List of Wars and Disasters by Death Count

I think this may be the list of the week. Below is a section based on death by contractible diseases.

* 300,000,000+ – Smallpox (20th Century)
* 200,000,000 – Bubonic Plague (worldwide, 1300s)
* 100,000,000 – Plague of Justinian (Europe 540-590) (disputed)
* 10,000,000 – 100,000,000 – deaths from diseases in Europe(millions) and the Americas (tens of millions) from diseases exchanged between continents after 1492
* 50,000,000 – Spanish Flu (worldwide, 1918 – 1919)
* 19,000,000 – AIDS (worldwide, 1981 – )
* 10,000,000 – Bubonic Plague (China, 1892 – 1896)
* 5,000,000 – Antonine Plague Roman Empire 165 – 180
* 4,000,000 – Asian Flu pandemic (worldwide, 1957)
* 1,000,000 – Hong Kong Flu pandemic (worldwide, 1968)
* 130,000 – North American smallpox epidemic (1775 – 1782)
* 60,000 – Great Plague of London (1665)
* 775 – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) (Mostly East Asia, few cases in Europe, Canada and United States, 2002-2003)
* 677 – West Nile Virus outbreak (North America, 1999 – 2004)

(via del.icio.us/cws)

20 Mishaps That Might Have Started Accidental Nuclear War

Nine of them are from the Cuban Missle Crisis. And you can’t convince me that #19 wasn’t because of the WOPR.

19) June , 1980: Faulty Computer Chip

The Warning displays at the Command Centers mentioned in the last episode included windows that normally showed

0000 ICBMs detected 0000 SLBMs detected

At 2:25 a.m. on June 3, 1980, these displays started showing various numbers of missiles detected, represented by 2’s in place of one or more 0’s. Preparations for retaliation were instituted, including nuclear bomber crews staring their engines, launch of Pacific Command’s Airborne Command Post, and readying of Minutemen missiles for launch. It was not difficult to assess that this was a false alarm because the numbers displayed were not rational.

While the cause of that false alarm was still being investigated 3 days later, the same thing happened and again preparations were made for retaliation. The cause was a single faulty chip that was failing in a random fashion. The basic design of the system was faulty, allowing this single failure to cause a deceptive display at several command posts.

The following incident is added to illustrate that even now, when the Cold War has been over for 8 years errors can still cause concern. This particular one could have hardly brought nuclear retaliation.; but there are still 30,000 nuclear weapons deployed, and two nuclear weapon states could get into a hostile adversarial status again.

(via del.icio.us/kingturtle)

The Eight Clown Commandments

In case you were wondering:

I will keep my acts, performance and behavior in good taste while I am in costume and makeup. I will remember at all times that I have been accepted as a member of the clown club only to provide others, principally children, with clean clown comedy entertainment. I will remember that a good clown entertains others by making fun of himself or herself and not at the expense or embarrassment of others.

(via Linkfilter)