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Why are the colors in this (not photoshopped!) image so weird? Why did the CIA recruit Howard Hughes for deep-sea mining? Why are bikers up in arms about an obscure Wyoming land dispute? What is the new car smell? Answers to this and more in this week's landscapes reads!

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.

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