Send a Zombie Master to DC: Just as global pandemic fears strike, Obama snatches the state's emergency czar—New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Tim Manning—right out from under us. Manning has been tapped to serve as deputy administrator for National Preparedness in the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

On May 4, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs confirmed Manning's nomination by voice vote. His nomination now goes before the full Senate.

"These two people may actually be qualified for the positions for which they've been nominated," Committee Chairman Sen. Joe Lieberman, R-Conn., said at the beginning of the confirmation hearings for Manning and soon-to-be US Department of Homeland Security General Counsel Ivan Fong.

Lieberman obviously read SFR's Halloween issue, in which Manning successfully coordinated city, county and state efforts to control a zombie attack. Or maybe Lieberman was just impressed with Manning's theory on "plans."

"Having a plan is a very important first step, but understanding and using that plan is the most important step," Manning told the committee.

Send a Winged Ape to DC:
Q: How many flying monkeys does it take to build an electric lowrider?
A: 1,074.

Michael Ham, president of the Los Alamos-based renewable energy nonprofit KinAestheticWind, says his company can build the first electric lowrider truck in history for $10,000.

To do so, Ham has launched a "flying, screaming monkey" fundraiser. For every $20 his company receives, he'll send a plush monkey in a cape to a member of Congress with an "educational message advocating sustainable energy policies." For $150, donors can send a "five monkey army" to DC and get their names engraved on a plate mounted on the front of the truck.

So far, KinAestheticWind has raised $350. Ham hopes to send two monkeys to every US congressman, senator, the vice president and the president.

It's only fitting KinAestheticWind's main competitor is Hippy Motors, a small car company owned by Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong fame, which produced the first fully electric lowrider Oldsmobile.

To donate: The public can join in assembling the vehicle by signing up for the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos course, "Build an Electric Vehicle," which will meet Thursday nights between July 9 and 30.