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nuclear weapons

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A year before U.S. imposed economic sanctions against North Korea, intelligence community concluded they wouldn't work

A year before U.S. imposed economic sanctions against North Korea, intelligence community concluded they wouldn’t work

1992 economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. against North Korea contributed to the collapse of an already fragile economy, and in two years the country was in the throes of a severe famine. Despite the mounting death toll, the sanctions were utterly ineffective in their goal of pressuring DPRK into ending their nuclear weapons program - exactly as a 1991 National Intelligence Council report predicted they would be.

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Richard Feynman put himself on the FBI's Do Not Call list

Richard Feynman put himself on the FBI’s Do Not Call list

Richard Feynman’s sprawling FBI file covers two-thirds of the legendary physicist’s career, from drama over his invitation to speak a Soviet science conference to an unnamed colleague citing his hobby of cracking safes at Los Alamos as evidence he was a “master of deception and enemy of America.” But the file stops abruptly in 1958, and for a very Feynmanian reason: Feynman asked them to.

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The oldest computer in use by the federal government has been found

The oldest computer in use by the federal government has been found

A recently released Government Accountability Office report solved the mystery of the government’s oldest computer, which surprisingly enough, isn’t a technically a computer in the conventional sense. Even more surprisingly, The Simpsons accurately predicted the winner back in 1998.

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Who Would Jesus Nuke? The Air Force's banned briefing on the ethics of nuclear war

Who Would Jesus Nuke? The Air Force’s banned briefing on the ethics of nuclear war

For decades, the Vandenberg Air Force base in California gave a briefing to new missile officers on the ethics of nuclear war. Then, in 2011, a watchdog group successfully lobbied to get the program suspended. If you’re wondering what was so objectionable about an ethics lesson, the fact it was more commonly referred to as the “Jesus Loves Nukes speech” might give you a hint.

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That time the Air Force dropped a nuke on South Carolina

That time the Air Force dropped a nuke on South Carolina

In 1958, the Air Force accidentally dropped a Mark 6 nuclear bomb over Mars Bluff, South Carolina. Though the bomb’s atomic capabilities were deactivated, its conventional payload wasn’t, and recently released photos from the investigation give some scale to how massive the damage was - and how much, much worse it could have been.

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