Uncommon Knowledge: Is your martini spying on you?
In 1965, when the Soviets were the enemy and the transistor radio was cutting edge equipment, the U.S. Congress began hearings on the topic of electronic surveillance. The star witness was Hal Lipset, private investigator from California who was renowned for his high-tech (and, some would say, “sleazy”) techniques for spying on people. Lipset stunned the politicians and the assembled press with is array of bugs, including one hidden underneath a rose petal in the bouquet displayed before the podium. But the device that seemed to steal the show was a tiny microphone and transmitter disguised as a martini olive, with its toothpick acting as an antenna. Did the CIA snap up that technology, ushering in an era of spies with James Bond sophistication? Nope. The martini mic had one small flaw. It would short circuit as soon as you tried pouring alcohol in the glass.