The Nuke manual was a fake !!!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread
I saw this and thought I would pass it on. I am not a fan of the web site, but they do acuratly report on the darker side of life.
Taliban Thwarted by Irreproducible Result Reporter Anthony Loyd of The Times newspaper in London is a brave and hearty soul, wandering in the aftermath of the fall of Kabul and the withdrawing of the Taliban to points south. In a special report to the BBC and the Times, he walks among the ruins and finds a building that contains a wasteland the Taliban soldiers have left behind: forgotten manuals, live hand grenades, and hats with the new al-Qaeda logo on them. After displaying images of this weaponry, and papers littering the floor, he shows us his two most horrifying finds: A piece of paper with the word "ricin" on it, and plans for a thermonuclear device!
So as not to allow terrorists around the world to gain the plans to this bomb, the camera scrolls down the instructions quickly, and focus on just a few words:
"Theory of Operation...The device basically works when..."
"Plutonium (PU), atomic number...and is similar to..."
Scary words indeed; the keys to nuclear destruction, just laying out here on this forgotten desk! How could these well-guarded secrets have leaked to the Taliban?
Well, this is where it gets a little funny. You see, those words appear on a semi-famous document that has made the rounds on the Internet since the late 1980's. It's a reprint of a scientific parody called "How to Build an Atom Bomb" from a humor newsletter called The Annals of Improbable Research (AIR). At the time this document was originally written (1979!), the newsletter was called the "Journal of Irreproducible Results". (In scientific circles, a finding must be reproducible to be considered valid. Hence... well, it's geek humor. You understand.)
In Mr. Loyd's article, he describes with baited breath the terrible secrets on the page:
"The vernacular quickly spun out of my comprehension but there were phrases through the mass of chemical symbols and physics jargon that anyone could understand, including notes on how the detonation of TNT compresses plutonium into a critical mass producing a nuclear chain reaction and eventually a thermo-nuclear reaction...."
Here, then, is a paragraph from the parody document:
"The device basically works when the detonated TNT compresses the Plutonium into a critical mass. The critical mass then produces a nuclear chain recation similar to the domino chain reaction (discussed in this column, "Dominos on the March", March, 1968). The chain reaction then promptly produces a big thermonuclear reaction. And there you have it, a 10 megaton explosion!"
To find these joke atomic bomb plans, do a web search for "The device basically works" and look for mentions of "Let's Build an Atomic Bomb!". It gives us pause and joy to know the Taliban are wasting their time downloading what amounts to joke mail and spending time trying to discern the facts therein.
Next time, Mr. Loyd should glance further down the terrorist papers he finds, where he might have read these words: "PREVIOUS MONTHS' COLUMNS... Let's Make an Anti-Gravity Machine!"
-- Bill (Bill@Bill.com), November 16, 2001
Oh Bill, as hard as that made me laugh and the mental pictures this produced I hope to heck your right. I instantly thought of the 3 stooges w/ turbans on & Moe saying "Come on weasel brain, quit wasting time. We need this job".
I really don't like to think about osama having nukes. And I really DO like the idea of them spending their time on an internet geek humor paper. Let's hope that's the case as you say. Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck.
-- John in S. IN (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 16, 2001.