Little Boy, the nuclear bomb that U.S. forces dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945, leveled a two-mile radius of the city, killing an estimated 80,000 people. It was an enormous amount of destruction — and it was caused by less than two per cent of the uranium carried by the bomb.
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Airport security checkpoint lines are the very definition of a "necessary evil". Everyone hates the long waits and the awkward disrobing dances as you rid yourself of all your shoes, smartphones, metal, etc. Yet, we're eternally grateful when crazy people with samurai swords don't fly coach. Now, a new breakthrough in nanotechnology could help ease our collective dread for airport security, at least a little bit.
Every once in a while, we're reminded of World War I's awful legacy: Trenches that run like gashes through the French countryside, craters in farmland, the iron harvest. These scars are even deeper than we might imagine. Bombs actually shattered bedrock and created the bizarre, dimpled landscape of modern day Verdun.
Allegories abound in this macabre tale of runaway industrialism in post-World War Europe. An enterprising defence contractor replaces his inefficient human workforce with mechanical monstrosities, a move that doesn't sit well with his former employees. Returning with the hammer and sickle of socialist justice, one ex-bomb-maker attempts to enact his revenge, only to find that this military-industrial complex runs far deeper than anyone imagined.
Oh my. This is beyond scary. A 1.6km-long train carrying crude oil derailed near a small town in the US state of North Dakota and sent explosions, flames and dark black smoke into the sky. Luckily (and almost unbelievably), no one was hurt in the accident that looked a lot more like a nuke exploding than a train derailment.
When mushroom clouds exploded in the sky during Cold War-era nuclear bombs testing, they also created an unexpected boon for science. The nuclear explosions caused a massive uptick in Carbon-14 that eventually settled in all living tissue — everything from tree rings to elephant tusks to human brain cells.
Just in case you were still being fooled into thinking that the TSA is good for, well, anything, follow along with YouTube contributor Terminal Cornucopia as he constructs a home-made "FRAGGuccino" from stuff you can buy from airport terminal kiosks — you know the ones you can enter after passing through security.
Because my imagination is trapped within the confines of my human pea brain, I always giggle to myself when I see dogs sniff anything and everything they run into. But dogs have 50 times more olfactory cells than we do! Of course, they would put it to good use. And of course our human pea brains would put a dog's nose to good use in finding bombs. How do we train man's best friends to find explosives?
By 1945, Allied forces were knocking on Japan's front door. As the Empire's military grew increasingly desperate, it began to focus on eliminating the Allies' willingness to fight — by intentionally crashing manned aircraft in kamikaze attacks. And for pilots aboard one breed of these notorious flying coffin, the MXY-7 Navy Suicide Attacker Ohka, death wasn't the last resort, it was the only one.
"Be alert but not alarmed." That was the tagline of Australia's first prominent terrorism awareness campaign back in the early-2000s. Hotlines were set up, ads were all over the telly, and people were generally advised to watch out for home-grown threats. It was a great idea, and now the government is out to revive the campaign against home-grown threats, but in doing so it seems to have given us a shopping list of ingredients for home-made bombs.
The GBU-57A-B Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is 2400kg of high explosive wrapped in 13,600kg of steel. It's designed to obliterate fortified positions and underground bunkers from the inside.
When a bomb explodes, you can't outmanoeuvre it; you probably can't even take cover quickly enough to protect yourself. Instead, you have to hope that there's something — anything — already in the way that can shield you from the blast. Here are five of the best future bomb-proof materials that could end up saving lives in our increasingly uncertain future.