Friday, March 6, 2009

Great Wrecks in History

Friday, March 6, 2009

Back when the atomic bomb first "hit" the international scene, it became fashionable to not only wear nuclear-explosion-styled hats, but also to serve cakes in the shape of that oh-so-appetizing mushroom cloud:


Here we have Admiral Blandy and his wife hosting one of the "raddest" parties this side of Hiroshima. After being served this devastatingly delicious treat, guests sipped Molotov cocktails and danced the night away to Ella Fitzgerald's "It's Too Darn Hot".


Shaun, you da bomb.
Nikki said...

ROFL...love the hat!

Tracy said...

And here I always thought mushrooms were low fat and good for you!!

The Courteous Chihuahua said...

You can just tell by the look on the Admiral's face that he's more embarrassed by his wife's hat than the atomic cake.

Suzy said...

No way. Hahaha :)

Ace said...

Oh my, I think I'd be afraid to eat that thing.

Lewis said...

You forgot "We'll meet again" by Vera Lynn! :)

[Tribute to Dr. Strangelove]

Leslie said...

I dunno...it looks less mushroom cloud and more mushroom. Maybe this was part of an international fungus convention.
But just think of what an awesome Wilton cake pan this would be...right next to the teddy bear and Dora the Explorer - the mushroom cloud. Having lived and worked in Los Alamos I can definitely say it'd sell well at the museum gift shop.

Sarah, The New Girl said...

I hope I'm only so lucky at my wedding... what a beautiful metaphor: an explosion of love!

...

Half Assed Kitchen said...

Well, that cake is tacky. I bet it tastes like ash.

Angie (from over at www.HalfAssedKitchen.com)

beckiwithani said...

Is this disturbing or hilarious? I'm not sure...

On a tangent, that's a crazy cantilever effect on the cloud part. That's some serious cake engineering. It's like Frank Lloyd Wright, a cake decorator, and Oppenheimer collaborated. (I bet it had some kind of frame inside, tho...)

Jennifer said...

Hmmmm, can you say inappropriate.

Jessi said...

Wow! Is it just me or does it look like the cake is covered with teddy bear stuffing? I can't get over the poofiness of it. Cakes should not be poofy.

mrs. q. said...

Oh, no they didn't!?? There better not be any Holocaust cakes.

Serendipity said...

Are we sure that's not her hair???

Oh, my! I think I'd be afraid to get radiation poisoning from the cloud!

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Wow, I can't think of a better way to celebrate the agonising deaths of countless people than with fondant, icing and sponge. Awful.

drgns4vr said...

I got all excited thinking they had placed white mushroom on the greenery around the base of the cake. Then I clicked to "blow up"
(little atomic humor there) the picture and it just looks like carnations. Rats.
As a hat person, I totally vote for that hat.

Anonymous said...

That's terrible! lol

Geans said...

That's oh so wildly inappropriate. But the hat kind of makes it OK.

Doublebanker said...

Things that make you go...hmmm or more like BOOOM!!

Daily Gif Blog

DB

Dorci Harris said...

That is just plain weird.

Mikey said...

As a bit of a student on the subject, the atomic bomb didn't quite carry the stigma back then that it does today. Although I've not seen this cake until now, I did know it existed. An admirable representation, to say the least.

I'm a first time poster but I've been following your blog for a little while. The first blog I go to every day!

Jessface said...

Wow, not a joke. But hilarious!

Elleah said...

The hat almost matches the cake. :)

Anonymous said...

That cake is bad taste in more ways than one.

--Blue Jean

Exit, pursued by a bear said...

how terribly self-satisfied of the Yanks to make a cake out of the suffering of millions. *How* they must have laughed at the time.

I suspect its not all cake. Maybe a large cardboard tube with a round cake board on top, decorated over.

jk said...

I wish I could go back in time and say "dude...too soon!"

Anonymous said...

