"I have an exceedingly large collection of Historically-minded Radioactive Items..." February 21, 2012 8:37 AMSubscribe
The Boy who Played with Fusion. At age four, [Taylor Wilson] donned a fluorescent orange vest and hard hat and stood in front of the house, directing traffic. For his fifth birthday, he said, he wanted a crane. But when his parents brought him to a toy store, the boy saw it as an act of provocation. “No,” he yelled, stomping his foot. “I want a real one.” “Those were some tough times,” Taylor tells me one day, as he uses his mom’s gardening trowel to mix up a batch of yellowcake (the partially processed uranium that’s the stuff of WMD infamy) in a five-gallon bucket. “But as bad as it was with Grandma dying and all, that urine sure was something.” As Taylor stirred the toxic urine sample, holding the clicking Geiger counter over it, inspiration took hold. He peered into the swirling yellow center, and the answer shone up at him, bright as the sun.