(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘explosions

“To explode or to implode… that is the question”*…

 

From Danish photographer Ken Hermann‘s series, “Explosions“; more mesmerizing mayhem here.

* “To explode or to implode – said Qfwfq – that is the question: whether ’tis nobler in the mind to expand one’s energies in space without restraint, or to crush them into a dense inner concentration.”
― Italo Calvino, The Distance of the Moon

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As we reflect on eruption, we might recall that it was on this date in 1637 (or nearabouts, as closely as scholars can say) that Cardinal Richelieu introduced the first table knives (knives with rounded edges)–reputedly to cure dinner guests of the unsavory habit of picking their teeth with the knife-points of the daggers that were, until then, used to cut meat at the table.  Years later, in 1669, King Louis XIV followed suit, forbidding pointed knives at his table; indeed, he extended the prohibition, banning pointed knives in the street in an attempt to reduce violence.

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Written by LW

May 13, 2018 at 1:01 am

You’re in the Army now…

 

From our old friends (c.f.: here, here, and here) at Criggo (“Newspapers are going away. That’s too bad.”)

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As we button our pockets, we might recall that it was on this date in 1940 that the 1,200-acre Hercules High Explosives Plant in Kenvil, NJ, exploded. At 1:30 pm that day, over 297,000 pounds of gunpowder blew up in a series of explosions, leveling over 20 buildings. The explosions shook the area so forcefully that cars were bounced off the roads, most windows in homes miles away were broken and articles flew off shelves and walls.  The explosions were felt as far away as Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and were picked-up by the seismograph at Fordham University in New York, about 50 miles east of Kenvil.  In all, 51 workers died in the disaster, with over 200 injured and burned.

As the headline below suggests, the incident was widely blamed on the German Bund.  But while the factory was manufacturing ammunition in preparation for World War II, and so might have been a ripe target, subsequent investigations ruled that the tragedy was an industrial accident.

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Written by LW

September 12, 2012 at 1:01 am

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