Stephen Hawking is at it again, saying it’s a “near certainty” that a self-inflicted disaster will befall humanity within the next thousand years or so. It’s not the first time the world’s most famous physicist has raised the alarm on the apocalypse, and he’s starting to become a real downer. Here are some of the…
Sarah Zhang has a fascinating post over at Wired about the systematic study of Cold War-era nuclear test films that’s currently being undertaken by nuclear physicist Gregg Spriggs. One of the most interesting elements to the story is the fact that of the 7,000 films discovered so far, 4,000 are still classified.
It’s truly amazing that anybody survived the Cold War.
As things get hotter between Russia and NATO, Putin is waving his nuclear dick around. Russia plans to conduct massive nuclear war maneuvers. Yesterday it successfully tested its new Bulava ("Mace") submarine launched nuclear missile, hitting its target with complete accuracy with its dummy warheads.
In these decades after the Cold War, "nuclear winter" is an idea that can feel as remote as science fiction. But using state-of-the-art climate models, scientist have calculated exactly what nuclear winter will look like after even a small, regional conflict. Boy is it bad.
How do you ensure that fancy new military satellite is tough enough to withstand an orbital EMP attack by the Soviets? By shooting it with your own nuclear bomb using this massive, movable test chamber, obviously.
Behold the Severodvinsk—the pride of the Russian Navy, the first of the post-Soviet era Yasen-class submarines. It entered service at the end of December 2013 and it will replace the old Akula-class and Alfa-class subs. But unlike those warships, and thanks to a new cruise missile, the Severodvinsk has strategic and…
A perverse fascination with nuclear fallout and blast radii isn't that weird. Don't you want to know how hard you and everything you know is going to disappear from the face of the Earth in the unlikely case that some maniac drops twenty kilotons of atomic death on your front door? Now you can see a simulation of the…
In the early 1950s cities across the U.S. spent hundreds of thousands of dollars outfitting their children with military-style dog tags. Why were we giving kids something that's usually reserved for people at risk of dying horrifically in the line of duty? Because in the era of duck and cover, kids were on the front…
The 1970s was a tough decade for America. Widespread distrust in government, rising inflation, the oil crisis, and disco were all wreaking havoc on the nation.
"The Power of Decision" may be the first (and perhaps the only) U.S. government film dramatizing nuclear war decision-making. Commissioned by the Strategic Air Command in 1956, the film has the look of a 1950s TV drama, but the subject is the ultimate Cold War nightmare. By the end of the film, after the U.S. Air…
At a small United States Air Force installation in eastern Wyoming, I'm sitting at an electronic console, ready to unleash nuclear hell.
Bunker-42 was built during the Cold War and was a classified bunker equipped with everything necessary in case of a nuclear attack. After the end of the Cold War, it's been transformed into Russia's Cold War Museum.
It must be the two hundred and twenty-three times I've watched War Games, but I love this Google Maps "mapplet" that allows you to nuke cities with different atomic weapons, and even a Chicxulub-class asteroid.
Here's where the West German political elite was planning to spend nuclear winter, drinking Martinis and having toga parties after armageddon, waiting to see who emerged victorious from a worldwide thermonuclear war: a gigantic nuclear bunker with 17 kilometers of tunnels equipped with all kinds of commodities.