Because Rob Cruickshank posted a link for the Pinetree Line early warning network of radar bases (equipped with computer technology, if you please). And my hometown was the impeccably strategic location for Station #12.


It had to look like the Soviet Union to keep you safe from the Soviet Union

What of the slide show for the whole pinetree line? (you may well ask) ...it's exquisite.


Did you grow up close to RADAR?

- L.M. 11-15-2006 11:08 am

Yikes! The ending is scary...

pine tree slide show ending

- sally mckay 11-15-2006 7:15 pm

That image is obviously what North Dakota would look like if Soviet Bloc aircraft had got past these defenses:


But as you can see, we were always on high alert.

- L.M. 11-15-2006 8:02 pm

Here's a good trivia item- what part did the good old canadian 5 pin bowling ball play in the cold war?

- rob (guest) 11-15-2006 9:14 pm


The prototype trackball used in the DATAR system. The device, invented by Tom Cranston and Fred Longstaff sometime in early 1952, used a *bowling ball from the Canadian game of five-pin bowling (smaller than the American 10-pin ball). The air bearings were developed by Kenyon Taylor of Ferranti-Packard (Ferranti-Packard Transformers Ltd.)

*the previous model with the upside-down colander, that my daddy built in the basement, never worked.
- L.M. 11-15-2006 9:39 pm

This summer Sally and I went to the Military Communications and Electronics Museum at CFB Kingston. I very highly recommend it to anyone interested in military culture, but also especially to any techies or nerds interested in classic retro electronics hardware. They have a number of beautifully designed displays and dioramas from throughout Canadian history. You can see a WW2 spy camera that looks alot like a modern digital camera, a dozen cold-war teletype machines, and a vacuum tube way bigger than your head (for powering WW2 radar dishes). Admission is by donation.

(posted by VB via SM)
- sally mckay 11-16-2006 3:04 am

One of the shots was of a Nike missile installation in Marin County. The Golden Gate Bridge (which is, and has always been, orange) is visible in the background.

Nike in Marin

I knew there were a few Nike sites in the Bay Area: the Marin Headlands, Angel Island, etc., but I had no idea how many.

Some of these were nuclear tipped. They were banned by the ABM treaty, which the Decider infamously decided to ignore.

- mark 11-16-2006 4:21 am

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