Super Critical Podcast - Overthinking Nuclear Pop Culture show

Super Critical Podcast - Overthinking Nuclear Pop Culture

Summary: Podcast over thinking movies about nuclear weapons with policy analysis, quasi-science, pop culture debates, and too many puns.

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 Episode #25: Blue Sky & Nuclear Test Site Visit | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:23:23

In this episode, we did some atomic tourism, first to the Nuclear Test Site and then on the emotional journey that is the 1994 melodrama, Blue Sky. How does a mild mannered nuclear test site scientist navigate radioactive cover-ups and family crises? What was it like visiting the former nuclear test site in Nevada? How do you convince your friends it would be more fun to record a podcast in a hotel room than to wander the Las Vegas Strip? Tim Westmyer and special guest Clark answer these questions and more. Before we get on our horses and ride off into the mushroom cloud, we recommend checking out: -Radio Bikini, Documentary (1998), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVwzhGtzDuI -Michael Harris, The Atomic Times: My H-Bomb Year at the Pacific Proving Ground (2010) -Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (TV) -Raphael Honigstein, Das Reboot: How German Soccer Reinvented Itself and Conquered the World (2015) Check out our website, SuperCriticalPodcast.com, for more resources and related items. We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

 Episode #24 - Nuke Cage Podcast | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 02:05:03

In this April 1st edition of the Nuke Cage Podcast, we rage about the multitude of movies where Nic Cage takes on nuclear, chemical, biological, and conventional weapons in a post-Cold War security environment. How accurate are the movies Face/Off, The Rock, Next, and Lord of War? Why has Nic Cage done so many of these films? Can we make Nic Cage an honorary NEST member already? Tim Westmyer and Tristan Volpe answer these questions and more. Follow the podcast @NukeCage and Tristan @ TeeAndersVolpe. Before we go looking for some VX rockets, we recommend checking out: -Super Critical Podcast, www.supercriticalpodcast.com -Jonathan Tucker, War of Nerves: Chemical Warfare from World War I to Al-Qaeda (2007) -In Time, movie, 2011 -Gregory Koblentz, Living Weapons: Biological Warfare and International Security (2011) -Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley, Barriers to Bioweapons: The Challenges of Expertise and Organization for Weapons Development (2014) -W. Seth Carus, Bioterrorism and Biocrimes: The Illicit Use of Biological Agents Since 1900, August 1998, https://fas.org/irp/threat/cbw/carus.pdf -W. Set Carus, Defining “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” Occasional Paper 8, January 2012, http://ndupress.ndu.edu/Portals/68/Documents/occasional/cswmd/CSWMD_OccationalPaper-8.pdf

 Episode #23: Watchmen | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 02:48:11

In this episode, who watches the Watchmen? Spoiler alert: we did and got super critical about the nuclear war plots of the Watchmen comics and movie. What will keep us from moving the Doomsday Clock to midnight? How would the Cold War play out if Nixon had a walking nuclear superhero? Does Dr. Manhattan make house calls? Tim Westmyer and special guest Luis Navarro answer these questions and more. Before we meditate our way through the multiverse, we recommend checking out: -Doomsday Clock Timeline, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, https://thebulletin.org/timeline -Richard Bensam (editor), Minutes to Midnight: Twelve Essays on Watchmen (2011) -H. Bruce Franklin (editor), Countdown to Midnight: Twelve Memorial Stories about Nuclear Warfare (1984) -Atomic Café, documentary, 1982 -Command and Control, documentary, 2016 -Zero Days, documentary, 2016 -Captain America: Nomad, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomad_(comics) Check out our website, SuperCriticalPodcast.com, for more resources and related items. We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

 Episode #22: The Man in the High Castle | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 03:05:09

