fundamentalists think of nonbelievers and believers of faiths other than their narrow interpretation of their own.  have you been paying attention to the news out of new dehli, bali, madrid, london, nyc, iraq, etc...?

but i guess some of you just need some more lessons, some louder lessons

don't worry, you'll get them

maybe some of you will wake up some day as to what is really going on in this world. what the real struggle is, the real defining struggle of our times: the growth of religious fundamentalism

this is a real fight, it is not won with UN letter writing campaigns

but you go ahead, some of you sweet clueless eloi, you obsess over little things, small details, small "outrages" that you can find your governments accountable for in political vendetta, while you ignore and write off much larger outrages... just because you don't know who to hold accountable for that. go ahead and defang your societies. there's nobody outside your society with fangs with bad intentions on your socety, right?

i'm just a false alarmist, right?

the notion false complacency doesn't exist, right?

enjoy your fruit dear eloi


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

I think they'd nuke Israel (2.00 / 3) (#119)
by nebbish on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 07:35:04 AM EST

They're more about hate than anything else. If they can't have the Holy Land, then no-one can. Boom.

Plus, they're not exactly rational are they?

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

irrational!=unpredictable (1.60 / 5) (#128)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 08:51:16 AM EST

so no, sorry, you're wrong

a theocracy will not nuke it's holy land

ain't gonna happen


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

um (2.50 / 2) (#129)
by i on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 09:18:16 AM EST

tel aviv is not muslims' holy land
it's not, in fact, anyone's holy land
it's just a bunch of jews
nothing wrong with nuking it

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
you can nuke tel aviv... (1.50 / 4) (#131)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 10:30:53 AM EST

without tainting the dome of the rock?

if so, ok then

i don't think so though with the fallout


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

you're saying "fallout" (3.00 / 3) (#137)
by i on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 12:07:04 PM EST

as if it's the end of the world. so there will be some fallout, so what? if the wind blows westward, the mosques will be mostly clean.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
would you ask the pope (1.50 / 2) (#163)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 02:09:28 PM EST

to piss in the sistine chapel?

so you are going to propose an imam is going to be ok with making the dome of the rock, one of the most holy shrines in islam, just a little radioactive?

on the plus side, you have absolutely no idea how religious fundamentalists think

that's to your benefit! ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

i think it's you (2.33 / 3) (#177)
by i on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 03:30:29 PM EST

who has no idea whatsoever. but then, what do i know. i'm just trying to survive here in haifa, which leaves precious little time for other endeavours. whereas you in nyc have all the time in the world for the analysis of religious fundamentalists' motives. ok?

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
By virtue of me being the de facto leader of k5 (2.00 / 3) (#215)
by debacle on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 11:11:43 PM EST

I designate you the winner of this argument.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]
you're in haifa? (1.00 / 2) (#222)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:09:45 AM EST

prove it

i am a female nightelf with 3 count em 3 38D tits


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

He invited me to visit Haifa after the war. (2.50 / 2) (#230)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:47:16 AM EST

Link.

C'mon, Haifa's a big city. Surely they must have Kurons there too? Some Iranian geek even posted a screenshot of Persian Linux on Advogato!

There's even Kurons in Beirut: a while back an anonymous Lebanese woman compared the smoke of her cigarettes to semen, in discussing how unacceptable it was to traditional Muslim women for her to be sexually liberated.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

alright, alright (1.50 / 2) (#232)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:52:03 AM EST

i don't trust him, but i trust you

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
well (3.00 / 3) (#237)
by i on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 04:03:16 AM EST

you can google thusly:

http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Akuro5hin.org+%22by+i%22+haifa

there ought to be some links. they only prove that i claimed being in haifa back when, not that i'm actually in hafa now, but hey, propose some other method of proof.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]

hirex proof or stfu... (2.00 / 3) (#240)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 04:23:24 AM EST

and you just hirez proofed me and shutted me the fuck up ;-)

please accept my apologies for doubting your words, you do indeed appear to be the real deal


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Interesting (2.00 / 2) (#184)
by PrinceSausage on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 04:22:14 PM EST

The biggest problem in the world is the growing number of fundamentalists. That is certainly interesting. I also think it's false. I will even go beyond that and claim that it is complete and utter shite.

What you are saying is that a larger percentage of the world's population today than - oh say 100 years ago - holds the view that some Book (they always tend to call it a Book rather than a book, don't they) is the complete and unadultered Word of Some God Type Being. I make the claim that you have your head in your ass. In fact I think the percentage of people that think that is consistently decreasing all over the world - apart from in the countries with substandard education. Funnily enough top notch education is a sure fire way to ensure that people don't fall into the trap of believing stories about guys with beards who talk through burning bushes or other guys who talk to God or guys who are obviously closet drunks and claim that they just turned water into wine when in fact they just pulled out a wine bottle that they had stashed in a cupboard somewhere.

So yeah, you are an alarmist. But you are an amusing alarmist with a large and somewhat varied vocabulary of invectives. Which is better than a bearded guy who raves about the end of the earth. Which as everyone knows doesn't happen until 2036.

[ Parent ]

that's right (1.50 / 2) (#214)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 09:53:21 PM EST

new dehli, bali, madrid, london, nyc, beslan, iraq, etc...

nah, no trend here

yeah, worldwide increasing momentum of violent atrocities committed by people in the name of a demented interpretation of a religion

but that's just a mirage... circletimessquare just made all of that up

clearly, he's a lunatic alarmist

false complacency is a possibility that doesn't exist, right?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I can buy into that (2.66 / 3) (#280)
by tinkertux on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 02:47:18 PM EST

So you're a lunatic alarmist. Sounds reasonable. Doesn't make you wrong though.
I do have my doubts about the intresting invective. I consider it kind of repetitive. You wouldn't make it as a master chief or master sergeant with that vocabulary. But then I suppose you don't have to.

[ Parent ]
YES SIR! nt (none / 0) (#281)
by circletimessquare on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:51:34 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
defense of principles (2.33 / 3) (#220)
by rhiannon on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 02:20:42 AM EST

"won't even defend the principles that made them fat lazy rich and spoiled"

What, exactly, are you doing to defend these principles?

I'm not trying to troll really, I'm just curious as to what you think we should be doing.

-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
[ Parent ]

making pandemocracy (1.66 / 3) (#223)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:15:37 AM EST

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2005/12/21/21244/723

which of course i'll be flamed for saying because i'm "imposing" my ideology on others

the others in question being those living under the foot of kim il jong, those held hostage by the kleptocratic generals in rangoon, and those living at the whims of mugabe

just remember folks, i'm the one doing the imposing

(smirk)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

no no no (2.00 / 3) (#231)
by rhiannon on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:50:54 AM EST

I mean: What actions are you taking in defense of your ideals?

For the purpose of this discussion anything related to the internet doesn't count as an action.

