Here's a Mercury News profile of Bob Wallace, an 88-year-old chemist who started a very successful cottage business selling iodine crystals under the "Polar Pure" brand new, used by hikers and disaster relief workers for water purification. Wallace has been put out of business by the Drug Enforcement Agency, who say they once busted a meth lab that was using Wallace's iodine in their process. The DEA says it's not their fault: "If Mr. Wallace is no longer in business he has perhaps become part of that collateral damage, for it was not a result of DEA regulations, but rather the selfish actions of criminal opportunists. Individuals that readily sacrifice human lives for money."
"This old couple, barely surviving old farts, and we're supposed
to be meth dealers? This is just plain stupid," Wallace said, as he sat in the nerve center of his not-so-clandestine compound surrounded by contoured hiking maps, periodic tables and the prototypes of metal snowshoes he invented a few years ago. "These are the same knotheads that make you take your shoes off in the airport..."
For Wallace to comply, the state Department of Justice fingerprinted the couple and told Wallace he needed to show them such things as a solid security system for his product. Wallace sent a photograph of Buddy sitting on the front porch.
"These guys don't go for my humor," Wallace said. "Cops are the most humorless knotheads on the planet." Even so, Marco Campagna, Wallace's lawyer, promised to strengthen security and make other improvements to allay the government's concerns.
Federal agents say 88-year-old Saratoga man's invention is being used by meth labs
(Image: thumbnail cropped from a photo by Nhat V. Meyer/Mercury News)
This nifty tutorial from JustOrigami shows how to make a dollar origami guitar, a fun way to present a cash gift to someone, especially if they enjoy or play music.
On Historic Hunter, Shawn Woods repurposes materials he finds in a local dump into arrowheads using antlers and simple metal objects. The ancient technique, called flintknapping, will be handy to know after the zombie apocalypse.
Maker Evan Booth transformed a Keurig K350 coffeemaker into a “bionic” hand. As William Gibson once wrote, “the street finds its own uses for things.”
If you’re like us, packing and unpacking are two of your least favorite aspects of traveling. Specifically with multi-destination trips, our suitcases usually end in wrinkled clothing, toothpaste stains, and a misplaced deodorant.The good news is that we’ve found a suitcase that eliminates the disastrous effects of packing and unpacking: The Rolo Travel Bag ($42.99). You essentially use it […]
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