Returning to my hotel in Las Vegas one night this summer, I discovered that the parking garage was completely full. Not sure what else to do -- and with time running out before a show I had tickets to -- I drove my BMW 650i Coupe up to the hotel's valet. "That's a really nice car," the guy said. "Do you mind if we keep it out in front?"
MOJAVE DESERT, Calif.--It's hard to imagine a more complete -- and impressive -- collection of aviation facilities and aircraft anywhere on the planet than the one in this vast, arid, wide-open wasteland northeast of Los Angeles.
Thanks to its endless amounts of dry, flat terrain, useless to most people, and the fact that there are only a few ways in -- vital for security -- the Mojave is, and has long been, the beating heart of the aviation world. It's here that Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier. And where Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne ushered in … Read more
LOS ANGELES -- Walking through gallery after gallery of classical European paintings, sculptures, and other antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum here, it's easy to get lost in the history and beauty of the often centuries-old art. Especially if you're toting today's latest mobile technology.
Home to some of the most celebrated European artwork in the world -- and one of the most visited museums in the United States -- the Getty has also become one of the museums most devoted to adopting technology aimed at enhancing guests' experience, as well as at using high-tech tools … Read more
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- If you want to know how U.S. Marines stationed deep in the desert of Afghanistan get highly accurate real-time weather reports, you have only to look to this stunning seaside town and some of its leading ocean scientists.
What started as a Marine's random comment about needing better weather forecasting because of the dangers of flying in extreme desert conditions quickly led to the development of a tool that can be set up just about anywhere by a couple of Marines in minutes. … Read more
SAN DIEGO -- The U.S. Navy spends a fortune every year on energy, so for a ship to complete a deployment having burned through just half the cash it had available for fuel is a very good sign of things to come.
For some time, the Navy has been saying many of the right things about its plans to go green, starting with a major biofuels initiative. And though a recent Wired report claims that the servicewide efforts have lost steam, the performance of the USS Makin Island could well be a bright spot.
SAN YSIDRO, Calif.--They were hidden in the gas tank -- 17 tightly-wrapped packages of marijuana weighing in at 38.44 pounds.
The car was nondescript, a green 1999 Mazda 626. The driver was a male 50-year-old Mexican national, a resident of Tijuana who had presumably been hoping to make it into California without being stopped.
Instead, the man got caught with the massive haul of pot, snared by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers here at the world's busiest border crossing using several tools in their arsenal -- some high-tech, some very low-tech -- to find … Read more
PALOMAR MOUNTAIN, Calif.--If you want to talk big scientific breakthroughs, how about quasars and supernovae?
Those are just two of the most important discoveries in the long, very storied history of the Palomar Observatory, a set of telescopes and other astronomical instruments located at the top of this mountain northeast of San Diego. And while the facility no longer holds quite the place in the astronomy community that it once had, for most of the second half of the 20th century, it was the undisputed champion of the world.
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.--If you want to know what the future of airplane design looks like, you might have to make your way out to the middle of the Mojave Desert.
Tucked away inside a nondescript warehouse building at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center here, NASA, the U.S. Air Force, Boeing, and Cranfield Aerospace are working on an entirely new kind of plane, one which they hope could someday revolutionize aviation.
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.--He might be the most famous airman in the history of the U.S. Air Force, and he's a graduate of the Test Pilot School.
In 1947, Capt. Chuck Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier, hitting Mach 1.0 in a Bell X-1 rocket plane 42,000 feet above this Mojave Desert outpost. And today, to commemorate the import of the event that ushered in the supersonic era, the aircraft hangs from the ceiling in the entryway of the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
MERCURY, Nev. -- From the side that faced away from the blast, you might never even have bothered to look at this concrete dome. But walk around the other side, and there's no question something extraordinary happened here.
Welcome to the Nevada National Security Site, formerly known as the Nevada Test Site. As part of Road Trip 2012, I've come to visit this 1,375-square-mile expanse of harsh desert and even harsher mountains that begins about 75 miles north of Las Vegas. Here, from 1951 through 1992, a total of 928 nuclear weapons exploded, many of them sending … Read more