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With the minimally-designed Cyber-shot RX100, Sony puts a large sensor in a pocket camera—and with it, the promise of much higher-quality photographs. It comes with a 28-100mm-equivalent F1.8-4.9 image-stabilized 3x-zoom lens, and that 20MP Exmor CMOS sensor—about a third the size of APS-C—captures raw. On the back, a 3" LCD display and pop-up flash. The catch: it's $650. Imaging Resource has an exhaustive review.

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Mind Blowing Movies: Inserts (1974)

[Video Link] Inserts could never be made today. It's too politically incorrect, and it would be difficult to find talented actors and actresses to essay its mentally and (in a sense) physically demanding roles. However, I've just finished watching Inserts for what must be the 30th time, and I'm as big a fan of this movie today as I was when I first discovered it in 1979. I'm only hoping that this review inspires you to go out and rent this R-rated classic so you can form your own opinions, rather than relying on either mine… or Leonard Maltin's ("Pretentious, unending nonsense… Dreadful") or Mick Martin's ("Dreary").

Inserts is the story of two afternoon hours in the life of The Boy Wonder (hereafter "The BW") (Dreyfuss), a former mainstream silent film director who's lost his nerve, and who, as the film opens (in the early 1930s), is reduced to making porno movies in his mansion. The Boy Wonder's "set" is in the corner of his spacious living room … but it may not be there for long. His neighborhood is undergoing urban renewal, as Los Angeles begins to build the first of its maze of freeways, and the roar of giant earth-moving machines can be heard continually from outside. It's obvious from his constant swigging of cognac that The BW has completely lost respect for himself, but his porn career provides a manageable balance between his fear of working in "the real movies" and his need to be behind the camera, directing something

His star is Harlene (Cartwright), an ex-mainstream actress who used to "pork [Von Stroheim] plenty when he was straight." Now, she's a waitress by day and a cocaine addict in her off-hours… and The BW's sort-of girlfriend, even though, we soon find out, he's psychically impotent.

The Boy Wonder's backer is Big Mac (Hoskins), an obvious parody of the Louis B. Mayer/Jack Warner cliché. Mac is a stereotypical Hollywood producer with fingers in many pies. He already has plans to build a series of identical gas stations and hamburger joints along the new "fastways," expecting motorists to be so confused, they'll just drive up and throw their money out, not knowing whether they'll receive food or fuel. (Yes, I know you're groaning at the obvious McDonald's reference, but the characters themselves are oblivious to it. The milieu is the early '30s, and "fast food" is not yet a cultural icon.)

Next to arrive is Steven Davies as Rex "The Wonder Dog," a gravedigger by profession who picks up a few extra bucks as a porn stud once the digging's done. He's the lowbrow type who never quite understands what's asked of him, either on or off camera. For instance, when The Boy Wonder tries to set up a scene using Rex's ascot as a murder weapon, he instructs, "Why deliver a crude blow to her face when the means are at hand for you to render your vengeance through the very instrument of your anguish … the very vehicle of her ridicule?" -- and he’s met with Rex's blank expression, till The BW finally explodes with, "The ascot, Rex; strangle her with the fucking ascot, you orangutan." 

In the midst of filming Big Mac shows up with his girlfriend, Cathy Cake (Harper) -- and the problems begin. For one thing, Mac's the paymaster, so he gives Rex his salary -- and Harlene a good-sized bag of cocaine, which she hurries upstairs to use. (As she's leaving, after failing to find her "lucky necktie," The Boy Wonder says, "You know, Harlene, you don't need that stuff." "You don't need it," she replies. "I do. I ain't got your 'magination.")

Almost needless to say, Harlene dies of an overdose -- this isn't a comedy -- but after a short pause (BW: "Will you let me think!"), The Boy Wonder decides he can use her anyway. Rex refuses (Rex: "You want me to do it with a stiff?!"), and Mac talks Rex into helping him bury the body in an unmarked grave. Mac's a little hesitant about leaving The Boy Wonder and Cathy alone, but then he laughs and tells Rex, "Don't you know about this guy? He couldn't get his rope to rise with a magic flute." 

Exit Mac, Rex and the corpse, leaving The Boy Wonder noodling at the piano, and Cathy looking not-exactly-innocent on the couch. She looks at him, he looks at her … and here's where the story really begins; a sort of drama which has been played out in the entertainment industry (and not just the adult part) since its beginnings. Their dialogue goes as follows:

Cathy: What did he mean by 'getting your rope to rise'? Do you do magic tricks?

