8-year-old me would have been VERY DISAPPOINTED to learn that when finally we weaponized laser beams in real life they'd be invisible instead of glowing green or orange or purple like they're supposed to. Can't the Navy just add some food coloring or something? Also, I can't believe they put this video up without a soundtrack. Come on, man! If there has ever been an opportunity for the United States government to officially crank "Tom Sawyer" it is this! (Also acceptable: Lil Scrappy's "Problems." But that is all. Those are the best two laser beam sounds ever recorded.) [Via]
A 25-year federal campaign against sea otters in Southern California is finally ending, because it turns out sea otters will go down the coast if they want to, because declaring the whole of Southern California from Point Conception to the Mexican border an "otter-free zone" just wasn't a very good idea.
In 1987, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began a program of forced otter relocation, capturing the endangered animals whenever they strayed into the Santa Barbara channel. Why? Because the U.S. Navy and the commercial fishing industry objected to an earlier plan to establish a backup population of the endangered sea mammals on San Nichols Island, [...]
I always found it strange when polemicists denounced George W. Bush for saying, after 9/11, that Americans should go shopping. Andrew Bacevich, who's emerged as possibly the premiere root-and-branch critic of American militarism, wrote an impassioned op-ed explaining the reasoning behind that critique. "From the very outset, the president described the 'war on terror' as a vast undertaking of paramount importance," Bacevich hectored in 2008. "But he simultaneously urged Americans to carry on as if there were no war." What in the world were we supposed to do? Stand in line to fill out job applications at munitions factories? Devote a larger percentage of the day to re-spooling footage [...]