Intl. Notebook Feb 17 2018
PEACE THROUGH POWER
Ban the bomb! The other side's bomb, we mean.


Soviet painter Nikolai Litvinov was a prolific producer of political art during the Cold War. Above you see one of his efforts—an anti-nuclear poster from printers Sovetsky Khudozhnik with text that reads: “May There Be Peace!” This is from 1959, but we've seen some purported to be from 1961, so if that's the case these were probably made throughout the early Cold War. Blaming the other side for the nuclear arms race was of course the same strategy employed by the U.S. We're going to get back to Litvinov shortly. In the meantime, you can see more Soviet propaganda here, some U.S. propaganda here, and a mixture from several countries here.

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Intl. Notebook Jul 18 2011
POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE
Hmm, I never thought of going to Los Alamos before, but I gotta say, it looks inviting.

The unusual image you see above, which probably has you just a rarin’ to book a hotel room in Los Alamos before they’re all gone, appears in authors John O’Brien and Jeremy Borsos’ recently published Atomic Postcards: Radioactive Messages from the Cold War. The book features a wide array of nuclear themed mid-century postcards, some of which were produced for educational purposes, some to influence political debate, and some—like this one—to boost tourism. All the images we’ve seen from Atomic Postcards are fascinating, and we have a feeling this will be the hottest nuclear coffee table book since Michael Light’s stunning collection of atomic images 100 Suns. Historical note: the above photo is actually from an atomic test at the Nevada Proving Ground in 1952, but as far as the Los Alamos chamber of commerce was concerned, any old mushroom cloud would do as long as it was irresistibly enticing. Mission accomplished, chamber guys. Our bags are packed. If you’d like to see more of Atomic Postcards, there’s a slideshow here, and if you’d like to see Pulp Intl.’s collection of nuke images, just click the fallout shelter icon in the sidebar. 

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Politique Diabolique Feb 24 2011
BOYS WITH TOYS
Every move you make, every step you take, they’ll be watching you... from inside a catfish.

We just couldn’t let this one pass. The CIA set up YouTube and Flickr pages this week at which you can learn everything about the agency they ever wanted you to know. For instance, you can have a laugh at some of the devices their tech eggheads cooked up during the Cold War, including an intelligence gathering dragonfly and a remote controlled catfish named—wait for it—Charlie. That’s hilarious, you see, because Charlie was a tuna on those old Starkist… um, never mind. What’s important is that the CIA, that wellspring of deadly coups and dirty wars in far-flung corners of the globe, also has a cuddly side, which the YouTube page is presumably supposed to showcase to the public, even as the egghead section is busily working on better, smaller catfish so compact they can swim right up your urethra and beam your thoughts to a central computer locatedin Virginia. Disturbingly, as of this writing most of the links on the YouTube page don’t work. We tried them, and quoth the raven: “404.” Which means, maybe they aren’t links at all. Or maybe it’s all part of a plan to make us civilians think the CIA is incompetent, and then, just when we least suspect, here come the nano-catfish up our pee holes to paste links into our brains. But we digress. Back to the YouTube page—even if some of the links don't work, the main link to cia.gov does, and we were pleasantly surprised to find that there’s a kid’s section, which we’re currently scouring for a waterboarding set-up we can mail-order for use on some troublesome local teens, or failing that, some electrified genital clamps because, well, these kids are really a pain. Anyway, you can check out the CIA Flickr page here. Or don’t. The page is interesting, but the choice is yours. We aren’t suggesting a course of action one way or the other. Doh! Our subtle reverse psychology has got even us confused. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
March 24
1981—Ronnie Biggs Rescued After Kidnapping
Fugitive thief Ronnie Biggs, a British citizen who was a member of the gang that pulled off the Great Train Robbery, is rescued by police in Barbados after being kidnapped. Biggs had been abducted a week earlier from a bar in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by members of a British security firm. Upon release he was returned to Brazil and continued to be a fugitive from British justice.
March 23
2011—Elizabeth Taylor Dies
American actress Elizabeth Taylor, whose career began at age 12 when she starred in National Velvet, and who would eventually be nominated for five Academy Awards as best actress and win for Butterfield 8 and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, dies of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles. During her life she had been hospitalized more than 70 times.
March 22
1963—Profumo Denies Affair
In England, the Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, denies any impropriety with showgirl Christine Keeler and threatens to sue anyone repeating the allegations. The accusations involve not just infidelity, but the possibility acquaintances of Keeler might be trying to ply Profumo for nuclear secrets. In June, Profumo finally resigns from the government after confessing his sexual involvement with Keeler and admitting he lied to parliament.
1978—Karl Wallenda Falls to His Death
World famous German daredevil and high-wire walker Karl Wallenda, founder of the acrobatic troupe The Flying Wallendas, falls to his death attempting to walk on a cable strung between the two towers of the Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Wallenda is seventy-three years old at the time, but it is a 30 mph wind, rather than age, that is generally blamed for sending him from the wire.
2006—Swedish Spy Stig Wennerstrom Dies
Swedish air force colonel Stig Wennerström, who had been convicted in the 1970s of passing Swedish, U.S. and NATO secrets to the Soviet Union over the course of fifteen years, dies in an old age home at the age of ninety-nine. The Wennerström affair, as some called it, was at the time one of the biggest scandals of the Cold War.
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