Monday, September 24, 2012

Review of Countdown to Zero


  1. I believe Isabelle did an amazing job with her podcast! By the way she was talking it did not seem like she was simply reading lines from a sheet of paper, and yet she hardly ever stuttered and failed to say "like" every other word!
    She did a good job of stating right off the bat what her documentary was about and outlining the things it as well as what she was going to talk about.
    She states right at the beginning of the podcast the 5 things the documentary talked about: who had nuclear weapons, how they're used, how they're built, how they can be smuggled, and who's looking for them as we speak. Compared to the podcast I listened to formerly, Isabelle well very precise and well organized.
    Isabelle stated that the documentary was frightening. I completely and totally agree with this statement, and I'm probably going to use the word frightened or frightening a million times in this comment. I can only imagine how frightening the documentary was if I was frightened simply listening to Isabelle's ten minute podcast about it!
    First off, Isabelle stated that if a nuclear weapon/bomb was to be dropped in America, civil liberties - along with the bill of rights - would essentially disappear. Personally annoyed along with as well as intimidated by the high security at airports today, a safety precaution established shortly after the tragedy of 911, I could never imagine the lifestyle after a nuclear war. I assume we would have virtually no freedom whatsoever, and everyone would almost always be scared for their lives - life as we know it would merely disappear.
    I was also frightened by the three ways Isabelle listed people may attain a nuclear weapon - stealing them, buying them, or building them.
    Pertaining to stealing them- when Isabelle was listing the best ways to smuggle the chemicals used in order to make the weapons I couldn’t help find it a tad laughable (just as she said) but shortly after realized how scary it, in actuality, was. Knowing that there's tricks and information out there - for example, knowing that the best products to smuggle them in are kitty litter, toilets, tobacco, and china - used to help people smuggle these chemicals, got me thinking about the fact that there's people out there who could be trying to do that this instant, and who knew it was so darn easy?
    When Isabelle talked about the military men flying over the United States not knowing that they were carrying nuclear weaponry, it sent chills down my spine. I completely agree with Isabelle upon the statement that low probability events - although there's obviously a low probability of them happening - do happen. If they had been fooling around and crashed…I can't even imagine the consequences.
    I know I keep repeatedly saying that my main reaction to this podcast was freight, but there's not really much else I can say - I was and am frightened by the entire idea!
    I'm also in the same boat as Isabelle when it comes to Erin's podcast getting me interested in the Iranian nuclear weaponry problem.
    Isabelle brought up the potential problem that if Iran did indeed get a hold of nuclear weapons, the surrounding rival countries would want them as well - nuclear weapons would be placed on top of many unstable governments. This was completely frightening and, put exceedingly well by Isabelle, clearly not a good mix.

  2. When it comes to making the nuclear weapons - just the fact that you can make a nuclear weapon from easily attainable materials (not including the nuclear material) is also super scary. I feel as though, even though it's not quite "easy" to get this nuclear material, it can only be getting easier as time goes on. Essentially making me uneasy.
    Isabelle concluded with speaking about the huge bias of the documentary - a bias upon which I completely agree with, however I also think the said fixation to the problem is virtually unattainable. The Documentary, through interviewers and their statements, strongly pushed the opinion that nuclear weapons should altogether be taken off the planet. Now wouldn't that fix everything.
    Lastly I'm going to end my rant talking about the second by second breakdown Isabelle talked about if a nuclear weapon or bomb happened to go off. I thought it was really cool how Isabelle/Countdown to Zero broke that down. It had a strong effect on me and my thoughts, and got me thinking as if I were in that situation myself. 10 seconds isn't enough time for me to pick an outfit or even think of the right words to say, let alone enough time to think of whether or not to launch a nuclear bomb on someone! It was virtually unbelievable. I'm speechless.
    Isabelle's podcast was extremely informative and she packed tons of information in such a small amount of time! It's made me really want to see this documentary, and really got me thinking about how lucky we have it as of right now (in terms of other countries that have nuclear weaponry) along with how drastically things might and could change.

  3. Isabelle did a phenomenal job presenting her documentary. She was very informative and her presentation flowed. The main theme was explained very clearly. The main theme was that this documentary was explaining nuclear weapons and their impact in the world. The film explains which countries have nuclear weapons, how they are used, how they are built and smuggled, and who specifically looks for them. The general pacing of the broadcast was excellent. I did not find any mistakes in the way Isabelle’s presented her documentary. The volume was also satisfactory and Isabelle was prepared. She knew what she was talking about it and she used every minute of her time explaining something. She did not stutter with her words or leave blank moments throughout the whole presentation. This broadcast was extremely informative and I have learned so much about nuclear weapons that I never knew before. There was a lot of information Isabelle provided in ten minutes. She was informed and confident throughout the whole broadcast. Isabelle gave her own personal opinions about nuclear weapons and thinks that they are scary, which I agree. She explained that if a country had launched a nuclear weapon onto the United States, then measures would be taken and the bill of rights would be “put on a shelf”, as in gone away. An important fact that Isabelle presented was that there any three ways a nuclear weapon can be obtained. A nuclear weapon can be stolen, bought, or built. Many people look to Georgia, the southern border of Russia, to smuggle weapons or the chemicals used to build a nuclear weapon. Building a nuclear weapon is the most difficult because to get the chemicals and materials is harder. Another important fact Isabelle presented was that only a few countries have a nuclear weapon and those are: The United States, the USSR, the UK, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korean. (Iran is in question by other countries whether it will or not build nuclear weapons). Isabelle explains that though the United States military do not have many circumstances in which nuclear weaponry is not taken care of and is pretty efficient with nuclear weaponry but there are times when is not always taken care of. A low probability event can occur. This film sounds really interesting to me because I personally did not know much about nuclear weapons until Isabelle told me important facts about them. I would love to watch this film. I do not see any weakness in the documentary presentation itself except the bias that the director presented, which Isabelle stated. He said that nuclear weapons are a bad element and should be abolished. The other point of view was not presented and I would like to see the other side also, like Isabelle. Strengths of this movie would be the amount of information that is presented. A point that is noted that Isabelle presented is that there are around 23,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Also, satellites can tell within a minute whether or not a country has launched another missile or nuclear weapon, and within a minute annalist would have to determine whether or not it is a test or attack missile. The president would be briefed in about 30 seconds, and would have 10 seconds or at most 12 minutes to decide what to do. This seems almost unrealistic to me because I need way more time than ten minutes to do anything! Another point that is noted is that to smuggle Uranium/ Plutonium, it should be hid in a lead pipe, and hid amongst everyday things. To smuggle it into the United States, the easiest way would be to hide in cargo ships, between toilets, china, tobacco, porcelain, and other materials and products, because they set off radiation monitors. To hide it in toilets seemed funny to me, but like Isabelle said, the whole issue is not funny, it’s scary.