Washington DC nuclear attack illustration

Imagining World War III in 1945

As soon as the Second World War was over, military strategists started planning for the next one.

Life magazine reported in its November 19, 1945 edition that the head of the United States Air Force, General Henry H. Arnold, had warned that technologies developed during the last war — atomic bombs, ballistic missile, long-range bombers — could make possible “the ghastliest of all wars.”

The destruction caused by nuclear weapons would be so swift and terrible that a “war might well be decided in 36 hours.”

Life envisaged what such a war might look like. Continue reading “Imagining World War III in 1945”

Tokyo Disney Sea Japan

Steampunk in Tokyo Disney Sea

Many a steampunk is familiar with the sights of not only Nautilus in Tokyo Disney Sea, but the entire scenery of Mysterious Island. While many Disney parks have a castle at the center of the park, Mysterious Island boasts Mount Prometheus of Mysterious Island. Literally, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Is this all there is that makes Tokyo Disney Sea so worth it for ‘punks? Or is there more to the park than meets the initial eye? Continue reading “Steampunk in Tokyo Disney Sea”

Günter Radtke artwork

Günter Radtke’s World of Tomorrow

Günter Radtke was a German illustrator who mostly did work for Stern magazine.

He also illustrated various science-fiction stories, including Ulrich Schippke’s Zukunft: Das Bild der Welt von Morgen (“The Future: An Image of the World of Tomorrow”) (1974), which shows self-driving cars, skyscrapers in the sea and various imagined forms of public transportation. Continue reading “Günter Radtke’s World of Tomorrow”

Soviet Arctic dam map

The Soviet Plan to Thaw the Arctic

These days, we worry the Arctic is getting too hot. Half a century ago, the Soviets wished it was warmer — and they thought of a way to thaw the frigid North.

Popular Mechanics reported in June 1956 that Soviet authorities were considering building a 55-mile dam between Alaska and Siberia. The barrier would keep icebergs and arctic currents out of the Pacific, allowing warm southern currents to sweep unchecked up the eastern shore of Siberia and down the western coast of North America. Warm water from the Pacific Ocean would be pumped back into the Arctic and transform the once-frozen region into a “blossoming landscape”. Continue reading “The Soviet Plan to Thaw the Arctic”

Art by Sandor Leidenfrost

The Art of Sandor Leidenfrost

Alexander Leydenfrost was born Sandor Leidenfrost in Debrecen in 1888, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was from a noble family and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine and Applied Arts of Budapest.

The First World War and the subsequent collapse of the monarchy convinced Leydenfrost to emigrate to the United States in 1923. He changed his name to Alexander, which was easier to pronounce for Americans, and found employment as an industrial illustrator. Continue reading “The Art of Sandor Leidenfrost”