BW: All but that one, Miss Cake.…

Cathy: Did you really want that boy Rex to do it with her when she was dead?

BW: Listen, Miss Cake…

Cathy: I think you meant it, all right. I bet you're not afraid of anything. Like what you were doing when we came in here. I never saw anything so intense in all my life. You didn't even know we were here. I bet you didn't even know what time it was. I bet you never think about things like that. I remember once when I was in college, I stayed up all night to write an essay. I didn't worry about what time it was once.

BW: Miss Cake, I'm going to have to ask you for silence now.…

Cathy: You're upset. She was a good friend of yours, wasn't she?

BW: Miss Cake…

Cathy: Why don't you call me Cathy?

Look, I know she was a good friend of yours and that you're upset. But I think maybe what's really bothering you is that you've got half a movie done and your leading lady is in the trunk of Big Mac's car. Isn't that really it? I mean, look, you can tell me, because I for one don't think you're out of your noodle particularly.

BW: That's a very kind thing for you to say.

Cathy: I don't know so much about your rope not rising and such either, because I've seen you work. I saw you when we came in. You may still be just a ghost story to this Clark Gable [who, though never seen, is periodically heard knocking on the mansion’s door], but I've seen you work. And while I was watching you, I thought about what he said about 'being good, but you could make him great.' Because, you know, I'm going to be in the movies. Big Mac's gonna put me in the movies.

BW: That's what he said.

Cathy: So he said. And he's going to, too; don't you worry about that.

BW: Do I look worried to you, Miss Cake?

Cathy: Don't get mad. I'm just trying to tell you, I think you're a genius. I've seen every movie you've ever made... like everybody else. And I want to be in the movies... like everybody else. Only I'm really going to be, because Big Mac thinks I'd be pretty hot stuff up there.

BW: So he said.

Cathy: So he said. Yeah, but the guy's a hamburger; you know it and I know it, so why should we kid ourselves?

BW: Why indeed?

Cathy: But he's not so dumb that he didn't offer you a six-picture contract when everybody else thought you were a ghost story. And you're not so dumb that you didn't take it — and I'm not so dumb as you think. So let's talk freely like two mature adults.

BW: By all means, let's. What's on your mind, toots?

Cathy: Well, I want you to make me great. I want you to teach me what are inserts…

BW: Watch your step, Miss Cake.

Cathy: Why?

BW: Because you're making me like you a little bit too fast.

Cathy: Why don't you call me Cathy?

BW: Why don't you take off your blouse?

[She does.]

BW: Okay. Okay, Miss Cake. Let's see exactly how far down into it we can get.

Cathy: Into what?

BW: Into the valley of indecency.

Cathy: Well, that's a pretty crummy way of looking at it.

BW: The trick, Miss Cake, is not to look at it at all, but simply limp to the edge of patience and watch yourself fall.

Look up here, please. [He adjusts some lights.] Hot, Miss Cake. Hot work.

Cathy: I can take it.

BW: I'm sure you can. But the day will come, Miss Cake, when you can't.

Cathy: Not for me.

BW: Perhaps not. But if you're any good, it will. And then, Miss Cake, you will be faced with the penultimate decision: Do you do the intelligent thing and bow out gracefully, or do you continue, against all that is holy, and make up your mind to vanish once and for all into the mists of self?

Cathy: I'll go on, no matter what. I want to be in the movies. I want to be a star.

BW: Oh -- you mean, you want to be both? Well, then, you'll be faced with the ultimate choice, won't you? You're going to have to pick someone to abuse. The person closest to you generally fits the bill, which, by then, Miss Cake, will be you…

Cathy: Do you mind my asking, what happened to you? I mean, what made you like this? You had a brilliant future.

BW: I fulfilled it, Miss Cake, at an early age. I'm The Boy Wonder; that's all that happened to me…

No, no, no -- unwrap the meat.

Cathy: "The meat"?

 [The BW tilts the camera down to her chest.]

Cathy: You're trying to offend me.

BW: On the contrary, Miss Cake, I never have to try this early in the game. Now, come on -- get the goods out; declassé les décolleté.

Cathy: Well, first, tell me what are inserts?

