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Science

Insects As Weapons 160

An anonymous reader writes "Timothy Paine, an entomologist at the University of California-Riverside, recently 'committed to the scientific record the idea that California's eucalyptus trees may have been biologically sabotaged, publishing an article [in the Journal of Economic Entomology] raising the possibility of bioterrorism.' Specifically, Paine argues that foreign insect pests have been deliberately introduced in the Golden State, in hopes of decimating the state's population of eucalyptus (especially the two species regarded as invasive, which 'are particularly susceptible to the pests.') In California's Bioterror Mystery, Paine (and scientists who are skeptical) make their arguments. What isn't in dispute is that the insect pests have already inflicted hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, making the story a cautionary tale about what might happen if a food or crop were intentionally targeted."
Toys

Jet Packs, Finally On Sale 132

Bad_CRC1945 writes "The good news: Not one, but two companies are selling jet packs. The bad news: The tech has a long way to go. In the past, potential buyers have been stymied by two problems: Rocket belts aren't for sale, and even prototypes run on modern-day fuel (as opposed to whatever the Jetsons use) which means rocket belts can weigh upwards of 100 pounds, with only enough fuel to stay aloft for under a minute." That second problem's still with us, but the article hints that jet-fuel options (for the brave) could considerably extend users' time aloft.

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...though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

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