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The novel opens with this: "The story of mankind is the history of the attainment of external power. Man is the tool-using, fire-making animal." Scientists of the day were well aware that the slow natural radioactive decay of elements like radium continues for thousands of years, and that while the rate of energy release is negligible, the total amount released is huge. Wells used this as the basis for his story.
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By Robert W Carlisle Jr on 06-01-16
Like listening to a lecture on history, some of which just hasn't happened yet, by Ben Stein's character The Economics teacher from Ferris Bueler's Day Off. But if you can get through the dry stuff, there are some really good but scary prescient tidbits.
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