by Kieran Healy on July 17, 2005

While I’m here in Australia (which is not for much longer), my address can be written out almost entirely in acronyms:

Kieran Healy
“SPT”:, “RSSS”:, “ANU”:,
“ACT”: 0200, Australia.

All of these acronyms are actively in use, so a letter addressed this way would be properly delivered. Some kind of record, shurely?

Oborne on D’Oliveira

by Harry on July 17, 2005

I’m too young to remember the D’Oliveira affair in any detail, but old enough for it to have made a dent on my consciousness, and, of course, to have seen D’Oliveira in his later, post-test-playing years. I remember quite vividly the affection for him in my circles, an affection which, if I’m right, contained not a whiff of pride that England had treated him well, but an bemused pride that he had chosen England. I was aware, of course, that the South African government was composed of evil racists and that the English cricket establishment was suspected of collaboration. But what Peter Oborne’s book Basil D’Oliveira: Cricket and Controversy makes clear is the extent of that collaboration and also the extraordinary importance which the Vorster government attached to preventing D’Oliveira from being selected for the South Africa tour. The establishment (in the form of G.O. Allen, Doug Insole and Colin Cowdrey, but also many others) lied, dissembled, and tried to double cross D’Oliveira. The South African government, through its agents, simply tried to bribe him.

I should make a confession here.
[click to continue…]

Broken Arrows Before the Storm?

by John Holbo on July 17, 2005

Everyone else read Rick Perlstein’s Before the Storm months ago. But better late than never. OK, I just read about Ike’s famous military-industrial complex speech and Kennedy’s inauguration. And here’s a thing.

On January 19 [1961], the American nuclear program suffered its thirteenth “broken arrow” when a B-52 exploded in midair in Utah, luckily without any of the missiles armed; the fourteenth was ten days later when a B-52 flying a routine Strategic Air Command training mission out of Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base crashed near a North Carolina farm. The aircraft’s two nuclear bombs jettisoned and five of their six safety mechanisms were unlatched by the fall. (p. 101)

Is that as bad as it sounds? That is, did North Carolina almost blow up? Or would it just have been a (comparatively) minor matter of a serious radiation leak making some farmland uninhabitable for a period of centuries?

UPDATE: I had the date as 1960 but comments corrected me. It was my mistake, not Perlstein’s.