Chernobyl and the Elephant Foot

Posted on: January 15, 2018

The Elephant’s Foot is a solid mass made of melted nuclear fuel, portions of the nuclear reactor core, fission products, and control rods. This corium material melted through the bottom of the reactor vessel, oozed through pipes, ate through concrete, and eventually cooled enough to solidify. In 1986 this mass was discovered by researchers who attached a camera to a wheeled contraption and rolled it in the direction the incredibly high radiation readings were emanating from. The radiation levels from it were so high that anyone exposed to it for more than a few minutes would die. Thirty seconds was enough to cause dizziness and fatigue. Two minutes near it and your cells will begin to hemorrhage. By the time you hit the five-minute mark, you’re a goner. Even after 30 years, the foot is still melting through the concrete base of the power plant. Its existence makes the city uninhabitable to humans for at least the next 100 years. If it melts down into a source of ground water, it could trigger another explosion or contaminate the water of nearby villages.

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Danes Torpedo a Town

Posted on: January 8, 2018

December 6, 1982, a Danish frigate the HDMS Peder Skram accidentally fired a harpoon missile during maneuvers in the Kattegat. The missile traveled 34 kilometers at low level and managed to take out several power lines before striking some trees and exploding. The fireball and subsequent shock wave destroyed four (thankfully) unoccupied summer cottages and damaged a further 130 buildings in the immediate vicinity. No human injury was reported.

The cause was a technical malfunction, as the launch key was not even activated. What?! This is what happens when software goes rogue. Just ask the Ariane 5 rocket…


Frank Hayes and a Sweet Kiss

Posted on: January 1, 2018

June 4th, 1923 in Belmont Park New York. A steeplechase took place in which a 20-1 outsider called Sweet Kiss, jockeyed by Frank Hayes overcome the odds to win. It was Hayes’s first ever win, but all was not what it seemed. The owner of the horse, Miss A.M. Frayling, came over to congratulate Franky boy on the win, alongside race officials, when Hayes fell out of the saddle and lay lifeless on the floor! It was only then that they discovered Frank Hayes was dead. It was suggested that he had a heart attack in the saddle mid race, due to his extreme efforts to meet the weight requirements. The horse went on to win the race by a head with Frank still on its back, making Hayes the only jockey to have ever won a race while dead. He was buried wearing his colourful racing suit three days later. The horse, now nicknamed Sweet Kiss of Death (at least by us) never raced again.

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