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(Some Guy) Audio Oct 30, 1938 alien invasion panic as War of the Worlds airs. Listen to the original radio broadcast   ( divider line
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1615 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Oct 2001 at 7:52 AM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

19 Comments     (+0 »)
2001-10-30 07:59:27 AM  
ah man i remember it well...
2001-10-30 08:12:48 AM  
Orwell is great. Can't listen to it now. Am at work, and I don't want to upset people here too much...
2001-10-30 08:12:57 AM  
Wow, talk about some primo web design skills.
2001-10-30 08:13:31 AM  
If you're listening to Orwell at work, I'm really scared. Orson Welles is scary enough ;)
2001-10-30 08:17:16 AM  
I am very very much ashamed!
Please, mods, remove that previous comment. and this one.

Welles, Wells, Orson, HG

Not Orwell, George
2001-10-30 08:23:47 AM  
And to have my stupidity pointed out by someone with account # 68! The Gods of Fark are watching me!

*hangs head in shame.

I'll refrain from posting anything for at least
let's see
20 minutes?
2001-10-30 08:23:52 AM  
people must have been easier to scare back then. Nowadays aliens landing in New Jersey wouldn't be the top story.
2001-10-30 08:25:57 AM  
Eh, no shame in your error, Dido. You can always blame it on a lack of coffee or such ;p
2001-10-30 08:27:19 AM  
...Unless of course, the aliens had anthrax.

Then again, if they had landed before Sept. 11, they would have had to get bitten by a shark, AND be Gary Condit's love-child.
2001-10-30 08:29:15 AM  
Yes! Yes! That's it! lack of coffee!
Thanks Kammat!
2001-10-30 11:32:19 AM  
People now laugh at the panic caused by the original WotW but we have a current version now. Threats of anthrax and more terrorist attacks. The real terrorists don't even have to do anything other than leak rumors of possible random attacks and people start getting panicky.

Look at how panicked people are getting about anthrax. All of 3 people have died (so far) with what, another 30-40 exposed over the past few weeks? Sheesh, about 131 people die in random car wrecks every day in the US. The odds are higher you'll get killed by some drunk on the way to work.
2001-10-30 12:10:41 PM  
Right, Walkman. Now, let's count the Terrorists that have been caught in our global web of revenge and panic...hmm...let's see here...I know! Let's count the number of dead cousins of Terrorists. Ah, now there's a number to be proud of.
2001-10-30 12:21:31 PM  
I just got this in an email. Makes sense.

Chemical, biological and nuclear attack facts
Words of wisdom from an armor master

Since the media has decided to scare everyone with predictions of
chemical, biological, or nuclear warfare on our turf, I decided to write
a paper and keep things in their proper perspective. I am a retired
military weapons, munitions, and training expert.

Lesson number one: In the mid 1990s there were a series of nerve gas
attacks on crowded Japanese subway stations. Given perfect conditions
for an attack, less than 10% of the people there were injured (the
injured were better in a few hours) and only one percent of the injured
died. 60 Minutes once had a fellow telling us that one drop of nerve
gas could kill a thousand people. What he didn't tell you was the
thousand dead people per drop was theoretical. Drill sergeants
exaggerate how terrible this stuff is to keep the recruits awake in
class. (I know this because I was a Drill Sergeant, too.) Forget
everything you've ever seen on TV, in the movies, or read in a novel
about this stuff, it was all a lie. (Read this sentence again out
loud!) These weapons are about terror. If you remain calm, you will
probably not die. This is far less scary than the media and their
"experts" make it sound.

Chemical weapons are categorized as Nerve, Blood, Blister, or
Incapacitating agents. Contrary to the hype of reporters and
politicians, they are not weapons of mass destruction; they are "area
denial" and terror weapons that don't destroy anything. When you leave
the area, you almost always leave the risk. That's the main difference
between civilian and military risk -- a civilian can leave the area and
the risk, but soldiers may have to stay put and sit through it, and
that's why they need all that spiffy gear.

These are not gasses, they are vapors and/or airborne particles. The
agent must be delivered in sufficient quantity to injure, and that
defines when and how it's used. Every day we have a morning and evening
inversion where "stuff," suspended in the air, gets pushed down. This
inversion is why allergies (pollen) and air pollution are at their worst
at these times of the day. So a chemical attack will have its best
effect an hour of so either side of sunrise/sunset. Also, being vapors
and airborne particles, they are heavier than air so they will seek low
places like ditches, basements, and underground garages. This stuff
won't work when it's freezing, it doesn't last when it's hot, and wind
spreads it too thin too quickly. The terrorists have to get this stuff
on you, or get you to inhale it, for it to work. They also have to get
the concentration of chemicals high enough to kill or wound you. Too
little and it's nothing, too much and it's wasted.

