LARP - what is it? - a comprehensive guide in comicbook form.
“In all honesty, we don’t know when it’s coming back for sure” - The US Air Force's first launch of the X-37b reusable space vehicle has provoked much speculation, with some even wondering if the Pentagon is reviving Nazi space-bomber plans. But was the launch of spaceplane an attempt to mask the launch of another secret weapon?
The Physics of Space Battles "I had a discussion recently with friends about the various depictions of space combat in science fiction movies, TV shows, and books. We have the fighter-plane engagements of Star Wars, the subdued, two-dimensional naval combat in Star Trek, the Newtonian planes of Battlestar Galactica, the staggeringly furious energy exchanges of the combat wasps in Peter Hamilton's books, and the use of antimatter rocket engines themselves as weapons in other sci-fi. But suppose we get out there, go terraform Mars, and the Martian colonists actually revolt. Or suppose we encounter hostile aliens. How would space combat actually go?"
Arms Control Wonk - a collaborative blog detailing the ins and outs of strategic weapons programs around the world. [more inside]
Russian strategic nuclear forces - an online watchdog of the movements of Russia's nuclear forces. [more inside]
From out of the shadow a red sword leapt flaming...Fire swords and how to make them (from scratch if you like). For performance or flaming sword fights. [more inside]
The Adventures Of A Would Be Arms Dealer (PDF) is an eight-page comic illustrating how an illegal arms deal works in practice. Via.
The exceptionally informative and well illustrated Galerie Ezakwantu has great pages on African tribal art, culture and history [due to partial nudity many links NSFW]: African Lip Plugs - Lip Plates; African Currency - African Slave Beads; Jewelry; African Scarification; Thrones and Stools; Shields; Combs; Musical Instruments; Fertility Dolls; Weapons; Zulu Basketry; Contemporary Art; Cups; Tribal Currency; Zulu Ricksha attire; Southern Africa Tribal Migrations; South African Kings and Chiefs. Also some interesting pages on anger about Robert Mugabe; the sale of the gallery owner's property; Cape Dutch Homesteads and blueberry recipes. [more inside]
Haven't you always secretly wondered what would happen if a ninja accidentally stumbled into, say, Bill and Ted's time traveling Phone Booth and ended up somewhere around 7th century BC, only to come face-to-face with a feisty Spartan? Have you not pondered what would happen if you locked up an Apache with a Gladiator inside some sort of 21st century battle dome? Are you frustrated because you feel like there's nobody doing proper scientific studies to see what would happen when you pit two historically violent warriors that could have never actually met in real life? Worry no more people - I present to you Spike TV's newest offering - Deadliest Warrior! [more inside]
Like crossbows? Like assault rifles? Got some spare AR-15 parts lying around begging to be crossbowed up? Then the PSE TAC 15 crossbow upper is for you! (video). Or how about this Swiss crossbow that can be cocked in 3 seconds? Alternatively build your own, or even build a repeating crossbow!
Photographer Paul Shambroom has spent the last sixteen years documenting a much-discussed but little seen aspect of American foreign policy -- our nuclear arsenal. [more inside]
A tense standoff has developed in waters off Somalia over an Iranian merchant ship laden with a mysterious cargo that was hijacked by pirates. Somali pirates suffered skin burns, lost hair and fell gravely ill "within days" of boarding the MV Iran Deyanat. Some of them died.
Presented in a way that is familiar to gimmicky kitchen appliances, this frightening weapon can fire 120,000 rounds per minute without a human operator. It makes no noise or flash, and can be mounted anywhere and is operated remotely. [more inside]
Club Little Gun, a bunch of tiny guns built into things from rings to crosses. Eat your heart out, Indiana Jones, the whip pistol. via [more inside]
Excellent post over at BLDBLOG on the history of Bannerman's Arsenal, a ruined island castle in the middle of the Hudson river, created by a war profiteer who was at one time the world's largest arms dealer. Bonus points for the amazing accompanying photos by Shaun O'Boyle, whose site Modern Ruins has been featured on the blue previously.
How many times as this happened to you? (warning: video/audio). It's late at night, you're in bed & you need to kill someone with a shotgun, only to find out the gun is ALL THE WAY across the room. Well, friend, your prayers are answered.
"It is a horrible device nonetheless, and you are forced to wonder what the world has come to when human ingenuity is pressed into service to make a thing like this." Raytheon says, "The system is available now and ready for action." [more inside]
Would you like to learn how to make a rope dart from a railroad spike? Of course you would. Practice enough, and you might be able to take on this guy. Also, plenty of additional DIY fun therein.
The first armed robots have hit the streets of Iraq and are now hunting evil-doers with high-powered M249 machine guns. The robots are called SWORDS, which stands for "Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection System". Army focus groups apparently preferred this acronym over the more obvious PUBE (Predatory Unmanned Battle Engine). The robots are currently being piloted through the streets of Bagdad using remote control. According to an interview on CNET with Chief Army Scientist Thomas Killion however, the army soon plans to make the killing machines fully automatic.
Knob Creek Gun Range, a former military-munitions test range situated near Fort Knox is home to the "World's Largest Machine Gun Shoot and Military Gun Show". Run by private citizens excercising their second amendment rights (Kentucky has no state-level gun laws) the focus is on Class III firearms - things like assault weapons and anti-tank rifles, but also the occasional high-caliber sniper rifle and cannon. Hold my bourbon and watch this! (more)
Busting the Merchant of War. "The Bush administration finally nails a notorious supplier to terrorists—after he spent 30 years hiding in plain sight." [Via Disinformation.]
