(for Desiree Huitt)
That’s right ladies and gentleman… which would you rather have: this six-inch stack of money on my left, or this 12-INCH stack of money on my right???
“Oh, me… me I’ll take the taller stack of money, the 12-inch stack, me!”
Wise choice, my friend with an almost zero red blood cell (RBC) count. For your demonstration of depth less that the kiddie’s wading pool, you have been awarded a foot-high stack of dollar bills—-pay no attention to the six-inch stack of thousand dollar bills behind the curtain; just take your prize and GTFO!
Friends, countrymen… I give you pandering prize-winner of the month: USA Today’s bomb comparison chart; a real gem of a goof–don’t envy USA Today for being beautiful.
It is an excellent physical model/representation of the juxtaposed ‘three prong plan’ (not a Thai food dish), or call it the trifecta of energy potential model, dumbed down to cartoon scale. Oh, how it drives into perspective the savagery of the hedonistic bellicose ‘Mericans.
One caveat: there is just a mere scintilla of error in the computation of equivalent yield specifications–to be more exact, a 14,989 tons TNT equivalent error in USA Today’s figures. I implore them to use neither modern math nor abacus for their primary or check calculators from present day forward.
But please, kindly stick around for an explanation:
Let’s step through the graph. First on the left is a man. He’s six feet tall and by the icon, appears to be a fine strapping lad. We’ll call him Jack. Surely Jack can impart a lot of power and energy to a work solution. We like that. Please, let’s all say it together: “WE LIKE JACK!”
But hold the phone… that container next to him is a whopping ten feet long with a cavernous center. Forget that other puny package; this is the King-Kong of power encompassing container. We don’t want the short-stack flap Jack. Go large or go home, we always say. Come on; in unison everybody: “WELL LIKE THAT ONE BETTER THAN JACK!”
Nice runner-up, that part-timing hack Hiroshima knock-off. The contract award goes to the nose bleed 30-footer, the Mother of all Bombs, the GBU-43B Massive Ordnance Air Burst. Want the biggest bang for buck, go MOAB! It has to be the most powerful; it is after all the biggest and tallest, right? All together now: “WE LIKE THAT ONE THE BEST!!”
The proof lies in an antique documentary series know as the Hana-Barbera Tom and Jerry cartoon: Tom or Jerry hides behind the corner and waits until Tom or Jerry comes tooling by, then jumps out and beans him square in the face with a frying pan, to the extent that Tom’s or Jerry’s face becomes momentarily shaped like the inside of the frying pan.
Such were the magic rules of our childhood: Fire hot; fire bad. God bless my mother who, at my tender four years of age, decided to exercise some bad-ass told-ya-so parenting, by teaching me a morbid life lesson on the dangers of fire to my pin-headed self. She donned her ‘parent cape’ and sat me at the table.
She handed me a book of matches and told me to light one and hold it. It should burn low and when I felt the heat I would cry out and drop the match; it was in all the parenting manuals at the time. Those no longer exist today.
If my mother could have looked ahead and seen that I would one day be a Delta Force pipe hitter, she never would have tried this gem on me. But que sera, whatever will be, will be; the future’s not ours to see, and I struck the match. My mother watched me with a smug, superior motherly sort of way, a mother who had a parenting manual!
I stared her back and awaited further instructions. The match burned lower and lower. Ma looked more and more confused with her knittier and knittier brow. Then the flame reached the skin of my fingers. My mouth and eyes opened wide as if to scream, but I did not. She looked on is such horror, I thought she would vomit as the match sizzled out into my fingers, flooding the air with the acrid smell of burnt flesh.
“Why did you do that? Why didn’t you drop the match??” She wailed.
“Because you told me to hold it.” I answered, as huge boils of an interstitial solution formed on my index finger and thumb. My mother, you see, had so very little inclination of the affirmation of a man, who wasn’t even a man yet at all, to accept, distil, and follow orders at great discomfort to himself. Feel the sting, Ma; my fingers are still numb to this day; who taught who a lesson that day?
“My last instruction was to hold the match.” And held it, I did!
Ah, but I fancy that I digress; that I truly do…
Jerry isn’t finished with Tom yet, nosirree not by a long shot. Jerry then takes refuge behind a corner and waits for Tom to swagger by, then jumps out and clocks him full in the face with a much bigger frying pan. The aggression escalates with bigger and bigger frying pans until inevitably, little Jerry accepts a pyrrhic victory on the back of the biggest frying pan ever.