In this episode, we stormed The Man in the High Castle television show to explore nukes in a world where Germany and Japan won World War II. What difference would a Nazi nuclear bomb have made in the war? How would Japan go about getting their own nuclear weapon in secret? Who is Joe Blake and why should we care? Tim Westmyer and special guest Tim Collins answer these questions and more. Follow Tim Collins, PhD candidate studying British nuclear history, on Twitter @WarAndCake. Before we meditate our way through the multiverse, we recommend checking out: -Superman: Red Son (2003) -Wolfenstein video game series (especially the reboots) -Lawrence Freedman, The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy (1981) -Transcript of Surreptitiously Taped Conversations among German Nuclear Physicists at Farm Hall (August 6-7, 1945), http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/pdf/eng/English101.pdf -That Mitchell and Webb Look, “Are We the Baddies?,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JOpPNra4bw Check out our website, SuperCriticalPodcast.com, for more resources and related items. We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

 Episode #21: Ladybug Ladybug | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:59:14

In this episode, we compared the Hawaii ballistic missile threat false alarm in real life and the 1963 film, Ladybug Ladybug. What does an elementary school do when the nuclear attack warning bell goes off? How did Americans respond to similar false alarms during the Cold War? What happens when it is North Korea’s turn to experience an IT problem? Tim Westmyer and Gabe answer these questions and more. Before we start our long walk uphill to home after school, we recommend checking out: -Episode #14: Twilight Zone – The Shelter, Super Critical Podcast -Alice L. George, Awaiting Armageddon: How Americans Faced the Cuban Missile Crisis (2004) -Force Majeure, 2014 movie -“Bart’s Comet,” The Simpsons, Season 6, Episode 14 (February 5, 1995) Check out our website, SuperCriticalPodcast.com, for more resources and related items. We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

 Mini-Nuke Episode #9: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:46:35

In this episode, we passed the nuclear test of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. How did Indiana Jones end up facing down a nuclear mushroom cloud? Can a lead-lined fridge serve as a decent fallout shelter? Is Indiana Jones an immortal superbeing? Tim Westmyer, Gabe, and special guest Alex answer these questions and more. This is the ninth in our Mini-Nuke episode series, where we overthink movies with a smaller slice of nuclear weapons plot than our usual full-sized episodes. Before we locked the fridge door, we recommend checking out: -Nightbreaker (1989 TV movie) -Doom Towns: The People and Landscapes of Nuclear Testing, A Graphic History (2016) -Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory YouTube page on nuclear tests -The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (TV Show) Credit to Karl Golden on YouTube for his awesome metal cover of the Indiana Jones theme. Check out our website, SuperCriticalPodcast.com, for more resources and related items. We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

 Mini-Nuke Episode #8: The Leftovers | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:43:41

In this episode, we pondered the nuke plot mysteries of HBO's The Leftovers, especially season 3. How easy is it for a random French sailor to launch a nuclear missile? Can forcing the president to kill one person make them think twice about starting nuclear war? What the heck was the departure anyway? Tim Westmyer and Joel answer these questions and more in Joel’s last episode as a regular co-host. This is the eighth in our Mini-Nuke episode series, where we overthink movies with a smaller slice of nuclear weapons plot than our usual full-sized episodes. Before we departed, we recommend checking out: -“Buttons, Not Buttons,” Radiolab Podcast, December 12, 2014, www.radiolab.org/story/buttons-not-buttons/ -Bruno Tertrais, “The Last Nation to Disarm? The Future of France’s Nuclear Weapons,” The Nonproliferation Review 14 no 2, 2007, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10736700701379344 -LOST -Nash Bridges Check out our website, SuperCriticalPodcast.com, for more resources and related items. We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

 Episode #20: Octopussy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:59:05

