In this week's landscape reads, we rediscover the future of steampunk energy, we walk the radioactiv

In this week's landscape reads, we rediscover the future of steampunk energy, we walk the radioactive shores of a manmade island in San Francisco, we climb to the top of California's surreal palm tree economy, and we look back with both amusement and horror at pest control in communist China. »3/04/14 5:20pm3/04/14 5:20pm

How Tumbleweeds Spread Radiation From Old Nuclear Sites

The tumbleweed, which seems so at home rolling down an American highway, is actually an invasive plant from the Russian steppes. In the relatively short time it's been invading the plains—just over a century—the tumbleweed has managed to establish itself as an indelible symbol of the western landscape. It is the… »1/28/14 9:40am1/28/14 9:40am

Japanese Couple Sold Glowing Lanyards That Were 26 Times Allowable Radiation Level, Gets Arrested

If you were going to sell radioactive cellphones loaded with tritium-from Hiroshima, Japan, no less-you should probably check to make sure that they're not twenty-six times the amount legally allowed. You know, just so you're not arrested by the cops for not having special permission from the Ministry of Science and… »7/22/08 1:00pm7/22/08 1:00pm

Radioactive Tritium Makes Keychain Light Glow For 10 Years

Besides being somewhat dim, most keychain lights have batteries that only last a couple months before needing to be replaced—which often never happens since nobody has watch batteries lying around. But what if you could have this Mini Tritium Keychain, which lasts about 10 years without needing to be replaced? If… »3/31/08 5:15pm3/31/08 5:15pm

Polonium Pen a Pocket-Sized Must-Have for Anti-Putin Russians

Those of you who fear they've got on the wrong side of Vladimir Putin just might find the Polonium Pen a must-have. Basically a hand-made ion chamber with LED read-out, the Polonium Pen will sniff out excessive doses of the radioactive element in your cocktail, dim sum, or caviar when held over the suspect glass or… »11/30/07 6:19am11/30/07 6:19am