April 14, 2008

Biggest booms?

I've got a question for you explosion junkies out there.

How does the March 15th mushroom cloud in Gerdec, Albania compare in magnitude to previous accidental man-made explosions?

Not surprisingly, Wikipedia has a list of "Largest Artificial Non-Nuclear Explosions," including such oldies-but-goodies as the explosion of ammunition ships in Halifax in 1917 and Port of Chicago (San Francisco Bay Area) in 1944, which were both in the several kiloton range. (I wouldn't be surprised if the record wasn't actually held by some colossal Soviet screw-up that got covered up.)

But Gerdec isn't yet included on the list. Any estimates of where it would stand?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

One of your physicist or engineer readers should consult the works of Sir Geoffrey Taylor, who famously "predicted, by dimensional analysis, the energy of the atomic bomb explosion from a series of US government publicity photographs". My memory is that Sir G was quizzed by the security services about just how he knew the yield of those devices.

Anonymous said...

Surprised this didn't make the list.


Anonymous said...

Steve, please give us the iSteve angle on the big Mormon raid in Texas.

Let me quote what Howie Viet says in his blog:


The Bullshit LDS "cult"
The hypocrisy surrounding the "Polygamous Cult" is just ridiculous. Everyone in Utah and Arizona knew about the child rapes, kidnappings (Elizabeth Smart), and welfare freeloading for at least twenty years. I posted this one back in August..ALL FROM GOOGLED DATA.

These days we have the very modern problem of child rape (resulting from polygamy) that is rampant in isolated enclaves in Utah and portions of adjoining states. LDS has been saying for years that “it’s not us,” blaming all on “offshoots” that are not part of LDS. But the areas now practicing polygamy are in places where the LDS holds total political power and the fact is that LDS has done nothing for decades to wipe out these “offshoots.” The Elizabeth Smart kidnapping and rape was done by a member of one of these sects who believed he had the “divine right” to take whatever girl he wanted for his (additional) wife. Not only does polygamy raise the specter of child rape, but many “families” containing up to fifty kids who cannot be supported by the “husband,” are sacking the State and Federal welfare money as well as overrunning local hospitals demanding and getting “free” care. This happens only where the LDS holds sway.
So once again our loyal MSM spins the story out of sheer cowardice (Stop picking on the Mormons). This has been going on for at least fifty years.

Me, I'd lot to have a hot Mormon teneager -- 18 is young enough.

Wouldn't you?

This Texas raid may be good for LDS recruiting. ... Maybe not so good for Mitt Romney's future political career.

Anonymous said...

At an estimated distance of 1.5 miles the person taking the You Tube video is only slightly buffeted by the shock wave. The Texas City and PEPCON explosions, among others, caused significant structural damage to buildings at even greater distances. Unless there are other factors involved, such as terrain, I would presume that both of those explosions were considerably more severe than the one at Gerdec.

Anonymous said...

Here's another one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_City_Disaster


James said...

It says the Texas City disaster caused people in Galveston, 10 miles away, to drop to their knees. This one then must be much smaller than that which they estimate as 2-4 kilotons of TNT. I mean it must be much, much smaller because the guy filming is, what, 1 mile away? The sphere with a radius of 10 miles is 1000 times larger than the sphere of 1 mile.

Anonymous said...

The biggest non-nuclear boom I know of is the implosion of Barack Obama's poll numbers in Pennsylvania over the weekend, from being tied with Hillary 45-45 to falling 20 - yes, TWENTY - points behind. He's losing white voters in PA to Clinton by 64-29.

As I said on another thread, the effect is exponential, not additive. Short of killing somebody or having sex with a twelve-year-old intern there isn't much that voters won't forgive - unless you keep reminding them of it over and over.

Voters were also complaining that Obama's omnipresent ads were "about him, not voters or what their concerns are." An Obama campaign that's all about Obama? What a surprise.

The people who kept telling Hillary to drop out - folks like Robert De Niro and Al Gore and Jimmy Carter - are all now looking like fools. Jimmy Carter, a fool? Whudda thunk it?

In related news, I see where Luke Skywalker spoke at a university on April 9 on behalf of the Obama campaign. Celebrities have to be more involved in politics this year than any other year I've ever seen. Is there a rule showing an inverse relationship between celebrity endoresement and success at the polls? You should create one, Steve.

(George Clooney also endorsed the leftist candidate in the Italian elections - the same guy who just conceded defeat)

Anonymous said...

The Elizabeth Smart kidnapping and rape was done by a member of one of these sects

ELizabeth Smart's kidnapper hadn't, to my knowledge, any connection to these sects. He and his wife were just random lone religious wackos.

Indeed the authorities here in Utah have turned a blind eye to most of the polygamous communities. Growing up in Utah I could see at least two polygamous homes from my balcony. The last experience reining them in back in the 50s - which left the state with hundreds of kids to look after - was a logistical and public relations fiasco. The mess at Waco didn't encourage anyone to do anything, either. Hopefully the relative success of the Texas raid will encourage them to act.

Anonymous said...

More on that celebrity/inverse relation thing, from american-election.com:

Hamill’s first opportunity to vote for President came in 1972 and he got involved with George McGovern, a candidate and a campaign that he believed in. "Here was a guy who felt exactly the way I felt about the war."

I rest my case.

Steve Setzer said...

I've lived in Utah 20 years and the only time I've ever seen a person who I thought might be a polygamist was on the light rail train--one lady with two kids, all dressed formally on a summer day.

Brian David Mitchell, the kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart, was homeless and seriously mentally ill, and his accomplice Wanda Barzee was pretty much the same. To this day, they are both locked up in the state hospital because neither one is mentally competent to stand trial.

I'd rather that Utah cops focused on MS-13 and the meth trade, myself...

Steve Setzer said...

As for the claim that Utah "has done nothing", well, let's see:

* Utah prosecuted and convicted Warren Jeffs of rape as an accomplice.

* Utah prosecuted and convicted David Ortell Kingston of sexual misconduct.

* Utah prosecuted and convicted Tom Green of rape.

* At least one other prosecution is pending as a result of the Warren Jeffs trial.

* The state took over the FLDS group's "United Effort Plan" (communal property ownership), and is reworking it to break the control of Jeffs and his lieutenants over the life of Hilldale and Colorado City.

"Googled data" indeed.

Anonymous said...

Biggest booms. The examples are near the bottom of the page.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Utah 20 years and the only time I've ever seen a person who I thought might be a polygamist was on the light rail train--one lady with two kids, all dressed formally on a summer day. - Steve Setzer

Steve, apparently you were living in the wrong places. Everyone's known about these people. There are several families living in the south end of the Salt Lake Valley. Some live near Oakley. The Kingston family is well known. Estimates are somewhere around 10,000 people living in polygamous communities in Utah.

Anonymous said...

Seems like the Russian oil pipeline sabotaged software boom deserves a mention: