Hydrogen Bombs and Bikinis

“As soon as the war [WWII] ended, we located the one spot on earth that hadn’t been touched by the war and blew it to hell.”
–Comedian Bob Hope commenting on Operation Crossroads

Answer.com has this Daily Highlights desktop pop-up program that I subscribe to. Each day you get a brief today in history type of blurb, some current usually odd news, and birthdays of noteworthy people. I like it because it is concise and usually has interesting stuff that I likely would not have heard about otherwise. The other day I learned about a new place and a little bit of history – I apologize if this is common knowledge to most of you – but I’m betting that it is not.

The Bikini atoll (an atoll is a ringlike coral island and reef that nearly or entirely encloses a lagoon) is located in the central Pacific and is one of 29 atolls and 5 single islands that form the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Bikini is best known for its role in a series of nuclear tests conducted by the United States. It was a test site of more than 20 hydrogen and atomic bombs between 1946 to 1958. Prior to the testing (bombing), the local people were relocated to a neighboring island, away from the test site. The US government provided the Bikinians only enough food for a few weeks. As the food supply on the new island quickly ran out, the Bikinians began to suffer from starvation and fish poisoning due to the lack of edible fish in the lagoon. Within two months after their arrival they began to beg U.S. officials to move them back to Bikini.

The islanders were soon removed from Bikini again and in 1954 the hydrogen bomb, code named Bravo, was detonated on the surface of the reef in the northwestern corner of Bikini Atoll. Radioactive ash was carried by wind to fishing vessels and to the surrounding islands, irradiating everything and everyone in its path.

In the late 60s islanders were told that they could return to their homeland (or what was left of it) because the levels of radiation were determined to be safe. But this was wrong. In the 1970s a study was done that determined there were “higher levels of radioactivity than originally thought.” Most of the people on Bikini had radiation levels well-above the maximum US allowable limit and it was recommended that those remaining on Bikini evacuate.

“On March 5, 2001, the Nuclear Claims Tribunal handed down a decision on a seven year lawsuit the Bikinians had brought against the United States for damages done to their islands and their people during the nuclear testing on Bikini. The Tribunal gave them a total award of $563,315,500.00. The problem is that the Nuclear Claims Tribunal, which was created by the Compact of Free Association of 1986, was underfunded and does not have the money to pay for this claim. It is now up to the people of Bikini to petition the U.S. Congress for the money to fulfill this award. This is expected to take many years and it is uncertain if the United States will honor their claim.”

“At this time the people of Bikini remain scattered throughout the Marshall Islands and the world as they wait for the cleanup of Bikini to begin in earnest, mostly due to the fact that the money they have received from the U.S. government is not adequate to fund a full radiological cleanup of the entire atoll.”

In recent years, the Bikini Atoll has been trying to build up its tourism scene – it’s become a popular destination for sport fishing and scuba diving. But the people are still dealing with the effects of what happened decades ago.

There’s a lot of history I left out here – this is the abbreviated version. To me this is just another example of our government bulldozing over whatever stands in its way to get what they want and then, when the time comes to be accountable or to make up for what they have done, there’s floundering, or worse, no response. It’s about taking responsibility for what you’ve done and apologizing – it’s one of those things most people learn in kindergarden. I guess when you are a superpower and you owe something to someone weaker (such as, helping them rebuild after you have destroyed their lives) – who’s going to make you pay?

If you are still interested you can find more information on wikipedia or at http://www.bikiniatoll.com/

(Note: portions of the above were collected from the Bikini Atoll website)

Moistboyz – probably more ROCK than you can handle


I’m telling you – these guys freakin’ rock. I just bought III after checking it out on itunes multiple times. Now, I’ll probably buy IV.

http://moistboyz.com

Review from Music Guide, LLC
“Mickey Moist (aka Dean Ween) and Dickie Moist have created one mean and burley beast of an album that will have you conjuring up images of escaped convicts, white-trash crank-heads, shotgun racks, broken whiskey bottles, and bloodied noses in no time flat. On III the boys have enough piss n’ vinegar running through their veins that they make prefab mean and scary acts like Disturbed or the pseudo-redneck posturing of Kid Rock look as weak and fake as they really are. Each song on III is played like these boys’ lives depended on it, with their stripped-down, barebones, raunchy punk metal-blues that feel like ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres, Hell Bent for Leather-era, Judas Priest, and Black Flag circa Damaged all rolled into one. III never lets up for a second, going simultaneously for your jugular and funny bone with such classic song titles as “Shitheel,” “The Tweaker,” “In the Valley of the Sun,” “Great American Zero,” and “I Am the Reaper.” Lyrically, Dickie Moist is just as twisted, angry, and crass as ever, spouting out dirty jokes and images that, if you don’t offend easily, are worth a good laugh or two. Moistboyz prove on III that, joke band or not, they’ve got the right riffs and enough attitude to hold their own against any hard rock band out there. You can also bet that one listen to III by any earthy, mellow fan of Ween will have them running straight for the hills quicker than you can say crystal meth.”

Movies: Recommendations


I saw two movies this weekend that I was impressed by:

You may have heard of Crash (2004) – there was another film named Crash in 1996. I guess they liked the title enough they didn’t care about using it again.
Crash contained a series of powerful juxtapositions; charcters pitted against themselves in a racially segmented world. Your intial reaction to the film may be to underestimate the movie as just another film about our cultural and racial differences in America – but you would be mistaken. The film is more about the assumptions we make about people, difficult situations that change a few of us, unpredictability of circumstance, and what happens when our personal values collide with anothers. It is a powerful movie that will stick with you.

The other movie I want to recommend but only to a select audience – this movie is NOT for the faint of heart. I’ll tell you up front it deals with violence, revenge, torture, and incest, among other things. Be forewarned, but don’t let that stop you from renting it if you can handle this stuff because it is an AMAZING story.

I doubt you’ve heard of Old Boy – it’s a South Korean film. The main character, Oh-Dae-Su, is a man imprisioned for 15 years and upon his release seeks revenge on the man who held him captive. This is not, I repeat, NOT a martial-arts (“kung-fu”) flick. The fascinating thing about this movie is the number of hidden elements that gradually reveal themselves, until by the end, we have a complete picture – completely different from what we could have imagined!

The worst part of the movie to me were the voice-overs – I would have rather read subtitles and listen to them speak Korean rather than listen to poorly intonated English – maybe there’s a menu button to change it on the DVD, I should have checked. Regardless, the story was enough to make me forget about the mismatched voices.

New Site: Day 2: Status: Go.

Went slackin’ with Spence today at Andrews. Nice day 4 it. Working on some sweet new moves. One I call the troll.
I’m lying, I didn’t do any new tricks and I didn’t name it the troll. Actually, it’s not really a trick – just a new move for me. Nothing more than bringing my back foot back as far as I can get it and dropping my knee to the ground while keeping both feet on the line. See, anyone who’s anyone can do that in their sleep.

Has anyone else noticed that nearly every topic on rockclimbing.com devolves into trash-talking, nay-saying banter that has nothing to do with the topic at hand? I’ve all but given up posting anything on that board because inevitably someone will come on and start talking about something completely off topic.

I would bet that nearly every topic with 5 pages+ will have at least 2 sub-topics which have nothing to do with the original post – and at least 1 of those will involve some dumb-ass talking trash.

BUT – on the other hand – I have to give it up to Subtle on RC.com for making the “Ask The NOOB” thread a great read. You could just about print and publish all 40-something pages. Very funny.

-A-