BW: Inserts, Miss Cake, are close-ups; garish interludes in the progress of the whole. Now, unwrap the meat.

Cathy: If these inserts are so garish, why do you bother?

BW: Because keeping the whole in perspective is quite a taxing little horror, Miss Cake. Unwrap the meat.

Cathy: You unwrap it.

BW: Let's not play games, Miss Cake; what do you say?

Cathy: I say you ought to take some pictures of my face first. After all, that's what they'll be photographing in the real movies.

BW: Perhaps so. Perhaps so -- but it's your meat they're going to be thinking about.…

Now, Miss Cake, here's the scene: You are being raped -- raped and strangled with a silken ascot. I'd like you to think about that; think about that, and act accordingly. It's that simple.

Cathy: What do you mean, 'act'? The camera isn't even on my face.

BW: Miss Cake, anybody could do this part with the camera on their face; anybody. That's where the challenge comes in, you see. You are being asked to express yourself through your tits, you see.

The above dialogue is merely a taste of some of the fine interaction between Dreyfuss and Harper as she alternates coy innocence with seduction, and he finds himself drawn deeper into her game -- and his "rope" regains the ability to "rise." Tough. Tender. Cynical. Insightful. Gritty. Inserts is all of these, plus it has a heavy undercurrent of social commentary, plus it gets further inside at least one unexplored corner of Hollywood -- the early porn "industry" -- than anyone has ever dared, before or since. How many actors and actresses, no matter what the genre, have already "picked someone to abuse"? And how many have made it obvious in the media that that person is themselves? Robert Downey, Jr. comes immediately to mind, as does John Belushi. How many actresses in the "real movies" must know, deep down inside, that what the audience is really interested in is their "meat"? Couldn't you name a dozen off the top of your head? 

And speaking of acting, consider this later exchange, which occurs after The Boy Wonder has shot some insert footage of Cathy with her blouse off, but she balks at going further:

BW: Oh, look; you said you want to be brilliant.

Cathy: You said I hadn't reached my peak.

BW: You hadn't.

Cathy: I was good. I was damn good and you know it.

BW: But you said you wanted to be great.

Cathy: They would have said I was great in the real movies.

BW: But you and I know that you aren't, don't we? Don't we?

Cathy: Yes.

BW: And you and I know you didn't even know what tits were till I told you what they were, don't we?

Cathy: Yes.

BW: And we know it's not a very mature, adult way, for you to go all resentful now, before we know what else you've got, don't we?

Cathy: Yes.

BW: Sure. Now lay back down on the bed. [pause] And you'll know when to go resentful on me, because it will be the first idea that you get that I don't give you -- and then you're going to hog it all for yourself.

Do you mind if I ask you a question, Miss Cake? This essay you stayed up all night to write, was it your own work?

Cathy: What are you talking about? Of course it was.

BW: You, Miss Cake, spent all night slaving over a composition of your own device? [laughs] Come on, Miss Cake --

Cathy: You don't believe me.

BW: Spending all of anything, Miss Cake, requires a bit of self-confidence.

Cathy: Okay; so maybe I did copy it out of a book. You think that makes me stupid or something?

BW: Not at all; merely a thief. Hey, look, the ability to steal from the thoughts of others is merely an indication of industry, Miss Cake. What passes for genius is when you have the ability to steal from your own.

Cathy: So --

BW: So if you want to reach your peak, you better be prepared to rob yourself blind…

Now, are you ready?

Cathy: Yup.

BW: Really? What are you going to do?

Cathy: Lie back on the bed.

BW: And do what?

Cathy: What I did before.

BW: Why?

Cathy: Because the [camera] wind ran out.

BW: No.

Cathy: Because I did it well?

BW: No.

Cathy: Why then?

BW: Because I would have told you if I wanted you to do something different -- and women, contrary to popular opinion, never know when to open their mouths, even to ask.

Inserts, despite its brushes with misogyny, is about filmmaking, about fear, about porn, about love, about art -- and there are so many life lessons to be learned from this film that it should be required viewing in any college media course... and maybe a few Human Sexuality courses as well. True, in some ways, the film is too realistic for some tender psyches, and there are short stretches where the only purpose is mood-setting, that some would call "boring." Few movies, however, have engendered such strong emotions in their viewers; they either love it or hate it -- but I have to wonder how much of the disparagement and defamation from which this film has suffered is due to its having succeeded in mirroring the real world… which, as most of us know, can be quite a taxing little horror.

