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Complete Footage of the Dropping of Fat Man On Nagasaki

That’s kind of a hard title to write.  Ever seen the documentary White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? It’s not an easy documentary to watch; it gives a face to the receivers of the Fat Man and Little Boy inventions.

FatMan

A user named RestrictedData on YouTube has uploaded this video — which is pretty much the whole shebang, from rolling Fat Man out of the garage to the bomb detonating on Nagasaki, Japan.  It’s eleven minutes, but it’s historically awesome, and awesome not in the thumbs up way but awesome in the way that it was meant — it will fill you with awe to see that thing detonate.  It’s frightening:

Crazy. The unbelievable power of those things; I find it amazing that we can’t out that kind of energy towards free energy for everyone.  Can you imagine if we had small dishwasher-sized devices in our homes that delivered all of the power needed for heat and electricity?  Nah, instead we have weapons that can erase all life in a 5-mile radius and ruin the next two or three thousand years for the next 5-10 miles.  That’s so much better.

Vaseline Glass Chandeliers: A Response to Fukushima Daiichi

Some people call it Uranium Glass, insiders call it Vaseline Glass because its color and internal sheen resembles Vasoline as it was made around the 1930’s.  The long and short of it is that it’s glass doped with Uranium, fluoresces under ultraviolet wavelengths, and it is absolutely beautiful.  Check it out:

Vaseline Glass is some lovely, lovely stuff, isn’t it?  Just to show its awesomeness, let’s look at a piece from the Depression era, lit with long wave UV:

Most evidences of this glass come from between the mid-to-late-1700’s to current manufacturing, and yeah, it’s literally made with uranium, the radioactive element that we all have heard of in some form or fashion.  There are instances of this glass being located in a mosaic containing yellow glass with 1% uranium oxide found in a Roman villa, and the guy who discovered Uranium, Martin Klaproth, who was apparently also using the newly discovered element as a glass colorant.

That green color is eerie, yeah?  or as the Canadians say, “eh?”

Two artists took that idea of Uranium-doped glass and turned it into a statement on the horrific Fukushima-Daiichi disaster.  Meet Ken and Julia Yonetani‘s work, named Crystal Palace: The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nuclear Nations.  They took metal wire, Uranium glass, and some UV lighting and created twenty-nine chandeliers representing the twenty-nine nations using nuclear power.  Check it out:

From Ken and Julia’s website on the work:

In direct response to Japan’s 2011 horrific Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident and the phenomenon of leaking radiation, Crystal Palace: The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nuclear Nations comprises an installation of chandeliers made from vintage Uranium glass beads alongside glowing text based works made from vintage Uranium glass tubing shaped into words such as – ‘radioactive’, ‘meltdown’ and ‘electric dreams’.

Chandeliers are not only an item of luxury, but also an extravagant emblem of the beauty of electricity and the seductiveness of consumerism.The artists have reconfigured them to emanate UV light instead of standard light, and decorated them with specially sourced Uranium glass in place of traditional crystals.

“You can’t see, smell or perceive radiation with your senses, but it becomes visible in our works when illuminated with ultraviolet lights,” says Julia Yonetani. “Presented in darkness, the glass chandeliers and tubes glow with an eerie bright green light indicating the presence of radiation. We hope to prompt viewers to react in their own way to this radioactive presence.”

Commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries for sugar bowls, cake stands and other decorative objects, Uranium glass contains very small traces of Uranium within the glass, is legal and poses no health risks.

Crystal Palace references London’s Great Exhibition of 1851, which was intended as a platform to celebrate both modern technology and to enhance Great Britain’s role as a leading industrial nation of the time.

“The chandeliers in Crystal Palace represent the USA, Japan, Germany, Finland, France and various other countries. For the complete body of work we will ultimately make a total of 29 chandeliers, which represent each of the countries that operate nuclear power stations today,” says Ken Yonetani.

“The size of each chandelier correlates to the scale of each country’s nuclear output, with the chandelier representing the USA being the largest at 1.6m in diameter and 2m high.”

“My family lives in Tokyo, quite close to where the disaster happened,” he adds. “At the time of the tsunami, Japan had 54 operating nuclear reactors, relying on them for 30% its total electric power. The Fukushima accident shows Japan’s complacency around nuclear power and radiation and also asks questions of Australians, because Australia is the number one exporter of Uranium to Japan.”

That’s a heck of a statement, and Crystal Palace is one heck of an exhibit.  Ken and Julia’s work will be playing at the Artereal Gallery in Sydney, Australia from October 3 to November 4, 2012.  Check it out if you’re there, this has to be awesome!

Ken and Julia Yonetani:

Thanks 1st Glass, Spoon and Tamago, United NuclearWe Waste Time, and Wikipedia!

There Has Never Been a Better Time to Stop Using Non-Renewables, Ever

This is going to seem like a ramble, and I’m okay with that, but I think that something needs to be said. It’s time that we stop depending on the Middle East and despotic regimes like Libya for the oil we use to light our world. While we’re at it, we should also convert from using coal and natural gas to forms of energy that we’re not going to run out of to forms of energy that are essentially good forever. I mean, really – when solar power runs out, we’ve bigger problems to worry about then, don’t we.

