1971: Soviet scientists claimed to have invented a method of making brandy in 10-15 days, as opposed to the 2-3 years it usually takes. Specifically, their method involved infusing grape juice with "oak shavings irradiated with 200 rads," and in this way rapidly transforming the juice into brandy.
San Rafael Daily Independent Journal - Sep 14, 1971
The answer is that, no, the law doesn't require alcohol to be radioactive, but any alcohol made from plants is going to be slightly radioactive because the plants have been exposed to cosmic rays. As opposed to synthetic alcohol made from petroleum, which will be far less radioactive. So, one way to determine if alcohol came from plants or petroleum is to measure how radioactive it is. Most people, I assume, would prefer the more radioactive stuff.
With Chernobyl in the news again, perhaps we need to revive this song.
Gary and the Outriders, a local music group, recorded an original song, "Goodbye T.M.I. (The Ballad of Three Mile Island)," and released it as a 45 rpm record. Its catchy melody contrasts with its dire refrain: "Goodbye, goodbye to your life, T.M.I."
Marie Adams, food editor of the Charlotte News, felt that nuclear war shouldn't stop a "fallout shelter housewife" from providing her family with tasty meals and "appetizing snacks". In a 1961 column (Sep 7, 1961) she offered suggestions for fallout shelter meals that included deviled ham and parsley dip served with tomato juice, swedish fruit soup with cheeses, and vichyssoise with crackers.
There's some info about this (as well as it's possible use on the Moon or Mars) in the book Terraforming Mars:
A means, however, of generating a glass coating on the wall, as a direct result of the tunneling process could be achieved by nuclear heating and melting, rather than nuclear explosive crushing. This latter idea has been explored at the Los Alamos National Laboratory under the guise of the SUBTERRENE program in which it was envisioned that the heat from a fission-reactor might be used to literally melt the rock around it - effectively, that is, tunnelling by the controlled use of a China-Syndrome meltdown. Indeed, a US patent (#3,693,731) for such a nuclear tunneling machine, was awarded to Dale Armstrong and co-workers at Los Alamos in September 1972. The patent application states, "this invention provides a rapid versatile economical method of deep-earth excavation, tunneling shaft sinking which offers solutions to ecological problems, acquiring natural resources presently inaccessible and access to an enormous reservoir of natural heat energy. These valuable subterranean sources include natural minerals and hydrocarbons, fresh water and clean geothermal heat energy".
The same technology was proposed by Joseph Neudecker and co-workers, in 1986, as a means by which tunnels might be bored upon the Moon in order to construct a subsurface transportation system. Describing their nuclear-powered melting machine as a SUBSELENE, Neudecker et al. calculate that a fission-reactor-heated, 5-m diameter tunneler could be made to advance by as much as a 50-m per day through the lunar subsurface. This tunneling, they argued could (indeed, must) be operated remotely. Importantly, for tunnel coherence and stability, the material melted at the front of the SUBSELENE would be extruded at its backend to form a glass lining on the tunnel wall.
Atomic Chess is a variant of chess that was invented by Nasouhi Bey Tahir, the Transjordanian Deputy Minister of Agriculture, in 1949. Most of its rules were the same as the traditional game except that it was played on a larger board (of 144 squares) and when a pawn was promoted it would become an 'atomic bomb'. When used it would annihilate all pieces (of both players) within a radius of six squares from the object of attack.
The game also involved two other pieces, a tank and airplane, but I'm not sure how these were used.
Sydney Morning Herald - May 1, 1949
Chess.com describes a different version of Atomic Chess, that it says was introduced in 2000. This newer variant is played on a standard board, with the twist that "whenever a piece is captured, an 'explosion' reaching all the squares immediately surrounding the captured piece occurs. This explosion kills all of the pieces in its range except for pawns." Therefore, every capture, except by a pawn, is suicidal.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.