-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
[ Parent ]

But that's the very reason I wrote this article! (2.50 / 2) (#235)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:55:55 AM EST

If I make front page, maybe I can save a lot of lives. I'm absolutely serious. Kuro5hin has very high pagerank, and is syndicated to hundreds of sites.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

you're playing a different game them him (1.50 / 2) (#239)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 04:20:55 AM EST

your game is proof positive: i can make a difference, i think i matter in the world, i think we all matter in the world

his game is proof negative, caustic and nihilistic: you can't make a difference, i can't make a difference, we don't matter in the world

see, he is doubting my determination and my resolve and my integrity in the words i say. this actually says more about his own negative failed psychology than anything about me. it's more a window on his failed rationalizations than a valid attack on my words. because my resolve is not the point, there is no reason to trust me or not trust me, our words here have nothing to do with trust: it's just a discussion of ideas, not marching orders

but his mind can't grasp that concept. everything has to be a challenge to your right to say the words you say. he can't accept the fact that you can say the words you say, and it isn't about validating your words, but about debating them

it's sad really. i'm glad my mind doesn't work the ways his does. he is impoverished in his mental life. he has learned helplessness

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You just won the debate. (2.50 / 2) (#241)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 04:55:18 AM EST

And thank you for your support. That makes a real difference to me.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Troll or moron? (2.60 / 5) (#246)
by Notorious WoW G on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 06:28:46 AM EST

K5 demands the truth!!
--
AND I HATE THE WORD 'FAT.' WHO CARES?!!! DON'T YOU KNOW HOW TO LOOK BEYOND A PERSONS APPEARANCE AND INTO THEIR HEART??! -- somaudlin
[ Parent ]
ah, this bullshit (1.20 / 5) (#238)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 04:15:14 AM EST

if you can't debate someone on the points, debate them on their resolve and determination, right? unless i'm actually in al sadr city riding over claymores what i say i believe in is invalid, right?

well, if in your mind, that is sound rationale to dismiss what i say, then please, dismiss me, it does not matter to me that you do so. why? because yes: you have no reason to trust that i actually have resolve in my own words, because you don't know who i am or what i am really doing...

but aha: by the same token, i have no reason to attach value to your invalidation of my beliefs, as i also don't know who you are or what you are doing. in other words, while i have no credentials to impress you with my beliefs, you also have no credentials to dismiss them ;-)

isn't it funny how caustic distrustful attitudes can work both ways? you have no authority here to dismiss my determination, to doubt my integrity... just as much as i have no authority to make you accept my words as the voice of god. but that never was my intent now was it? my intent was to discuss my beliefs openly and candidly and honestly

you apparently are playing a different game than me: your game here seems to be to have everyone show you verifiable proof of their credentials to say the words they say before you accept them, to doubt their resolve and their integrity and their determination in their own self-stated beliefs

well gee, your stay on the internet should be really, really short, shouldn't it? (snicker)

now i have a different proposal for you: debate me on my ideas, or shut the fuck up. because the game here is not "here is my beliefs, accept them," the game is "here is my beliefs, debate them"

"here is my beliefs, accept them" WOULD require you to check my credentials, wouldn't it? but that is not the fucking point retard! "here is my beliefs, debate them" requires NO AUTHORITY. this isn't a pissing contest einstein. i am approaching you as an EQUAL. i am not above you, i am not below you, and i am not looking at you as above me or below me: NO TRUST REQUIRED. NO AUTHORITY REQUIRED

you are not challenging my authority: i have none. i am not challenging your authority: you have none. we are merely debating our beliefs with neutral words

isn't that special?

understand the fucking concept now?

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I understand all right (2.00 / 3) (#242)
by rhiannon on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 05:13:31 AM EST

You get to talk shit about how motherfucking badass we are but when it comes time to die hey send those poor fuckers over there to the middle east.

And because I choose to expend my positive energies on real life local, community building activities in support of a rational, peaceful world instead of gleefully pounding away at my keyboard like a thousand monkeys I'm caustic and nihilistic.

So let's rephrase the question: What seperates you from the fat, lazy, spoiled rich children of the west who won't even defend the principles that have made you so rich?

-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
[ Parent ]

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (1.33 / 3) (#244)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 05:45:48 AM EST

"expend my positive energies on real life local, community building activities in support of a rational, peaceful world"

cue small twitting birds, smiling trees, and beautiful sunset

how do you "expend my positive energies on real life local, community building activities in support of a rational, peaceful world" when some asshole is blowing it up?

or, rather, you only care when someone hurts your little community?

how selfish of you

you don't care when someone kills someone in a far off land?

oh, wait, you DO care... but you won't do anything about it?

wait, wait... i'm the one saying we should do something about the far off land, but i'm not actually doing it personally, therefore, the very IDEA of helping someone in a far off land is rendered null and void, right?

therefore, your selfish attitude is the way to go: who cares if genocide is occuring far away, we have community gardens to tend to here

is that your rationale?

(snicker)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

you still haven't answered the question (1.00 / 1) (#256)
by rhiannon on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 02:26:08 PM EST

"oh, wait, you DO care... but you won't do anything about it?"

Tell me what you're doing about it please.


-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
[ Parent ]

nothing at all (1.50 / 2) (#261)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:23:31 PM EST

i never did anything about what i believe in

i am doing nothing about what i believe in

and i never will do anything about what i believe in

right?

io just spout this voluminous nonsense because i'm putting up a smoke screen for the rich neocons in the white house

you got me

(smirk)

now let me ask you something: exactly why is it necessary to prove myself to you, a nihilistic asshole on teh intarwebs?

what credentials do you have to validate or invalidate my beliefs?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

you joke about it (2.00 / 2) (#264)
by rhiannon on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 08:57:36 PM EST

But it's the truth, you're just a troll who doesn't really believe in anything.

-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
[ Parent ]
you're projecting (2.00 / 2) (#269)
by circletimessquare on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 06:41:55 AM EST

you're a nihilist

you can't understand why anyone would believe in or have faith in anything

so the best you can do is doubt people's convictions

because this is all you know, yourself, within your own mind: projecting your psychology onto others

howver, this doubt of yours has no power over me, as i believe in the varacity of my statements and have conviction in them

you COULD shake my faith in my beliefs by providing me with a rationale for a superior belief system, if you yourself have one

that way you would DEBATE me on my beliefs, rather than just DENY them. to debate me: this i can respect: you have a belief system you are trying to impress me with. but to just sit there and deny my beliefs? how is this supposed to impress me?

you'd rather go the caustic route: doubt my beliefs, rather than debate them

why do you think this is supposed to have an effect on me?

it may have an effect on you, that may be why you think it is an effective train of thought, but that just reveals that you have a maladaptive psychology, to believe that caustic train of thought is supposed to have any power over other people: doubt, learned helplessness

rather than debate me on what i believe, you'd rather just doubt i actually do believe what i say

how does that work? please tell me why you sitting there doubting the veracity of my beliefs is supposed to impress me in any way whatsoever?

there is proof positive: "here is an alternative set of better beliefs"

then there is proof negative: "i just doubt your beliefs... i don't have a superior alternative"

tell me, of the proof positive and proof negative approaches: which actually influences people in reality?

so please, you keep tending those community gardens

you're doing a lot for those being slaughtered in darfur, really


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

sorry for delay (none / 0) (#293)
by rhiannon on Tue Aug 01, 2006 at 07:59:33 PM EST

I'm still confused though, I totally agree with you on the whole negative/positive thing, I'm just trying to figure out what positive alternative you think would help.

-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
[ Parent ]
the world is global these days (2.00 / 2) (#278)
by Delirium on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 02:26:08 AM EST

That doesn't imply that nothing local can have impact, but it does mean that conventional wisdom should be reexamined in some cases. Many people slaving away on community projects can be counterbalanced by a handful who make good use of technology with a global reach.

[ Parent ]
Your title sucks... (2.77 / 9) (#109)
by Psycho Dave on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 03:23:43 AM EST

...but overall, this is an improvement over your last contribution to the queue.

Let me throw in my two cents...

The nuclear bomb has had a strangely paradoxical effect on the world. The most destructive weapon ever created has probably ushered in an era of more relative peace than had existed before.