No...they oughtn't to have gone there. It's a symbol of destruction, loss of human life, civilian casualties, the monster of scientific progress. One had as well make a 9/11 cake or an Auschwitz cake.

Andrea said...

Wow! How... incredibly... TACKY. You've posted some pretty inappropriate wrecks on here before, but this on takes the cake! (pun intended of course) LOL

LilyScornsYou said...

"sipped Molotov cocktails"
LOL!

FreedomFirst said...

Shame. Why would you celebrate a mass killing?

Lol at Tracy's comment.

WV - iriptuai - is that "eruption" in some other language perchance?

sendingtheclowns said...

Geeze, what an accomplishment that was, huh?
The testing, I mean...
SO much radiation, so many studies in how to treat deadly radiation poisoning--and so much learned about how very, very long it takes for an area to be considered decontaminated (Bikini Atoll is STILL contaminated).
Oh, well. That was then, and they were excited about the whole thing. Besides--cake is cake is cake IS cake!
I guess...>^xx^<

Judy said...

Oh my gosh you guys, it's not really a mushroom cloud cake Jen was just making a joke that it LOOKS like one. Back then it was "fashionable to make a cake with a half dome on top at the time. Much more "chic" than the usual flat topped round or square teired cake.

C'mon...by now you should be able to tell when Jen is being facetious. If not here's a clue....her fingers are on the keyboard ;D

WV: Shesse- appropriate LOL Sheesh!

KritterBugg said...

Maybe the cake just exploded in the oven and they didn't have time to make another one, so they were forced to compromise and decorate it that way...

Anne said...

What, the cake shaped like terrified children running naked from a napalm blast was considered too tasteful?

Anonymous said...

Or how about "You Dropped A Bomb on Me"?

Lisa said...

Oh that is so sad.

deckardcanine said...

Wouldn't it be appropriate if the cake were mostly whipped cream?

Stacey said...

Ignorance reigned supreme...And so to celebrate here is to your suffering! cheers! it's no wonder most countries hate americans.

***but you still gotta love that hat***

Holly said...

Oh, that's appalling.

mhb said...

This just shows that poor taste, when it comes to cakes, is nothing new.

Katy said...

are you sure it's not just a cracking replica of her hat? you know, that's slightly more tasteful...

Karen said...

Wow. That's fascinatingly morbid. It's like the guillotine jewelry that was fashionable during the French Revolution.

Yoli said...

Which came first: the hate or the cake?

Vanessavh said...

Yep, these people are pretty damn weird and sick in their celebration of the death hundreds of thousands of people.

Amy said...

No words. Speechless.

How did they keep the thing from collapsing on itself?

Mare said...

Yikes. What an bizarre and inappropriate subject for a cake, and I did a quick search.

According to one item that I read in a letter from an old Time issue online:

"As published [photo of party and cake]... it did a great injustice to Admirals Blandy and Lowry, who have been tireless in their efforts to tell the citizens of the world of the devastating power and insidious poison of the atomic bomb. . . .
"Admiral and Mrs. Blandy and Admiral Lowry were not the hosts but were the guests of honor at a party given by Officers of the Crossroads staff. They had no part in the planning or procurement of the cake."

I don't know anything about Blandy or Lowry, but I would like to think that's true.

Julie in Arlington said...

Since this was a US Navy endeavor, this cake was probably at a celebration for successful completion of nuclear testing on Bimini Island in the Pacific. For what it is worth, of the Armed Forces, the Navy always has the best food. It was a different time back then. As children, we would always go to the shoe department to get our feet fluoroscoped so we could see the bones of our feet.

The mushroom cap almost looks like a large pie, covered in meringue.

Marji said...

exit, pursued by a bear got it exactly right. Do I detect Wodehouse in his screen name?

Hungarican Chick said...

I wonder if you look closely you can see tiny people being vaporized. It looks white... no roiling ball of orange and black and red. It's a kinder, gentler atomic explosion.

