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Homeland Security Eyes Lobster Eyes

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Homeland Security Eyes Lobster Eyes

Homeland Security Eyes Lobster Eyes

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ALISON STEWART, host:

Welcome back to THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. I'm Alison Stewart.

JOHN FUGELSANG, host:

And I am John Fugelsang. And you know, when they asked me to come in and guest host alongside you, I said two things: What should I wear, and do I get to do The Ramble with Alison Stewart.

STEWART: Did both work out for you?

FUGELSANG: Yes.

STEWART: Okay.

FUGELSANG: Yes. I didn't know you're in a dress code here, but I'm very excited about rambling.

STEWART: All right. Let's take a look at some of these news stories you can't really use but are a lot of fun to talk about anyway. Cue music.

(Soundbite of music)

FUGELSANG: All right, it's The Ramble theme. Now, if your New Year's resolution is to begin a new life as a violent fugitive, you might want to think it over. The FBI is teaming up with Clear Channel to post the mug shots of wanted bad guys in eight-second spots on digital billboards. The program's going nationwide after a test run in Philly helped them nab several suspected criminals, including one guy who fled to Florida. In addition to the giant most0wanted posters for what the FBI calls very violent, very dangerous fugitives, Clear Channel will also put up photos of missing children.

STEWART: So you mean to tell me I can - I might be driving down the street and I could look up and I could see a guy in the billboard and I'm going to, like, hey, that's a guy who gives me coffee at my local deli?

FUGELSANG: Exactly.

STEWART: In theory.

FUGELSANG: Yes. It's not just for bucket-list billboards…

STEWART: Okay.

FUGELSANG: …anymore. Now, you can see violent (unintelligible).

STEWART: Or Angeline(ph), oh no.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: This story, we can't decide which is more freaky, whether that Homeland Security is developing ways to inspect through walls or the fact that lobsters can see through yourself. They are connected. Homeland Security is sponsoring the development of handheld LEXIDs. That's an acronym for Lobster-Eye X-ray Imagining Devices. It could potentially see through walls made of wood, concrete, steel and other materials. Apparently, lobster's eyes are made of tiny little sensors, thousands of them. They pick up very small amounts of light and then out of (unintelligible) it allows them to see through dark, cloudy water.

FUGELSANG: I did not know that.

STEWART: Yeah.

FUGELSANG: Well, our second Ramble in a row with a bronze statue story today, this one about Bruce Lee. A group of students at University of Washington, where Lee studied for three years, are petitioning to get a life-size monument to the martial arts icon erected on campus. Students say a statue of Bruce Lee would help to better represent the diversity on campus.

STEWART: All right. You got to break that one down for me. How does that work?

FUGELSANG: Well, here's why. Because they've got dozens and dozens of statues of mostly Caucasian men, including George Washington, the namesake, but the actual campuses' 35 percent minority, one in four students there, are Asian. So they're trying to get a statue, a non-violent image of Lee meditating, although some students wouldn't mind one of Lee thrashing Chuck Norris in "Way of the Dragon."

STEWART: Yeah. I'm not sure which statue - I mean, I'm pro-meditation, but when I think Bruce Lee…

FUGELSANG: I think shirtless, I think…

STEWART: Exactly.

FUGELSANG: …fighting stance, yeah.

STEWART: Hmm. All right. Stamp collectors, never say die. Do you they (unintelligible) collecting stamp school. I had a little, little bout with this for awhile. I think most kids do. I'm hoping I wasn't the only one. Remember the one with the upside-down airplane, it's worth a million bucks.

FUGELSANG: Of course, yeah.

STEWART: Yup. A guy tried to buy one a month ago. He was out dead so he comes back and boom, he got one in this month for $825,000.

FUGELSANG: What a steal.

STEWART: I know it's a 24-cent stamp of a biplane it's from 1980, it was famously misprinted upside down. Ventures(ph) apparently call it the inverted jenny. Just you know if you're ever on "Jeopardy." That one (unintelligible) help you out.

FUGELSANG: Going back to 1918.

STEWART: That does it for The Ramble. You can find these stories and so much more on our Web site npr.org/bryantpark.

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