Lifestyle

Please be careful

Contemporary America provides no shortage of things to be paranoid about, what with terrorism, global warming, and cyber-hacking, which constantly threatens to crash the news sites we need to scare us about terrorism and global warming. But wouldn't it be fun to indulge in a retro nightmare instead, with Nukemap?

A terrifyingly addictive Gmap that'll show you damage zones for the bomb targets of your choosing, Nukemap was just cooked up by a District science historian now working at College Park's American Institute of Physics after getting his PhD at Harvard, meaning super-smart people enjoy this thing, meaning you don't have to feel bad about doing the same. Just drag your target anywhere in the world, or jump around on a list of major cities (we're number one!), then enter your own yield size (in kilotons), or choose from frighteningly plausible options ranging from the relatively small (the "largest North Korean weapon tested" at 6 tons) to the "oh God" (The "Tsar Bombia", apparently the largest ever designed by the USSR, weighing in at 100 megatons). Press "detonate", and the map'll instantly fill with concentric circles illustrating your weapon's fireball, air blast, radiation, and thermal radiation radiuses, which is actually "radii", but is this really a time to worry about grammar? It's gone. It's all, gone.

While it's all fun and morbid games, the map's designer is quick to point out that this is actually a sobering and informative teaching tool, and has plans to eventually add graphic representation of fallout, which -- just like coverage of global warming and unconfirmed terrorist plots -- will surely be all over the map.