Taking a slightly different tact than DARPA's very lethal laser-guided bullets, the Pentagon reportedly once considered the Get Smart-esque idea non-lethal "laughing bullets," which would apparently collapse and release laughing gas (or other chemical agents) when they hit their target. According to NewScientist, the bullets would have the advantage of being compatible with regular rifles, and supposedly be safe over their entire range. Judging from the description, they'd also apparently have the ability to send folks into a Three Stooges routine, allowing the military to effectively "punch, slap and hit an individual repetitively from a distance." Despite pouring close to $100,000 into the idea, however, the bullets don't seem to have met with the DoD's satisfaction and were ultimately shelved -- at least, that's what they're saying "officially."

[Via Slashdot]