As our ability to end the world has increased, the amount of lives claimed through warfare has gone down. There is little doubt that the Cold War would have flared much hotter had it not been for the policies of Mutual Assured Destruction. The US has lost approximately 2,600 soldiers during it's 3 years in Iraq, a number that could be the casualty figure for a single battle in World War I.

With the fall of the Soviet Union, every other nation is scrambling to get nuclear technology. A single weapon in a country's arsenal changes the playing field immensely. A nuclear weapon is the best way to ensure a country's survival.

However, the paradigm of the nation is rapidly changing. The largest threats in the world are no longer governments, but vaporous, decentralized organizations that know no borders and are bound only by ideology.

Though a dictator like Kim Jong Il is certainly eccentric, I am less concerned with the prospect of him having the bomb than with a terrorist group. If Kim Jong Il woke up tomorrow morning and fired a nuclear missle at Japan, North Korea would cease to exist by that evening. If Bush decided to nuke Tehran for shits and giggles, I guarantee within a decade the United States would no longer be a superpower, and would in fact be mentioned in the same breathe as Nazi Germany. The nuclear weapon is to be possessed, but never used. To use it offensively insures your own destruction as a nation.

A terrorist group, however, has no territory to defend. It's infrastructure in non-existant, and cannot be destroyed. Sure, it may hide and have influence within nations, but they are not nations in and of themselves. Their leaders may be killed, but their leadership can never be destroyed.

If Al Qaeda set off a nuke in New York, who could we retaliate against? Can we even retailate without bringing about our own destruction? If there was a nuclear attack on our country, we would surely have to swing on somebody, even if it was the wrong country.

The fact that they are primarily organized around a death cult like interpretation of religion makes them all the more dangerous. For them, destruction isn't a means to and end, destruction is their end.

The advantage of the terrorist is however their biggest disadvantage. They do not have the legitemacy of a nation, nor the resources. Where a nation can be a power in peace and at war, a terrorist can only be at war.

classical american bullshit (2.20 / 5) (#187)
by RelliK on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 04:45:28 PM EST

As our ability to end the world has increased, the amount of lives claimed through warfare has gone down. ... The US has lost approximately 2,600 soldiers during it's 3 years in Iraq, a number that could be the casualty figure for a single battle in World War I.

Uh-huh. And how many Iraqis did you kill in the process? Oh right, they don't count. They are not even human.

A nuclear weapon is the best way to ensure a country's survival.

Correct. If a country has nuclear weapons, it is *less* likely to be inv^H^H^H uhhh... "liberated". That's what the Iran thing is all about.

The nuclear weapon is to be possessed, but never used. To use it offensively insures your own destruction as a nation.

I guess you conveniently forgot that you already used nuclear weapons offencively. Twice. And then made up a story about how it "saved lives".

If Al Qaeda set off a nuke in New York, who could we retaliate against?

Easy. You will invade (sorry, "liberate") another country that had nothing to do with it.

The fact that they are primarily organized around a death cult like interpretation of religion makes them all the more dangerous. For them, destruction isn't a means to and end, destruction is their end.

Do you get your information from Fox "News"? You have absolutely no idea what Al Qaeda terrorists' motivations are and what has made them terrorists in the first place. You know, people don't just wake up one day and say "I think I'm gonna blow stuff up and kill innocent people". But here is a hint: if you stop fucking the middle east, the muslims would stop hating you.
---
Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism it's just the opposite.
[ Parent ]

Classic anti-american bullshit (2.80 / 5) (#205)
by Psycho Dave on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 07:01:41 PM EST

Uh-huh. And how many Iraqis did you kill in the process? Oh right, they don't count. They are not even human.

Estimates range from around 39,000 to 43,000 civilians killed in Iraq during our little expedition. The soldiers we've lost are but a fraction of the number they've lost, but when it comes to these conflicts, they are always heavily weighted towards us.

Still, those numbers of civilian deaths are pretty low considering the 1 million Vietnamese killed during that war. Mind you, neither number is good, but one is certainly less bad.

I guess you conveniently forgot that you already used nuclear weapons offencively. Twice. And then made up a story about how it "saved lives".

Trust me, I've no delusions about the end of the Pacific War. The Japanese weren't going to suicidally protect their home island. They like to talk a whole lot of Bushido shit, but when it comes down to it the Japanese have as much of an instinct for self-preservation as anyone else. The firebombing of their cities had pretty much put them to the breaking point. The only thing that needed to be ironed out for a surrender was a condition that they keep their Emperor.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were targets with limited military value which were spared significant bombing previously so they could be used as a testing grounds for Fat Man and Little Boy. The A-bomb wasn't used so much to defeat Japan as it was to send a message to the Soviets, who were planning on entering Asia themselves.

The US is the first country to use nuclear weapons offensively. You must realize though that the geo-political situation is much different than it was 61 years ago. Mark my words, we may have been first and still come away as fairly respected superpower. The country to drop the third nuclear weapon offensively will most certainly be a pariah to the world community.

Even if Al Qaeda (a terror group, not a nation) were to set off a nuke in a shipping container in New York's harbor, our ability to counter-attack would be limited. Which country would we nuke back? Afghanistan? Pakistan? Saudi Arabia? Iran? What territory does Al Qaeda hold? Any American counter attack with nuclear weapons will severly destroy any international goodwill we have (left) even if we were struck first. And the country being what it is, any politician that wants to keep their job in this country would have to strike at someone, even if they were wrong.

(mind you, that is not an endorsement of such political mentality, but a reality.)

Do you get your information from Fox "News"? You have absolutely no idea what Al Qaeda terrorists' motivations are and what has made them terrorists in the first place. You know, people don't just wake up one day and say "I think I'm gonna blow stuff up and kill innocent people". But here is a hint: if you stop fucking the middle east, the muslims would stop hating you. Oh, is this the old "they won't hate us if quit economically exploiting them for their oil" argument?

In the end, it just doesn't hold up. What about South America? They have been ruthlessly exploited by the developed world and have oil, yet they are much less violent than certain sects of Islam. I'm with CTS on this: religion is the problem. No one would give a flying red fuck about that sliver of land called Israel if there weren't "holy sites" there. The funny thing about Judaism and Islam is that when you look at them, they have so many similarities.

Christianity in the west is currently much less noxious and harmful than Islam allowed to run wild. But that is only because we secularists keep it in check. If we let the psycho Christians have too much power (and personally, I believe they have more than they should) our society would most certainly devolve to the state the Muslim world is in now.



[ Parent ]

South America (2.66 / 3) (#207)
by Scrymarch on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 08:03:23 PM EST

South America is inherently less violent than the Middle East? They invented the whole asymmetric war financed by kidnapping business model!

[ Parent ]
But they have stopped short of... (3.00 / 2) (#211)
by Psycho Dave on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 08:34:08 PM EST

...suicide bombings and videotaped beheadings. Advantage: Muslim extremists.

[ Parent ]
Other groups (3.00 / 2) (#213)
by Scrymarch on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 09:14:15 PM EST

... will catch up with their innovative use of multimedia technology soon enough.

[ Parent ]
ok, you are not as delusional as I thought (2.66 / 3) (#225)
by RelliK on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:20:43 AM EST

Good points throughout. You do seem to have a pretty good grasp of history. I'll comment on one thing though:

In the end, it just doesn't hold up. What about South America? They have been ruthlessly exploited by the developed world and have oil, yet they are much less violent than certain sects of Islam. Christianity in the west is currently much less noxious and harmful than Islam allowed to run wild. But that is only because we secularists keep it in check.

