Ken Hollins

Put your geeky science pants on and come for a little trip down memory lane with me. I have just re-visited Ken Hollings very excellent radio documentary with the BBC , “All your tomorrows today”. Its a fascinating peek into the early days of the RAND corporation, the think tank that gave us things like a messaging system that could survive a nuclear attack (now known as the Internet), game theory, megadeaths and who also (seriously!) contemplated such weighty matters as how many rockets would need to be fired simultaneously to alter the earths rotation enough to put an intercontinental missile off course. They had enormous influence, and still do I guess. I first came upon this doco a few years ago and it was made a few years before that but, and you can thank me later, I have managed to find a download link for it here (I tried it, seems to work fine and be virus free).

If you enjoy Mr Hollings work another favorite of mine is his series called Welcome to Mars, which you can download as a podcast (or it’s in iTunes too) or as a kindle book, lord knows you may even be able to track down a paper copy! Its a totally fascinating series, unscripted and with a great sound background, that delves into the high hopes for science in American 1940’s and 50’s,

“an unsettled time in which the layout of Suburbia reflected atomic bombing strategies, bankers and movie stars experimented with hallucinogens, brainwashing was just another form of interior decoration and strange lights in the sky were taken very seriously indeed”