usa

How The US Barely Beat Soviet Russia To Inventing The Laser

Russians were pioneers in the development of lasers, today a multi-billion dollar industry. Two of them, Alexander Prokhorov and Nikolai Basov, won the Nobel Prize in 1964, along with the American Charles Townes, for the invention of lasers and masers. Even much earlier, in the nineteen thirties and forties the Russian scientist Valentin Fabrikant laid the foundations of physical optics and gas discharges that led to the development of lasers.


Map Of America Shows Every US State's Stereotype Using Google Autocomplete

When you punch into Google, why is California so… Google autocomplete will show you liberal, broke, anti-gun and expensive. For New York? Great, populated, expensive and big. Alabama? So racist, so good, so good at football and so obese. This is the United States of America, according to Google autocomplete.


China's DF-21D Missile Is The World's First One-Shot Aircraft Carrier Killer

Since the end of World War II, America’s aircraft carriers have been the pride and joy of the Navy. However, the days of dominance could end with China’s new DF-21D ballistic missile — the only device on Earth capable of sinking an aircraft carrier — four and a half acres of sovereign US territory — with one shot.


Chinese Drones Will Evolve New Sub Hunting Methods On The Fly

China’s new fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) could reportedly find use as an autonomous, ship-launched defence against submarines. And, according to a paper published in the journal Advanced Materials Research, the UAV’s will use genetic algorithms to spot the subs faster.


EVERYTHING ON THE US DOLLAR BILL IS A CONSPIRACY

The dollar bill has some weird shit plastered on it. This we know. But even more weird are the outlandish interpretations people extract from the seemingly cryptic symbols (most of which are just old and christian and zzzzzz…zzzzzzz…zzzzzz). But if you’re conspiracy-minded, well, take your pick from these five ridiculous one dollar delusions:


The Army's Mighty Miniatures Of War

A lot’s made of the drones that power many of the US Army’s attacks these days, the missile-equipped UAVs that attack and surveille under the veil of silence and cover of cloud. But there are other, smaller Army bots out there. Specifically, in a testing ground known as the microaviary.


Pictures Of Obama's Speech Announcing Bin Laden's Death Were Staged

This isn’t news. Not at all, in fact. I just found the story so very interesting. As it has been since the Reagan era, photographers weren’t allowed to take pictures during live televised speeches given by the President. So how did we end up with still pictures? Well, Obama reenacted the speech for them!


These Are The Three Countries Who Don't Use The Metric System

As a reminder, these are the three countries who don’t use the incredibly sensible metric system: Liberia, Myanmar and of course, the United States of America. U-S-A! U-S-A! Hell, we should all form some sort of alliance! Non US-people, feel free to tell us why we’re dumb for not using the metric system. [Wikimedia via ZME Science]


The Best Of The Year In Rants

There was plenty to be angry about this year; the Gulf Oil Spill, assaults on net neutrality, Mark Zuckerberg winning Time’s Person of the Year. Check out the best rants from our most irate writers in 2010.


The Declaration Of Independence Carved In Wood

Charlie Kested, a 81-year-old Navy Veteran, has spent the last 10 years hand carving every single letter, word and line of the Declaration of Independence out of wood. The result is beautiful: dark walnut words, Baltic birch background and awe-inspiring patriotism.