Handy advice for dodging and disarming the sonic weapons used by militarized police

Following up on their advice on how to safely topple a statue using sciencePopular Mechanics has another great new article on dealing with LRAD (long-range acoustic device) cannons. A popular choice among riot cops and other militarized police units, LRAD units are capable of violently brutalizing protestors with the excessive force of sound waves — which is better than bullets, I guess, but can still be pretty god damn painful. Audio producer Cory Choy described the experience for Popular Mechanics:

Horrible, nauseating pain hit my body. And then I realized it was sound. At first you just think, ‘What’s happening to me?’ Your body goes into complete pain and panic mode. It’s the sound equivalent of looking into the sun.

Writer Lynn Peskoe-Yang uses this experience as a jumping-off point for a history of LRADs, tracing their use through the Standing Rock protests as well as the 2017 Women's March, before finally offering some advice on how to handle the onslaught of a sonic boom:

The principle behind using an LRAD as crowd control, rather than for long-distance communication, is similar to the idea behind a whistle or a siren: they all emit tones in the most sensitive range of frequencies for most humans. At a distance, an LRAD deterrent tone may sound like any other alarm.

But while whistles emit sound waves in all directions, LRADs concentrate the waves in a narrow cone of sound, extending about 15 degrees in every direction from the axis, like a flashlight.

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Just in time for Halloween, a new Hellmouth opens near Salem

Tewksbury, Massachusetts is about 15 miles south of Salem, New Hampshire and 25 miles west of Salem, Massachusetts. It's also 25 miles north of Watertown, Massachusetts, where Eliza Dushku was born and raised, and 25 miles northwest of South Boston, where famed vampire slayer Faith Lehane (Dushku's character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was born and raised.

Given that proximity, it's the logical place for a Hellmouth to open.

Authorities have officially blamed the problem on a "water main break." But anyone who's seen the third season of Buffy knows this is just a convenient excuse orchestrated by the ascendant demons who work at town hall. While there have not been any reported vampire sightings as of this time, Tewksbury is right next to Wilmington, where Massachusetts' sneakily-privatized and FOIA-immune NEMLEC SWAT Units are headquartered, which is kind of the same thing. Read the rest

SWAT team murders burglary victim because burglar claimed he found meth

The Laurens, GA County Sheriff's Dept broke down David and Teresa Hooks' door and fatally shot David Hooks on a tip from Randall Garrett, a burglar with multiple felony convictions, who said he saw meth while robbing their house. Read the rest

Alameda Sheriff boots reporter from SWAT show for "unauthorized photos"

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