An Electric Memorial Day

It was called the GE Elec-Trak: a home sized electric tractor that was built the 70′s.  It has a large following of enthusiasts that restore and use them. (Thanks, John Robb!)

Google X just bought Makani Power, makers of a really odd-ball airborne wind turbine system. Google CEO Larry Page approved the acquisition, but as Google X’s director Astro Teller notes, Page said that X “could have the budget and the people to go do this, but that we had to make sure to crash at least five of the devices in the near future.”

Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is the boogie-man threat that just won’t die. The Heritage Foundation even promotes “EMP Awareness Day” and Congress empanelled a Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack in 2001 (and reauthorized it in 2006). There’s even an “EMP Caucus.” No, I don’t know if they wear little tinfoil hats at their caucus meetings. Why would you ask something like that?

Hey, China has cranky hacks just like Tom Clancy! Sites like http://www.junshishu.com/ give a glimpse into the union of Chinese sci-fi and war fanfic. Welcome to the strange underground world of Chinese military fantasy novels. (Spoiler alert: Japan always loses).

Speaking of cranky hacks, anyone remember when Sen. Coburn was all agitated about (imaginary) rampant lesbianism in SE Okla public schools?  Well, it turns out he’s said a lot of kooky things, like that silicone breast implants make you healthier, for instance. He’s a lousy doctor, a batty senator and a miserable human being to boot! Here’s a little lullaby for Senator Coburn, because Jesus thinks he’s a dumbass.

There’s been a very small study published claiming that electro-neural stimulation improves math learning. The military has been investigating it for years with interesting results. If anyone is interested in experimenting, I’m working on a USB-based DIY unit. Leave a comment if interested.

Here’s a time-capsule of one of the great minds praising the chronic: Carl Sagan Extols the Virtues of Cannabis (1969).

I can’t decide if Brunelleschi was a freaking genius or just one sick son-of-a-bitch.  Perhaps both. An elaborate practical joke by the master of Renaissance mind-fuck.

Could 3D Printed Food End Hunger Once and for All? My bet is it will just streamline the process at Mickie D’s. “I can’t believe it’s not food!”

Ed Yong explains new research on the signal pathway of itching. It doesn’t seem to be a subset of “pain” at all!

I want to be too big to fail. Explains my waistline.

To see Joseph Stalin as brooding revolutionary rather than mass-murdering dictator, check out Fuck Yeah Young Stalin. But for the really sexy side of the valiant struggle of the urban proletariat there’s Cosmarxpolitan.

The lovely Hannah Peel covers OMD’s “Electricity” accompanied by a hand-cranked music box.

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