austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Soon the man who sweeps the room brings the secret telegram

Just after noon, the Civil Defence Force tested the public warning system, a 118-decibel sound produced by 280 sirens island-wide, which cover 97 percent of the residential areas. They've been warning about the annual exercise, to raise public awareness of the system, few nights. The student meeting me listened to it, and guessed someone's car alarm was going off uselessly. He didn't know there was going to be a siren test, or, apparently, just what the siren sounded like. They maybe need to test the siren more often. In the event of an emergency information will be broadcast over radio and TV, but they're looking into SMS's and hand phone warnings.

While my favorite old-time radio station on the Internet is still locked in endless reruns, I've found some nice replacements, and discovered that archive.org has a couple hundred complete downloadable Fibber McGee and Molly shows. One of the stations runs Dimension X, a pretty good science fiction anthology, often adapting stories from Astounding or Galaxy. One show I caught a few times this week, always timed so I would miss the beginnings and endings (and, thus, just which story it was), sounded a lot like a variation on Destination Moon, though. After the first moon landing and standard plot complications, the crew talks about who has to get back safely. The General explains the nation which rules the Moon will conquer Earth thanks to the Moon's not-really-substantial value as a missile launch site, and therefore it has to be a world government to prevent the world collapsing in war. Then in a new voice, there's a report that North Korea has declared war on South Korea, and the United States government intends to hold the Soviet Union answerable.

I needed partway into the next scene to realize that this wasn't part of the dramatization. It was a recording of the outbreak of the Korean War. It was just a well-timed break-in.

Trivia: Bell Telephone's ``Victory Siren,'' allegedly capable of breaking the eardrums of a man standing 100 feet away, was operated by an ordinary automobile engine powering compressed air to whirling metal blades, and was briefly considered as a weapon by the US Army. Source: Don't You Know There's A War On?, Richard Lingeman.

Currently Reading: A History of Mechanical Inventions, Abbot Payson Usher.

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