Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Bitus ad Infinitum

Filed under: — stan @ 11:45 pm

Yesterday and today there was some filming on campus at Caltech. There seems to be some sort of shark theme. I saw a cart with four fiberglass shark fins on it, and I also saw some people wearing plush shark costumes. This seemed a bit strange, so I brought my camera today. On my way in this morning, I saw a sign on the lawn for “Bight University”, with two sharks on it and a faux-Latin motto. They were set up and filming on the bridge over the pool by the library. I also saw a guy walking around in a shark costume. I have no idea what this is all about, but it looks pretty silly.

Cold War Memories

Filed under: — stan @ 1:08 pm

The other day, Paul Roberts stopped by my office to visit. Paul worked at the Seismo Lab for many years before he retired to pursue a new career as a teacher. Over the years, he has found lots of great Cold War memoriabilia. And this time he brought me a small stack of civil defense booklets from about 1960. So they have joined our collection.

I scanned in two items so far. The first is a collection of newspaper articles from the late ’50s that were reprinted in a 1960 booklet titled “Can We Survive an Atomic War?”. It provides an optimistic view that the United States could survive a nuclear war with only about 160 million deaths, tops. Given that the total population of the U.S. was only 179 million in 1960, this doesn’t sound all that optimistic. They also note:

Of course, even if you lived safely through the H-bomb attack…your troubles would just be beginning.

Yup. Got that.

The second item is a cheery little pamphlet from 1958 called “Facts about Fallout Protection”. It tells the basics about what fallout is, and what sort of shelter is necessary for protection. It doesn’t talk too much about the specifics how how to make a shelter, but it does mention that “Your family’s favorite canned foods can be a morale lifter” when you’re hunkered down in there.

So enjoy the fond memories. I’ll post more when I get around to scanning the other booklets.

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