Mini-Nuke Episode #11: 99 Luftballons

In this episode, we tuned the radio to the song 99 Luftballons (or 99 Red Balloons) by the band Nena and talked about its connections to nuclear weapons, the Cold War arms race, and anti-nuclear protests. How did the threat of intermediate range nuclear missiles in Europe inspire Nena to write this catchy dirge? What happens … Continue reading Mini-Nuke Episode #11: 99 Luftballons

Episode #33: The Sum of All Fears

In this episode, we did the math about what happens when you add a missing nuclear weapon together with neo-fascists and an unassuming CIA desk analyst in the Sum of All Fears (2002). How can terrorists get their hands on a plutonium core? Why did Russia allow the United States so many inspections of its nukes? … Continue reading Episode #33: The Sum of All Fears

Episode #32: THEM!

In this episode, we followed chirping sounds in the desert and discovered GIANT RADIOACTIVE ANTS in the movie THEM! (1954). What happens to insects exposed to radiation in the real world? How did nuclear testing and atomic monster movies change public opinion on nuclear weapons? Where was Ant-man when the people Alamogordo needed him to … Continue reading Episode #32: THEM!

Episode #31: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

In this episode, we worked out our plutonium cores while watching the movie Mission: Impossible –Fallout. How easy is it for a rogue scientist – Norwegian or otherwise – to build a nuclear bomb if they got access to a plutonium core? Why do apocalyptic terrorist organizations seek nuclear weapons? When does Wolf Blitzer find … Continue reading Episode #31: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Episode #30: Nukes vs. Asteroids

In this episode, we place bets on the biggest fight in the cinematic universe: nuclear weapons vs. asteroids. What do the movies Armageddon, Deep Impact, and Meteor tell us about how planet Earth will defend itself against space rocks? How effective would nukes in these doomsday scenarios? How can we thank the dinosaurs for becoming … Continue reading Episode #30: Nukes vs. Asteroids