Backstory: Terrible (and Real) Ideas from the Cold War

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The Cold War may have ended 20 years ago, but the constant threat of nuclear annihilation and the unlimited scientific potential of the atom led to some truly "out there" thinking, and we’re not just talking about Edward Teller’s idea to detonate an atomic bomb on the moon. The Kennedy Administration considered using nuclear explosions to widen the Panama Canal, the U.S. Postal Service wrote a 300-page plan detailing how to deliver the mail in the event of an atomic apocalypse, and the Soviets actually built a Doomsday Machine. We’ll talk to energy and science writer Alexis Madrigal and Wired magazine senior editor Nicholas Thompson.

You can read Alexis Madrigal’s blog here.

You can read Nicholas Thompson’s article on the Soviet Doomsday Machine here.