Seeing Red

Kitsch 'n giggles for the ROKENROL scene


May 2006

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bygone era March 2006

March 31, 2006

Report: US to test 700-ton explosive in Nevada this June

The Pentagon plans to detonate 700 tons of conventional high explosives in Nevada in a June 2 test designed to gauge the effectiveness of weapons against deeply buried targets, officials said on March 30.

"I donít want to sound glib here, but itís the first time in Nevada that youíll see a mushroom cloud over Las Vegas since we stopped testing nuclear weapons," James Tegnelia, director of the Pentagonís Defense Threat Reduction Agency, told a small group of reporters.


March 30, 2006

Mars meteorite similar to bacteria-etched Earth rocks

Spaceflightnow is carrying this report on possible signs of life in Martian rock. By studying a meteorite which originated from Mars and was discovered in Egypt in 1911, scientists discovered tiny tunnels which are exact duplicates of those created on earth when bacteria bore through rock. However, unlike samples from terrestrial rock, scientists were not able to extract any DNA from the Martian samples. This could mean there is a way to create these tunnels that does not require a biological agent.

Then again, it very well could be another sign of life on Mars.


Boob Job Ban In Space

Women with boob jobs may be banned from Virgin's space flights. Bosses fear the implants may expand and burst due to cabin pressure, according to The Sun. People with heart or circulation problems may also be ruled out.


If an A-Bomb Falls

A freshly-unearthed 1950s bomb scare comic; also see The H-Bomb and You.


March 28, 2006

Atomic Platters

Every art form had to deal with the arrival of atomic age in one manner or another. Some artists were reserved and intellectual in their approach, others less so. The world of popular music, for one, got an especially crazy kick out of the Bomb. Country, blues, jazz, gospel, rock and roll, rockabilly, Calypso, novelty and even polka musicians embraced atomic energy with wild-eyed, and some might argue, inappropriate enthusiasm. These musicians churned out a variety of truly memorable tunes featuring some of the most bizarre lyrics of the 20th century. If it weren't for Dr. Oppenheimer's creation, for example, would we have ever heard lines like "Nuclear baby, don't fission out on me!" or "Radioactive mama, we'll reach critical mass tonight!"?

There are various subgenres that comprise the master genre we like to call the Atomic Platter, but mainly these compositions celebrate, lament or lampoon the Bomb and the Cold War that sprang from the mushroom clouds over Japan.


March 27, 2006

Half-life: Living with the effects of nuclear waste

Mayak, in Russia's Southern Ural mountains, is the largest nuclear complex in the world.

Lying 1400km east of Moscow, close to the Kazakstan border, Mayak has been the key Soviet and Russian military nuclear facility for over 50 years. Read about how Mayak became one of the most radioactive places on the planet.

Mayak has blighted the lives of the communities living in its shadow.

At least 272,000 people have been exposed to high doses of radiation. Thousands have died and those who are left still suffer the horrific effects. Here are their stories.


Nuclear Nightmares: Twenty Years since Chernobyl

April 26 will be the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Last year, Robert Knoth made a photo-reportage of the lingering effects of the tragedy.


March 22, 2006

Cold War-era supplies found in New York

Workers inspecting the structural foundations of the Brooklyn Bridge uncovered a Cold War-era trove of basic provisions that were stockpiled amid fears of a nuclear attack.

The stash, discovered in a vault under an entrance ramp, includes water drums, canisters of (352,000) calorie-packed crackers, paper blankets, medical supplies and drugs that were used to treat shock.


Yury Mukhin: Soviet electric guitar pioneer

Yury Mukhin, the first electric guitar player in the Soviet Union, once rubbed shoulders with the nation's elite. Then he fell into obscurity - until a sudden change of fortune last year.


March 18, 2006

My great uncle, Stalin's spy in Whitehall

Nick Barratt, the genealogist who unearths secrets in the family trees of celebrities for the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? series, has found there is a skeleton in his own ancestral closet.

His great uncle was a Foreign Office civil servant who spied for the Soviet Union before committing suicide when MI5 finally tracked him down.


March 01, 2006

Cosmonauts plan the biggest golf drive in history

Russia plans to hit a golf ball into Earth orbit from the International Space Station. If NASA approves the plan, the ball would set records for the longest drive ever made--but some experts warn that a mishap could cause "catastrophic" damage to the station.