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photo copyright � 1987 by Elaine Radford, all rights reserved

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By public demand, and after a delay of an embarrassing number of years, I've finally put my notorious essay, Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman, free on the fabulous internets.

A bibliography of my published books and stories.

Here's a simple card-counting FAQ to get you up to speed on the basics. Here's the true story of the notorious DD' blackjack team, told for the first time on the fabulous internets. No other team went from a starting investor's bankroll of zero to winning millions of dollars.


A Sadean take on Asimov's classic Three Laws of Robotics can be found in Roger Williams' NOW REVIEWED ON SLASHDOT!!! The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect. Adult readers only please -- explicit sex and violence. For updates on the "Dead Tree Project" and other topics, you may visit the official fan site, Passages in the Void..


Visit Peachfront's Cookbook, for recipes that are fast, cheap, and good. A work in progress.

My Bird Lists -- My Louisiana State Life List, My Yard List and, tah dah, My World Life List.


HEY! What happened to the Peachfront Conure Files? The world's only OFFICIAL Peachfront Conure site now features free peachfront conure coverage, including a magazine length Intro to Conures previously published in American Cage-Bird Magazine, now free on the web. I offer the best free Peachfront Conure information on the internet. If you have great Peachfront Conure info, stories, or photos to share, contact me so I can publicize your pet, your breeding success, your great photograph, etc. on my site. Thanks.







national atomic museum

2004-11-25 - 9:06 a.m.

All photos 2004 by Elaine Radford and Roger Williams

davy crocket bomb We've probably all met those irrepressible old gentlemen in the casino who, when asked a polite "How are you?" like to exclaim, "I'm great. Any day that we wake up is a great day!" In the spirit of those old guys, let's all agree that any day that we don't wake up to nuclear annihilation is a great day, considering that, by all report, we were all supposed to be history by this time. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd post a few pictures from our recent visit to the National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The small device is a 76 pound Davy Crocket bomb -- not quite a suitcase model, but scary enough to meet the needs of generations of suspense fiction writers.

By the way, I decided to play with some black/white photography in an effort to recover the spirit of the age, so you'll have to excuse me if you find b/w photography irritatingly arty. It actually cost more -- sometimes a lot more -- to publish color photography well into the 1990s, so black/white photography actually had a practical purpose in olden times. In any case, I wanted to play with giving some of my photos that 1950s and 1960s feel.

The larger bombs below were accidentally dropped on Spain during a re-fueling mission in the 1960s. Oops.

bombs dropped on spain

The conventional weapons went off in a third bomb involved in the same accident, while a fourth bomb was actually lost for several weeks. Here's a close-up of the banged-up tip of one of the two immediately recovered oopsies:

close-up of bomb dropped on spain

Even though the nuclear warheads did not go off, the Spanish government was un-amused and blocked further re-fueling missions over their borders.

Speaking of the 1960s, how would you like to visit the moon with this handy dandy little calculating device in your wallet?

lunar mission slide rule

Younger readers may not recognize this instrument as the slide rule, a slight improvement over the abacus that they may have seen in their kindergarten days. They say that folks got pretty fast with it, but I never really got the hang of it, and I'll just stick to my pocket calculator and my palm pilot. Houston, beam me up!

Here's another reassuring artifact -- the remains of a Minuteman MK5 which was blasted into space in order to test the heat shield on its return. I think this one actually passed the test. Yikes.

heat shield after return from space of minuteman mk5

Here's a graceful silver bomb, the B61, photographed mainly because I liked its classic lines:

b61

Oh, and if you were wondering about that alien spaceship that wrecked down in Roswell? No one told the folks at the National Atomic Museum that Roswell is trying to drum up some tourism down there based on the search for UFOs and little green men. According to the museum, the wreck of one of these guys in 1947 sparked the whole Roswell myth, since the devices were classified and couldn't be properly explained to the public:

ash can sampling balloon

Although for years for whatever reason I believed it to be a Skyhook balloon, it was actually the ASH CAN sampling balloon which tested the atmosphere for radiation signatures, and the particular balloon that crashed was part of Project Mogul.

There's a large museum area in Old Town Albuquerque, but you can easily locate the atomic museum because of the slim Redstone Rocket in front:

redstone rocket

I have vague memories of these guys from childhood as those rockets that seemed to blow up a lot, causing the Russians to get ahead of us for awhile in the space race, but obviously at least a few of them survived the excitement.

And never let it be said that the museum lacks for a sense of humor:

gift shop sign

In addition to the Up 'N' Atom gift shop, you will find a large collection of atomic-themed comic books from the golden age of the 1950s and even a small but sinister collection of radiation-themed quack medical devices.

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