June 29, 2013 |
One of the hottest tickets in Los Angeles this month was for a last-minute club show by Atoms for Peace, the high-profile side project built around an odd couple of alternative-rock superstars. The concert was in preparation for an extensive world tour that Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers were to launch in the wake of their debut, the February release "Amok. " The idea was to try out some of the Atoms material in front of a small audience at a cozy West Adams performance space temporarily dubbed Club Amok.
June 15, 2013 |
“This is a rehearsal, right?” asked Thom Yorke not long into his show Friday night with Atoms for Peace, and that was one way of looking at it. Announced online Friday morning (with tickets available through radio stations, record stores and a raffle held by the Silverlake Conservatory of Music), the last-minute gig offered a chance for the band to show off some of the material it's been honing privately here in L.A. before it launches a world tour on July 6 in Paris. In a sense, though, aren't all Atoms for Peace shows rehearsals?
June 14, 2013 |
Atoms for Peace, the semi-Los Angeles-based rhythm band featuring Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea, drummer Joey Waronker, percussionist Mauro Refosco and producer/Ultraista co-founder Nigel Godrich, has announced some details of Friday night's secret show in Los Angeles. The band, which will play a big show at the Hollywood Bowl later this fall as part of its Club Amok tour, will gig at a yet-undisclosed location, one...
June 14, 2013 |
This post has been corrected, as indicated below. Denise Kiernan's newest book, “The Girls of Atomic City,” explores the stories of women who worked and lived in Oak Ridge, Tenn., during World War II. These women - secretaries, statisticians, scientists and mothers - were all recruited by the U.S. government to work on the Manhattan Project, without their knowledge, at what became its largest site. Kiernan - whose work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Village Voice and Ms. - focuses on nine specific women and their experiences during this complex moment in history at a top-secret city, following them from arrival until they discover what “the Project” encompassed.
June 9, 2013 |
NAGASAKI, Japan - On my first trip to Nagasaki, just out of college, I knew what most of the world knows: An atomic bomb fell here on Aug. 9, 1945, bringing World War II to a close. It wasn't until my second visit, more than 20 years later on a guidebook assignment, that I realized how much I had missed. Although the A-bomb is rightfully front and center for overseas visitors, the Japanese concept of the city is very different. As Japan's westernmost major port, it was the nation's first landing spot for Catholic missionaries and martyrs; red-bearded, waistcoated, fancy-hatted traders; and exotic foods borne by trade winds.
June 7, 2013 |
The Manhattan Project, the secret research mission to develop an atomic weapon ahead of Germany and bring an end to World War II, was one of the 20th century's most ambitious feats of science and engineering. And one of its darkest moments. In many respects, the Manhattan Project ushered in the modern era. The creation and use of these early weapons of mass destruction raised profound ethical questions, which remain just as challenging and urgent today as in 1945. As a nation, we have a responsibility to grapple openly and objectively with the Manhattan Project's complex legacy.
May 18, 2013 |
SEOUL - Perhaps it is merely basic human desire to keep up with the neighbors, but an increasing number of South Koreans are saying that they want nuclear weapons too. Even in Japan, a country still traumatized by the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there is a debate about the once-taboo topic of nuclear weapons. The mere fact that the bomb is being discussed as a policy option shows how North Korea's nuclear program could trigger a new arms race in East Asia, unraveling decades of nonproliferation efforts.
May 12, 2013 |
On a nearly deserted downtown block, a small brick building fronted by a curvy neon sign heralds a bygone era here: That's when the big bombs went boom and awe-struck Las Vegas residents watched the mushroom clouds billow into the bright desert sky. At the start of the Cold War, in the 1950s and early 60s, people timed their days to watch the U.S. government's nuclear explosions at the nearby Nevada Test Site. Think of it as a small-town fair with 10,000-pound bombs serving as fireworks.
May 7, 2013 |
In schoolbook drawings, nuclei -- the protons and neutrons at the center of atoms -- are often represented as neat, spherical little bunches with nice round electron clouds circling about them. Many nuclei are, in fact, sphere-shaped, but some are not: Relationships between their constituent parts deform them into bundles shaped more like a football or a discus. And physicists have predicted that in some cases, atomic nuclei could take on even more unusual shapes: pyramids, bananas, pears.
May 1, 2013 |
Talk about some tiny pixels: Researchers at IBM have created the world's tiniest stop-motion animation film by using single atoms to tell the story of a boy named Atom and his friend, an atom. The story is cute - Atom and his friend dance together, jump together, get separated and then reunite - but you will watch it in awe because each of the 242 frames has been magnified more than 100 million times, and what you are really seeing are scientists manipulating one of the squeensiest elements in the universe.