Molly Crabapple's illustrations from Syria

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The illustrator collaborated with Syrian writer Marwan Hisham (a pseudonym), who sent her mobile-phone photos from Syria that she used as the basis for a striking and moving series of illustrations for a Vanity Fair feature. Read the rest

Scientists remove first seeds from ‘doomsday’ Arctic seed vault. Why? War in Syria.

The Global Seed Vault in Norway. REUTERS

The ongoing war in Syria has led researchers to make the first withdrawal of seeds from a "doomsday" vault in an Arctic mountainside, to protect global food supplies. Read the rest

How a World War II German sub captain used the toilet wrong and sunk his vessel

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On April 14, 1945, German captain Karl-Adolf Schlitt took a fancy U-1206 submarine into combat patrol for the first time. The sub had a new high-tech toilet that, according to the War Is Boring blog, "directed human waste through a series of chambers to a pressurized airlock" and "then blasted it into the sea with compressed air, sort of like a poop torpedo." After using the new-fangled crapper Schlitt apparently turned the wrong valve, allowing a backflow of waste and seawater into the sub, and it only got worse from there:

The unpleasant liquid filled the toilet compartment and began to stream down onto the submarine’s giant internal batteries — located directly beneath the bathroom — which reacted chemically and began producing chlorine gas.

As the poisonous gas filled the submarine, Schlitt frantically ordered the boat to the surface. The crew blew the ballast tanks and fired their torpedoes in an effort to improve the flooded vessel’s buoyancy.

Somehow, it got worse when the submarine reached the surface. “At this point in time British planes and patrols discovered us,” Schlitt wrote in his official account.

After taking damage from an air attack, the only option was to scuttle the sub and order the sailors overboard.

"The High-Tech Toilet That Sank a Submarine" Read the rest

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

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According 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.

Read the rest

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." Read the rest

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

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 reporter Jason Leopold. He declined their request.

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. Read the rest

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

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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. Read the rest

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.” Read the rest

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

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News from the Empire.

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. Read the rest

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

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Chelsea Manning's extraordinary act of whistleblowing continues to enrich journalism, the public, and the historic record to this day. Chelsea is currently appealing her unjust conviction and 35-year jail sentence under the Espionage Act, but her legal team is deeply in debt. Freedom of the Press Foundation is helping to raise money for her appeal by offering a way for people to donate to her legal defense here.

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. Read the rest

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
"It took all the skin off your hands," says former Army soldier Rollins Edwards. "Your hands just rotted."

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

Women are needed in “hundreds of war jobs.”

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. Read the rest

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.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands is suing the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China for failure to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

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