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Oh, you know how we at BB love baseball player Dock Ellis who in 1970 pitched a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates while tripping balls on LSD. Ellis was quite a character. I hope this film about Ellis, titled "No No: A Dockumentary," gets finished! From the Kickstarter page:

During his 12 years in the major leagues, Dock lived the expression "black is beautiful." He wore curlers on the field. He stepped out of his Cadillac wearing the widest bell bottoms and the broadest collars. When he put on his uniform, he was one of the most intimidating pitchers of the 1970s.

Dock was often at the forefront of controversy and has been called the “Muhammad Ali of Baseball.” He was an outspoken leader of a new wave of civil rights in sports, when black athletes were no longer content to accept second-class treatment or keep their mouths shut about indignities. For this, the press labeled him a militant.

But that’s only half the story…

After Dock retired from baseball, he was as outspoken about his addictions to alcohol and amphetamines (aka “greenies”) as he had been about racial prejudice during his career. He spent his last decades using that blunt honesty as a counselor helping other addicts, until his death from liver disease in 2008.

"No No: A Dockumentary (about Dock Ellis)" (Thanks, Jenn Shreve and a half!)

 

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Henry Rothwell has an epically long, epically snarky review of Prometheus, entertainingly and engagingly written. Its fundamental point is that science fiction films are visually consistent, not logically consistent (the opposite of science fiction novels, which is why I'm a pain in the ass to take to sf movies). Rothwell gets there by pretty humorous means.

The first duty of the captain is, naturally, to decorate the Christmas tree. Because it’s Christmas apparently. Charlize Theron reminds him that there is a mission briefing. He informs her that he has yet to have breakfast. He’s been asleep for two years, and decides to decorate a Christmas tree (while smoking a cigar in a closed environment) before he has breakfast. We realise that the crew selection procedure was yet another casualty of the cuts required to ensure that they had a sodding big spaceship (SBS from here on in).

At the breakfast table a rather nice biologist (played by Raef Spall, son of Timothy) introduces himself to a grumpy geologist, who is very rude. Later on, he confirms he’s the geologist, by shouting “I’m a geologist, I fucking love rocks!” as if that was the most pressing point that needed explaining. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. The current point that needs explaining is the implication that these two crew members have managed to make it this far without actually meeting each other, and are plainly incompatible. It seems that at least one part of the crew selection procedure took the form of a raffle at an arsehole convention.

Prometheus: an archaeological perspective (sort of).

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Mm200This week, Boing Boing is presenting a series of essays about movies that have had a profound effect on our invited essayists. See all the essays in the Mind Blowing Movies series here. -- Mark

Ghost World, A Movie That Knocked My Socks Off, by Amy Crehore

[Video Link] It starts out with an absolutely unforgettable and insane music video of an East Indian dance number from a 1965 Bollywood production (Gumnaam). A young teenager named Enid rocks out wickedly in front of a television set, wearing a cap and gown in a bedroom crammed with clothes and familiar-looking junk.

I knew it was going to be good, but I had no idea that the movie Ghost World (2001) would bathe me in such an uncanny sense of deja vu from start to finish. The characters are so real and familiar that they could have been based on my friends and me.

Director Terry Zwigoff had previously spent almost a decade making a documentary about his friend R. Crumb, the legendary comic artist. Crumb (1994) had been a grueling project, but the film made a big splash when it came out and he was rewarded with new opportunities.

In 2001, his first full-length fictional film was released and I was curious to see it. It is based on an earlier Daniel Clowes' comic called Ghost World, which features two teenage girl characters, Enid and Rebecca. The collaboration between Zwigoff and Clowes for the movie proved to be immensely fruitful with each adding his own personal nuances to the adapted screenplay.

Enid is played by Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson is Becky, her sidekick. The two best friends bounce deadpan observations off each other like a classic comedy team, constantly mocking the people and situations around them. Enid is the flamboyant, anti-establishment, artistic one. Becky is the quieter, more conservative friend with a hoarse voice whom the boys seemed to prefer. They sport the same funky clothes and youthful bravado that I shared with my friends and the same hidden unease about what the future might hold.

