[personal profile] zalena
Today the BP posted Isao Hashimoto's visualization of the nuclear detonations between 1945-1998 with the caption, "The World Has Already Ended." It actually illustrates one of his pet points, that we are already living in what is essentially a post-apocalyptic landscape. Certainly one that has been irrevocably altered by the presence of humans.

It actually dovetails nicely with several things I've already got going on right now:

* Mom & I have been talking about the Bomb a lot in reference to The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan, which I told her about and she is reading. It's about the Oak Ridge uranium refinement facility where my grandmother worked during the war.

I've been trying to sell her on the idea of the Nuclear Family Vacation (see Hodge & Weinberger). So far, a strong maybe. If I need to I will make the pilgrimage on my own. I still haven't decided if I plan to visit the Trinity site this summer.

* I'm reading Terry Tempest Williams Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family & Place a kind of nuclear test memoir about the contradictions of living in this landscape. (I went to one of her talks and read When Women Were Birds last year. It was a Big Deal for me, but I still haven't talked about it much.)

Meeting Terry Tempest Williams:
http://zalena.livejournal.com/1309099.html

* It is not without some irony that I note my last review before my 'public' writing blew up was on Steve Sheinkin's Bomb. I think I'm still dealing with the fall-out. Har har.

Steve Sheinkin's Bomb:
http://zalena.livejournal.com/1342559.html

John Adam's Dr. Atomic and other thoughts on the theme:
http://zalena.livejournal.com/1340943.html

* It strikes me how very like the nuclear conversation the climate change conversation has turned out to be. But in slow motion. And fewer signs.

* At the very end of the Lauren Redniss's Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout she notes that for many years scientists didn't know if the heart consisted of cells that renewed themselves, or not. The only way they could test was to introduce radioactive tracers.... which would be unethical. Then someone realized everyone who was alive after 1945 already had them in their bodies. That's when they discovered the is a mosaic of cells that renew themselves and cells that don't. Which I think is poetry and one of the reasons we need to keep talking about these things.

From my review of the book:

To me, love is the wonder of discovery, not to mention the ability to regenerate after experiencing debilitating damage. The Curies’ work was guided not just by their devotion to each other, but by a passion they felt for a subject greater than themselves. Together they were able to make amazing discoveries that guided a larger community of scientists and still color our lives to this day.

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Letter-Blocks-The-BN-Parents-and/Radioactive-Marie-and-Pierre-Curie-A-Tale-of-Love-and-Fallout-by/ba-p/842246

I guess what strikes me most about the visualization... what I already knew, but struggle to articulate, is that all the fear of the Arms Race was about other people blowing us up... when all the damage was done with us blowing up ourselves.

You don't have to watch the whole thing. But if you fastforward to the end, it does a time lapse of each country and the extent of its damage. The former Soviet states are pockmarked with damage, but in the US, it's like a giant bird plop all over the Western United States. My home.



Anyway, you've probably noticed I haven't been posting much. I'm toying with the idea of giving up LJ altogether. But before I go, in honor of the time I've spent here, and in honor of those who have read, or are still reading, I'd like to clear out my 'notes' file where I've squirreled away unwritten posts, unposted comments, or tidbits that felt they needed an extra bit of imagination. By the time I get to the end of those files, I should have a better idea of where this grand adventure is taking me next.

Join me.

Date: 2013-05-19 01:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrissa.livejournal.com
Ah good; I am waiting for The Girls of Atomic City from the library and am glad to hear it isn't entirely dire.

Date: 2013-05-19 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jofish22.livejournal.com
i do like reading your things on lj. but i don't think it's worth continuing for me to read them.

Date: 2013-05-19 04:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dr-tectonic.livejournal.com
We are already living in what is essentially a post-apocalyptic landscape. Certainly one that has been irrevocably altered by the presence of humans.

Doubly so in the case of North America, where humans altered the landscape and then were wiped out by disease when European settlers showed up...

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