Doesn’t this seem like such a no-brainer? Switching from a fuel that is going to run out to a fuel that will never run out?

In my perfect Utopian world that obviously only exists in my head, we harness solar fully in just three states, wind in just two states, tidal and wave on the coasts, and provide the necessary gear for people to very easily use solar and wind at home. I’m a lighting designer, and I imagine a world where every touring production travels with a truck that has a solar and battery setup to self-sustain the show’s power needs. Wouldn’t that be just awesome and amazing?

Those kind of systems exist now. Yep, that’s no bull.

You know what the really sick and creepy thing about all of this energy generation business is? We actually CAN do exactly what exists in my head. We have the technology, desire, and ability to turn our power from coal and oil to wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal, among other forms. But, as we live in a country (and on a planet) that is so addicted to non-renewables like oil and coal, a change like this can only come if we demand it. All of us. Together.

When a place like Libya undergoes a revolt like is experiencing now, everything goes to sh*t around the world. Gas prices skyrocket. Everything costs more because the price of oil goes nuts. I just heard on NPR a few days that a barrel of oil just hit $100 bucks on the market. It’s not expected to get much cheaper any time soon, either. How can we continue to keep doing this, folks? It’s not just our gas that’s going to continue to climb honed and higher, it’s going to be everything in our lives – electricity bills, heating and cooling costs, light and lighting, food, clothing, all of it.

Something that we cannot overlook now is the danger of nuclear power.  Our brothers and sisters in Japan are experiencing the repercussions of the dangers of nuclear power for light after this last unprecedented earthquake and subsequent tsunami.  Have you been watching the news about the fires happening at the Fukushima Daiishi and Daini plants outside Tokyo right now?  Wider protection zones are being requested and considered by high ranking officials around the nuclear power plants in Tokyo, we’re haring news about meltdowns, radioactive fallout, and radiation sickness dangers.  It’s not a secret that nuclear power plants are powerful – but if you compare the bi-products and danger considerations versus those for renewable energy sources like solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, and wave, is the danger really that worth it?

When the earthquake and tsunami first hit, the stock market was all a buzz about how solar stocks would triumph in this moment of our time.  Now the same people are saying that oil, coal, and gas are making big leaps and bounds because of the earthquake.  How screwed up is it that people spend more time trying to profit from a disaster like the one that just happened and is growing ever stronger and worse, day by day?  Why aren’t we trying to get solar and wind power in there now to help people out?

Think of the amount of energy needed to harvest pretty much every single non-renewable – oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear fuel – each of these methods requires several multiples of the energy actually gained just to make it in the first place.  Renewable energy sources require nearly no extra energy (or carbon footprint).  Why is this so hard for everyone to understand?

We cannot afford to rely on these non-renewables for our light any longer. We just cannot afford to be petroleum slaves anymore.  Our technological development in light is moving in the wrong direction when we base it on what coal, oil, and nuclear power are dictating.

There are so many advancements in solar technology happening right now, as well as with wind, geothermal, tidal, and wave power generation that it is staggering to think we’re not completely utilizing these sustainable sources of power. We are destroying our home with the mining of oil, coal, and natural gas.  Fracking, for example (fracture drilling for you Battlestar Galactica fans), has been proven to cause earthquakes.  Spent nuclear fuel (and live nuclear fuel for that matter) is so dangerous to humans that it must be buried deep underground to keep it away from us.  We have got to knock this stuff off and get involved in having a home that will be around for a long time. At our current rate, we are absolutely screwed.

Over the last few years as politicians have been lobbied by the CFL and LED manufacturers, we as lighting designers have all gotten our underwear in a bunch over being told we can’t use incandescents.  What sucks about that is that yes, it would be awesome to have a replacement for incandescent sources so that our light sources don’t draw a lot of power.  Well, my frank opinion is that if we were able to generate new electricity nearly free of cost, who cares what light sources we use?  Should we keep developing?  Of course.  Should we keep looking for an incandescent replacement?  Of course we should.  We should also work on improving our current power grid so that we have better distribution of power – it would stun your mind how many places across the country (and world for that matter) are operating on an industry-birth set of infrastructure that is as old as the industry is itself.  How much sense does that make?

Of course, what do I know – I only spend 8-12 hours a day looking at the advancement of light in our society.  I know we can do better, we just have to do it.  I want the best for us!  Most of all, I want us to start thinking sustainably – we’re not gonna make it if we don’t.  That is, of course, just my educated opinion.  But again, what do I know?

RGB Color Mixing with Atmospheric Nuclear Explosions

A cool dude named Kjetil from Twitter (@kjeik) sent me this pretty awesome and scary video from NPR – back in 1962 the United States did some atmospheric nuclear weapons testing.  It was broadcast in the news that it was going to be a neat display of color and light, so people in Hawaii sat out on their patios and watched it happen.

Crazy.

A Very Scary Light Show: Exploding H-Bombs In Space from NPR on Vimeo.