U.S. Department Of Energy Secretary Rick Perry gave “six secret authorizations by companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia,” Reuters reports, based on a copy of a document seen by reporters on Wednesday. Read the rest
On July 16, 1945, US Army detonated the first nuclear weapon in New Mexico's Jornada del Muerto desert. Codenamed Trinity, the test was part of the Manhattan Project. Three weeks later, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From the Atom Central page about Trinity:
The bomb was detonated, producing an intense flash and a fireball that expanded to 600 meters in two seconds. The explosive power was equivalent to 18.6 kilotons of TNT. It grew to a height of more than 12 kilometers, boiling up in the shape of a mushroom. Forty seconds later, the blast of air from the bomb reached the observation bunkers, along with a long and deafening roar of sound.
About this footage:
Original Trinity Footage restoration includes removing dirt and scratches and minimizing some defects in the processing of the original negative. Three shots include a wide shot, a medium shot and a close up.
Previously: "Nuclear explosion porn: watch newly declassified 1950s-1960s nuke test films"
Read the rest
In 1974, the State of New York banned nunchuku, the Okinawan martial arts weapon popularized in the US by the classic Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon. On Friday, 44 years later, Brooklyn federal court judge Pamela Chen ruled that the ban is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. The plaintiff in the case is a fellow named James Maloney who had been busted nearly 20 years ago for possessing nunchaku in this home. From the Associated Press:
Read the rest
The ruling went over the history of the ban, and said it “arose out of a concern that, as a result of the rising popularity ‘of ‘Kung Fu’ movies and shows,′ ‘various circles of the state’s youth’ — including ‘muggers and street gangs’ — were ‘widely’ using nunchaku to cause ‘many serious injuries.’”..
Maloney, a professor at the State University of New York’s Maritime College, said some of his motivation was outrage. “How could a state simply ban any and all possession of a weapon that had a long and proud history as a martial-arts weapon, with recreational, therapeutic and self-defense utility,” he said.
Maloney also wanted to teach a form of martial art using nunchucks that he created, which he calls “Shafan Ha Lavan” to his sons, the ruling said.
From the Dept. of Making-Knives-Out-of-Oddball-Things, aka kiwami japan, comes the "sharpest Cardboard kitchen knife in the world," one made from an ordinary Amazon box. It chops, it dices, it slices!
kiwami japan previously on BB Read the rest
The Defense Department’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program has demonstrated the Radio Frequency Vehicle Stopper, an experimental "direct energy weapon" that causes car and boats' electronic engine control units to enter into an endless cycle of rebooting, immobilizing the vehicles until the weapon is switched off.
Read the rest
Dick's Sporting Goods has decided to destroy its stock of AR-15 rifles. If you'd like to do the same, I suggest you refer the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)'s official guide
to destroying "machineguns" that would surely be effective to render AR-15 rifles completely useless. The key tool is "a cutting torch having a tip of sufficient size to displace at least ¼ inch of material at each location."
• Each cut must completely sever the receiver in the area indicated by the diagonal lines.
• The receiver must be completely severed in each area indicated with a diagonal torch cut.
• Cutting by means of a band saw or cut-off wheel does not ensure destruction.
"Machinegun Destruction" (via Rolling Stone) Read the rest
If the last you saw of fighting wheeled robots was Robot Wars, well, things have moved on in the last few years! Check out these single-minded sumobots, as fast as the eye can see and ruthlessly optimized to their purpose.
The video was shot/compiled by Robert McGregor. Here's more:
With the slower, more implicitly purposeful Boston Dynamics bots, there are usually two responses: firstly, "holy shit!", and secondly, "something something welcome our new robot overlords." Their resemblance to mammal forms is both appealing and unnerving.
But here there is only "holy shit!" These lightning-fast, plainly unlovable little fellas are a good reminder of what the reality will be: the same overlords as before, but wielding weapons so tiny and fast that you won't even see them coming.
[via] Read the rest
Looking like an iPhone rollout or creepy TED Talk, this sci-fi PSA from the group Stop Autonomous Weapons looks at a possible near future of autonomous drones trained to kill a specific human target. Read the rest
What a time to be alive.
Duke Robotics brings a fully robotic weaponry system to an airborne platform. TIKAD, which is a proprietary development of Duke, uses the delivery of a unique suppression firing and stabilization solution. TIKAD allows governments to utilize completely new capabilities against terrorist groups and reduce the number of deployed ground troops, and therefore, the number of casualties.
(via Daily Grail) Read the rest
We survived bottle flipping and fidget spinners, but will the next big fad be dangerous modded toothpick crossbows that shoot nails more than half the length of a football field? Read the rest
This vintage (2011) clip shows Australian TV host Karl Stefanovic describing his home defense strategy: keeping a "long stabby thing" by the side of the bed. Cohost Lisa Wilkinson reports having a "swordy thing." Correspondent Georgie Gardner also has a long stabby thing, the one you suspected. Nevertheless, there has been some discussion of what Karl's long stabby thing might be; my money is on a four-foot poker, useful for fending off not only burglars but also logical positivists. Read the rest
"Can I bring my rechargable power bank the shape of the greatest orc warriors Orgrim's Doomhammer on a plane?" asks Itaku on Twitter.
"We're glad you asked," replies AskTSA, an official account of the Transportation Security Administration. "Replica weapons, even those belonging to Horde Chieftains, must be packed in checked bags."
Read the rest
In weaponry, as in life, sometimes the best things are free. Take the lowly IKEA pencil. No, literally take one or more of the ubiquitous free writing utensils. Then watch this video on how to weaponize them. Read the rest
"Say hello to my little friend!" [via @codinghorror.]
Previously: Flamethrower trombone Read the rest
Sarah A. Topol profiles Mary Wareham and several other experts concerned about the near future of autonomous weapons. Read the rest
Sling bullets, used by Roman soldiers in an attack on a fort in Scotland some 1800 years ago, appear designed to whistle in flight. A battery of them could be terrifying; or perhaps simply very loud and annoying.
These holes converted the bullets into a "terror weapon," said archaeologist John Reid of the Trimontium Trust, a Scottish historical society directing the first major archaeological investigation in 50 years of the Burnswark Hill site.
"You don't just have these silent but deadly bullets flying over; you've got a sound effect coming off them that would keep the defenders' heads down," Reid told Live Science. "Every army likes an edge over its opponents, so this was an ingenious edge on the permutation of sling bullets."
Archeology.co.uk conducted tests with replicas to see what it would have sounded like:
Read the rest
Two extraordinary facts concerning the small bullets with holes (now dubbed type IIIs) also emerged. First, they could be successfully slung in small groups of three or four to create a form of grapeshot. This had been independently confirmed by T Richardson in his work on Roman sling-bullets at the Royal Armouries. Even more intriguingly, the mysterious holes proved to confer an aerophonic quality: in flight, these lead shot whistled, or more accurately gave off a mechanical buzzing sound eerily reminiscent of an agitated wasp (click below to hear for yourself). Remarkable as it sounds, the simplest explanation for this design modification is that it represents an early form of psychological warfare. To put it another way, the Roman attackers valued the terror that hearing the incoming bullets would instil in the defenders.
People in ancient Greece used snakes as projectile weapons during sea battles, explains Gianni Insacco, a zoologist/paleontologist at Italy's Insacco Museo Civico di Storia Naturale.
Insacco's research team just reported that one of the weaponized species, the Javelin Sand Boa that was likely introduced to Italy by the Greeks during wartime, has survived in Sicily after not having been spotted for nearly 100 years.
Read the rest