What I hope you've gathered by this point is that a chemical weapons
attack that kills a lot of people is incredibly hard to do with military
grade agents and equipment, so you can imagine how hard it will be for
terrorists. The more you know about this stuff the more you realize how
hard it is to use.

I'll start by talking about nerve agents. You may already have these in
your house; plain old bug killer (like Raid) is nerve agent. All nerve
agents work the same way: they are cholinesterase inhibitors that mess
up the signals your nervous system uses to make your body function. It
can harm you if you get it on your skin, but it works best if you inhale
it. If you don't die in the first minute and you can leave the area,
you're probably going to live.

The military's antidote for all nerve agents is atropine and pralidoxime
chloride. Neither one of these does anything to cure the nerve agent.
They send your body into overdrive to keep you alive for five minutes,
after that the agent is used up. Your best protection is fresh air and
staying calm. Here are the symptoms for nerve agent poisoning: sudden
headache; dimness of vision (someone you're looking at will have
pinpointed pupils); runny nose; excessive saliva or drooling; difficulty
breathing; tightness in chest; nausea; stomach cramps; and, twitching of
exposed skin where a liquid just got on you.

If you are in public and you start experiencing these symptoms, ask
yourself, "Did anything out of the ordinary just happen, a loud pop, or
did someone spray something on the crowd? Are other people getting sick
too? Is there an odor of new mown hay, green corn, something fruity, or
camphor where it shouldn't be?" If the answer to any of these questions
is "yes," then calmly (if you panic you breathe faster and inhale more
air/poison) leave the area and head up wind or outside. Fresh air is
the best "right now antidote." If you have a blob of liquid that looks
like molasses or Karo syrup on you, blot it or scrape it off and away
from yourself with anything disposable. This stuff works based on your
body weight. What a crop duster uses to kill bugs won't hurt you unless
you stand there and breathe it in deeply, then lick the residue off the
ground for while. Remember, the terrorists have to do all the work.
They have to get the concentration up and keep it up for several minutes
while all you have to do is quit getting it on you or quit breathing it
by putting space between you and the attack.

Blood agents are things like cyanide or arsine which affect your blood's
ability to provide oxygen to your tissue. The scenario for attack would
be the same as nerve agent. Look for a pop or someone
splashing/spraying something and folks around there getting
woozy/falling down. The telltale smells are bitter almonds or garlic
where it shouldn't be. The symptoms are blue lips, blue under the
fingernails, and rapid breathing. The military's antidote is amyl
nitride, and just like nerve agent antidote it just keeps your body
working for five minutes until the toxins are used up. Fresh air is the
your best individual chance.

Blister agents (like distilled mustard) are so nasty that nobody wants
to even handle it let alone use it. It's almost impossible to handle
safely and may have delayed effects of up to twelve hours. The attack
scenario is also limited to the things you'd see from other chemicals.
If you do get large, painful blisters for no apparent reason, don't pop
them; if you must, don't let the liquid from the blister get on any
other area since the stuff just keeps on spreading. It's just as likely
to harm the user as the target. Soap, water, sunshine, and fresh air
are this stuff's enemy. Bottom line on chemical weapons (it's the same
if they use industrial chemical spills): they are intended to make you
panic, to terrorize you, to herd you like sheep to the wolves. If there
is an attack, leave the area and go upwind, or to the sides of the wind
stream. They have to get the stuff to you and on you. You're more
likely to be hurt by a drunk driver on any given day than be hurt by one
of these attacks. Your odds get better if you leave the area. Soap,
water, time, and fresh air really deal this stuff a knockout punch.
Don't let fear of an isolated attack rule your life. The odds are
really on your side.

Now for nuclear bombs. These are the only weapons of mass destruction
on earth. The effects of a nuclear bomb are heat, blast, EMP, and
radiation. If you see a bright flash of light like the sun, where the
sun isn't, fall immediately to the ground! The heat will be over in a
second. Then there will be two blast waves, one outgoing from the blast
and one on its way back to the blast area. Don't stand up to see what
happened after the first wave. Anything that's going to happen will
have happened in two full minutes. These will probably be low yield
devices and will not level whole cities. If you live through the heat,
blast, and initial burst of radiation, you'll probably live for a very,
very long time. Radiation will not create fifty foot tall women or
giant ants and grasshoppers the size of tanks.

These will probably be at most one kiloton bombs. That's the equivalent
of 1,000 tons of TNT. Here's the real deal: flying debris and
radiation will kill a lot of exposed (but not all) people within a half
mile of the blast. Under perfect conditions this is about a half mile
circle of death and destruction, but when it's done it's done. EMP
stands for electromagnetic pulse, and it will fry every electronic
device for a good distance. It's impossible to say what and how far but
probably not over a couple of miles from ground zero is a good guess.
Cars, cell phones, computers, ATMs, you name it, all will be out of
order. There are lots of kinds of radiation, but you only need to worry
about three -- the other types of radiation are ones you have lived with
for years.

