My Happy Place: Soviet Nuclear Lighthouse Dead Zones.

When I woke up this morning, among the first things I saw was Warren Ellis's missive on Soviet Nuclear Lighthouse Dead Zones. It is a beautiful thing. Today it is my happy place. Allow me to explain.

The great northern coast of Russia is inside the Arctic Circle, and the shoreline is hundreds of miles from civilisation almost the whole way along. Lighthouses were required for the coast, because it's a handy passage but it spends a hundred days of the year in near-permanent night. The problems were that they'd be miles from anywhere, and couldn't realistically be supplied or crewed.

So the Russians erected autonomous nuclear-powered lighthouses. Which worked great, until the collapse of the Soviet Union. In fact, they probably would have been fine after that, if people hadn't looted them for copper and anything else that looked like it wasn't nailed down too hard. Including, apparently, reactor shielding. So many of these great polar nuclear lighthouses are now radioactive deadzones.

This concept brought me so much joy, for an hour after reading this, I was in a multi-hour meeting with my lawyer and my lobbyist, and every time someone said something... horrible... I went to my happy place: Soviet Nuclear Lighthouse Dead Zones. For example: "You're completely fucked!", they might say. "Mmmmm... Soviet Nuclear Lighthouse Dead Zones," I might think. "That's so wonderfully grim-meathooky! Wow! Oh wait, what were you saying?"

It got me through the day. Thanks, Warren.

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