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

I agree, terribly self satisfied of us. Disgusting. They should have little burned bodies all around it made out of black licorice. Chew on that.

Anonymous said...

My favorite part is the man in the background - he thinks no one sees him as he stares in unbelief at the hat and struggles to hold back his laughter!

Kristen said...

I know that it's traditional to celebrate the end of the war--and this was definitely a war to be glad to get to the end of, what with the destruction of millions at the hands of Hitler, but this is...yeah, this is tacky. But beautifully done!

Lulubelle B said...

So very non-PC.

wv: bomic (i kid you not)
This cake the bomb! This cake atomic! This cake bomic!!

Heidi 'n' Jeff said...

I like how the ladies hat matches the cake.

LizzieDawn said...

This cake just makes me want to cry. How horrible!

Plumblossom said...

And bikini was named so after an island were nuclear weapon was tested. It took a long time to understand killing hundred of thousand civilians is not an opportunity to party.
I discover cake wreck two days ago and couldn't stop myself from reading and laughing.
I went to sleep at 2 a.m.

Kevin said...

See? Men don't need women to wage war; they just need women's help glorifying it.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if that is really meant to be a mushroom cloud or just put together strangely. If it's the latter, it's ugly. If it's the former... it's in really bad taste and STILL ugly! In short, this cake has no reason to exist.

P.S. Lulubelle B, do you think it's possible that ypor computer is psychic? That WV thing is WAY too much of a coincidence for a post about an atomic bomb-shaped cake.

Lynn said...

I am torn on this one...horrid hat, but so stylish for the times and my opinion is they should have been celebrating with a Mushroom Cloud Cake...after all, those 2 Atomic Bombs helped to end WWII !

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Amazing. Wonderful. And that lady's hat makes the image.

suzanneE said...

Ahh Soh. You berry punny.
Amazing cake, I want one. And the hat to match is just too too cool.
Very informative: I didn't know Victor Borge was an officer in the military at the time.

Brenda said...

It was a different time back then; if you click the "source" on the post, you'll see they were celebrating the successful testing of a bomb, not the actual bombing of peeps. Hindsight - sure it's in poor taste, but back then, not so much so. Back before people became so politically correct that you can't even sneeze without worrying about offending someone :p

Ms Unreliable said...

1946. Too soon? WAY too soon. I certainly hope nobody made any cakes to celebrate any of Hitler's shenanigans.

Suzanne Dargie said...

It's sad isn't it? But then again, you're looking at the generation who thought smoking was good for calming the nerves...and seat belts....what are those?
How wise we all seem now in hindsight.
And I'm sure a large portion of the cake was cardboard, or possibly asbestos!

holly said...

And people thought the 9/11 tribute cake was in bad taste...

wv - sebarow. What Patrick and Spongebob use when working in their yards.

Jessica Martiele said...

WOW, um...inappropriate, much?

Happy A bomb day, Hiroshima! This one's on you...I mean, in your memory...I mean...ah, heck, just too awful to keep making jokes.

So did they screen the guests afterward for radiation poisoning?

sendingtheclowns said...

Bikini Atoll was a testing ground--although some people were sickened and/or killed accidentally (collateral damage), as well as "experimental" animals brought there for the sake of observing the effects of the bombs on them.
The devastation of the bombs that effectively ended WWII were on a much *grander* scale, compared to this, and probably way more cake-worthy...unless you're the type who would be satisfied just to have a war end without celebrating all of the destruction with graphic bomb replicas. HOO-WAH.

What say we get on with our day and laugh and be silly again? This darn cake is too controversial.

Frogette said...

Marji: it's Shakespeare (The Winter's Tale). But perhaps Wodehouse made an allusion to it somewhere, I don't know.

The Angry Jackalope said...

I thought you were joking about the names, but no, it's really Mr. and Mrs. Blandy.
wv: mangl, meaning to create poorly made cakes in the male form; see yesterday's wrecks for examples.

