UDMH! Secret Rocket Fuel!

The latest alarum from that Orthrus of interventionist reporting about North Korean missile capabilities, William Broad and David Sanger of the New York Times, concerns what they deem to be a “rare, potent” rocket fuel that “those who study the issue” believe should be kept out of that strange land or at least blown up […]

Chelsea Manning and Enola Gay

Harvard’s cowardly revocation of a Kennedy School fellowship offer to Chelsea Manning recalls another prominent lesson in where power resides when government and academic circles overlap. In 1995, when the Smithsonian Institution tried to mount a 50th anniversary exhibition at the Air and Space Museum about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, daring to broach the […]

Douglas Dowd, 1919-2017

The death of Doug Dowd at 97 marks a milestone loss in the formidable group of scholar-activists who found themselves in Ithaca, New York, ostensibly far from centers of political power, as the 1960’s anti-war and civil rights movements shook the nation to its core. Including Dan Berrigan of Cornell United Religious Work, James Turner […]

On the Death of George A. Keyworth: “You are a lunatic.”

The death at 77 of George Keyworth, Ronald Reagan’s “science advisor” from 1981 to 1985, recalls the roots of today’s anti-science zeitgeist in the Republican Party and farther reaches of American right-wing politics. Keyworth was the epitome of the technically educated but politically clueless rube, who rose from toiling at Los Alamos as a protege […]

The United States of Amnesia

August, 1966

Henry D. Thoreau, 7/12/1817

“Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.”

Die Rakete

From the earliest days of the Third Reich, when Wernher von Braun and other German army enthusiasts developed the tech that spawned the V-2 and, later, when they came to the United States and Soviet Union after WWII, helped create long-range missiles that doubled as astronaut launchers, big chemical rockets have held an outsized fascination. […]

B-21: Raiders of the Lost Mind

The minuscule number of Americans who take even a cursory glance, let alone a concerted gaze, at their nation’s fantastically expensive strategic weapons programs quickly run into the wall of secrecy that keeps all but a few officials in near total darkness. Even the Congressional Research Service, tasked with informing members of Congress about such […]

Heliocentrism is a BAD deal for geocentrists

Annals of anti-science.

Sound of One Hand Clapping: The Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site

The aptly named Ronald Reagan missile defense testing range centered in the Marshall Islands at Kwajalein Atoll was back in the news this week for the latest attempt to hit a mock ICBM launched there with an interceptor fired from California. Military officials called it a success, but longtime observers of this program know how […]