The Great Bikini Nuclear Adventure

Controversy is mushrooming over the bikini contest a Czech nuclear power plant held to determine which of 10 female applicants would be awarded an internship. Their defense?

The purpose of the competition was to promote technical education.

But if the original vision raised doubts or concerns, we are very sorry.

Perhaps they would have done better trying to pass the contest off as their tribute to nuclear history.

On July 1, 1946, the U.S. began testing nuclear weapons on the Bikini Atoll (70 years later, the Atoll is still too radioactive for habitation):

Four days later, on July 5, 1946, Louis Reard made a splash at a Paris swimming pool when he introduced his new two-piece swimsuit design. He called it the “bikini” to commemorate the test.

Fourteen years later, on August 8, 1960, Brian Hyland hit #1 on the Billboard charts with “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”:

Thirty-four years after that, sometime during the summer of 1994, The Great Bikini Off-Road Adventure hit drive-in screens (and later USA Network’s Up All Night, where I probably first saw it):

Believe it or not, this sexploitation film promotes a strong environmentalist agenda, not surprising given that it is an unacknowledged adaptation of Edward Abbey‘s agit-prop novel The Monkey Wrench Gang (the filmmakers really didn’t try to hide it, naming characters Abbey, the book’s author, and Hayduke, one of the book’s protagonists). So if these bikini babes had won the internship they probably would have used it as an opportunity to “monkeywrench” the plant.

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