Sunday, August 8, 2010

Not Just a Flash in the Pan

Greetings from Mongolia!  I've been here about three days now and, wonder of wonders, they hooked up my internet the first day.  Still haven't managed to go wireless yet, but at least I can connect!  I'm about to set out to walk down to the school (just a short walk down the road from my flat), to take a look at the library.

In the meantime, here's an interesting animation by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto. It depicts the number of nuclear explosions/tests from 1945-1998.  It starts out pretty slowly, but certainly starts picking up at about the two minute point.  Oddly fascinating to watch the increase in both numbers and maps across the top and bottom, designating who was setting off the explosions.

According to the New Yorker, where I found the video, the animation shows only tests,  not possession, which, of courses, leaves Israel, among others, out of the picture.

Aside from the obvious topics for conversation with students--the plethora of tests during the 50's and 60's, the spread of proliferation, I also caught myself thinking about where the tests were occurring. France, for example, tested over 200 bombs....but certainly not in France.  While the US ran many tests in our country, it also tested many on Pacific Islands.  This would be a good discussion point with students: exploitation of poorer nations by wealthy/powerful nations.

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