Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rated "R" for G-String Content...Funny at First...

I was googling images of the King and this next picture was on a page that I eventually navigated to. The image is titled "Miss Chernobyl 2004". I think this is a picture from the swimsuit portion of the competition!

All laughing at the photoshopped image aside, there is a very sad tragedy behind it. Sorry for the Rated R graphic on our Rated PG-13 blog, but after my initial smile and gut laugh at the photo's witty caption, I was reminded of the disaster in Russia over 20 years ago.

There were very few deaths attributed to the actual explosion of a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant with most of the "known" deaths from caused by nuclear fallout. Cancer, radiation sickness, etc. As it turns out there are actually lots of young people who were born with birth defects following the 1986 accident. Children born disfigured or without limbs are an erie reminder to those who still call the surrounding area home. That's obviously the "gag" behind this photo.

According to a National Geographic story titled "Inside Chernobyl" (a very informative read), 400 times more fallout was released from the Chernobyl accident than the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima during WWII. The site burned for many days formed a cloud of radioactive poisons. Prevailing winds carried the fallout cloud to many other places in Europe, mostly Belarus.

It's amazing to read not only about all of the physical effects of the radioactivity that people were exposed to from working to put out the fire at the reactor and from nature following the disaster, but also the psychological effects that it had/has on the people.

I'll not rehash the story here, if you're interested you can find the 2006 story on the National Geographic website at the following address:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2006/04/inside-chernobyl/stone-text

For a more technical background on what happened, how it happened, etc, wikipedia has a good technical description of the nuts and bolts of the explosion.

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