I'm inclined to agree with you and I can offer you this explanation (take it with a grain of salt , of course). Christianity got quite corrupt in the middle ages, and was *by far* the bloodiest religion at the time. The reason we have separation of church and state today is precisely because of the blood spilled in the past: people demanded the end to oppression by the church.

This has not happened with Islam. Historically, it has been much more tolerant of other people's beliefs, and was nowhere near as oppressive, so demand simply wasn't there. However, now it is going through the same phase that Christianity went through in the middle ages. This is, in part, because Islam is a much younger religion (Christianity had about 500 year head start). Imperialistic meddling by the superpowers has helped to push Islam towards irrational fundamentalism. And that's why we now have to deal with Al Qaeda.
---
Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism it's just the opposite.
[ Parent ]

Some clarification (2.66 / 3) (#247)
by wiredog on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 07:18:21 AM EST

Christianity is much less noxious and violent, at least on a state level, due to the wars of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. The Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War, was very secular for the time. That was in the Renaissance.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
So, so wrong. (2.66 / 3) (#206)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 07:12:22 PM EST

But here is a hint: if you stop fucking the middle east, the muslims would stop hating you.

Maybe if we never fucked it up in the first place, maybe. But now that we have... there's no turning back. They'll hate us even if we become saints and angels.

Which is really the problem anyway... the people they kill has as little to do with things being fucked up as possible already. They can't change their corrupt regimes in the middle east, but we're somehow responsible for Bush? Talk about your fucking double standards.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

This is the most blindly stupid anti-american (1.00 / 4) (#216)
by debacle on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 11:15:59 PM EST

Bullshit I have ever read.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]
+1FP deluded paranoic rambling for the win!!$ (1.80 / 5) (#125)
by V on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 08:04:18 AM EST


---
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
"I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
"goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens
Assuming you are right: (2.50 / 2) (#134)
by zenofchai on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 10:48:22 AM EST

Let us imagine that you, MichaelCrawford, are right. If you are right, then what should the United States or other countries or powers do, if anything? How about a link to surviving nuclear attack, or at the very least the likely invasion of radioactive zombies?

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2005/4/18/153047/155

http://www.okcupid.com/tests/take?testid=5349989821747660792
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph

damn, i fail it (1.50 / 1) (#135)
by zenofchai on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 10:51:34 AM EST

the "would you survive a zombie attack" quiz is no longer around. too bad.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]
So..... (2.40 / 5) (#136)
by sholden on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 11:37:27 AM EST

You've been saying this for 12 years, but right now there's only a month to go?

How far away was it 12 years ago?

--
The world's dullest web page


There wasn't a war on twelve years ago (2.50 / 2) (#159)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 02:01:51 PM EST

and the North Koreans had no way to deliver to the south.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

So it's over a month... (none / 0) (#313)
by sholden on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 05:12:25 PM EST

Still clinging to your safety clause of six months?

--
The world's dullest web page


[ Parent ]
Oh well six months later (none / 0) (#317)
by sholden on Sat Jan 27, 2007 at 10:18:21 AM EST

My midtown Manhattan apartment still isn't a radioactive wasteland of broken concrete. In fact, no one has nuked anyone else at all.

--
The world's dullest web page


[ Parent ]
Me me me me -1 (1.33 / 18) (#141)
by akostic on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 12:39:38 PM EST

I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and Bonita and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and I think Me and
--
"After an indeterminate amount of time trading insane laughter with the retards, I grew curious and tapped on the window." - osm
-1 (2.28 / 7) (#192)
by Hana Yori Dango on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:14:38 PM EST

u forgot bonita

[ Parent ]
Liar. (2.80 / 5) (#209)
by akostic on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 08:30:44 PM EST

Search my text ;p

I only included her once because she isn't in this 'story'.  It's all "I think..." "My degree..." "I believe..."

The criticism really isnt about MC (though he's the worst offender of this kind)... it's about him (or anyone) including himself into every story, even where he doesn't belong.  He turned an article about an ongoing conflict into a story about his background in physics.
--
"After an indeterminate amount of time trading insane laughter with the retards, I grew curious and tapped on the window." - osm
[ Parent ]

Somebody please answer me this... (2.91 / 12) (#182)
by Fon2d2 on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 04:06:26 PM EST

Ok, I've been studying this issue into some depth for the past several months due to my interest in nuclear energy. The one issue that seems like it might be the only real issue on this is proliferation. Right now Iran is very much in the global public eye on the issue of nuclear energy vs. proliferation. As such I have done much reading on Iran, but I can't find any quantifiable source that Iran has nuclear weapons capability or is even violating the NPT, of which they are a signatory.

So can somebody please answer me the following questions:

  • Any time I read quantifiable statements about Iranian centrifuge technology, it's clearly stated that Iran doesn't have the capacity to create weapons grade uranium, only reactor grade (of which there is a big difference). Articles that assert Iran is weapons capable due to its enrichment capabilities never quantify this capacity or cite sources. Upon what basis are people determining that Iran has a bomb?
  • Under the NPT Iran has the right to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful means, but after the revolution of 1979, the US prevented the IAEA from cooperating with Iran to develop a nuclear fuel cycle. Is this not a violation of the NPT on the US's part? Why should Iran be forced into subterfuge to obtain the enrichment technology it needs to implement a nuclear energy program? The issue of trust goes both ways.
  • Iran, as far as my understanding goes, is working fully with the IAEA to assure compliance. Also, the IAEA has determined that Iran does not have the capacity to develop nuclear weapons. What specifically is the concern over NPT violations, or does that go to the earlier acquisition of centrifuges to develop a nuclear fuel cycle?
  • Nuclear energy is a sovereignity issue for Iran. We in the west hypocritically tell them to rely on their petroleum resources while we ourselves are worried over global warming, pollution, and dwindling supply. Is Iran not permitted to be concerned about its future? Although we in the US may not recognize it, nuclear energy is the best possible investment a nation can make in its energy future.
  • All of this screams hypocrisy to the Iranian population. The US gets nuclear weapons and nuclear energy, but Iran gets nothing? This is all very unfair to the Iranian population, which I have read is heavily supportive of nuclear power. They are so in favor of it that the government can't not take nuclear energy seriously. Why don't I read about that?
  • And let us not forget the US's puppet state: Isreal. Not only is Israel not a signatory of the NPT, the US has blocked the IAEA from doing any kinds of inspections. But the US doesn't seem to be concerned about Israel being a member of the Nuclear Club. That's obviously a power play and it seems to say the NPT applies only where we want it to. So what's really going on with Iran here? That's what I'd like to know.


How dare you (2.44 / 9) (#210)
by IceTitan on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 08:32:04 PM EST

use facts and logic in an internet arguement!?!?
Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
[ Parent ]
Some answers (2.50 / 4) (#254)
by LilDebbie on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 12:38:55 PM EST

Centrifuge technology can be used to make reactor grade or weapons grade uranium, the latter being in much smaller quantities. The analysis you read probably concluded that Iran lacked refinement capability to make enough weapons grade uranium for bomb-making. They can refine it, however.

While you are correct about Iran's ability to persue uranium enrichment under the NPT, it also states that they are under obligation to make such enrichment programs completely open to IAEA inspection, which they haven't. Furthermore, the US et al can take Iran to the Security Council for whatever reason they like. The NPT does not necessarily apply here.

See above.

The West has made many, many offers to not only enrich the uranium for Iran, but also to build them nuclear reactors for civilian energy production. This isn't about denying Iran nuclear energy. The West would just like to have much oversight over their nuclear energy production because we don't fucking trust them.

