The Billion-Dollar Barrel of LSD, and Other Insanities of the U.S. Army's Cold War Drug Experiments

Hamilton Nolan · 12/10/12 11:05AM

During the Cold War, the U.S. Army pursued a research program that used soldiers as lab rats to test the effects of various chemical agents—ranging "from tear gas and LSD to highly lethal nerve agents, like VX." As a huge class action suit against the government by those who were experimented upon nears its trial date, the New Yorker has dropped a huge piece full of details on just how much crazy shit our military was doing in a single secret facility in Maryland.

Pigeons, Like Monkeys, Are Better at Math Than You

Max Read · 12/23/11 09:45AM

Anyone who knows anything about anything knows that birds, of all animals, are not to be trusted. Have you seen a bird, recently, doing its little bird things (pecking?), acting as though its brain is the size of a Sno-Cap? Well, guess what: birds can do math. Higher math.

Even Babies Can Tell You're Full of Shit

Max Read · 12/12/11 06:02PM

You know how you spend every minute of your waking life desperately afraid that you will be found out as a laughable fraud and all your accomplishments discovered to be built on a foundation of luck and lies? Well! As it turns out, even babies can tell how unbelievably full of shit you are.

Rats May Actually Be Nicest People in New York

Max Read · 12/08/11 05:00PM

Here is a fact about New York City: it is filled with jerks. Here's another fact about New York City: it is filled with rats. Here's a third fact, recently discovered by scientists: rats are actually super nice, possibly (probably) even nicer than New Yorkers.

The Army's Plan to Cure Nightmares

Wired.com · 10/21/11 12:40PM

A soldier tries to sleep. But he is not safe in his dreams. Jolted awake by a nightmare, the combat veteran fumbles in the dark for his 3-D glasses. He puts them on. Around him are the faces of people whom he trusts. They fight the darkness with him. The soldier's re-lived this scene in his head and the laboratory over and over again, until it has become reassuringly familiar. The soldier knows that his pixelated friends will take him away from these troubled dreams. When the scene is over, he takes off his goggles and looks around him. The soldier is home.

Man Somehow Fails to Turn His Poop Into Gold By Heating It

Lauri Apple · 10/21/11 08:12AM

Our mom says that "anything's possible if you put your mind to it," and she's never wrong, so we're fairly certain that there is some way to transform human poop into gold. But mixing the poop with fertilizer and putting it on a heater is not that way, as Irish wannabe wizard Paul Moran recently discovered.

Politicians Still Won't Let Us Eat Frankenfish

Jeff Neumann · 09/12/11 06:31AM

Just last year it seemed almost inevitable that genetically engineered Frankenfish would soon be readily available to American consumers. But some lawmakers, like Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, are a little creeped out by the idea and are holding up FDA approval. Murkowski told the AP that the idea of eating Frankenfish "kind of gives me the heebie jeebies."

The Pentagon Is Great at Blowing Your Money

Jeff Neumann · 08/12/11 05:30AM

While the rest of America watches the economy go down the shitter all over again, the Pentagon is busy blowing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on toys that don't work. Perhaps you've heard about the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 and its alleged Prompt Global Strike™ capabilities? It failed for a second time during a test flight yesterday off the coast of California.

How Not to Prove Facebook Is Destroying Our Relationships

Adrian Chen · 08/02/11 12:46PM

Slate editor David Plotz explores a crucial technological puzzle in an article today: What happens when you befriend hundreds of strangers on Facebook, then lie to them and say it's your birthday? Turns out they wish you happy birthday, which proves the internet is destroying us all.

Which Would Protect You Best From Gun Fire: A Book or a Kindle?

Ajay Mehta · 01/30/11 04:00PM

The quarterly Electric Literature has taken many of last year's thickest and most acclaimed novels (such as Jonathan Franzen's Freedom) and put bullets through them. Literally. Maybe Kindle lovers should be walking around in Kevlar vests.

'Virtual Fence' Scrapped After Wasting $1 Billion

Jeff Neumann · 01/15/11 09:26AM

After blowing $1 billion on an electronic "virtual fence" along the border with Mexico, the Department of Homeland Security yesterday finally ditched the $7 billion project in favor of surveillance drones and human patrols. Bravo, DHS. Money well spent. [NYT]