Dean Kamen is largely known as the eccentric inventor of the Segway. When he bought a two acre island off the coast of Connecticut (though officially in New York state), and local governments prohibited him from building a wind turbine, he thought the next logical step would be to secede North Dumpling Island from the United States of America.
Though the half-joking secession is not officially recognized by the U.S., he signed a non-aggression pact with friend and then-President George H.W. Bush, issued his own money, designed a flag, wrote a national anthem, and named the founders of Ben & Jerry’s as his “Ministers of Ice Cream.”
With a combination of wind and solar energy and heavy usage of LED lights, the island works independently of regional electrical grids. There is even a lighthouse, a replica of Stonehenge, and a “navy” consisting of one amphibious vehicle. The official vehicle of Dean Kamen’s island nation is, you guessed it, a Segway.
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Only in Queens: Tasting Our Way Through New York’s Most Diverse Borough
Manhattan may have name-brand recognition and Brooklyn a certain cache, but Queens is the city’s largest and most diverse borough. Join us, May 17–20, to dig into Queens’ rich neighborhood life.