Researcher Charles Pellegrino is the author of more than twenty books, some of which director James Cameron used as sources for his blockbuster movie Titanic. He joined guest host Ian Punnett (Twitter) to discuss the newly reprinted edition of To Hell and Back: The Last Train from Hiroshima, which examines the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the vantage of those who survived. He commented on some of the controversies surrounding its publication, pointing out the key instigators responsible for the fuss have passed away and new survivors have come forth to support what he published in his book.
Pellegrino revealed he continues interviewing survivors so their stories are not lost to time. Every year the world loses about 3,000 survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, he reported, noting some of them experienced both atomic blasts. "There were actually approximately 35, possibly more, who survived Hiroshima, and then went to Nagasaki and survived that bombing as well," he disclosed. The number of dual survivors was yet another point of contention about Pellegrino's book, To Hell and Back, for which he was ultimately proved accurate. "Through some people telling lies a lot of new truths were finally revealed," he said about the controversy.
Pellegrino also spoke about this book, Dust, which imagines a world were ecological collapse leads to dust mites reproducing at rapid rates and becoming flesh-eating. The planet is losing insects at an increasingly accelerated rate, he explained, adding about two percent of the insect mass of the world is lost every year. Anecdotally, Pellegrino suggested one could see the change by driving from North Carolina to New York on a summer evening. A few decades ago the windshield would be covered with smashed insects, but now only a few would mark the glass. "What would happen in real life is we would notice the beginnings of an agricultural collapse... if we don't have the services that insects provide for us," He said. Pellegrino announced he has received a call from Warner Brothers about turning Dust into a feature film.
The remainder of the program featured Open Lines.