In this episode, we paid our respects to the late Roger Moore and all the times he stopped a nuclear war by watching the movie Octopussy. Could a rogue Soviet commander trick Europe into disarming its own nuclear weapons? Why did the United States have so many nukes in Europe? How easy is it for James Bond to disarm a nuke while wearing clown makeup? Tim, Gabe, and returning special guest Alex answer these questions and more. Thanks to our listeners for dealing with the November 2017 hiatus of episodes while Tim moved into a new place and barely survived holiday family visits. Before our M gives us another mission, we recommend checking out: -James Bonding Podcast, Earwolf, http://www.earwolf.com/show/james-bonding/ -Amy Woolf, “Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons,” CRS Report, February 21, 2017, https://fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL32572.pdf -License to Kill (1989) Also check out the sources below to learn more about the subjects in this episode – you can also access these links on our website, SuperCriticalPodcast.com. -James Bond disarming the bomb, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vPUsPcUYDQ -Awesome Soviet conference table, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x99njmZxaMA -Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris, Worldwide Deployments of Nuclear Weapons, 2014, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September 1, 2014, http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0096340214547619 -Michaela Dodge, “U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe: Critical for Transatlantic Security,” Heritage Foundation, February 18, 2014, http://www.heritage.org/defense/report/us-nuclear-weapons-europe-critical-transatlantic-security#_ftnref7 -William Arkin, “America’s Nuclear Weapons in Europe Are the Nuclear Elephant in the Room,” Vice News, March 31, 2016, https://news.vice.com/article/american-nuclear-weapons-in-belgium-kleine-brogel -Nader Elhefnawny, James Bond's Evolution: From Casino Royale to Spectre, 2015, https://books.google.com/books?id=q92nCgAAQBAJ -David Williams, “Why Octopussy is the Best (and Possibly Worst) James Bond Film, GQ, February 2015, http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/louis-jourdan-octopussy-james-bond-007-kamal-khan-roger-moore -Lukas Hechenblaickner, Alexander Walter, Verena Kastenhuber and Michael Hoffman, “The Nuclear Menace in James Bond Movies,” Atoms for Europe Blog, https://atomsforeu.hypotheses.org/group-e-popular-culture We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on iTunes, Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay Music, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

 Episode #19: Fallout | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 02:33:01

In this episode, we wandered into the wasteland and played the Fallout video game series. What does this particularly popular post-apocalypse tell us about life after nuclear war? Is the video game series realistic in how it portrays nuclear devastation? How much can you mix together comedy and utter bleakness before you go a little insane? Tim and special guest Lucy Steigerwald answer these questions and more. Follow Lucy on Twitter at @LucyStag and her Apocalypse Project at www.TheStagBlog.com. Before our Rad count gets too high, we recommend checking out: -Metro 2033 video game series -Lovely Umayam, “Why the Excitement Over Post-Nuclear-War Game Fallout 4?” The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, November 4, 2015 -Eileen Welsome, The Plutonium Files: America’s Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War, 1999 -Walter M. Miller Jr, A Canticle for Liebowitz, 1960 -Neil Shute, On The Beach, 1957 -Robert McCammon, Swan Song, 1987 -Jericho, CBS, TV Show Check out our website, SuperCriticalPodcast.com, for more resources from this episode. We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on iTunes, Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay Music, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

 Episode #18: Star Trek First Contact | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:32:51

In this episode, we decide to break the ice and watch the Star Trek movie First Contact. Is global thermonuclear war a necessary prerequisite for realizing the utopian vision of Star Trek? How did a Titan II ICBM help humanity go where no man has gone before? Why did Zefram Cochrane get a statue before Lily Sloane? Tim, Gabe, and special guest Manu Saadia (author of Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek) answer these questions and more. You can follow Manu Saadia on Twitter @Trekonomics. We greatly enjoyed his book, Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek (May 2016). (Tim edit on 9/18: There was an encoding error in the original podcast file. It should be fixed now) Before we get noticed by some Vulcans, we recommend checking out: -F. White, The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution, 1998 -Disaster at Silo 7, TV Movie,1988 -Command and Control, Documentary, 2016 -Peter Brannen, The Ends of the World: : Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions, June 2017 -The Next Generation, “The Best of Both Worlds,” Season 3, Episode 26, June 1990 Also check out the sources below to learn more about the subjects in this episode – you can also access these links on our website, SuperCriticalPodcast.com. Thanks to TrekCore.com for some of the sound effects used in this episode. We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on iTunes, Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay Music, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

 Mini-Nuke #7: The Interview | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:21:18

In this episode, we sat down with North Korea to conduct a podcast about The Interview (2014). Is North Korea’s nuclear weapon program a laughing matter or something to worry about? How does the Kim family stay in power? How to do you show ‘em what your worth when fireworks are banned in your city? Tim Westmyer and special guest Gabe answer these questions and more. This is the seventh in our Mini-Nuke episode series, where we overthink movies with a smaller slice of nuclear weapons plot than our usual full-sized episodes. Before we look to see if our tourist trip to North Korea had refundable airfare, we recommend checking out: -Arms Control Wonk podcast and blog -Barbara Dimmick, “Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea,” 2009 -North Korea Economy Watch -Team America: World Police I'll put up more resources in the coming days here and on show's website, SuperCriticalPodcast.com, for more resources and related items. We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

