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Don’t fear the Green Reaper: The story of the Department of Energy’s dubious mascot

Don’t fear the Green Reaper: The story of the Department of Energy’s dubious mascot

The Green Reaper, a Grim Reaper colored green and holding a flower, is the Department of Energy’s National Security Technologies Energy Program’s idea of how to communicate “sustainability goals, successes and best practices,” including “energy awareness and recycling programs,” to the community, and to small children specifically. Why anyone thought this was a good idea is much harder question to answer.

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Read the Scientific American article the government deemed too dangerous to publish

Read the Scientific American article the government deemed too dangerous to publish

In April 1950, the US federal government raided the offices of Scientific American Magazine to destroy every printed issue, burning three thousand copies. The reason? The banned magazine contained an article, titled “The Hydrogen Bomb: II” written by Professor Hans Bethe, one of the country’s most prominent nuclear scientists, which had been deemed a threat to national security.

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Read the US Navy's 1975 guide to christening ships

Read the US Navy’s 1975 guide to christening ships

A copy of the US Navy’s 1975 guide to “Christening, Launching, and Commissioning” ships uncovered in the Central Intelligence Agency’s archives offers a fascinating history of the surprisingly rich tradition of ruining a perfectly good bottle of champagne.

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The FBI once grilled the “father of energy efficiency” over a note left on a table mat

The FBI once grilled the “father of energy efficiency” over a note left on a table mat

Though Arthur H. Rosenfeld would later rise to prominence as the “father of energy efficiency” for his role in creating new global standards for sustainable energy use in the ‘70s, the physicist’s FBI file is focused on a younger Rosenfeld being a high-profile target for Soviet spies. In addition to his coveted “Q” clearance guaranteeing a stash of nuclear secrets, Rosenfeld’s criticism of what he felt was extremism in defense of liberty - including an impassioned political debate that took place entirely on the margins of a table mat - had the Bureau wondering the extent to which Rosenfeld could be trusted at academic conferences held behind the Iron Curtain.

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As part its psychic research, the CIA explored claims of Soviet superweapons

As part its psychic research, the CIA explored claims of Soviet superweapons

As part of its ongoing psychic research in the ’80s, the Central Intelligence Agency explored the ideas of notorious “free energy” advocate Tom Bearden, according to one of Bearden’s papers discovered in the CREST archives by Mike Lewinski. In particular, the Agency was interested in “STAR WARS NOW!,” Bearden’s warning of Soviet weaponization of electromagnetic fields to create superweapons such as the “Tesla Howitzer.”

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