In 1951, the FBI Thought the Soviets Might Be Hiding an Atomic Bomb Somewhere in New York City

Image via Wikimedia Commons
Fat Man, the atomic bomb detonated over Nagasaki by the United States in 1945.
In the incredibly overheated, paranoid environment of the Cold War, anything seemed possible. Senator Joe McCarthy saw Communists hiding in every broom closet, Julius and Ehtel Rosenberg were executed as spies -- although the evidence we have today suggests that Ethel, at least, wasn't guilty of anything of the sort -- and the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched COINTELPRO, a series of covert actions spying on and disrupting various political organizations, including civil rights leaders and Vietnam war protesters. In 1951, according to a recently declassified FBI file, the agency also became convinced that an atomic bomb built by the Soviet Union could be hiding somewhere in New York City, waiting to be detonated. After receiving a rather flimsy tip from an unnamed informant in Brazil, the FBI spent several years quietly looking for the bomb.

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Putin and Medvedev Play Badminton for Control of Russia

Last month, Dmitri Medvedev announced he will not seek reelection and plans to allow Vladimir Putin to run for the Russian presidency in 2012. Any suspicions of bad blood between the two can be put to rest after watching the above video of Putin and Medvedev engaged in what looks like the most tepid game of badminton ever played. According to the Telegraph, Medvedev is a Badminton enthusiast. "It's not just a game," he says about the game half-enjoyed by nine-year-olds everywhere.

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How New Yorkers Describe Themselves in Their Online Dating Profiles

The "shy" map.
Ooh, infographics! Dating infographics! According to these enlightening maps by R. Luke DuBois, which appear today on Fast Company's Co.Design blog, America is quite diverse with regard to how we like to describe ourselves on our online dating profiles. In certain places (like West Virginia for men, and Arizona for women), "kinky" is a popular descriptor; in others, wannabe daters are more likely to call themselves "shy." DuBois apparently tried online dating briefly in 2008 and was fascinated by how it worked. We are equally fascinated by his maps.

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Russia Wants to Send Olympic Torch into Space

Russian officials are working hard to construct a plan to send the Olympic Torch into space. The Russian government wants to hand off the torch to the cosmonauts stationed in the International Space Station during the relay to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The AFP is reporting that the head of Russia's Federal Space Agency said "It is not a bad idea," and "It is theoretically possible."

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Zdravstvuite! Russian Interpreter Surprises Court by Being Himself

Kobina Ampah
It's usually the older, Soviet-era types from Sheepshead Bay who are in court, facing the usual illegal fishing charges. Most need a Russian interpreter. But none expect a lanky, bearded African man to rise to their side.

Kobina Ampah, 49, is a professional Ghanaian polyglot, and he's a rarity among the city's interpreters, who are most often native speakers of the language they interpret. Sometimes, he will tell you, even court workers mistake him for a defendant, not a translator.

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