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Wacky dudes in Russia open 1940s war ration can and eat it because Russia

ezgif-293158190According to the uploader's description, these jolly Russian gentlemen here are opening what is identified as a 70-year-old package of Soviet fighter pilot war chow.

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Hamas claims Israel is using dolphins as spies

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According to an article in the Palestinian daily al-Quds, Israel has "recruited a watery pet, the dolphin, known for his friendship with humans, to use for operations to kill Qassam Brigade Naval Commandos."

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CIA boss John Brennan drafted this never-sent apology letter to senators over the CIA hacking

Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan.


Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan.

“The CIA accidentally released a document to me under FOIA and then asked that I refrain from posting it,” says VICE's Jason Leopold.

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Coming soon: Space Wars. Really.

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China, Russia, and the United Sates are developing new weapons to wage war in space. It starts by knocking out satellites using missiles, lasers, microwave interference, or spacecraft that "could simply approach a satellite and spray paint over its optics, or manually snap off its communications antennas, or destabilize its orbit," writes Lee Billings in Scientific American.

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We Are Legion: a battlefield game with no limit on army size

The gameplay video preview starts out mildly unimpressive, showing soldiers in their dozens milling around, unable to even go diagonally. Then it starts zooming out.

Ancient China, 220 AD. China is in disarray and within years the population plummets from 60 million to less than 20 million. Massive war involving millions of men devastates the land. When General Huangfu Song 義真 was asked how he got around the unit caps to build such massive armies, he replied “小馬是世界上最好的開發商” which in the barbarian tongue of English means roughly, “What the %$#^ are unit caps, this is war!”

Forget about micro. Forget about build orders. This war is about one thing. Ridiculous, uncompromising, seething masses of blood hungry warriors massacring each other by the hundreds every second.

There is no unit cap. Control armies of hundreds of thousands, even millions. Send orders to a single unit, or send orders to a million units. Frantically maintain control of your resources across epic sized maps, while constantly building out your fleet of barracks to churn out millions of more units.

There's something genuinely scary about the sheer number of sprites getting wiped out there! I humbly suggest that rather than Chinese antiquity, this game instead be recast as LEMMINGS: TOTAL WAR.

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Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking call for ban on “autonomous weapons”

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Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and hundreds of artificial intelligence researchers and experts have signed a letter calling for a worldwide ban on “autonomous weapons.”

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Word Wars: Daily war headlines transformed into an automated Star Wars intro crawl

Julien Deswaef's “Star Wars: News From the Empire” coding project gathers each day's war-related news headlines from the New York Times, and presents them in the style of the Star Wars opening crawl. Fully automated, updated and uploaded to YouTube daily.

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War photo negatives sunburned onto skin in 'Illustrated People'

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Artist Thomas Mailaender placed negatives from the Archive of Modern Conflict on models' skin, then irradiated it with UV light to create a sunburn print in his book Illustrated People.

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How you can contribute to whistleblower Chelsea Manning's legal defense fund

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We’re proud to announce a major new crowd-funding campaign in support of whistleblower Chelsea Manning to help pay for her important legal appeal.

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Canada's brave resistance versus America's giant killer robots


Brian K "Saga" Vaughan's new comic We Stand On Guard pits plucky Canadian guerrillas against an invading army of killer American mechas.

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America's broken promise to veterans who survived race-based chemical weapons testing in WWII

Three test subjects enter a gas chamber, which will fill with mustard gas, as part of the military's secret chemical warfare testing in March 1945. Courtesy of Edgewood Arsenal


Three test subjects enter a gas chamber, which will fill with mustard gas, as part of the military's secret chemical warfare testing in March 1945.
Courtesy of Edgewood Arsenal

NPR this week reported about secret chemical experiments performed by the U.S. military during World War II that grouped men by race. White soldiers were considered the "normal" test subjects. Black, Puerto Rican, Japanese, and other non-white populations were singled out, and sometimes used as proxies for "the enemy."

The formerly classified government program that tested chemical weapons on our own troops was first made public in the early 1990s, but the revelation that the experiments segregated participants by race is sparking new outrage.

When records of the tests were declassified in the early 1990s, the Veterans Administration promised it would find some 4,000 veterans who survived, and offer them compensation. Very few of these survivors, who experience serious health problems and disabilities, have received any aid.

Members of the 3d Ammunition Company, part of the 2nd Marine Division, relax with a captured bicycle after the Battle of Saipan. [Wikipedia]


Members of the 3d Ammunition Company, part of the 2nd Marine Division, relax with a captured bicycle after the Battle of Saipan. [Wikipedia]

Some of these men were literally locked inside gas chambers and tortured with poison gas, then told that if they spoke to anyone about what happened, they'd end up in a military prison.

NPR reports that while the Veterans Administration has responded to the story, the radio news organization is still waiting for the government to hand over documents related to the experiments done on some 60,000 soldiers. Still, NPR has "for the first time" tracked down some of the men who survived the race-based gassing.

