Science: Man in a Hurry

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Deep in the Mojave Desert, across the San Gabriel Mountains and 70 miles inland from Los Angeles, lies a strange, unnatural lake. It is eleven miles long and four miles wide, with clearly defined shores and what look like beaches. But, except for a short time after a rare desert rain, the lake has no water. Its smooth and precisely level surface is cement-hard dark-red mud. Its one surface craft is a weathered wooden dummy battleship, built long ago as a bomber target. Above it, in the bright desert sky, thunder the...

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