Few topics preoccupy Iranians more than the ongoing nuclear talks between their country and the P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany). The nuclear issue is on every single Iranian’s radar. This is not because they really care about the number of centrifuges spinning at Natanz, their country’s controversial enrichment plant. But the nuclear dossier has impacted every aspect of their lives. It has dictated Iran’s approach to foreign policy and governed domestic politics for over a decade.
The subject gets little publicity nowadays, but until the mid-1990s, the US Air Force openly funded research on how to destroy human eyeballs at a distance with lasers. At the time, the justification was that such a technology—causing permanent blindness—was no worse than burning people with napalm, irradiating them, or blasting them to bits with bombs.
In 1870, Jules Verne published Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, the story of Captain Nemo and his submersible ship, the Nautilus. This science fiction novel had a profound impact, inspiring generations of naval engineers and officers. Nemo’s major technological breakthrough was the design and construction of a ship equipped with electrical power, capable of sailing freely underwater while covering vast distances at an amazing 50 nautical miles an hour.