Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Worrying Occurence

Recently, as noted in this blog, I read Richard Rhodes' The Making of the Atomic Bomb. Part of the enjoyment in reading this book was getting a peek into the scientific mind, especially the mind that wants to poke and prod the universe in order to make it laugh or blow up.

Just realized today, while watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 with my boys that, since reading that book, I understand the joke behind the hecklers saying "Oh, this is back when science didn't have to serve any real purpose." And I actually figured out that good ol' Cal Meacham's misguided efforts to seek out ways to convert lead into uranium was, as a matter of fact, not all that far off from what scientists were doing with nuclear physics back in the day when you could say nuclear and not get sneered at for being a wastemonger, or when you could say 'atomic' and not be considered a retro cool dude, albeit a wastemongering retro cool dude.

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