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    Wright B Flyer launches GoFundMe campaign for new plane

    GoFundMe pageWright B Flyer Inc., the all-volunteer organization that flies a lookalike of America's first factory-built airplane, is building a new lookalike to replace the current one. We've* received some major cash and in-kind donations, but we're also happy to take $5, $10, or whatever you can spare. And to make it easy, we've launched a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe.com.

    The process is simple. Just go to Wright B Flyer's GoFundMe page, click on the big "Donate" button and follow the steps.

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    Dayton's heritage includes the Bomb

    Photo of former Unit 3 of the Manhattan Project site in Dayton.

    Unit 3 as it looks today. (Photo: Wikipedia)

    North Korea's recent claim that it tested a hydrogen bomb got me curious about a small, fenced-in lot just a few blocks from the Wright brothers' neighborhood. I'd heard the parcel of dilapidated buildings and piles of junk had played a role in the Manhattan Project, America's secret atomic bomb program in World War II. I started digging and discovered, through declassified government records, that this parcel's role was far more crucial than I'd ever imagined.

    It turns out the property at West First Street and Euclid Avenue (Google Map) was where a small team of chemists, working under legendary Monsanto scientist Charles Allen Thomas, developed a process to produce polonium-210. Polonium-210 is a highly radioactive but extremely rare metal that was essential to the bomb's initiator. The initiator was a device that fired a blast of neutrons at just the right moment to kick-start the atom-splitting process that created the atomic blast.

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