The nuclear option

Nuclear power was to be the fuel of the future. Scientists and marketeers alike told us of the many amazing applications the mighty could have thanks to the mighty atom. Rightly or wrongly, nuclear power has now got a bad reputation. Incidents such as Chernobyl and the events at the Fukushima plant have highlighted that when a nuclear power plant gets into trouble, it causes quite a few problems.

Geekdom is rife with images of a post-nuclear apocalyptic world, so that sounds like a great excuse for a list.

In order of deadliness with the lowest Geiger counter readings first.


This is where I spend most nights, glued to my screen.

A slight disagreement in the 1950s led to the world of Fallout, and although I have only played the third game in the series, the feeling of walking around a nuclear wasteland in the dark has never felt as scary (like I’ve been walking round lots of post-nuclear wastelands in the dark – then again I have lived in Birmingham).

Fallout is your typical Western RPG because it presents you with many good and less-good choices; should I give this beggar food and water, do I help the scientist with her research or shall I detonate this unexploded nuclear bomb in the centre of this town or not?

Dr. Strangelove

I suppose this is better defined as pre-post-apocalyptic fiction as most of the action takes place before the bombs fall. It’s on my list though as it is a laugh out loud funny film.

Obviously Peter Sellars steals every scene he is in; but seriously if you do not laugh at the big board, the fighting in the war room or the suspicious actions of the Doctor’s arm then you deserve to being left outside the mineshaft (of which there cannot be a mineshaft gap).

My Earth

As mentioned in a recent post, I have intentions to take over the planet which is probably why I enjoy playing computer games that allow me to do so. One of the first things I do when playing any such game set in the modern age (Like Supreme Commander or Hearts of Iron) is seeing how far I can push the MAD scenario.

I remember playing a game set in the run-up to the first Gulf War and my method of dealing with the Invasion of Kuwait was to nuke Iraq. Then as a precautionary measure nuke Russia and China, and France, and Germany. In fact, any country that had nuclear weapons, or if I thought they had them, or they could have done.

Even though it is only a simulation, I think this best shows why I need to be as far away from that big red launch button as possible!

The Twelve colonies

The co-ordinated attack by the Cylons wiped out twelve planet’s worth of humanity leaving only a few tens of thousands of survivors. For those yet to watch Battlestar Galactica I highly encourage you to do so, and as a result I will not spoil it by telling you what happens here. However, you are missing one of the best TV series in recent years.


Heroes : David Attenborough

Or the Wonder Of BBC Nature

As a child there was one job I thought must be the greatest in the world, you got to travel and see amazing things, entertain and educate others and seem to have an all round great time. As a child I wanted to have the job of Sir David Attenborough. Perhaps subconsciously that’s what led me to try doing both a zoology, and then a media production degree. After all surely learning how to make TV programmes and being an expert in animals is the right way to go about it?

David Attenborough has been on British TV screens for so long, and has played such an important role in our media culture that (even though not dead) he deserves some form of celebration of his life. Rather than try to convince you how good he is, I thought I would just let his actions speak for him.

Tonight I shall sit down and watch his latest. I shall feel sad that I spent my day in front of spreadsheets instead of in the wild. Think of the sights I could see rather than be in the dark windowless corner we are located.

Most of all I will be glad, glad that there is still television and presenters like David Attenborough. Of all the greatest achievements of the modern era being able to bring nature into our homes has been one of life’s greatest wonders.