The nuclear button is, once again, having its day in the limelight as news networks and social media react to the bizarre statements made by the Donald regarding the size and potency of his button. His mention of it as part of a tweeted threat against North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, in which he stated “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” would most likely be getting even more attention had it not been washed ashore on a sea of crazy, making it difficult to tell the water from the flood.
Freud aside, the nuclear button is a figurative term; there is no such device which a president could use, a la Montgomery Burns, as an alternative to releasing the hounds. While it is true that a president has sole authority to use nuclear weapons, it is not as simple as a button and requires consultation with military and civilian leaders, the entry of a launch code, interestingly enough approximately the same length as a tweet, and several follow up steps, including a final ‘vote’ by the five launch crews who would actually launch the missiles.
While 45 tosses around the idea of nuclear strike, there’s not much the rest of us can do except for engage in vigorous bouts of gallows humor. In this vein, the team at Garageeks decided to create a version of the nuclear button that, while lacking in explosive power, could be helpful in dispelling built up tension, whether caused by Our Dear Leader, the fact that a mariachi band practices, without ever perfecting, on the roof of an adjoining house, or just the everyday grind of life.Garageeks is a Milan based company, founded by Niccolò Gallarati and Davide Viganò, that has made a splash through the creation of their 3D printed business signs and as the folks behind Kickstarter success ClampHero. Recognizing that stress is as much a part of business as signage, they have gleefully released the STL files so that anyone can create their own nuclear button, along with instructions on how to create a set of working LED lights to give the button pushing just a little more style. It began as a joke between the creative duo, but one thing led to another and three hours later they had a working design for the button. As they explained:
“Given the recent news of so-called ‘nuclear buttons’, cited by North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump as a symbol of power, but without showing an actual one, we decided to make it. This is how, in less than three hours from the idea to working product we present our latest creation: the REAL Nuclear Button. It started as a joke, but proved to be a valid anti-stress toy, and also a reason to chat with customers and suppliers.”
Currently, the device’s files are available for download directly from Garageeks, but they hope to soon have the files and instructions available on Thingiverse. Now we just need to get one to the Oval Office.
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