grade A

How to win friends and influence people.
A brief history.

16th July 1945
The White Sands Missile Range in the New Mexico desert is home to Trinity, the place where the nuclear age began on July 16, 1945.
The Trinity weapon, a version of which destroyed Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, used plutonium. That fuel was more far more efficient than the uranium in the bomb dropped over Hiroshima on Aug. 6, but it was thought to be less certain to work.

6th August 1945
The Hiroshima bomb, known as “Little Boy” – a reference to former President Roosevelt, contained the equivalent of between 12 and 15,000 tons of TNT and devastated an area of five square miles (13 square kilometres). More than 60% of the buildings in the city were destroyed.
Official Japanese figures at the time put the death toll at 118,661 civilians. But later estimates suggest the final toll was about 140,000, of Hiroshima’s 350,000 population, including military personnel and those who died later from radiation. Many have also suffered long-term sickness and disability.

Three days later, the United States launched a second, bigger atomic bomb against the city of Nagasaki. The device known as “Fat man”, after Winston Churchill, weighed nearly 4,050 kg (nearly 9,000lb).
Nagasaki is surrounded by mountains and because of this the level of destruction was confined to about 2.6 square miles or 6.7 square kilometres.
Nearly 74,000 were killed and a similar number injured.
The two atomic bombs, with the Soviet declaration of war against Japan on 8 August 1945, finally left the Japanese no choice.
Japan surrendered to the Allies on 14 August 1945.
(BBC News)

Did we learn?
Instead we gave it to our children.

Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab 1950-51


But that was ok, governments informed us we could just build a shelter against…


…and everything would be alright!

31st October 1959
The U.S. deploys the first operational intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Atlas D.

Time marched on.
Had we learnt yet? No, but we agreed to tell people how stupid we were being…

31st May 1988
The U.S. and U.S.S.R. signed the Agreement on Notification of Missile Launches.

A lot of posturing and treaty making and breaking between various nations then ensued until…

12th February 2013
North Korea conducts its third nuclear test. The estimated yield is 8-10 kilotons.

Back to square one? Hardly…


The exact number of nuclear weapons in global arsenals is not known. With little exception, each of the nine countries with nuclear weapons guards these numbers as closely held national secrets. What is known, however, is that more than a decade and a half after the Cold War ended, the world’s combined stockpile of nuclear warheads remain at unacceptably high levels. Ploughshares Fund

Trinity – still showing raised radiation levels.

Grade A fools.
We are our own worst enemy.

Is this all a bit too much ‘disarmament style’ for you?
Why not have some good clean fun with Nukemap.


science . discord . religion . saving ourselves

View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. | NASA Johnson Space Center
View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. | NASA Johnson Space Center

One of the most important things, before any discussion is undertaken, is to define your subject. (Socrates)
The (Oxford) dictionary states:
The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods:ideas about the relationship between science and religion.
A particular system of faith and worship.

Wikipedia states:
Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.

The (Oxford) dictionary states:
The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment:the world of science and technology.
Wikipedia states:
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

They really are quite bland definitions for two that are so often declared as being diametrically opposed! Yet deeper definitions could be considered subjective, as there can be little that is more personal than someone’s faith.


Sorry Socrates.

Perhaps, if we simply state that science and religion both start with a doubt that the obvious is all there is, then we could agree that imagination must invent what might lie behind the obvious.
If we accept that, then we accept that science and religion do start with the same thought.
It is only when imagination develops into reason, that the two begin to branch out; and it is that fork in the road that causes so much argument.

Yet this discord is not just between science and religion; instead it is amplified by numerous disciplines of science (arguing with each other) and numerous faiths (also arguing with each other).

It’s time we all stopped and really took a look around us.

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Because we all share this small planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. That is not just a dream, but a necessity.
The time has come to educate people, to cease all quarrels in the name of religion, culture, countries, different political or economic systems. Fighting is useless. Suicide.
His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

One is science and looks from the outside in, one is religion and looks from the inside out; but essentially they both say the same thing…
We are what we have to save ourselves.

We’re not doing a great job right now!


2,700 scientists
80+ nations
540 expeditions
US$ 650 million
2,600+ scientific publications
6,000+ potential new species
28 million distribution records and counting

These numbers only begin to describe the scope of the Census of Marine Life…

charity starts in the heart, not just at home

I often hear it said that we, as a nation, throw our financial generosity out into the world but often neglect those in need here at home. I don’t agree. I do however think that the larger a charity gets, the more they are able to successfully campaign; and a big part of that is advertising, which in turn generates long-term interest in the charity. It’s a ball that many charities have a tough time to start rolling.
I believe there is more to giving than financial support, and have said before that your time is as equally important as the size of your pockets; however I do accept that giving financially supports the work of those who can, and do, give their time.

I also believe that the right charity does not enable dependance, but instead it supports people in their fight to gain or regain self-respect and confidence as they work toward a better future for themselves.
It is a shame that these type of commitments always seem to stem from a religious ethic. Where have simple common decency and community spirit gone?

The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.

Jane Addams | 1860-1935

The Trussell Trust are just one UK charity who believe in breaking the cycle of poverty in the UK; as well as elsewhere.

the clock is ticking

We are in an epoch different to any other epoch in human history. The problems we are facing are global in nature. They include climate change, ever decreasing biodiversity, full use of the fresh water on the planet and underpinning all these – overpopulation. Without peace we will be unable to achieve the levels of cooperation, inclusiveness and social equity required to begin solving these challenges, let alone empower the international institutions needed to regulate them.