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Divine Strake for Thanksgiving

By       Message Andrew Kishner     Permalink
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When you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner this week, it may be a good occasion to contemplate how your Thanksgiving meal may play out next year. Close your eyes and imagine roast-turkey rubbed with butter and iridescent sage. Piping hot from the kitchen comes, oh my, grandma's savory steamed topsoil with pureed plutonium and americium. Yum! Smell the lemon-poached chlorine. Or the tarragon-mustard phosgene! "Please pass the blue-cheese cesium-137 salad." "Do you want more of the green beans with mushrooms, cream and strontium-90?" "Is that cranberry cobalt-60 compote?" "There's no slow-sautéed europium-155 and turnips left. I didn't get any!"

Interrupting this cacophony of sights and smells, Uncle Bob lets out another violent cough. "You should have a doctor look at that cough of yours," nudges Aunt Mildred as she reaches for the spinach and neptunium-237 stuffing. "I did," replies Uncle Bob, munching on an alpha-emitting onion-herb crescent roll. "And?" inquires Bob's daughter, Meredith. "It''s my thyroid...I...ugh...Jeez. The doctor said it might be cancer." Spoonfuls of cranberry sauce crash onto china plates. Forkfuls of half-eaten sweet potatoes slowly descend from salivating mouths. Diamond-cut goblets of red wine retreat to their place settings. Seated at the head of the table, grandma begins a silent prayer.

Sometime between this year's Thanksgiving and gobble-fest 2007, turkey feed and cranberries, mushrooms and salads, and ginger and sage will be growing in soils with a few added 'nutrients': radioactivity from the Divine Strake test. The Pentagon agency in charge of the non-nuclear test recently admitted that the massive explosion planned for mid-2007 at the Nevada Test Site will expose downwinders to radioisotopes from contaminated soils at the test's ground-zero. Their contention is that the exposure to downwinders will be, at worst, the equivalent to a mere fraction of one chest x-ray. That is probably true, if no one eats or breathes. The dust cloud formed from Divine Strake would carry alpha- and beta-emitting particles that, if inhaled or ingested, would make you wish you could exchange that internal radiation exposure, which can lead to cancer, auto-immune disease or genetic damage, for one-hundred X-rays. The Pentagon also forgot to mention that the 700-ton chemical explosion will create tons of carcinogenic gasses that, along with the radioactive dust, could get picked up by the jet stream and lightly dust wieners at hot dog stands in New York or Chicago.

So, when you reach for the spinach and artichoke stuffing this year, be thankful. Be thankful as you munch on your radiation-free dinner roll that you still have a chance to learn about the alphas, betas, and gammas of radiation, inform your friends, and urge your elected leaders in Washington to ensure that Divine Strake never happens, not next year, not with a different name, and not ever.


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Andrew Kishner, former webmaster of, is author of several books about the nuclear age including 'RIG, RAD, RUN: Radiation Monitoring, Fukushima, and Our Nuclear Dystopia.'

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