I don’t know all that much about the Naval Research Laboratory when I arrive in DC for “the public’s first opportunity to look inside” the space’s new $17 million Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research(LASR). I give the cab driver the address, and he casually tells me that it “stinks,” illustrating this notion with a universally familiar hand gesture. He means it literally, too – that you can smell the place, simply driving by in a cab, with the windows up. He says this with such assurance, such gusto, that I fully expect it to smell like the city dump. A wall of stink.