The Chinese Zen master Yunmen Wenyan (862-949) is reported to have said “Every day is a good day!” I believe he meant that every day was an opportunity to practice and to be attentive. The days before the results appear are just as important as the days after the results appear.
I offer thanks for our accomplishment
I agree with Yunmen Wenyan. However, I believe that today, August 10, 2014, is a particular day for gratitude and celebration. For what do I offer thanks? What do I celebrate today? We (and by “we” I mean “the human family”) have gone exactly 69 years without detonating a nuclear weapon in warfare. I consider that an achievement.
I realize some people might think I have low standards for accomplishment. I will add another cause for gratitude. Humanity has gone 69 years without detonating a nuclear weapon in warfare. We have also gone almost one year and six months since the last test of a nuclear weapon, conducted by North Korea in 2013. North Korea is the only nation on Earth to have conducted a nuclear test after 1998. While the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is not technically in force, its terms generally being honored. The seven nations other than North Korea that have conducted nuclear tests, have not conducted a nuclear test since 1998.
A gentleman whom I consider to be reasonably well-informed recently asked me about the current radiation levels in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Hiroshima Peace Museum reports “Today, the background radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is the same as the average amount of natural radiation present anywhere on Earth. It is not enough to affect human health.” There is a certain amount of naturally occurring background radiation, as this chart shows.
Please note that this chart is a logarithmic chart, which means the normal yearly background dose is roughly equivalent to 10 mammograms. This post might be helpful in explaining the significance of a sievert.
I wrote a post on this subject a year ago. There is a picture of Nagasaki in that post, which I believe is looking at Nagasaki from the opposite direction of the picture in this post. I am pleased to commemorate a year without the detonation of a nuclear weapon, either in warfare, or as a test. I offer thanks for our accomplishment.
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