Mini-Nuke Episode #12: Starship Troopers

In this episode, we wanted to learn more about the mobile infantry, so we talked about Starship Troopers, both the 1997 movie and 1959 book. How does the story deploy tactical nuclear weapons in the war against the bugs? Why was the book’s author inspired to write a protest against the campaign to end nuclear testing? Who would Herman Kahn enjoy talking to more: Carl or the brain bug? Tim Westmyer (@nuclearpodcast), Will Saetren (@WillSaetren), and Geoff Wilson (@nuclearwilson) answer these questions and more.

This is the 12th in our Mini-Nuke episode series, where we overthink pop culture with a smaller slice of nukes than our usual full-sized episodes.

Before we decide to talk a walk down washout lane, we recommend checking out:

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 calm these killer atomic ants? Tim Westmyer and returning special guest Tim Collins (@WarAndCake), PhD candidate studying British nuclear history, answer these questions and more.

Before we nuke more insects to see what happens, we recommend checking out:

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 time to report the news between all his movie shoots? Tim Westmyer, Gabe, and special guest James Finnegan answer these questions and more.

Before we nuke more insects to see what happens, we recommend checking out:

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 oil so that the drill team in Armageddon learned the skills necessary to save us from another asteroid extinction event? Tim Westmyer and returning special guest Boris (@bmelnikov) answer these questions and more.

Before we decide to violate the Outer Space Treaty, we recommend checking out:

Episode #27: Atomic Train

In this episode, we took the midnight train going anywhere… far away from the bad TV mini-series, Atomic Train (1999). Could a dangerous Russian nuke end up on a runaway U.S. train? What would a major city like Denver do to evacuate after a nuclear detonation? How can a movie with a runaway train, nukes, hazardous chemicals, Rob Lowe, and 50+ helicopters be so boring? Tim Westmyer, Gabe, and special guest Elliot answer these questions and more.

This was a fun episode to record but a really tough movie to watch. If you are brave enough, it can be found on YouTube (for now at least): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV_fkGZGhk0

Before the atomic train conductor yelled “all aboard,” we recommend checking out:

Threads (1984 TV movie) and Special Bulletin (1983 TV movie)

The Stand (1994 TV mini-series)

-Michael Krepon, “Moving from MAD to Cooperative Threat Reduction,” Stimson Center, December 2001, https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/93680/Report41.pdf

Unstoppable (2010 movie)