1st Atomic Bomb: Destructive But Small by Today’s Standard-A Party Popper Compared to Nature
August 6, 2009

 HiroshimaCloudLarge

Model of Little Boy

Model of Little Boy

On This Date in History:

At about 8 AM on August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was unleashed on Hiroshima, Japan. We all know the history of that. Perhaps the greatest benefit of the atomic blast on Hiroshima and the subsequent dropping of “Fat Man” on Nagasaki is that the world saw what the energy from such a weapon can do. President Truman was a little loose with the facts when he urged Japan to surrender or he promised a “reign of ruin” for the nation. Truth is, the US only had the two bombs and it would have taken awhile to make more.

 

The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was called “Little Boy” and weighed nearly 10,000 pounds.  It was flown to the target in a single B-29, which was piloted by Kentucky Paul Tibbets.  Tibbets called the plane the Enola Gay, which was a reference to his mother.  When the bomb was tested in the New Mexico desert about 6 weeks prior, a blind girl 120 miles away reportedly “saw” the light.  The heat from the test gadget had turned the desert to glass.  So, when the bombadier of the Enola Gay released the bomb,  Tibbets banked the plane quickly to reduce the impact of the shock wave and to reduce the effect of the blinding flash at detonation.  Navigator Dutch Van Kirk recalled the event vividly.   But, he banked so hard and headed away so fast at such an angle that the target was not seen until well after the initial blast.  So, when you see video of the atomic bomb exploding just after detonation, you know that its of “Fat Man” and not “Little Boy” because the most complete footage was from the second blast at Nagasaki. 
Col. Paul Tibbets

Col. Paul Tibbets

 

The bombadier had done his practice well.  He missed the target by just 800 feet.  But, one doesn’t have to be too close when using an atomic bomb. The release time was 8:15 AM.  An air pressure detonator began the nuclear fission at 1980 feet at 8:16 AM.  At that instant, 66,000 people were killed and 69,000 injured.  Estimates vary but in the years to come, thousands more would die from their injuries, radiation sickness and cancers that were linked to the blast.  The actual explosion was about 10 kilotons, or about 10,000 tons of TNT, though I’ve seen some sources site 20 kilotons. It is estimated today that the rather crude instrument only yielded an energy release just 1/50th of its capability.  The nuclear weapon with the greatest yield ever produced by the United States was the Mk 41, which had a blast equivalent of 25 million tons of TNT, though some sources claim it was 15 megatons.

 

Little Boy had a vaporization radius of about a half mile….everything within a half mile was vaporized.  Total destruction occured within a 1 mile radius.  Severe blast damage was felt within 1.75 miles of the detonation zone.  Severe heat damage was felt within 2.5 miles with the living things that survive the blast and heat suffocate from fire burning up all the oxygen.  Three miles out, fire and wind damage can still be found.  Keep in mind that winds at this radius had fallen off to 98 mph.  At its core, winds were estimated to be 320 mph.  As a comparison, a 20 Megaton explosion (20 million tons of TNT) would have an optimum effect with a detonation at 17,500 feet.  The vaporization radius of nearly 9 miles would be 18 times greater than the Hiroshima bomb.  Total destruction would occur 14 miles out with severe blast damage conditions extending 27 miles from ground zero.  Everything flammable would be burning at 31 miles and damaging winds of near 100 mph would stretch out some 35 miles.  And keep this in mind…

 

Little Boy Tiny Compared to Tsar Bomb

Little Boy Tiny Compared to Tsar Bomb

The Soviet Union once designed a weapon, named the Tsar Bomb(aka Tsar Bomba, Big Ivan and King of Bombs), to have a yield of 100 megatons, but it was only tested at 50 megatons to cut down on the fall out…so glad they cared.  The 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake yielded 9,560 gigatons of TNT, which I suppose is over 9.5 trillion tons of TNT, but that was at the core.  The surface rupture energy release was just 26 megatons.  An earthquake in Chile in 1960 is said to have released 60,000 gigatons of TNT energy equivalent.  A typical Supernova has an energy release estimated to be around 10 octillian tons of TNT,which is 10 to the power of 28. 
Tsar Would Obliterate Chicago

Tsar Would Obliterate Chicago

So, man can build much greater destructive mechanisms than the initial atomic blast in the New Mexico desert or the second in Hiroshima or the third in Nagasaki.  But as the numbers bear out, man comes nothing remotely close to the energy release capability of nature, which is why some point out that it is rather arrogant to think that man can destroy the world.   But that is little consolation to those who suffer at the still massive destructive capability of man.    Atomic weapons have never have been used again thanks in large part to the awesomely devastating and tragic affect that  “Little Boy”  and then “Fat Man” brought on the Japanese Empire. Let us hope that is a lesson never lost on the world.

SnowWhite_kiss_Dopey_HugsSo, what about Snow White?
While Disney Studios  has provided what could be the perfect wedding photo of my bride and I, my Snow White began her tale on this date in history.   She entered a world of such complication and fear,  yet, she has since pranced about spreading joy and love and happiness to all creatures great and small who have crossed her path.  Even the uncontrolable  Nit and Wit have fallen under her spell.  Walt Disney had come up with his own version eighteen years earlier but the teenager was no match for the little infant. She grew up to be deemed an angel by many, a source of Faith and Hope to others and a wife to me. She gives so much to so many, that I have to remind her that its sometimes good to receive. Her volunteer work at the Cabbage Patch has been consistent and heart felt and the kids give her more love than I could ever muster in a single lifetime. As much as I try, I will never be able to live up to the ideals of a Prince, so instead I have taken on the role of Dopey and I now have Hope that I have a place on this planet.  Anyone who has ever met Snow White knows that she is a truely blessed soul.  The Lord was having a good day when he shared her with us on this date in history and every day since.

 

Weather Bottom Line:  We’re drying out today.  A fine day in store and we deserve it.  Here is a full gallery of the flooding story with photos and graphics from the NWS.  We heat up to the mid 80’s and move to the lower 90’s by the weekend….first time since June.
 

Crazy Eights and Three Tragic Events
August 9, 2008

Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights

One of the more entertaining things about living in the new century is that for the first 12 years, you can have fun with dates.  For instance, on January 1, 2001 the date could be written as 01/01/01.  This year, the big day fell on yesterday, August 8, 2008 or 08/08/08.  Now, here is a very odd story that perhaps may cause one to follow the exploits of two children born yesterday.  Not only were they born on 08/08/08 but they were born at 8:08 AM.  Their weight?  You guessed it…8 pounds, 8 ounces.  In the first story from Fergus Falls, Minnesota a doctor says that it was “one in a million” and that it wouldn’t happen anywhere else.  Not only did the exact same thing happen, it wasn’t far away in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  This will be one for a bored statistician to determine what are the odds that not one, but two babies are born at precisely the same time at the same weight and the numbers coincide with the date in question.  Mathematically, I suspect it is a truly remarkable event and would support my contention to Snow White that I can win the lottery.
This Date in History is filled with Tragedy: “Little Boy” was dropped on Nagasaki on this date in 1945. A few days later the Second World War came to an end. On this date in 1969, the Manson “family” killed 5 people in Roman Polanski’s home, including the pregnant actress, Sharon Tate. President Nixon was the chief executive but just 5 years later on this date in 1974, Nixon became the first President to resign his office and Gerald Ford was inaugurated as the 38th President and became only man to hold both the presidency and vice-presidency without ever being elected to either office.
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