Clock is to Jail as Nuclear Reactor is to ...?

Yesterday I wrote a note about Ahmed Mohamed, this 14-year-old kid, who built a digital clock and got arrested for his trouble.  The Irving, TX police somehow retained enough instinct of self-preservation not to file any charges after all, but Ahmed remained suspended from school until today.  His stated plans now are to take President Obama up on the invitation to visit the White House, and then transfer to a non-idiotic school.  Good for him, I say.  But he was lucky.  The fickle eye of social media outrage rescued him from what was likely going to be a much worse outcome.  Without his case "going viral," I shudder to think how it might have gone.

So today I want to tell you about what happened when this other 14-year-old kid home-built a nuclear fusion reactor.  That might be a little more disconcerting than a clock, maybe? Well, meet Taylor Wilson:

Was he arrested?  Was he suspended from school?  Nope.  He was offered technical help and funding by the Department of Homeland Security.

OK - for twenty Internets: what is the important difference between these two young men, that determined the very different reactions to their precocity?

Sources: Raw Story and The Guardian

This article was updated on May 9, 2023

David F