Well, come along! I've got two spears, And I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears; I've got besides two curling-stones, And I'll crush you to bits, body and bones.
Those lines are from a popular children's story; The Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Well, from the Norwegian version, at least. And considering it's a Norwegian story, that's the only version worth mentioning.
You mean to tell me, you never knew the story of the Billy Goats Gruff came from Norway? Well, it might have. Virtually every country has a version of the story. The Norwegian version is the oldest one I could find after extensively searching the archives of the internet for 2.715 minutes. (you think I spend a ton of time researching the throw away facts from the beginning of these posts?)
The Billy Goats Gruff is a folk tale that has been transformed into a children story. There's a lesson to be learned in the story, but what it is, I'm not sure. Maybe, don't judge a book by it's cover? I mean, even though the biggest billy goat doesn't look like much, it kicks the trolls ass. (or wolf, depends on the version).
Which brings up an interesting point: Childrens stories are almost never appropriate for children. They are full of violence, brutality, cruelty, sex and all sorts of other things we try to keep our kids away from. No wonder we're so messed up.
Crap. I forgot where I was going with this. I had some point I was making about those damn Billy Goats Gruff. But then I got side tracked. I do that sometimes. Well, not so much 'sometimes' as 'almost always'.
I guess I'll just move on to todays post. I was going to do a post about William Windsor, but I decided not to. I figured no one would be interested in hearing about William Windsor, a Lance Corporal in the 1st Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Well, he was a lance corporal until 2009 when he retired to Whipsnade Zoo.
And I don't mean he retired and then went to the zoo to work. I mean, he went there to live. Did I forget to mention William Windsor is a Kashmere goat?
Yeah. He is. He served for 8 years as a lance corporal, (except for the three months when he was demoted for inappropriate behavior in front of the queen). He wasn't a mascot, but an actual ranked member of the battalion. And like all members of the battalion, he received his daily ration of 2 cigarettes and a pint of Guiness. Although, he ate his smokes instead of smoking them.
But anyway, I decided that no one would want to hear about the military goat, or the long tradition of having a goat in the battalion.
Instead, I decided to tell you about something you might not know about the nuclear bombs that were dropped on Japan. I don't know why I decided to change my mind. And I'm not even sure why I decided to tell you of the fact that I changed my mind.
Ok. That was a lie. I do know.
I really wanted to post the bomb fact, but it's just a quick fact. No matter how I try, I can't make it a full post on it's own. So I decided to pad it with the goat. And since a post about a military goat and a nuclear bomb really doesn't make sense, I decided to do it like this. Call it a a creative choice.
Anyway, we all know how Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed in 1945. The Enola Gay and Bocks Car dropped Fat Man and Little Boy and destroyed the cities. The bombs killed thousands of people, both in the explosions and due to radiation poisoning after the fact.
But have you ever wondered why people rebuilt the cities and are living there? Aren't they afraid of radiation? They may not have known about lingering radiation and fallout back in the 40's, but they know now. So why do people live there?
Because the areas around Nagasaki and Hiroshima isn't radioactive.
That's right. The only locations where nuclear weapons were used in anger are safe for human habitation.
It seems strange considering areas where the bombs were tested are off limits because of radiation. But it's not so unusual. The bombs did give off a lot of radiation, but it was the method of delivery that allows the bomb sites to be livable.
The bombs dropped over Japan were detonated in the air, about 5,000 feet above the cities. This allowed for a larger blast zone to cause more destruction. It also allowed for a wider dispersal of radiation.
But since the radiation was dispersed in the air, it didn't linger for very long. Most of the people who died from the effects of radiation were afflicted in the initial blast.
For the land to remain dangerous, it needs to be irradiated. And for it to be irradiated, the bomb really needs to go off at ground level. Since the bombs were air burst, the ground didn't absorb the bulk of the radiation. Fallout wasn't a problem.
And that's why people can live in Hiroshima and Nagasaki today.
Now, wasn't that better than the goat? Which, by the way, has been a tradition of the Welsh Fusiliers since the Battle Of Bunker Hill in the American Revolution. I'd tell you more, but this isn't a post about goats.