Now, we are not compelled to subscribe to the notion that Tom’s face became transmogrified such that it looked like a frying pan. We did however, accept as young children that the biggest frying pan wins, much like the media is only now coming to fathom.
Given time and tide, I expect the media to attain on-par intellectual prowess with the rest of us, in about a decade from now. But by then we will be a decade ahead of them still. Life is tough; it’s tougher if you are stupid.
Russia and China both employed the Tom and Jerry model of ‘offense by overwhelming odds’ thoughout history. Nazi German pursued to an end, that same strategic model in World War II, but with considerable tactical blunder: they built a railway gun that was so large, nothing in Germany could lift its ammunition to load it. And the hundred pound heads convened to have another look at those blue prints and redline drawings one more time…
“Ach, Du Lieber!” exclaimed Ludwig Von Krappenhousen, Fuerer of the Engeniersgruppe assigned to develop the massive weapon. “You really tripped up zat one. Did you just get zoze feet, Ludwig?” his Freunden teased him.
Ancient Chinese Military Tactician, Sun Tse, whose name you would never-ever recognize if ever you heard pronounced correctly (Shweendz, I swear to God!), had his own Millenia-old version of the same model… but we all already know that Sweendz (I swear to God!), hardly ever knew what the hell he was talking about, and the little relevance his antiquated babble held was ruined by $hitty translations.
The hugh-hangus, ginormous error:
But enough warmth; let’s get to the science of the quandary. First of all, a nuclear weapon is an unconventional weapon by military definition. Nuclear material, in this modern world, yields the greatest power release per cubic unit of measure, of any known substance on earth.
For the media: think of it as the one thousand dollar bill, sitting next to the stack of a thousand, one-dollar bills. There should be a feeble flicker of a light bulb in the media’s collective cranium by now, that or an image of a squirrel.
The stack of ones will fit in the MOAB, but not Little Boy. Ah, but a thousand dollar bill will fit, in fact quite a few Grover Cleveland’s will fit into Little Boy. NOW which device packs the most punch. Still no sale? I will make a version of this essay written in Crayola Crayon available very soon, Sir.
Nuclear weapons are measured by their expected power yield, in terms of their equivalency to the very conventional TriNitroToluene (TNT), roughly ye ol’ Dynamite, or as Jay-Jay Walker would say: “Dyno-MIIIITE!!” No, I didn’t have to look up TriNitroToluene; yes, I’m odd.
Now the MOAB also has an equivalent yield, but why ‘equivalent?’ It’s because MOAB does not boast straight TNT as the source of its energetic release. Modern, more efficient explosive compounds still use TNT as a reference base to measure their expected energy output. It’s actually a keen solution to blast yield determination across the board.
It should be briefly noted that MOAB uses TNT mixed with aluminum powder, which makes it more efficient than straight TNT, and is therefore measured on the equivalent basis of TNT.
It should also be noted that MOAB’s explosive TNT/Aluminum mix is not a high-speed steel cutting compound, rather it is a slower-speed event that has the propensity to push hard, rather than cut through, making it ideal for disrupting massive amounts of earth.
The nexus of USA Today’s error was to leave out, or perhaps forgot to add that tiny but very significant ‘Kilo’ in front of the yield figure of 15 tons. So rather than saying 15 thousand tons, they published 15 tons, a 14,985 thousand ton error (approximately)–oops!!
Yes, I’ll bet the imperial land of the rising sun wishes they were only hit with a 15-ton toe-popper, rather than the Uranium 235 weapon, Little Boy, on that fateful day. That followed later by the Plutonium 239 weapon on sister city.
To imply even a vestige of worthy comparison of the MOAB to U-235 Little Boy is… well, it’s stupidity, or sensationalism, or pandering, or all three plus throw in a couple more really, really stupid things that we all despise.
A man much wiser than I (my understudy) remarked recently, words to the effect: Those morons who are stirring $hit up in this country and getting our enemies more pissed off at us… well, when the enemy gets peeved to the point of retaliation, they are NOT going to discriminate who gets vaporized, so maybe they should shut. the. phuq. UP! Ya think??
Much love to our SOFRep family. Great disrespect intended to the sucking ass wound that is the media, but no real disrespected intended to the great Shweendz (I swear to God!)
(Feature photo courtesy of Inverse.com)
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