Yeah, I'm sure the Iranians aren't alone in this. Too bad. We don't want anyone else having nukes and we have the nukes to enforce that and they do not. Tough.

Being a non-signatory, the IAEA has no right whatsoever to inspections in Israel. We don't care if Israel has nukes because they are one of our closest allies and quite frankly could use the deterrant. We also don't care that Britain has nukes either. Iran, however, is very much not an ally. In fact, they've waged invasions of American territory before ('79 hostage crisis; embassies are considered sovereign territory). They should not expect us to be at all forgiving for acts of war committed against us. They should be glad President Carter was such a candy ass, because you know pretty much any other American president (Clinton included) would have bombed the ever living crap out of Tehran for invading our embassy and kidnapping our citizens.

HTH HAND

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]

I agree (1.60 / 5) (#183)
by Kronecker on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 04:21:45 PM EST

Did you know that the International Atomic Energy Agency is run by a guy named Mohammed (!!!) whose actions in connection with Iran's nuclear programme have been a bit disturbing?

El-Baredie has been involved in endless pseudo-negotiations with the Iranian regime that have promised to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. His response on how to deal with the Iranians? Compel the Israelis to open up their nuclear program and foreswear the development and possession of nuclear weapons. Yes. Israel, founded after a genocide against the Jews, is called upon to leave itself defenseless. El-Baredei is far from to be trusted to derail Iran's quest for nuclear weapons: in 2004, intelligence reports found him coaching the Iranians on the intricacies of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty -information that could be used to escape sanctions. Lately, he has readily agreed to Iran's a demand that the lead Iran investigator for the IAEA be fired because he was too intrusive (i.e., effective) for the Iranians.

We are fucked.

--
At some point we have to face down a culture in which not only the mob in the street but the highest judges and academics talk like crazies. - Mark Steyn

Of course (2.60 / 5) (#186)
by PrinceSausage on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 04:34:04 PM EST

The fact that he has the most common name in the world must surely mean that he is the lap dog of the mullas!

[ Parent ]
your attention span is ten words? -nt (1.50 / 1) (#194)
by Kronecker on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:28:42 PM EST



--
At some point we have to face down a culture in which not only the mob in the street but the highest judges and academics talk like crazies. - Mark Steyn
[ Parent ]
No (3.00 / 5) (#200)
by PrinceSausage on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 06:11:04 PM EST

I simply think that using that as an argument (not to mention following it up by a senseless rant from American Thinker) just shows that you have nothing to bring to the table in this case.


[ Parent ]
err.... how are we fucked? (2.33 / 3) (#195)
by CodeWright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:36:48 PM EST

i mean, whoop-dee-doo, iran gets nukes.

What does that really mean to John Q. Public?

Diddly-squat is what.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
No no no (2.75 / 4) (#201)
by PrinceSausage on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 06:18:05 PM EST

That means the end to apple pies and the american way and did I mention there will be no more apple pies? Because that's the way it has to be.

Plus you will see several angry notes from CTS written largely in capitals. Sternly worded.

So, that must be the end of the world I guess.

[ Parent ]

good call = (1.00 / 1) (#251)
by CodeWright on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 10:40:39 AM EST



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Maybe it has to do something (1.75 / 4) (#221)
by Kronecker on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 02:43:11 AM EST

to do with the fact that they are completely batshit insane in ways the average American clearly can't comprehend?

--
At some point we have to face down a culture in which not only the mob in the street but the highest judges and academics talk like crazies. - Mark Steyn
[ Parent ]
so what? (2.50 / 2) (#249)
by CodeWright on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 10:36:07 AM EST

so they're insane.

so they blow up a bomb on american soil.

one measly bomb.

sure, it is a terrible cost in human life, but it makes the american people thirst so heavily for revenge that they leave iran smoking.

then what?

nothing, that's what.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Uh ok (1.50 / 2) (#255)
by Kronecker on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 02:03:47 PM EST

I didn't know I was talking to a psychopath.

--
At some point we have to face down a culture in which not only the mob in the street but the highest judges and academics talk like crazies. - Mark Steyn
[ Parent ]
you're missing the point (1.50 / 1) (#257)
by CodeWright on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 02:33:35 PM EST

the point being -- it isn't the end of the world, as advertised by crawford.

it is a tragedy, but eminently survivable.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
ZOMG!!! SOMEONE NAMED MOHAMMED!!! (1.33 / 3) (#248)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 09:10:22 AM EST

stfu you fucking xenophobic redneck

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
See, this is why I love you (none / 0) (#297)
by PrinceSausage on Wed Aug 02, 2006 at 04:54:00 AM EST

We agree on the important stuff ;)

[ Parent ]
Just as boring and wrong as (2.50 / 2) (#185)
by PrinceSausage on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 04:32:55 PM EST

the "3rd World War" novels that were so popular in the mid eighties. Full of technical details and fanciful scenarios and completely and utterly wrong. And boring.

Assad is many things (among them "not a very nice man") but he isn't suicidal. Ahmadinejad is many things (among them "a man with very cheap suits") but he doesn't control Iran to the extent that people seem to imagine. Chances are greater that the power struggle on the geopolitical scale over access to resources will mean that both Syria and Iran gets squeezed but please, some sanity is required when trying to make sense of interaction between nation states. Chances are far greater that you will see Pakistan and India starting to lob warheads at each other before 2025 than that Israel will end it's short career as a nation by the hands of Syria and/or Iran. (and if I am wrong I will eat CTS' hat. Sauteed with mushrooms.)

tragedy. shoddy article about subject that draws (1.50 / 1) (#188)
by Saber RICO on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 04:47:46 PM EST

good comments.
--
"YOU HAVE BEEN FINED by Delirium FOR GROSS MISUSE OF THE TROLL-SUMMONING MECHANISM"
[ Parent ]
Bring it on. (2.75 / 8) (#204)
by Girls Dont Like You on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 06:41:26 PM EST

This world needs a good old-fashioned war. Ok it fucks a lot of people up, but once it's over no-one wants war, so everyone is much nicer to each other, and more chilled.
--
KUROFIVEHIN GIVES YUO AIDS!
                   .--.      
          ,-.------+-.|  ,-.
 ,--=======* )"("")===)===* )
         `-"---==-+-"|  `-"
 O                 '--'
            

Chilled alright (2.60 / 5) (#208)
by eavier on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 08:08:36 PM EST

Into one big planet-sized radioactive snowball with the remaining citizens going about their days forraging for roots and frozen animals.

No thanks.

Whatever you do, don't take it into your house. It's probably full of Greeks. - Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi

Ufology Doktor in da house

[ Parent ]

Honestly I want to be around when the world ends (2.33 / 6) (#218)
by balsamic vinigga on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 11:58:08 PM EST

I hate the idea of human civilazion continuing on without me, I wanna KNOW how this story ends!

---
Please help fund a Filipino Horror Movie. It's been in limbo since 2007 due to lack of funding. Please donate today!
When I try to picture how balsamic vinniga looks (3.00 / 3) (#260)
by rpresser on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:18:12 PM EST

I get a clear image of that little pyromaniac from Stephen King's The Stand (book, not movie), who lights up an entire oil storage tank -- the big ones you see near refineries.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
i don't like this shit. (1.42 / 7) (#224)
by calculus on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 03:15:46 AM EST

what 'third world'? try reading social text a bit, asshole\.

