Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Atomic Bomb 1953

The top two photographs are not from 1953 but were taken in Hiroshima. The others are photo's of atomic bomb explosions taken with a very high shutter speed in about 1953. I've looked at a lot of photo's of atomic explosions over the years but i've never seen these pictures before. The shapes are strangely organic like wasps nests or microscope images of dust mites. I just hope I never have to see one of these things for real. Some of these pictures are from the Smithsonian, I can't find any larger versions.

The rapatronic camera was developed in the 1940s by Dr. Harold Edgerton and were capable of exposures as brief as 10 nanoseconds (billionths of a second) each camera could only take one photograph and they were positioned about 7 miles away. The angular parts of the explosions are called "rope tricks" and are caused by the explosion travelling along the cables that connect the top of the tower to the ground. When these photo's were taken the explosion is already about 100 feet in diameter, with temperatures three times hotter than the surface of the sun

Updated with more photo's including one of the doctor surrounded by all his high tech equipment. I wouldn't want to be near one of these bombs when they explode but other people have been and they say things like this:

When we were near in Hatchobori and since I had been holding my son in my arms, the young woman in front of me said, I will be getting off here. Please take this seat.' We were just changing places when there was a strange smell and sound. It suddenly became dark and before I knew it, I had jumped outside.... I held [my son] firmly and looked down on him. He had been standing by the window and I think fragments of glass had pierced his head. His face was a mess because of the blood flowing from his head. But he looked at my face and smiled. His smile has remained glued in my memory. He did not comprehend what had happened. And so he looked at me and smiled at my face which was all bloody. I had plenty of milk which he drank all throughout that day. I think my child sucked the poison right out of my body. And soon after that he died. Yes, I think that he died for me.

And this:

Many people on the street were killed almost instantly. The fingertips of those dead bodies caught fire and the fire gradually spread over their entire bodies from their fingers. A light gray liquid dripped down their hands, scorching their fingers. I, I was so shocked to know that fingers and bodies could be burned and deformed like that. I just couldn't believe it. It was horrible. And looking at it, it was more than painful for me to think how the fingers were burned, hands and fingers that would hold babies or turn pages, they just, they just burned away. For a few years after the A-bomb was dropped, I was terribly afraid of fire. I wasn't even able to get close to fire because all my senses remembered how fearful and horrible the fire was, how hot the blaze was, and how hard it was to breathe the hot air. It was really hard to breathe. Maybe because the fire burned all the oxygen, I don't know. I could not open my eyes enough because of the smoke, which was everywhere. Not only me but everyone felt the same. And my parts were covered with holes.

From fogonazos.blogspot where many comments attempt to justify the bombings comes this interesting comment:

The body is fragile...there are many forces...wounds and awful death can be made by many things...the mind of mankind is forgetful and indolent...the causes of war are always argued, the truth is always fabricated out of a mix of guesses, logic and lies...good luck...we are not blessed, for we have hunger and anger and a will to compel others to do as we say. We are the way and the fearful living.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Plymtree Yew

Another good yew tree tucked away in a churchyard in Devon.I have collected some yew berries from some of the trees I have visited and hope to be growing some in the spring.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Another nice illustration from the arcadian calender by Vernon Hill.Many thanks to all the people from all over England who came all the way to Devon to help clear the beach up.Actually if you are walking on the beach how about bringing some gloves and an old carrier bag and filling it up with some of the garbage that has been washed up.