John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

You Know What They Say: You Can't Have Manslaughter Without Laughter!

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The Pentagon brain trust that hoped to develop a chemical agent that would inspire homosexual urges in enemy troops or afflict them with debilitating halitosis has really left a lasting imprint on the organization.

From its Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate comes word of a 2002 project to develop a nonlethal bullet with a laughing-gas payload. “The design of these bullets includes tailored explosives and propellants and a booster/projectile design with miniaturized mechanical components, where the energetic part or booster drops off on emergence from the gun, and a soft nose persists in its trajectory with high kinetic energy to impinge on the target with a strong blow or punch effect,” explains the 2002 proposal. “The nose can be automatically deflated on target impingement, releasing malodorants, irritants, laughing gas or other chemical agents. Essentially this nonlethal weapon will allow the military to ‘punch,’ slap and hit an individual repetitively from a distance and in a manner [that] provides no injuries.”

You’d think we had seen the pinnacle of Dr. Strangelove-style military schemes with “Who Me”–a material that produced a fecal odor with which its creators hoped to make enemy combatants a laughingstock.

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I guess not. Next thing you know, they’ll be drawing up plans to
keep plutonium land mines warm and operative with a flock of chickens


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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle