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Double Post Part 1: From the Archives: Nukes (July 22)

Okay, it’s past midnight where I am, so I’ll post this now and have something else for you all later today.
Since the first nuclear test in 1945 at the White Sands Missile Range, then White Sands Proving Ground, there have been around 2000-2100 nuclear detonations in either the form tests or use as a weapon. Of these about 1000 are American, 700 are Soviet/Russian, 200 are French, 45 are British, 45 are Chinese, 6 are Indian, 6 are Pakistani, and two are North Korean. Unconfirmed tests include Iranian, German and Japanese devices. The three most prolific testing years were, in order of most tests to least, 1961, 1958 and 1968. About 140 nuclear tests occurred in 1961, with about 100 of those being American. The longest period of time between two nuclear tests was a span of about 100 months from June 1998 to October 2006. Since 1998, the only nation to perform confirmed nuclear tests has been North Korea. The “Doomsday Clock” is a subjective measure of the danger of nuclear catastrophe based on current events. Initially set at 11:53, the closest the Doomsday Clock has gotten to midnight (global nuclear disaster) was 11:53 in 1953. The farthest the Doomsday Clock has been from midnight was in 1991 when the clock was set to 11:43. The Doomsday Clock is currently set to 11:55

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Zero is a number used to signify nothingness, or an absence of quantity. Zero is also often used, in positional notation systems (such as the widely used Arabic numeral system), to allow for large numbers without symbols to represent orders of magnitude. Zero is the additive identity, which means that zero added to any number will yield that number. Although the Babylonians developed a positional notation system, they lacked a placeholder such as zero. The concept of zero arose independently in China, India, Mesoamerica and the Andes. Zero is not prime because it has an unlimited number of factors (anything times zero is zero), but zero is not composite either (zero cannot be expressed as the product of two primes because zero, which is not prime, must always be a factor). The mathematics of zero put forth by Brahmagupta, excluding one rule, are still in use today. The one rule that is not still in use is the statement that 0/0=0. The operation 0/0 is called an indeterminate form and has no clear mathematical value.

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