Scritzy said...

Gad.

Eunice said...

Karen, I was thinking the very same thing about the French Revolution jewelry.

Trish said...

Unfortunately, back then Americans thought the Atomic Bomb was a good thing; a show of strength and power for the country. A way to protect themselves from advesaries. I don't think they had all the info or really knew the short and long-term outcome of their actions and the resulting consequences. (Nope, I'm not American). Or maybe not; I'm just sayin'.

Gotta say that hat is indeed a doozy. The cake..well, if it were indeed totally constructed outta cake, it would be awesome.

Trish said...

..aaaannd, if you look closely at the "surface" of the cake, it really looks like the surface of the ocean when a bomb is going KABLOOEY. It looks like a very good depiction of foamy, churned-up-by-a-bomb-detonation wavyness! The subject matter totally sucks, but it was well executed none-the-less. :)

Michelle said...

Kind of makes me a little ill.

In the Meantime said...

It is rather dreadful, but remember that the cake commemorated the testing on Bikini Atoll, not the bombing of either Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

I truly cannot imagine that ANYONE would have been crass enough to get a cake commemorating human destruction. I think they were merely going for a celebration of the successful conclusion of extensive work and testing.

I'm not saying it was appropriate, just that it might not be quite as bluntly cruel as people seem to think.

Aviatrix said...

I've read the post and all the comments and still don't know if you're making that up or not. I'm going with making it up, because that a) gives you credit for being witty and b) doesn't require me to think about people actually celebrating atomic destruction.

nikka said...

the lady's hat also looks like a mushroom cloud.

.... said...

at least in those days, you could express yourself in whatever way you wanted, without every special interest group in existence beating down your door, demanding apologies.i would almost welcome something offensive these days, it would be a breath of fresh air.

Nick said...

It feels wrong and I know I shouldn't be celebrating it, but this cake is completely incredibly awesome.

Nick
(flavourfiasco.blogspot.com)

Sabine said...

*laughs* that's awesome. I wonder how it is constructed and whether the cloud part is edible or only the base...

That said, political correctness and taboos are not a good thing. We need to remember what nuclear weapons do, and this is a fun way to do it.

Besides, you don't necessarily need a nuclear bomb to make a mushroom coud, it's all about the heat in the explosion ;) It's a physics lesson too!

not laughing said...

"We need to remember what nuclear weapons do, and this is a fun way to do it"!? What nuclear weapons do, as in, destroy countless lives? Call me overly PC, but I have a hard time seeing the fun in that.

Janelle Holden said...

This is even better than the diaper cake for baby showers.

Sabine said...

I meant, if it sparks a discussion, all the better.

And I am a pacifist. In my home area in Germany, they are digging up 50kg bombs until today!

I don't wish war or destruction on anyone.sometimes, a cake is just a cake.

Myself said...

Fantastic execution of the cake, to celebrate a fantastic advance in technology. Harnessing nuclear energy, for any means, is an engineering achievement, and this cake celebrated the successful test of a very complicated machine whose production required an entire industry to be invented.

War is hell, but ending wars quickly is better than the alternative. The concept of mutually assured destruction changed the course of history.

Incidentally, Admiral Blandy was quite the controversial figure at the time. Here's a memorable quote in which he addresses some phenomenally ignorant criticisms, the likes of which are still leveled against basic research today:

"The bomb will not start a chain-reaction in the water converting it all to gas and letting all the ships on all the oceans drop down to the bottom. It will not blow out the bottom of the sea and let all the water run down the hole. It will not destroy gravity. I am not an atomic playboy, as one of my critics labeled me, exploding these bombs to satisfy my personal whim."

6-bleen-7 said...

This wreck specifically commemorates the Crossroads Baker test of July 25, 1946. Morbidity and hat hilarity aside, the cake is actually a pretty good representation of the Baker mushroom cloud shortly after detonation.