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calendar   Friday - July 16, 2004

Daily Dose

Quote Of The Day

"You have all the characteristics of a popular politician: a horrible voice, bad breeding, and a vulgar manner."
-- Aristophanes (450 BC - 388 BC), "Knights", 424 B.C.


On This Day In History

July 16, 1945 - The First Atomic Bomb Is Successfully Exploded
On this day in 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., the Manhattan Project comes to an explosive end as the first atom bomb is successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

The Manhattan Project (so-called because of where the research began) would wind its way through many locations during the early period of theoretical exploration, most importantly, the University of Chicago, where Enrico Fermi successfully set off the first fission chain reaction. But the Project took final form in the desert of New Mexico, where, in 1943, Robert J. Oppenheimer began directing Project Y at a laboratory at Los Alamos, along with such minds as Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, and Fermi. Here theory and practice came together, as the problems of achieving critical mass-a nuclear explosion-and the construction of a deliverable bomb were worked out.

Finally, on the morning of July 16, at the Alamogordo air base, 120 miles south of Santa Fe, the first atomic bomb was detonated. The scientists and a few dignitaries had removed themselves 10,000 yards away to observe as the first mushroom cloud of searing light stretched 40,000 feet into the air and generated the destructive power of 15,000 to 20,000 tons of TNT. The tower on which the bomb sat when detonated was vaporized.

The question now became-on whom was the bomb to be dropped? Germany was the original target, but the Germans had already surrendered. The only belligerent remaining was Japan.




Today's Birthdays

Mary Baker Eddy, Founder of Christian Science Church (1821)
Roald Amundsen, Norwegian polar explorer (1872)




Extra Credit

Once In A Blue Moon
Although the full moon occurring Saturday, July 31, 2004, will look like an ordinary full moon, it will actually be a bit extraordinary—a blue moon. A blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. For a blue moon to occur, the first of the full moons must appear at or near the beginning of the month so that the second will fall within the same month (the average span between two moons is 29.5 days). July 2004 will have two full moons: the first on July 2, the second on July 31—that second full moon is called the blue moon. The last blue moon was in 2001 and the next will occur in 2007. The rare phenomenon of two blue moons occurring in the same year happens approximately once every 19 years. 1999 was the last time a blue moon appeared twice, in January and March.

Thanks to The Quotations Page - The History Channel - The Biography Channel.
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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 07/16/2004 at 12:13 AM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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