Thursday, August 6, 2009

On This Date in 1945, History Took On a New Form

On this day, I digress from the arts in memory of the incalculable human carnage which had taken place during the period approaching mid-20th century. All of the following events leading up to August 6, 1945 took place, and are verifiable:
A physicist named Wilson approached Oppenheimer, the director of the project titled "Manhattan," and suggested that "the gadget" be tried with delegates from the Japanese Empire present as witnesses - Oppenheimer replied "what if 'the gadget' doesn't work?"
A couple of days before "the gadget" was to be tested, a memo went around, asking "should we have the Chaplain here?"
The lead physicists created a betting pool designed to speculate about what the results of the test might be - one answer was "it might be possible for the atmosphere to be vaporized."
Among the most important characters in the upcoming drama were the following bets...
Oppenheimer - "the gadget" would yield the equivalent of 3,000 tons of dynamite."
Teller (the "father" of the hydrogen bomb) -"I say, 45,000 tons."
I.I. Rabbe - "About 20, 000 tons - " (he was the closest - the event would yield the equivalent of about 25,000 tons).
Enrico Fermi - "At least a portion of New Mexico may be incinerated."
All of the above having taken place only a few weeks before the Day of Hiroshima - August 6, 1945.
And the same species can yield a Mozart, a Michelangelo, a Shakespeare - there is something elementally incomplete in this picture.

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