Steve Buscemi plays a nerdy, middle-age, obsessive collector of 78 records named Seymour who crosses paths with the girls. They find his number on a lonely hearts personal ad. Just for kicks, when they are bored, they call him up. The girls spy on him after they lure him to a new '50s diner. Seymour has such a perfect, worn-out, real-life quality. Apparently, this character is based on Terry Zwigoff himself.

In the late 1970s, Terry Zwigoff had played cello and mandolin in a band featuring R. Crumb called The Cheap Suit Serenaders. Collecting old music on 78s from the '20s and '30s and playing authentic old instruments is their passion.

I can relate to that. My friends and I subscribed to a magazine called 78 Quarterly, collected vintage National and Gibson guitar-family instruments and banjos, played '20s and '30s ragtime blues music in a hokum band. We bought underground comic books and even published our own comic book. We collected R Crumb's trading cards of country blues and early Jazz performers.

In fact, one of my favorite parts of the documentary Crumb was when R. Crumb pulled out Geeshie Wiley's plaintive "Last Kind Words Blues" (1930) from his shelves of 78s and put it on the record player. Ghost World proved to be just as satisfying to me when I saw Seymour's room full of vintage stuff. Zwigoff brought his own collection of 78s, antiques, blues posters and ephemera to the set. When Enid played Skip James' "Devil Got My Woman" for the first time, a record she got at Seymour's yard sale, it practically made me cry. She declared Seymour's room to be her dream room. It is mine, too. I noticed an art deco mandolin hanging on the wall.

We follow these two girls as they while away the summer after their high school graduation ceremony. Enid has to repeat art class in summer school to get her diploma. The art class is just like my own class in art school, complete with the hippie teacher played to perfection by Illeana Douglas who desperately wants her students' art to have meaning. I hung out in many a diner with friends and drew in sketchbooks just like Enid.

As Enid becomes closer to Seymour to escape her dysfunctional home life and uncertain future, Becky gets a job and looks for an apartment. At one point, Enid spies a giant vintage logo from the '30s in Seymour's room for a chicken restaurant franchise called "The Coon Chicken Inn". I was in Portland when I saw this movie for the first time and I knew that there had been a Coon Chicken Inn in Portland. As depicted on old postcards, the building had a huge head of a black man with a giant open mouth for the entrance to the restaurant. Zwigoff seamlessly weaves the ending to his film around this real-life piece of black ephemera.

Seymour admits to Enid that he has worked at Cook's Chicken Inn for the last 19 years, previously known as the Coon Chicken Inn. He shows Enid examples of the old logo and its transition to the new fictitious one (drawn by Daniel Clowes). Enid grabs the earlier logo for her art class and calls it a found object that challenges us to think about racism. Her teacher loves it, but the image ends up in an art show and creates a scandal.

Zwigoff and Clowes came up with lots of other fun details that ring true: a porno shop where Enid buys a catwoman mask, a nunchucks guy that hangs in the parking lot of the convenience store, an obnoxious honky "blues" band that performs after an authentic ragtime blues player in a bar, a surreal man who sits on a bench waiting for a bus that never seems to come.

This movie is perfectly constructed, beautifully shot and impeccably cast. It is one of the few films that I own a DVD of and can watch over and over again. Hey, who would have ever predicted that young Scarlett Johansson would become the glamorous movie star she is today? Thora Birch, however, is the real star here. Her Enid is unforgettable.

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Hostilities erupted this weekend between two ice cream truck operators in Blackburn, England, leaving both their vehicles damaged. According to a local quoted by Lancashire Telegraph, children watched in horror as "Mr Yummy jumped out of his van and smashed Mr Whippy’s window."

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There are few things quite as tense as watching one volcanologist mutter, "Oh my god. He's crazy. He's crazy," while watching another volcanologist scramble around the edge of a caldera.

It only gets more tense when you realize that the volcano in question is Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo—which has some of the fastest-moving lava flows ever recorded. The key feature of Nyiragongo is that lake of lava in the center of the crater that you see in the video. In January 1977, the lava lake was 2000 feet deep. When the volcano erupted later that month, the lake emptied dry in less than an hour. Lava was clocked at 40 mph.

Video clip from the BBC's "Journey to the Center of the Planet"

More about the program this came from.