Go deconstruct yourself, dumbass -nt (2.00 / 6) (#243)
by Kronecker on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 05:20:16 AM EST



--
At some point we have to face down a culture in which not only the mob in the street but the highest judges and academics talk like crazies. - Mark Steyn
[ Parent ]
lol @ social text (none / 1) (#277)
by Delirium on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 02:20:16 AM EST

the journal that nobody on either side of that debate actually reads

[ Parent ]
Really needed more cleanup ... (1.00 / 3) (#258)
by rpresser on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 02:42:27 PM EST

you ignored both of my editorial comments, about "From Iran" and about "it's" ... then you took my cue about subcritical plutonium sphere, but left in your "I've never really understood" line.

It's an important topic, though, so I'll swallow my annoyance and +1S it.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty

I fucked up the edit queue timeout (3.00 / 3) (#259)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 02:54:48 PM EST

I thought it was thirty-six hours, not twenty four, else I wouldn't have slept on what you see. I had intended to put at least four more good hours into it before moving to vote.

And to my dismay, it's been over twenty-four hours since I emailed a few, very brief yet vital edits to help@kuro5hin.org with no response whatsoever, despite my plea that they check their email.

What's worse is that someone pointed out in the above-linked diary my worst fuckup of all: I said it was Iran's Calutrons discovered by UN weapons inspectors after the first gulf war. They were Iraqs!

I'll email that correction to the editors once someone is able to wake them out of their winter's hibernation. Perhaps you'd like to help.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

in their defense (3.00 / 3) (#270)
by zenofchai on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 09:17:10 AM EST

the editors seem to have been fighting off some lame scoop vulnerability based "attack".
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]
Lee Harris is the smoking gun (3.00 / 3) (#262)
by sye on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 05:30:15 PM EST

i don't like undertones in his book 'civilization and its enemies: The next stage of history (2004)'. The Bush administration seems to believe it wholeheartedly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
commentary - For a better sye@K5
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ripple me ~~> ~allthingsgo: gateway to Garden of Perfect Brightess in CNY/BTC/LTC/DRK
rubbing u ~~> ~procrasti: getaway to HE'LL
Hey! at least he was in a stable relationship. - procrasti
enter K5 via Blastar.in

nukes (2.40 / 5) (#265)
by the77x42 on Wed Jul 26, 2006 at 09:11:35 PM EST

No country will ever use a nuke. Ever.

The reason they are built is to funnel tax dollars back into universities and private industry. They are a means to creating jobs and instilling a sense of dependancy on the government of the day.

Nukes are a public works project. They make good movies, documentaries, books, and keep scientists employed.

They serve no other practical purpose, for if a nuke were ever used you can bet that government won't be in power much longer.



"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

That's quite optimistic. (3.00 / 3) (#267)
by Scott Robinson on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 04:16:19 AM EST

But I think there is a bit more to nukes than that.

On a completely unrelated note, which entity is it that reverses the text?

[ Parent ]

A character in a right to left Unicode font (3.00 / 2) (#272)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Jul 27, 2006 at 01:32:40 PM EST

Look up the Unicode hex for your favorite Hebrew or Arabic character and use it in your sig.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

don't see why (1.66 / 3) (#282)
by khallow on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 06:59:04 PM EST

Sure, being attacked by nukes is scary, but we have to put this into perspective. If you don't live in a sea-side, high infrastructure location that is attractive to using nukes, ie, you don't live in say New York City, Tel Aviv, or New Orleans, then Iran's ability to nuke you is extremely limited.

And Iran will be nuked heavily in response.

What I don't get is why you think global nuclear war is imminent. Russia or China aren't willing to use their nukes to defend Iran. There literally is no one else that the US can get into a fight with that can manage a sustained nuclear war (and China really can't do it either). And Iran isn't dumb enough to get itself into a position where it has to depend on a superpower to rescue it from nuclear oblivion.

Failing that I also feel very strongly that every sovereign nation has both a right and a duty to its people to maintain troops and weaponry sufficient to preserve that sovereignty.

IMHO, a democratically elected government should be a precondition for a sovereign government to exist. Many countries don't meet this at all, eg, North Korea. Even China has some degree of sovereignity from permitting local elections. I'm not sure about Iran, but IMHO it's not a legitimate government unlike most of the developed world.

So when you say that North Korea should have nukes because the US does, I counter that it shouldn't because it doesn't have a worthy government in place.

Finally, even if Iran (or Syria) is "Bush's target", it doesn't mean that they will actually come to war with the US. After all, they just need to wait a couple of years, then Bush will be out of office.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

OK (1.50 / 2) (#283)
by icastel on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 07:48:59 PM EST

So when you say that North Korea should have nukes because the US does, I counter that it shouldn't because it doesn't have a worthy government in place.

You're not suggesting that the U.S. does have a worthy government, are you?


-- I like my land flat --
[ Parent ]

yes (2.00 / 2) (#284)
by khallow on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 08:29:05 PM EST

Pretty simple criteria really. If it's not the result of a fair election, then it's not worthy.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

* sigh * (n/t) (none / 1) (#289)
by icastel on Sun Jul 30, 2006 at 12:08:45 AM EST




-- I like my land flat --
[ Parent ]
As much as I hate Bush and Co. (none / 1) (#285)
by damiam on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:05:14 AM EST

I trust them with the bomb a thousands times more than I do Kim Jong Il.

[ Parent ]
Interesting (none / 0) (#296)
by PrinceSausage on Wed Aug 02, 2006 at 04:49:54 AM EST

The accounts I have read on the Glorious Leader (Not Bush, the other one) states that he is very intelligent, well read and keeps informed about current events through a wide variety of channels.

[ Parent ]
If its so easy to build... (none / 0) (#288)
by spooky wookie on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 04:22:50 PM EST

Then how come every nation in the world havent developed a few... could come in handy...


sigh (none / 0) (#295)
by rhiannon on Wed Aug 02, 2006 at 02:46:32 AM EST

Every nation that has tried to build the bomb has succeeded, it's not difficult, just expensive. Most nations haven't developed them because they have no use for them or they have more pressing uses for their money. Also, most nations are now members of the NPT, which prohibits them from pursuing nukular weapons.

30 seconds on wikipedia before you post could prevent this kind of public display of ignorance in the future

-----------------------------------------
I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
[ Parent ]

That cannot be done in 30 sek... (none / 0) (#300)
by spooky wookie on Fri Aug 04, 2006 at 11:18:37 AM EST

and btw every nation that has tried has not been succesfull.

[ Parent ]
Next time, please do the following before posting (none / 1) (#290)
by brettd on Mon Jul 31, 2006 at 01:35:24 AM EST

1)Take your medications.

2)Figure out the subject of your article, and keep your writings germane.  Your article jumps around topic-wise like a ferret that just got into the espresso beans.

3)Put the answer to your hypothesis in your summary, then use the article body to explain the hypothesis in greater detail and prove it.

4)Research claims or statements, instead of showing the most supreme level of laziness with sentences like "I don't recall exactly but I think..."  Give us some clicky to provide the slightest validation of your key arguing points.

5)Have some key arguing points.  Lay out relevant facts and link them together to prove your hypothesis.  Etc. etc.

6)Be educated or at least informed on the subjects of which you speak.  Pick up a newspaper, listen to NPR on your way to work, and spend some time on Wikipedia.  Your article demonstrates gross lack of knowledge in nuclear physics, current events, well known US military capabilities, and world politics.  Examples: Iran isn't batshit insane, and thus won't engage in any major conflicts that would involve Israel or the US.  North Korea's  Taepodong-2 missile is estimated to be capable of reaching at LEAST 2800 miles (the Taepondong-1 flew OVER Japan, remember that fuss?); all of Japan, a good chunk of China, etc all fall within.  It is widely guesstimated that they'll have a multi-stage version at some point capable of reaching the west coast...certainly Hawaii and Alaska.  Lastly, I would think someone who studied college-level physics would understand why the plutonium sphere in a nuclear weapon is compressed.

