Cheat-Seeking Missles

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Chernobyl Revisted

Updated (below)

Chernobyl is one of the great stories of the era, and the recent 20th anniversary has brought a flood of retrospective special sections and photo essays, including a 10-photo slide show at Der Spiegel that includes this photo of an 8-legged foal taken in 1990.

My favorite Chernobyl site remains Elaina's Motorcycle Ride through Chernobyl, which has been recently updated with more Chernobyl photos plus a section on the Orange Revolution. Here's one of the hundreds of photos posted there, which I like for its sad and mysterious construction:

Update: John Schroeder at Blogotional rightly points out there's a difference between a deformed foal and a causal link between the deformed foal and the accident. Totally true. I have a primal fear of nukes that sometimes puts blinders on my healthy scepticism about studies that claim A is caused by B.

Sugiero points out, in a bit of an overstatement, that Elaina's story is "fake." In a post on his blog, he links to a Museum of Hoaxes post that is a bit less severe:
"...her travelogue quickly became one of the most linked-to sites on the net. Now there are accusations [read 1st and 14th comment] that her travelogue wasn't completely honest. Apparently she didn't go around alone on a motorcycle. She went in a car with her husband and a friend. Elena defends herself, admitting that much of her story was 'more poetry' than reality, but nothing that most of it was still reality...
Too bad it's tarnished, but even if there's poetic license -- or outright untruths -- to the narrative, the photos still stand, and it's the photos that made Elaina's site so popular.

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