13 April 2006

Fire in the desert

Via Wil Wheaton, I learn of Dark Miracle, a long web essay about a pilgrimage to Los Alamos to figure out why the scientists made the Bomb.
In a surreal town, the Black Hole is the most surreal spot. A sign outside reads BLACK HOLE MUSEUM OF NUCLEAR WASTE. The parking lot is full of old desks, rackmounts for electronic equipment, filing cabinets, chairs, even a (presumably decommissioned) missile or three. A small display shows Ed's plans for a 'Doomsday Monument' of two obelisks, commemorating all the deaths from atomic power over the years.

To go inside the Black Hole, you pass through an old military security gate, and you are greeted by the ticking sound of a Geiger counter, marking off the background radiation. This may prepare you for what you see.
Ed is getting up in years and is rather hard-of-hearing; he has a posse of cronies who help him organize and run the Black Hole on a volunteer basis. They sit outside the place and talk about the sort of things that old men talk about: the weather, local politics, thermonuclear war and its discontents, the tensile strength of various metal alloys.

He doesn't quite get the answer to his question, but it's a good piece of work nonetheless.

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