Nuclear Friday: Refueling

Metaphors based on military technology sometimes enter popular usage and we forget their origins. Folks used to say “recharging my batteries” back in the late 20th century without knowing that the term came from WWII submarine crews. Diesel-electric submarines of that era had to surface and run their engines on full to recharge their batteries for underwater operations. If weather permitted and their were no enemy aircraft around, crew members had a chance to get some much needed fresh air and sunshine. The phrase was originally about self-care in times of extreme stress.

It’s important to have metaphors like this to remind us about the importance of self care. You can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself. Because I’m more into the history of Cold War aviation than I am WWII, I prefer to think if this principle in terms of fuel logistics rather than submarines. All the planes in the world are useless without a secure fuel supply chain. Since the situation with my dad has now moved to the home hospice care stage, I need to remember this.

So that means there’s nothing really new on The Board this week for Nuclear Friday. No Korea, my series about standoff range weapons is suspended, and there will be nothing about that close confrontation between a US Navy spy plane and a Russian fighter that happened the same day Trump met Lavrov.

It’s time to kick back and watch old movies. And everyone should know by now that means Dr. Strangelove for me. I have the 40th Anniversary DVD release with all the extras including a cool “making of” documentary.

If you haven’t seen Strangelove, watch it. It really is the most technically accurate Cold War film. And if you have seen it, you’ll probably enjoy this documentary:

This includes interviews with James Earl Jones and art director Pablo Ferro. A hasty decision by Kubrick about Ferro’s title sequence made Ferro famous. There’s also a discussion of Kubrick’s use of Enforced Method Acting in Strangelove, a technique that would cross over into abuse during filming of The Shining.

So to any readers of The Board under stress, always make sure you have scheduled refuelings. Remember to take it easy sometimes and look for people who can be your KC-135.



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