"It took all the skin off your hands," says former Army soldier Rollins Edwards, who was exposed to mustard gas in a gas chamber experiment.

He is black, and was also ordered to crawl through fields coated in mustard gas.

"Your hands just rotted."

Mr. Edwards describes being led into the wooden gas chamber and locked inside with other soldiers.

“It felt like you were on fire,” the 93-year-old says. “Guys started screaming and hollering and trying to break out. And then some of the guys fainted. And finally they opened the door and let us out, and the guys were just, they were in bad shape.”

Rollins Edwards as a young soldier in 1945, in the Philippines.


Rollins Edwards as a young soldier in 1945, in the Philippines.

A total of 60,000 veterans participated in the tests, which sought to reveal what clothing, barriers, or ointments might protect U.S. soldiers attacked with mustard gas by foreign forces. The tests were conducted at bases like Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland, Camp Sibert in Alabama, as well as research institutions like the University of Chicago.

Caitlin Dickerson, reporting for NPR:

While the Pentagon admitted decades ago that it used American troops as test subjects in experiments with mustard gas, until now, officials have never spoken about the tests that grouped subjects by race.

For the first time, NPR tracked down some of the men used in the race-based experiments. And it wasn't just African-Americans. Japanese-Americans were used as test subjects, serving as proxies for the enemy so scientists could explore how mustard gas and other chemicals might affect Japanese troops. Puerto Rican soldiers were also singled out.

“The Germans put Jews in the gas chamber,” veteran Johnnie H. Ross told a reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1992. “The United States put their men in the gas chamber.”

In response to NPR's reports, the VA said:

"The Department of Veterans Affairs appreciates the service and sacrifices of those World War II Veterans who may have been injured in mustard gas testing. VA recognizes that disabilities may have resulted due to full body mustard gas exposure. VA has established presumptions of service connection for certain disabilities that may have resulted from this exposure.

"The NPR story rightfully points out the sacrifices that Veterans and their families have gone through during the years when they were sworn to secrecy. VA is prepared to assist any Veteran or survivor who contacts us in determining their entitlement to benefits. Additionally, if NPR is willing to share with us the list of 1,200 or so Veterans who they have been able to identify as having been exposed, VA will attempt to contact them to ensure they are receiving all the benefits and services to which they are entitled under the law."

These historical photographs depict the forearms of human test subjects after being exposed to nitrogen mustard and lewisite agents in World War II experiments conducted at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Courtesy of the Naval Research Laboratory


These historical photographs depict the forearms of human test subjects after being exposed to nitrogen mustard and lewisite agents in World War II experiments conducted at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Courtesy of the Naval Research Laboratory

"Mustard gas and American race-based human experimentation in World War II." Susan L. Smith, University of Alberta, Canada. [The Journal of Law Medicine & Ethics, 2008]

"The VA's Broken Promise To Thousands Of Vets Exposed To Mustard Gas" [NPR]

"Secret World War II Chemical Experiments Tested Troops By Race" [NPR]

Related item at The Daily Caller, New York Magazine, PBS NewsHour.

Women Are Needed: WWII-era U.S. government poster art, 1943.

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1943 U.S. Employment Service propaganda poster.

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Short documentary puts World War II fatalities into context

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More people died in World War II than in any other conflict in history, yet it can be hard to conceptualize that massive loss of life.

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Marshall Islands, site of largest-ever U.S. nuclear weapons test, sues 9 superpowers including USA

Nuclear weapon test Bravo (yield 15 Megatons) on Bikini Atoll. The test was part of the Operation Castle. The Bravo event was an experimental thermonuclear device surface event.


Nuclear weapon test Bravo (yield 15 Megatons) on Bikini Atoll. The test was part of the Operation Castle. The Bravo event was an experimental thermonuclear device surface event.

“The tiny nation of the Republic of the Marshall Islands is once again at the center of international activism, filing two lawsuits, one in US federal court against the United States, and one in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against all nine countries that possess nuclear weapons,” writes Robert Alvarez at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

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Obituary for an amazing history teacher


Katie sez, "This is an article by a friend of mine about a teacher who passed this week from our high school in Ontario, Canada. This history teacher had the students dig trenches, sleep in cold, wet tents, march and "mow down" other students all in an awesome example of teaching. I had already graduated after the first class did this, but it made headlines every year."

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Sandwars: the mafias whose illegal sand mines make whole islands vanish


Singapore's insatiable appetite for sand to use to expand its island's territory has led to a worldwide boom in illegal sand-mining, run by criminal gangs who are responsible for the destruction of entire islands in the Pacific rim.

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Burning Man temple to heal Ireland's Troubles, IRL and in Minecraft


David Best, who builds the enormous, gorgeous temples at Burning Man each year, created "Temple" in London/derry, where survivors of the Troubles have left memorials to their dead in advance of the temple being burned on Mar 21.

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