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The Sputnik effect and Zing day 6

Vladimir and I watched a movie today about sputnik (zing 1). That first satellite that the Soviet Union launched started the arms race like nothing else. The really interesting thing is that neither Khrushchev or Eisenhower wanted such a thing. It was the military that pushed both nations towards this. A brag of a Soviet Military officer who said that now their ICBMs (the rocket that got the satellite up there) could get a nuclear warhead anywhere in America that they wanted. The two leaders of the nations got together and basically said, “Let’s make a peace pact: Us against our collective military.” (zing 2)

(zing 3)After this as part of his ongoing efforts, Eisenhower removed the space program from the military and established ARPA and NASA. He was involved in a top secret project (not even the military, congress, or the CIA knew about it) called Score in which he launched the first communication satellite, with the first voice transmission from space being this:

This is the President of the United States speaking. Through the marvels of scientific advance, my voice is coming to you via a satellite circling in outer space. My message is a simple one: Through this unique means I convey to you and all mankind, America’s wish for peace on Earth and goodwill toward men everywhere.

The arms race and the fear of a nuclear war made me remember the old Duck and Cover movies from school. This is one of the things that stay with me in part because it is so different from what my kids are experiencing.

Note the kid in the middle of the movie that dutifully throws his bike down and waits for cover at a tiny wall until a civil defense worker comes to get him (zing 4). Questions: what if the blast came from the other direction? What if a civil defense dude never came? How far away was he from home, and how close was home to the blast? How close to ground zero is he? The admittedly horrifying idea of a child in a war who had lost any adult protection is something to work off of.

When did they stop showing that movie, I wonder? Isn’t it freaky how cheerful and authoritative the narrator is in light of just what the movie was doing? Even when I was a kid I figured it was pretty stupid, since we’d all seen the footage of buildings completely flattened by a nuclear blast.

This memory of propaganda in our schools reminded me of several other movies I saw. I’m not sure how they fit in the core curriculum of the day. But in our schools we were taught to fear communists and the Soviet Union.

I later married one of these people. We met 18 years ago today. But that something for another post. About intercultural marriage.

So, on to other subjects.

Zing 5) “I have your child. And I’m not giving him back unless you come get the plate.”

Zing 6) A TV producer in England.

Zing 7) Some horrible gunk came up from our sink. No one had put it in there.

Zing 8) Seen on youtube during my propoganda search: A lady who had thought she murdered her hot-dog, which had a family of 7 to support. Okay, it’s boring because she had “dropped acid” but it begs the question: Where do hallucinations come from?

Zing 9) Neurons. Aren’t those just the coolest things?

Zing 10) Bernie Madoff, photoshopped to look like the Joker.

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