 Episode #17: The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:05:19

In this episode, we went to the children’s section of the library to read The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss. Does this 1984 book have anything to tell us about the dangers of the Cold War arms race? What is the right age to start talking to your kids about nuclear war? Why wasn’t there a Goosebumps book about nuclear winter? Tim, his sister Diana, and his 7-year old nephew Jairus answer these questions and more. Before we fly/hop away in our Utterly Sputter, we recommend checking out: -Ellen Goodman, “Dr. Seuss and the Bomb,” New York Times, April 24, 1984 -“The Butter Battle Book,” Turner Network Television, YouTube, 1989 -Dr. Seuss, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go,” 1990 -Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, “Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb," 2012 -Patricia Brennan Demuth, “What Was D-Day,” 2015 (Thanks for the recommendation, Jairus!) Also check out the sources below to learn more about the subjects in this episode – you can also access these links on our website, SuperCriticalPodcast.com. We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on iTunes, Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay Music, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

 Episode #16: Threads | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 02:48:05

In this extra long episode, we ruined all our sweaters by pulling at the 1984 TV movie, Threads. What would nuclear war look like to average people in an average city in the United Kingdom? How did the British plan to survive a nuclear attack? How do you mind the gap when the gap is a 100-meter crater at a radioactive ground zero? Tim and his special guest co-host Tim Collins (@WarAndCake) answer these questions and more. Before we the news anchors switched to local sports and the weather, we recommend: -When the Wind Blows, 1986 -The books of Jonathan Schell, including Fate of the Earth, The Abolition, and The Gift of Time -Nate Jones, Able Archer 83 : The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War, 2016 -Peter Hennessey, The Secret State: Preparing for the Worst 1945-2001, 2010 -The Letter of Last Resort, BBC Radio 4 Saturday Drama Also check out the sources below to learn more about the subjects in this episode – you can also access these links on our website, SuperCriticalPodcast.com. Thanks again to Tim Collins for being a guest on the podcast. He is a Ph.D. candidate at King’s College London studying early British nuclear history and you can follow him on Twitter @WarAndCake. We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on iTunes, Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay Music, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

 Episode #15: Special Bulletin | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:57:23

In this episode, we tuned our TV dial to watch the 1983 TV movie, Special Bulletin. How would local broadcast news cover a nuclear terrorism incident? How would the federal government and the news media handle this crisis? WWWBD (What Would Wolf Blitzer Do)? Tim and Joel answer these questions and more. Before the news anchors switched to local sports and the weather, we recommend: -Countdown to Looking Glass, TV movie,1984 -Peter Kuran, How to Photograph an Atomic Bomb (VCE, 2006) -One Day in September, documentary, 1999 Also check out our website, SuperCriticalPodcast.com, for more resources related to the topic of this episode. We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on iTunes, Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay Music, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

 Episode 14: Twilight Zone - The Shelter | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:22:56

In this episode, we sought shelter in the Twilight Zone and watched the 1962 episode, “The Shelter.” What was the deal with everyone building fallout shelters in the 1960s? Would you share a cozy shelter with friends and neighbors who neglected to build one? What should you prioritize in your shelter: food, water, medicine, a surround sound system, or a Jacuzzi? Tim and Joel answer these questions and more. Before we double lock our fallout shelter door, we recommend: -Nukes of Hazard, Hosted by Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation -“Bart’s Comet,” The Simpsons (February 5, 1995) -Twilight Zone Podcast, Hosted by Tom Elliot For more resources on the topics in this episode, you visit our website at SuperCriticalPodcast.com. We aim to have at least one new episode every month. Let us know what you think about the podcast and any ideas you may have about future episodes and guests by reaching out at on iTunes, Twitter @NuclearPodcast, GooglePlay Music, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, Facebook, SuperCriticalPodcast@gmail.com, and YouTube. Enjoy!

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