One two three four, I smell a nuclear war. (none / 0) (#291)
by Orion Blastar Again on Mon Jul 31, 2006 at 09:52:25 AM EST

Well I live near St. Louis, MO, USA, we are a nuclear target for having Boeing here and other things. I'll be caught near ground zero and die instantly while people farther out will suffer radiation sickness and lose teeth, hair, and other things. That is, if someone can sneak a nuke past our border patrol or airport security or cargo security or our Ageis anti-missile system.

Oh yeah you know Bush will use that football device to launch more nukes at whomever nuked us.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

Nope (none / 1) (#294)
by trhurler on Tue Aug 01, 2006 at 11:45:12 PM EST

First of all, you can create implosion OR gun type bombs with either material, and various nations have done just that.

Second, the motivation for implosion before neutron saturation is that it increases the neutron density in the fissionable material, thus increasing the odds of the collisions that drive the whole process. This is not hard information to find; I find it hard to believe you're as well informed as you claim given that you say you didn't know.

Third, the hard part of building your own bomb is obtaining any useful fissionable material at all and building and operating a facility that can actually make use of it. Yes, the engineering is easy, and yes, if you don't care about yield optimization, size, weight, and so on, any reasonably competent techie could design the entire weapon given public information and a few months' time. Sadly for him though, it is harder to buy plutonium than it was in Back to the Future.

Fourth, hydrogen bombs are not easy to make. The heavy water variant on this design is actually quite hard to make and even harder to maintain due to corrosion problems. The other available methods either have limited yield and difficult manufacture processes, or else require materials that are seriously hard to obtain.

Fifth, no, a modest hydrogen bomb is NOT a thousand times more powerful than, say, Fat Man. A modest hydrogen bomb has a slightly sub-megaton yield. That's nowhere near 1000 times 20 kilotons. The very largest weapons ever made are be a bit more than 1000 times 20 kilotons, and they're useless due to delivery system problems.

Sixth, Iran could trivially get a nuke into Israel. The largest bombers of WWII are nothing compared to today's big cargo planes, which could easily carry around a couple of dozen primitive atomic weapons. Obtaining a Russian transport (ostensibly for some other purpose,) would be easy for Iran. Your assumption here is just stupid.

Seventh, putting a bomb in a shipping container would be harder than putting it in a plane; containers are of fairly limited diameter. Putting it in the hold of a modified tanker is more likely, but modifying the tanker without being spotted would be a real trick.

Israel probably has more like 2-300 weapons, but that's irrelevant. Their engineering talent is mostly irrelevant since we probably gave them the designs.

Nobody is going to nuke Iran just because they think maybe there's a bomb coming. Why? Because as soon as Iran has the bomb, they face absolutely certain annihilation if it ever gets used. Atomic bombs are great deterrents, but they are not useful weapons against similarly armed foes.

The Iranian air force is mostly irrelevant to Israel, which has aircraft with such superior avionics and weapons that an air battle between Israel and Iran would look a lot like Gulf War I with Israel playing the part of the US. Your assumption to the contrary shows your level of knowledge on this subject quite well.

Israel doesn't have enough planes to hit multiple industrial targets at once? Tell it to the Lebanese, genius. The Israeli air force is in the top five in the world, and if it doesn't look big compared to the US, it doesn't need to be. When they destroyed Osirak, they used four F-15s. They have a LOT more than that.

The US would have a hard time destroying Iranian nuclear capability, largely because we don't even know where all the facilities are. Some of them are so far underground that we've apparently started work on nuclear bunker busters.

Iran invade Iraq? Nope. At most that'd be a brief border incursion. They lack the logistics, they lack the air power (their armor would be annihilated in short order by allied bombing,) and they lack the ability to fight at night.

Your assumption about Pakistan is ludicrous; the military in Pakistan is where Musharref is from; the military is probably the most secular organization in all of Pakistani governance. Furthermore, the military in Pakistan has no intent of using up its handful of nukes in someone else's war. (Also, your info regarding India is out of date. The two nations aren't friendly, but they're a whole lot less opposed than they were.)

VX gas isn't useful for annihilating huge numbers of people except under ideal circumstances. In fact, chemical weapons have been largely ineffective as anything but random terror weapons since WWI, because without trench warfare, heavier than air gases just aren't that useful over large areas. They were made more effective by their tendency to flow down into the trenches:)

Furthermore, it is absurd to think that Syria's missiles are accurate enough to hit population centers, and VX dissipates quickly. Still more important, Syria knows that such an attack would be answered with nukes, so it just ain't gonna happen.

Your thinking is muddled because you decided on an outcome and then started trying to justify it as "imminent." The reality is, the only reason Iran, Syria, and so on still exist is that we're way too nice to slaughter their entire populations; the balance of power is firmly on our side, and nothing but moral considerations related to the term "human shield" gives our enemies any hope at all.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

I don't see how increasing the density helps (none / 0) (#298)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 02, 2006 at 06:03:30 AM EST

perhaps it's me that's dense, but putting the plutonium atoms closer together also shortens the distance the neutrons have to travel before they escape the ball and fly off into space.  Therefore, it also decreases their chance of getting captured.

neutrons don't decay, so shorting the distance of their travel or the time required to cross the distance has no effect.

I've tried to reason this out geometrically.  Admittedly I've never tried writing down any equations.  But it seems to me that the odds of neutron capture are just as high with an unimploded ball as a denser, imploded one.

Enlighten me.  This has puzzled me for over thirty years.  I've never read any explanation as to why imploding makes a difference.  The writers all seem to think it should be obvious.

I got A's in physics at Caltech, including quantum mechanics.  UCSC didn't have grades at the time, but my written evaluations for quantum mechanics and E&M said I was among the best students in the class.  I petitioned for credit in Optics by aceing the final exam without having attended a single lecture, after reviewing the textbook for only a day.

I also had no trouble getting accepted into grad school.

So I'm not as ignorant as you may think.  Maybe you can give me either a geometric explanation, a mathematical proof, or link me to a page that explains it better.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Well, (none / 0) (#299)
by trhurler on Wed Aug 02, 2006 at 10:07:45 PM EST

perhaps it's me that's dense, but putting the plutonium atoms closer together also shortens the distance the neutrons have to travel before they escape the ball and fly off into space.
The vast majority of them are nowhere near the surface - much farther than the average travel distance before impact. This is made even more true by compressing the sphere, which decreases average travel distance. The only reason a neutron initiator is even used is to speed things up enough to cause the desired macroscopic effects; the plutonium is subcritical until compressed and supercritical afterward, because criticality depends on neutron density.
neutrons don't decay, so shorting the distance of their travel or the time required to cross the distance has no effect.
It does increase the average energy of collision and also the number of collisions per neutron emission.
I've tried to reason this out geometrically. Admittedly I've never tried writing down any equations. But it seems to me that the odds of neutron capture are just as high with an unimploded ball as a denser, imploded one.
Remember that even in a solid core of plutonium, most of the volume is empty space. Compressing it still leaves it with much more space than solid, but since only the space can be reduced (the size of subatomic particles is fixed relative to pressure,) it does drastically reduce the percentage of the solid that is actually empty space, thereby substantially increasing the likelihood that any given neutron not already on the surface will collide. The trick is that the plutonium is almost a critical mass to start with, and this increased collision probability pushes it over the threshold.
I got A's in physics at Caltech, including quantum mechanics.
I don't think quantum mechanics is as important here as thinking clearly about the geometry involved. There are reasonably complete sets of equations describing criticality that depend more on geometry and the basics of mass/energy conversion than anything else.
UCSC didn't have grades at the time, but my written evaluations for quantum mechanics and E&M said I was among the best students in the class.
I don't doubt you. It sounds like you're really good at math. I'm sure someone can provide some math that might convince you, but I'm not that guy. The geometric understanding is much easier for me. (Similarly, I had a multivariate calc prof who absolutely refused to believe that several of the theorems we were studying relating n-dimensional solids' surface area, volume, and so on made intrinsic geometric sense to me, and who insisted that since I wasn't particularly good at memorizing dozens of very hard to derive formulae giving numerical solutions to a bunch of specific problems, I therefore had no idea what I was talking about.)

