The Strategic Air Command (SAC) in Omaha quietly decided to set the “locks” to all zeros in order to circumvent this safeguard. During the early to mid-1970s, during my stint as a Minuteman launch officer, they still had not been changed. Our launch checklist in fact instructed us, the firing crew, to double-check the locking panel in our underground launch bunker to ensure that no digits other than zero had been inadvertently dialled into the panel. SAC remained far less concerned about unauthorized launches than about the potential of these safeguards to interfere with the implementation of wartime launch orders. And so the “secret unlock code” during the height of the nuclear crises of the Cold War remained constant at 0000000.
Well, I certainly feel safer. It reminds me a little of the probably apocryphal story that, during the Nixon administration, the SAC had a standing order to ignore any requests to launch missiles if they came from The Oval Office after 6:30pm, as Nixon liked to get drunk and plunge us all into ash.
Chandler: Neat. I'm gonna die alone.
Rachel: Ok, you win.
Monica: Chandler, you're not gonna die alone.
Chandler: Janice was my safety net, ok? And now I have to get a snake.
Phoebe: Uh huh. Why is that?
Chandler: If I'm gonna be an old, lonely man, I'm gonna need a thing, you know, a hook, like that guy on the subway who eats his own face. So I figure I'll be Crazy Man with a Snake, y’know. Crazy Snake Man. And I'll get more snakes, call them my babies, kids will walk past my place, they will run. "Run away from Crazy Snake Man," they'll shout!
They also have the dubious distinction of being the first band I saw live at Manchester. Long queues and people dressed in army surplus jackets outside the Academy. They looked so cool and scary to a person who had only been in Manchester for a few weeks and hadn't managed to find anybody who wanted to go with him to a concert. This was a long-running story in Manchester — I went to a lot of concerts, but had problems finding people with similar tastes. There was one concert in the first year that I could have gone with someone, but the band got rather popular in the week between me finding this out and actually going to the ticket office. I then spent another week kicking myself in the head, but I learnt my lesson and, after that, I got to the ticket office well in advance of a concert (I was secretly proud when, for my final Manchester concert, seeing Black Box Recorder, I got ticket 00001. However, the concert was only two weeks away, and I was a little worried that I'd be the only one turning up).
Anyway, Mansun. Still hate Taxloss with a burning passion. But this, this is good:
Mansun — Mansun's Only Love Song
Normal service will resume shortly.
(Although, I don't believe for a second that these bills will pass, as it would almost guarantee Bush's defeat in November…)