The Bomb: a Life by Scottish author Gerard J. DeGroot, is not, overall, a funny book. One would not expect it to be, given that the subject is nuclear weapons. It does, nonetheless, have some funny passages. Like this one:
The first bona fide thermonuclear device was born in 1952. It was not a bomb in the conventional sense but more like a factory for producing an explosion. Nicknamed ‘Mike’, it weighed 65 tonnes and was two storeys tall. Most of its bulk was devoted to the refrigeration unit needed to keep the thermonuclear fuel at -250 degrees centigrade. Anyone familiar with American refrigerators should not be surprised at its dimensions nor at the capacity of the US to build it.
Ever wonder what happens when a car is struck by lighting? From the car show Top Gear: “There are very few places in the world that have the technology to blast a car with lightning. Two of those places are in Holland and Germany, but only one of those nations is laid back, liberal, and fun-loving enough to let me actually sit in the car whilst they hit it with 800,000 volts. Yup, it’s those zany Germans. This is the Siemens high voltage lab in Berlin...” He says the part about the zany Germans while walking past a sign with the lightning bolt symbol and the words “Hochspannung Lebensgefahr,” which I’m fairly sure means high voltage, danger to life. Anyway, they zapped the car with no particular ill effects, except apparently for the paint on the roof.