The Cold War gift that keeps on giving. Just testing the the Davy Crockett may have contaminated 12,000 acres around Fort Carson with uranium and depleted uranium residue. “In the general mindset of the era, it was deemed a requirement for more covert, squad level nuclear weaponry…called the ‘Davy Crockett,’ it was a 155mm caliber tactical nuclear recoilless gun” With an explosive yield of .01-.02 kilotons, or the equivalent of 10 to 20 tons of TNT the Davy Crockett was developed for covert units to destroy Soviet infrastructure, engage tank formations or repel larger units. As the largest conventional ordinance has a blast yield of 11 tons of TNT and was short ranged, very inaccurate and likely to expose users to radioactive fallout and contaminate large areas for years, the weapon was wisely discontinued. Previously [more inside]
"More than sixty years have passed since Israel started its nuclear venture and almost half a century has elapsed since it crossed the nuclear weapons threshold. Yet Israel's nuclear history still lacks a voice of its own: Israel has never issued an authorized and official nuclear history; no insiders have ever been authorized to tell the story from within. Unlike all seven other nuclear weapons states, Israel's nuclear policy is essentially one of non-acknowledgement. Israel believes that nuclear silence is golden, referring to its nuclear code of conduct as the policy of amimut ("opacity" in Hebrew)." A special collection of declassified documents was published by the National Security Archive this Wednesday, that sheds some light on How Israel Hid Its Secret Nuclear Weapons Program.
The TSA has started an Instagram page showing confiscated items from TSA checkpoints in airports around the country.
Her encampment is 'an old patio umbrella draped in a white plastic sheet secured with binder clips. It is flanked by two large boards with messages in capital letters: BAN ALL NUCLEAR WEAPONS OR HAVE A NICE DOOMSDAY and LIVE BY THE BOMB, DIE BY THE BOMB. This rudimentary shelter has been positioned outside the White House for more than three decades. It is a monument itself now, widely considered the longest-running act of political protest in the United States, and this woman, Concepcion Picciotto — Connie, as she’s known to many — is its longest-running caretaker.' [more inside]
The Navy has spent seven years testing out the components of a way-futuristic weapon: a shipboard cannon that blasts bullets over vast distances at hypersonic speeds using bursts of electricity. ... The Navy released video of the first tests, viewable above, on Tuesday. The dramatic mini-inferno in the wake of the slug fired from the railgun is the result of “1 million amps flowing through” the gun, said test chief Tom Boucher, the hypersonic speed of the shot, and the actual aluminum of the bullet — “reactive in the atmosphere” — burning off.
The B53 wasn’t just any old megabomb. It was the first bunker buster. U.S. nuclear doctrine called for it to be delivered over suspected underground Soviet command-and-control facilities. The dumb bomb wouldn’t destroy them so much as it would destroy everything remotely near it, leaving — literally — a smoldering crater. That was the U.S. plan for “victory” in a nuclear war right up until the implosion of the Soviet Empire. (related) [more inside]
Japan's Okunoshima Island once produced chemical weapons. After 1945, the facilities where shut down but the buildings remained and the island became famous for something else: Being home to hundreds and hundreds of rabbits. ((via)
It may take years, but some researcher will travel to Pakistan’s tribal areas and produce a definitive study on what it’s been like to live amidst an aerial bombardment from American pilotless aircraft. When that account inevitably comes out, it’s likely to find that 2010 — and especially the final quarter of 2010 — marked a turning point in how civilians coped with a drone war that turned relentless. (previously: 1,2)
Michael was born without arms, yet he has managed to learn how to load and shoot a 1911 pistol. (SLYT)
In 2015, if all goes well, the USS Gerald R. Ford, the most powerful warship ever built, will begin service in the U.S. Navy - retiring the venerable Enterprise (CVN-65). Though displacing the same 100,000 tons as her Nimitz-class counterparts, increased automation will let her operate with hundreds fewer crewmembers. Capable of launching 90 planes, including the F-35C Lightning II, on 220 sorties a day, she will defend herself against anti-ship missiles with the Raytheon RIM-162 ESSM. [more inside]
Ricky Jay's legendary book, "Cards As Weapons," is out of print. Used copies are expensive. Luckily, you can read it here. (The book contains some NSFW content.) I've you're new to Ricky Jay, start here.
