Tuesday, November 23, 2004

An '80s throwback I could do without

I know it's a rainy, yucky day (at least here) to be talking about such things, but sometimes you just have to take a reality break.

Last time I remember being concerned about a nuclear detonation was way back in the '80s, during the Reagan era and the Cold War, in my AP history class. We'd speculate at length about who might drop a bomb and what would happen. I remember sitting ice-blooded through the detonation sequence of The Day After and listening an obscure Tommy Shaw song called "This Is Not a Test:"

Mr. President, our radar shows an image in the sky
We believe it's headed our direction

Now, Harvard security expert Graham Allison has published a book titled Nuclear Terrorism, in which he asserts that there is a 50-percent chance of terrorists detonating a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb within the next decade. (Hat tip: Neal Boortz.)

And just how would such a device redecorate my neighborhood? I went to NuclearTerror.org and typed in the 35203 zip code -- the major business center of my city of residence. According to the blast map it generated, we'd experience the following:

100-percent fatality rate in the business district, from the Civic Center to about Third Avenue North with virtually all structures destroyed.

Fatal radiation doses all the way from around Carraway Medical Center south to UAB, including as significant section of I-20 and Malfunction Junction. Severe structural damage and firestorms in this area.

Radiation and fires up to one mile away, including the airport, parts of I-65 and Five Points South.

This is what makes me want to bonk Janeane Garofalo on the head. She asserted on Sean Hannity's show that the Bush Administration has overblown the global terror threat. Mm hmm. Keep yapping, Janeane.

In the meanwhile, I'm gonna go listen to Duran Duran or something to make me feel better.

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