Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Atomic Igloo

Home sweet home. This 1951 fallout shelter, called the atomic igloo, looks like a mausoleum.

With the long War on Terror, all the massive what-nots, major collapses, nuclear annihilation, and the imminent end of mankind, I thought it might be advisable to go back to an old standard used against the Commies..... the fallout shelter.
They looked like prison cells and were about the same size, but a family of five was expected to live in one. A symbol of the Cold War era, these windowless concrete rooms were designed to protect against the lethal fallout of a nuclear attack. They first appeared when President Truman began a civil defense program. President Eisenhower helped popularize them, but few shelters were built until President Kennedy, making a speech about the Soviet Union, encouraged everybody to build one.
Instantly shelter mania took off and contractors rushed to fill orders. Stocked with food, water, medicine, and other necessities, these little prisons were as standard in some neighborhoods as patios and pools.
Suckerdom is nothing new. Be sure to take some good books. 

28 Comments:

Anonymous Juju said...

Happy Solstice! Or at least its the day I think of as solstice. We were properly snowed in and had a day off from everything. We watched the snow falling from the pines and glittering in the last light as the sun went down. Now I've got a glass of good red wine and a little time to write and dream. Hope you all are having some time to enjoy...

21/12/06 4:25 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Juju! Here we are, stuck in paradise. Thanks for the well wishes. A glass of red sounds wonderful. And time to write sounds like too much to ask for.

Tomorrow we'll be feeling the return to normalcy. Maybe I'll even get out of my driveway!

21/12/06 4:29 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

Have you folks seen some of the toys they had back then? :-)

Inside the box

Contains:
• Three "very low-level" radioactive samples
• Four samples of Uranium-bearing ores
• A geiger counter
• a cloud chamber
• a spinthariscope
• an electroscope
• an Atomic Energy Manual
• a Learn How Dagwood Splits the Atom comic book

The packaging reads "FUN • EASY • EXCITING".

21/12/06 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Juju said...

jm, you are right about Paradise. Lots of snow is always good for people's moods. My parents had a fallout shelter. It was very black and cold and spooky and damp in there. I'd always try to imagine what it would be like to emerge out of it into a completely radiated world.

21/12/06 4:50 PM  
Blogger jm said...

HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! ROFL!!!

What a list! You are a card! Great photo!

a cloud chamber
• a spinthariscope


?

21/12/06 4:52 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I love the snow juju. I agree about the lift in mood.

But I didn't even think about all the hapless townspeople and their shopping plans. It must be tough. George Bush just recommended shopping to cure the economy and Iraq's problems. Might work, who knows?

My parents had a fallout shelter. It was very black and cold and spooky and damp in there. I'd always try to imagine what it would be like to emerge out of it into a completely radiated world.

Wow. I don't think I ever was in one.

I saw a movie long ago called, "On the Beach" which depicted the end of the world after the bomb. It was terrifying and still vivid in my mind. The desolation. Very disturbing.

Somehow I think that the nuclear threat will be the prevention of massive war.

21/12/06 5:01 PM  
Blogger jm said...

The packaging reads "FUN • EASY • EXCITING".

HA HA HA!! Wheeeee!!!

21/12/06 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Juju said...

What a great find Kad! When I was a kid we had to invent prodcts for a creative writing class (run by a cretin). I came up with a do it yourself home organ transplant kit: "Want to work with a liver or heart?/ Use this kit, for a start." But the atomic energy lab beats even that.

21/12/06 5:12 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

The cloud chamber shows the paths taken by the ions. The spinthariscope (Greek spintharis, "a spark") is an antiquated instrument containing a phosphor or similar substance that reacts with ions. The ions hit the substance, which gives off flashes of light from the resulting nuclear disintegrations.

The educational kit was thought to have the unofficial support of the federal government.

The comic book was written with the help of the director of the Manhattan Project. Maybe that makes sense in a bizarre way. ;-)

21/12/06 5:12 PM  
Anonymous Juju said...

What is a "spinthariscope?"

21/12/06 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Juju said...

Whoops -- you answered my question before I asked.
Thanks.

21/12/06 5:14 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

An organ transplant kit! LOL! Reminds me of those urban legends. An aluminum briefcase with "organ transplant kit" stenciled on it would be a nice accessory for a Halloween costume.

21/12/06 5:15 PM  
Blogger jm said...

OH MY GODDDDDD!!!!!!! HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! LOL!!!! Oh my sides!

I came up with a do it yourself home organ transplant kit: "Want to work with a liver or heart?/ Use this kit, for a start." But the atomic energy lab beats even that.

That is so hilarious juju! You are somehting.

21/12/06 5:20 PM  
Blogger jm said...

OMG that's funny. I can't get over it. So glad you stopped by in the storm today juju.