Via EstudandoGeologia and Chris Rowan

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Mm200This week, Boing Boing is presenting a series of essays about movies that have had a profound effect on our invited essayists. See all the essays in the Mind Blowing Movies series here. -- Mark

Mind Blowing Movies: Poltergeist (1982), by Kirk Demarais

[Video Link] It's a shame that movie laughs and thrills don't have the staying power that terror has. It makes sense though, laughter and excitement aren't as crucial to survival as fear-based cinematic life lessons such as: never sleep with a clown at the foot of your bed.

As enticing as the trailer was, I never even considered asking my folks to let me watch Poltergeist (1982). The closest thing to a horror flick that I'd seen was The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) starring Don Knotts, a film that firmly stamped my brain with an image of garden shears stuck in the neck of a lady's portrait that leaked real blood.

"Coming up next...Poltergeist." announced my friend Eric's television set. His TV wasn't like mine, it had a new, plastic box on top that unlocked a pricey service called Home Box Office. After the metallic HBO soared through space I found myself watching the opening credits. A rush of guilt prompted me to run to the kitchen phone where I called my mom. Back then I'd rather ask for permission than forgiveness.

I briefly stated my case, which concluded with, "It's rated PG so it can't be that bad." Unbelievably, she allowed me to proceed. It really is rated PG, I know because I double checked the TV guide right after I watched a man peel off his own face. But the gore alone wasn't the mind blower, what eventually got to me was the relatability of it all.

The specters weren't picking on lustful teenagers or Don Knotts, they were terrorizing a normal American family, specifically the kids! The on-screen details confirmed that this could happen to me. The victims were consumers of Chee-Tos, Pizza Hut, and Star Wars action figures, all things that would have charted on my personal list of life's little joys. I too had a younger, blonde, pajama-wearing sister, but not only that, my sister had the very same wicker headboard that Carol Anne clings to as the evil spirits attempt to suck her into the closet. The ghosts might as well have been haunting my house.

This realism was so convincing that for months my brain conducted nightly mental drills in an effort to prepare me for living tree attacks, and tumbles into corpse-filled swimming pools. When my parents stopped letting me invade their bed, I slept with the overhead light on. Eventually I was able to shake the paranoia by simply embracing the fact that ghosts aren't real. That was right about the time I saw The Day After, the made-for-TV movie that first introduced me to the concept of nuclear warfare. How I long for my ghost-fearing days.

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Perfectly-executed skateboard tricks seen through the magic of super-slow motion. Makes it look easy, doesn't it? Actually, never mind. It doesn't.

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Jonathan Fetter-Vorm's Trinity is a nonfiction book-length comic for adults about the birth of nuclear weapons. It covers the wartime events that spawned the idea of a nuclear weapons program, the intense period of wrangling that gave rise to the Manhattan Project, the strange scientific town in the New Mexico desert that created the A-bomb, the tactical and political decision-making process that led to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the unspeakable horror experienced by the people in those cities and the existential crises the Nuclear Age triggered for scientists, politicians, and the world at large. Though this is primarily a history book, Trinity is also a pretty good nuclear physics primer, making good use of the graphic novel form to literally illustrate the violence of atoms tearing themselves apart, and the weird, ingenious, improvised mechanisms for triggering and controlling that violence.

I think Trinity is a very good book. It manages to be short and straightforward without being crude or lacking nuance. Fetter-Vorm does a great job of bringing the personalities involved in the bomb's creation to life, and to show the way that human relationships -- as much as physics -- resulted in the bomb's invention and use. He walks a fine, non-partisan line on the need to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, opting instead to lay out the facts in a (to my eye) fair and neutral way that neither argues that the bombing was a necessity, nor that it was a callous whim from a military apparatus that wanted to test out its latest gadget.

More than anything, though, Trinity is unflinching in counting the human cost of the bomb. The pages given over to the aftermath in the bombed cities are, if anything, understated. No gross-outs here. But they manage to convey so much horror that I had to stop reading so I could finish my lunch. Also wrenching, in its own way, is the section on the impact that the news from Japan had on the Trinity scientists and their families. Fetter-Vorm does a credible (and disturbing) job of putting you in the shoes of people who wanted to "end the war," but who found no respite in the war's end, as they struggled with the feeling of blood on their hands.

Trinity illuminates a turning-point in human history, and does so with admirable pace, grace, and skill.

Trinity

(Excerpted from TRINITY: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb, by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, to be published by Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC in June 2012. Text copyright © 2012 by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm and Michael Gallagher. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm. All rights reserved.)

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