You need to worry about "ionizing radiation." These are subatomic
particles that go whizzing along at the speed of light. They hit
individual cells in your body, kill the nucleus, and keep on going.
That's how you get radiation poisoning: you have so many dead cells in
your body that the decaying cells poison you. It's the same as people
getting radiation treatments for cancer, only a bigger area gets
radiated. The good news is you don't have to just sit there and take
it, and there's lots you can do rather than panic. First, your skin
will stop alpha particles, and a page of a newspaper or your clothing
will stop beta particles. You just have to try and avoid inhaling dust
that's contaminated with atoms that are emitting these things and
you'll generally be safe from them. Gamma rays are particles that
travel like rays (quantum physics makes my brain hurt) and they create
the same damage as alpha and beta particles, only they keep going and
kill lots of cells as they go all the way through your body. It takes a
lot to stop these things, such as lots of dense material. On the other
hand it takes a lot of this to kill you.

Your defense is as always not to panic. Basic hygiene and normal
preparation are your friends. All canned or frozen foods are safe to
eat. The radiation poisoning will not effect plants so fruits and
vegetables are okay if there's no dust on them (rinse them off if there
is). If you don't have running water and you need to collect rainwater
or use water from wherever, just let it sit for thirty minutes and skim
off water gently from the top. The dust with the bad stuff in it will
settle and the remaining water can be used for the toilet, which will
still work if you have a bucket of water to pour in the tank.

Finally, there's biological warfare. There's not much to cover here.
Basic personal hygiene and sanitation will take you farther than a
million doctors. Wash your hands often, don't share drinks, food,
sloppy kisses, etc., with strangers. Keep your garbage can with a tight
lid on it, and don't have standing water (like old buckets, ditches, or
kiddy pools) laying around to allow mosquitoes breeding room. This
stuff is carried by a vector (that is, bugs, rodents, and contaminated
material). If biological warfare is as easy as the TV makes it sound,
why has Saddam Hussein spent twenty years and millions of dollars trying
to get it right? If you're clean of person and home, you eat well, and
are active, you're going to live.

Overall preparation for any terrorist attack is the same as you'd take
for a big storm. If you want a gas mask, fine, go get one. I know this
stuff and I'm not getting one, and I told my Mom not to bother with one
either. (How's that for confidence?) We have a week's worth of cash,
several days worth of canned goods, and plenty of soap and water. We
don't leave stuff out to attract bugs or rodents so we don't have them.
These people can't conceive of a nation this big with this many
resources. These weapons are made to cause panic, terror, and to
demoralize. If we don't run around like sheep they won't use this stuff
after they find out it's no fun. The government is going nuts over this
stuff because they have to protect every inch of America. You only have
to protect yourself, and by doing that you help the country.

There are millions of caveats to everything I wrote here, and you can
think up specific scenarios where my advice isn't the best. This letter
is supposed to help the greatest number of people under the greatest
number of situations. If you don't like my work, don't nit pick, just
sit down and try to explain chemical, nuclear, and biological warfare in
a document around three pages long yourself. This is how we, the people
of the United States, can rob these people of their most desired goal,
your terror.

SFC Red Thomas (Ret) Armor Master Gunner
Mesa, AZ

Reproduction and distribution is authorized and encouraged. Just give
me credit for my work.
2001-10-30 12:32:07 PM  
You mean to tell me that there are people out there who have never heard of the "War of the Worlds"????? C'mon kiddies, please stay in school, you might learn something. Sure, I first heard of it through my parents back in the 1970s, but later it came up in jr. high school.

-he who stacks pork
2001-10-30 03:46:47 PM  
longest comment ever
2001-10-30 04:08:44 PM  
well, for those how care in the los Angeles area, KNX 1070 AM broadcasts the "War of the worlds" every holloween night at 2100. Take it that I am the only one that listens to AM radio?
2001-10-30 05:41:02 PM  
H.G. Wells was a bleeding heart commie you logic-chopping, chalky-faced saint of an atheist. I'm boud to cut my throat tomorrow. I'm going to have a damned good bank-holiday tonight.
2001-10-30 06:23:05 PM  
Everything you ever wanted to know about Chemical Warfare, but were afraid to ask because they knew the answer was so freakin' long.

All I know is -- don't eat the yellow snow.

Words to live by, by god.
2001-10-31 08:56:07 PM  
anyone have the full thing in MP3? this thing on the site is in like 500 parts, email me at g­o­bli­n­-­lo­r­d[nospam-﹫-backwards]e­moh*com if you got it please.
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