A "scientific ghost town", equipped to research everything from traffic patterns to renewable energy, is to be built in the desert near Hobbs, N.M.
The real-life Science Enrichment Center will create hundreds of jobs, but have no residents of its own. Intended as a scale model of a "typical American town of 35,000", it will be a high-tech mirror to its host. Hobbs beat Las Cruces to host the $1bn experiment, the latest in a series of economic wins for the energy-rich region near the Texas border.
Pegasus Global Holdings, the firm behind the planned installation, says it will also be used to develop "homeland security" testing areas and to text next-gen cellular networks.
No word on whether cake will be served, or how frequently.
CITE Design [Center for Innovation Testing and Evaluation]
P.S. I used to live in Hobbs, and there were always wild things like this being planned. One was to construct a gigantic reservoir, several kilometers long, from the wastewater discarded by the local energy industry. Already near town is the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a nuclear waste dump that will eventually be topped by bizarre, scary sculptures and the following warning to any future civilizations that might chance upon it.
This place is not a place of honor.
No highly esteemed deed is commemorated here.
Nothing valued is here.
This place is a message and part of a system of messages.
Pay attention to it!
Sending this message was important to us.
We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.
Now I will forever hear it in a certain robotic female voice.
P.P.S. a former Hobbs police chief once told me that nearby Eunice, N.M., was the "state capital of weird sex."
UDPATE: From the archives, following are designs for the proposed nuclear deadzone warning sculptures. Here's the official government PDF describing the requirements, itself an incredible read.