The key thing to realize is that supercritical means you get enough collisions with a given set of neutrons such that the next generation of neutrons is larger than this one. Therefore, you can become "more critical" by either increasing the mass (putting more neutrons far enough into the core that they'll likely collide, and sending close to 50% of the ones near the surface inward as well, and it is of course a larger surface,) or by increasing density, thereby making collisions with the fewer neutrons you do have more likely. They create the same effect.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
YFI. (none / 0) (#303)
by V on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:10:22 AM EST

"It" being physics.

HTH.

V.
---
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
"I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
"goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens
[ Parent ]

Explanations for kids. (3.00 / 4) (#301)
by JenniferForUnity on Fri Aug 04, 2006 at 02:25:51 PM EST

To keep the explanation simple we'll do this in 2 dimensions: put 20 quarters on a table.  If each has a 1 in 40 chance of "popping" each second then (at first) something should pop every other two seconds or so. That's the natural decay of radioactive material.

Whenever something pops, pick a direction at random, and slide a penny across the table that way, to see if it hits another quarter. If it does, that pops too and you repeat the penny slide for that quarter.

Something is "critical" when the natural decay is enough to make chain reactions by this method.  If each pop causes two penny slides it really helps... On the table (assuming a normal sized table) even with two pennies per pop you still don't have criticality.

Now put the 20 quarters on a sheet of binder paper. Can you see any way to slide a penny in a straight line out of the heart of that mess?  Maybe there are some ways out, but mostly not. Moreover, when we're talking about jillions of quarters, the vast majority will be "inside the pack" because area scales faster than circumference (and volume scales faster than surface area for the more realistic 3D case).  Natural decay in that situation is going to cause a chain reaction. That's criticality. And that's why density matters.

[ Parent ]

That's the first time I've understood it (none / 0) (#302)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Aug 06, 2006 at 02:34:20 AM EST

I wasn't considering the finite diameter of the nucleus and how the ratio of occupied to empty space would increase as the pit gets smaller.

I'll make a diagram for the copy of this story on my own website and write an explanation of it.

I'm grateful for your help. I'm sure most writers have always considered the reason one needs implosion to be plainly obvious, but it never has been for me.


If your friend loses his arm to a crocodile, don't stick your fucking head in the crocodile's mouth just to one-up him. -- Parent ]

Mergatroid will live ...! (none / 0) (#304)
by k24anson on Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 10:13:59 AM EST

The guy was in the Navy; talking he was about experimental submarines that while submerged traveled over a hundred miles an hour.

"Do you realize how much water you are pushing away from you, the hull of the submarine going a hundred miles an hour under water?" For a moment I did have to pause and think about the crushing forces against the hull of a submarine as it is doing this.

This guy talks on and I occasionally hear to listen to quips such as, "One U.S. aircraft carrier fleet (I think we have six of seven operational aircraft carriers today) one fleet has the capacity to scorch a ten, twenty to fifty mile wide swath of earth from the Baltic Sea down to the Alps." I think the topic was if the Soviets had decided to blitzkreig their way across Western Europe one day, what the U.S. response would possibly be.

We really should try other ways with the Islamics until one day the situation becomes so untolerable that drastic measures must be taken.

Such as simply informing the Islamic youth, targeting the Islamic youth with propoganda like we own the moon. Informing them we're thinking of a second flag design to fly alongside Old Glory and to symbolize to the rest of the world the fact that the United States of American claims possession of the entire surface sphere of the Moon. We've got our sights on possessing the entire surface of Mars in the not too distant future, too.

While (some) Western men, only a handful (realize only a small number out of the millions that've been around) of the more innovative men of the West have caused the existence of earthly things like radios, televisions, airplanes, cars, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, toasters, telephones, cameras, Pizza Huts, crescent wrenches, etc., etc., Islamic men have basically and practically caused and done nothing over the last five, six, seven hundred years besides oh, every one in a while one reads how one of these towel heads has re-interpreted the Quran (again) into one more and another idiotic denomination to gather and keep a mass of people around him; doing so hoping these gullible masses now give this dumb-dumb money on a regular basis, probably. Some of the best and brightest, the most powerful men in Islamic nations are today still deciphering the Quran to determine if Allah wants and "wills" the adulterous female to receive an extra hundred lashes, this hundred more lashes to be on top of the five hundred lashes she is already gonna get (Praise be His Name, right?) ... next time she does that. Islamic men in Islamic nations are slimeballs. They are not real "men."

Sugar and spice the message making it more palatable to the Islamic youth that the West is the best. Their culture sucks.

Have these nice, little, and impressionable young boys and girls in Islam lands to realize that the youth in the West go to school to someday create real live cyborgs type model T-100's (Hi Arnie, Hi! Linda!) I'm talking about real live Terminators now. Let's try to persuade these impressionable youngsters that it is in their best interest to throw those Qurans down the toilet too! And to think instead of making the world a better place for everyone.

A good 'ole american, that is Republican Party thinking type of public relations firm from Madison Avenue could pull this off, given enough time, I think (I thunk.)

I gotta go.

Mergatroid will live ... !
KLH
NYC

Stay focused. Go slow. Keep it simple.

more likely preemptive strike (none / 0) (#310)
by iggymanz on Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 04:36:25 PM EST

would be with advanced bunker-buster bombs against the underground Iranian facilities.  Avoids that nuke stigma that's oh so non-PC.  As the U.S. sent precision guided smart bombs to Israel for the next wave of festivities in Lebanon, I wouldn't be surprised if we're also arming them with the deep hole-pokers for use against Iran.  

2 months and counting.. 0x0 (none / 0) (#314)
by sudog on Tue Sep 26, 2006 at 02:07:21 AM EST



4 Months and counting.. (none / 0) (#315)
by sudog on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 02:19:42 AM EST

That's why I recently ran a poll in my diary regarding how many weeks we'd have to wait for the first bomb to drop. My vote was four weeks. That was a week ago, so now it's just three.

That's still my top pick, but I am as certain as I can be that Judgement Day will come before the year is out.

Well, it's been four months, and I don't see any sign of Judgement Day... Shall we wait for another month for letting out the collective breath we're all holding as a result of the above prediction?

Or, has it already come to pass and humans have simply moved on to the "next world" already and don't know it?


5 months and counting; the year is almost out! 0x0 (none / 0) (#316)
by sudog on Mon Dec 25, 2006 at 02:25:54 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Kiss Your Sorry Ass Goodbye | 316 comments (225 topical, 91 editorial, 0 hidden)
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