Though President Obama has signed no laws since taking office that prohibit gun purchases and ownership, that hasn't stopped permit applications and weapons sales in the United States from rising through the roof and worried state legislators from passing laws they wouldn't otherwise pass, which greatly ease access and allow carrying weapons in, among other public areas, city, state and national parks. Schools may have to get their kids prepared.
SciFiGuy.ca explores the infinite wonder and beauty of the Urban fantasy book cover (youtube, bad music) (via).
Does carrying a gun protect you from physical harm? Research by epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine suggests that carrying a gun makes one 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault, than someone not possessing a gun. Resisting increases one's odds of suffering harm even greater. [more inside]
Database Machine Drawings - Early modern machine drawings from the late Middle Ages up to 1650. Traced by engineers (or by their order), some are inscrutable, others Escherian.
The gyrojet pistol (video) - a handgun firing 13mm rocket ammunition, was an attempt to revolutionise gun design in the 1960s. Around a thousand were produced, and some may have seen use in Vietnam. Rifle and carbine versions were also produced. Design problems meant that it never seriously competed conventional firearms, but there is a modern attempt to revive the concept.
Wanna get nuked? the Active Denial System [just say no?] was launched yesterday - its a microwave ray gun that makes people feel like they're going to catch fire. Wasn't there a ray gun at a certain point in a book we trashed a while earlier?
Metal Storm Limited specializes in weapon systems featuring rapid fire electronically fired bullets, up to 1 million a minute. The weapons platform can be used to make the worlds strongest handgun as well as be used to equip unmanned drones with firepower. The most frightening of which is perhaps the "dragonfly" micro copter. Their site has a number of videos showcasing some of the various weapons applications. Metal Storm has been around for a while, without getting a product to market, but with a recent influx of funding it doesn't look like they are going to go out of business any time soon.
Terrorists not allowed in space (the FAA would like to regulate commercial space flights)
Sonic Youth. Mentioned as far back as Bible when the walls of Jericho are brought down by trumpets, sonic weapons have often been the stuff of legend. Now a UK company is selling a sonic device targeted specifically against gangs of youths.
Roger Scramjet, he’s our man!! Mach 10, 7000mph New York to Tokyo in 2 hours! The future of global air travel? Or something else? What does Russia think of our new precision time-critical strike weapons with significant stand off capability as well as prompt global reach? Oh, nothing really...
Nambu: WWII Japanese Handgun Website.
Father's day is coming! What do you get for the dad who has everything? Well, you can't get him a Dayak poisoned dart blowpipe from Kenya, or a Lohar throwing sickle, or even a gorgeous domed shield from Persia, because they've all been sold. Better hurry, or it's another tie this year. Maybe you could get him something to poke his elephants with. And yes, I am just a shill for this company: for every 10 scary-looking shark's tooth swords I sell, I get a free decorative skull.
SARS A Biological Weapon? Now that SARS has been decompiled (sequenced), scientists are starting to suggest that it appears to be manmade, possibly as a bioweapon that escaped from a lab. Via linkfilter.
Sound to make an army flee A NEW sonic weapon being developed for the Pentagon makes use of one of the most fearsome sounds known to humans: a baby crying. The article also talks about use for crowd control. If I were a club owner, I'd buy one so that everyone clears out expiditiously. Clear them out like cockroaches when the lights come on!
Dutch siege is a protest against wide-screen TV manufacturer. A gunman is holding hostages in a Amsterdam office. Apparently he's demonstrating against the manufacturers of wide-screen TV's for selling "creative nonsense". Who reckons he's just pissed cos he can't afford one?
This amazing weapon was fired by a helicopter into the third floor of a building and was so accurate it actually decapitated its target without harming the other tenants.
Cell Phone Guns Discovered. “We find it very, very alarming,” says Wolfgang Dicke of the German Police union. “It means police will have to draw their weapons whenever a person being checked reaches for their mobile phone.”