21/12/06 5:21 PM  
Blogger jm said...

The comic book was written with the help of the director of the Manhattan Project. Maybe that makes sense in a bizarre way. ;-)

Doesn't it?
This is such a testament to that human creativity I so love.

21/12/06 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Juju said...

I have to say the packaging on that Lab looks so enticing. I's exactly the kind of thing that would have appealed to me as a child Except that I was already going to protests against underground nuclear explosions, my Mom's best friend was editor of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, we had a fallout shelter, etc. But there is the dangerous/magical/scientific/ thing that is so appealing. I loved chemistry sets as well.

21/12/06 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Juju said...

And I'm still drawn to alchemical images.... Magical transformation and the secrets of universe....

21/12/06 5:37 PM  
Blogger jm said...

But there is the dangerous/magical/scientific/ thing that is so appealing.

Very well put.

The scientific thing is interesting. Could be the Capricorn, mixed with the Libra air. I've seen this a lot with Caps. Kad has three planets in Cap and a lot of air too.

Air and earth. Fascinated by the way things work, I believe.

Sounds like an interesting family, juju.

21/12/06 5:41 PM  
Blogger jm said...

And I'm still drawn to alchemical images.... Magical transformation and the secrets of universe....

Great pursuit for you. You're a natural.

Magical transformation peplexes me, since it seems so far from the material realm. How does one accomplish this, I wonder.

21/12/06 5:43 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I though the alchemists never really got anywhere with their techniques.

21/12/06 5:44 PM  
Anonymous juju said...

Thanks for your insights, as usual Jm. They are always extremely helpful.
I'm no magician, but I think I think of magical transformation as very much being in the material realm. Hence the idea of powders and potions or creating something from thought that exists in the physical world. Or all that unspoken magical stuff that happens that is so difficult to describe. Astrology for instance. Materiality of stars, materiality of people, conjunctions, comets, chaos.

21/12/06 5:48 PM  
Anonymous Juju said...

And no, I don't think the alcheists did get very far, though there was someone in Hamburg, Hennig Brand, I think, who discovered phosphorus while trying to get gold. Of course now we have white phosphorus buring people in Iraq. Its more the images that I love, than that I think there is any real effect.

21/12/06 5:52 PM  
Blogger jm said...

It's true. If the government can bring the idea of death by terrorists into reality and make people manifset the fear in their physical bodies, or actually build shelters, then any thought can be brought down this way.

So it's important to do the magic that counteracts this force.

21/12/06 5:53 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I completely love the alchemist's mystique. I wrote a song about this called, Secrets of the Stone.
It's about living as an artist by turning pennies into gold. Planting then in fields and watching them grow.

I think Saturn figures in heavily in the alchemist's world.

21/12/06 5:56 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Everyone's afraid. It's completely normal. The feeling that something is up there in charge. The overwhelming size of life. The impulse to run for cover. It's wired in. We've never figured out how to deal with this feeling of helplessness and have created an unbelievable number of methods to appease the force. No savior has the answer. We can't even decide who the real saviors are. That would be a start. No astrologer, and all of that. No magic shift is coming and nothing has changed that dramatically.

What has changed is our massive instant sharing of our concerns on this new and wild medium, the Internet. That's why the Person of the Year struck me so vividly.

It's created the illusion that things have sped up and are more intense and dramatic, and that BIG things are coming. Big things are already here and always have been.

This is all part of this Pluto finale and the concept of a higher power. I think the power is higher, lower, sideways, upside down, inside out and everywhere our senses go. How we deal with the fear remains to be seen with all the terror being talked about.

It looks like many people have turned to the Net as the guiding light. I am fascinated as to where this will lead. It has created a change in interpretation of the same human events as before.

I am very very interested in what's ahead.

21/12/06 7:26 PM  
Blogger Steve Jones said...

Sorry to rain on your parade but there are many more nukes now than in the 50's. And tiny dictatorships will soon be able to lob one on any US city or just FedEx it. Watch Duck and Cover on Google video and some of those old CD films too. Most nuclear fallout would only be dangerous for a few days. Hollywood science fiction writers have got you all convinced that it is unsurvivable.
War by its very nature is irrational. The nukes will be used someday. You'll be surprised to find yourself still here then, wishing you knew what to do next.

23/12/06 5:47 AM  
Blogger jm said...

That WOULD be dreadful, Steve.

23/12/06 6:04 AM  
Blogger jm said...

You do bring up a good point. There are many degrees of power in weapons. It would seem to me that if they are used, techniques of survival would also be developed. So maybe people will know what to do. The adaptation of creatures is equal to their irrationality. That's how we've gotten this far, no?

It's impossible to predict where they will land, and as always, each individual has to hope s/he is missed.

23/12/06 1:58 PM  

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