Reduced-lead bullets and recyclable explosives are among the developments being put forward by arms manufacturer British Aerospace (BAE) as part of a major investment in ecologically-sound weaponry. The company, one of the world's biggest arms-makers, says it has been making investments in creating products that reduce the collateral damage of warfare.
The 10 Strangest Weapons Through History. Be amazed by the antics of the Goliath! Marvel at the small size (and poor firing ability) of the General Motors FP-45! Be shredded to tiny tiny bits by the Urumi! (And wonder why the Trebuchet made the list!)
Make love not war? The Pentagon confirms that it was researching the possibility of a "gay bomb" that could "turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting." BBC discusses this and other unorthodox U.S. weapons proposals.
The folks down at the Pakistan Ordnance Factory [youtube: 6'40] would like to show you how they make some of their machine guns, mortar bombs (in a surprising range of bright, cheerful colors), tank and anti-tank ammo ("capable of defeating the toughest armor in the battlefield!"), aircraft and anti-aircraft ammunition, and so much more. "P.O.F. products are in service with over 40 countries around the globe, with an ever-expanding market!"
The gun markets of Pakistan (NWFP)
It took a long time for many achievements of the ancient world to be duplicated. The first city to reach one million people was Baghdad in 775 CE (or possibly Rome nine hundred years before), a feat that would not be duplicated until London and Beijing grew in the 19th century. The largest building in the world was the Great Pyramid for forty centuries until the 19th, and the world's current longest canal is over two millenia old. Some mysteries still remain, such as the formula of Greek Fire, but it looks like a different ancient weapon's secret has been discovered, that of Damascus steel. The key ingredient -- nanotech!
Suddenly, you feel like you've been dipped in molten lava. According to Wired, the Active Denial System has been certified for use in Iraq.
One link political newsfilter. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne says non-lethal weapons should be tested on US crowds first. Riots dont ensue.
The two kiloton hand-grenade and the dental x-ray machine. For several years, the military spent well over $30 million on a new kind of bomb, based on an isomer of hafnium that would have an explosive power just shy of a nuclear weapon, despite the fact that physicists said it was impossible. Sharon Weinberger (the author of the article in the main link) wrote a book about this project, with a related website. In response, the scientist behind the isomer bomb effort created an oddly childish parody website to mock her book. And, if that isn't strange enough, people have been arrested in the UK for attempting to obtain an imaginary substance, that may or may not be linked to the concept of the isomer bomb.
Storm The House 2 is a flash based siege game involving balancing out weapon upgrades with defense & repair upgrades as an ever increasing horde of stick figure villains try to overrun you; bonus Terry Gilliam inspired weapon included at Day 40. For those curious about the original Storm the House, that's pretty much the same game as this one but worse
War in Spaaaaaaaacccccce! A practical discussion of weapons that would work in space and orbital combat.
"Every war becomes a proving ground for new tactics and new technologies."... "...The Pentagon began this war believing its new, networked technologies would help make U.S. ground forces practically unstoppable in Iraq. ... But now, more than three years into sectarian conflict and a violent insurgency that has cost nearly 2,400 American lives, an investigation of the current state of network-centric warfare reveals that frontline troops have a critical need for networked gear—gear that hasn’t come yet. " [more inside]
Iran may be trying to get nuclear weapons. In the process potentially starting a new war with Israel, fun times. America on the other hand isn't going to do all that much because Iran controls a large amount of the worlds oil, and with prices already high, they don't want to spark another oil crisis.
One-page history of remote-controlled weapons. Includes some Tesla goodness.
9306 Bombs, Grenades, Torpedoes, Mines, Missiles & Similar Munitions of War now available at the Ukraine outlet mall (free samples too!). Apparently it's just a click away to get just about any type of explosive you could imagine too.
The atlatl. Maybe you're a little too old fashioned for black powder rifles. You're feeling a little too rugged to build your own siege weapon. You don't even really like weapons as newfangled as the blow gun or the obsidian dagger. Well, friends, then the the atlatl is for you. It might have driven the wooly mammoth to extinction, and soon, at last, you may be able to use it to kill stuff that isn't extinct.
La strage nascosta (italian language) Today Rainews 24 part of RAI Television (Italian possible equivalent of PBS) broadcasted on a satellite channel a short documentary concerning the conquest of Falluja city. The documentary presents many images and allegations suggesting that U.S. army probably used White Phosphorous on the city during the offensive of 8 November 2004 with devastating consequences on civilians and insurgents. The substance is used on battlefield for purposes including production of dense smoke (M156) and also for incendiary purposes.(Warning, disturbing pictures of dead people). Direct link goes to documentary, English audio WMV link here. NSFW, extremely graphic, and very disturbing. Previous reference  here on Meta.
"The neutron bomb has to be the most moral weapon ever invented." -- Sam Cohen, inventor of the neutron bomb. [an article by Charles Platt on boingboing.net]
Scary Sci-fi inspired riot control being discussed in the New Scientist. I did check to see if this had been posted before...
It sounds a lot like science fiction. It moves at the speed of light and it can penetrate walls. The U.S. military has firepower that uses electromagnetic energy to blind, stun or kill targets. Defense contractors are eager, but the weapons are not yet being deployed.
Knives (and their X-rays) the FBI doesn’t like (PDF, .htm here). Some plastic, some not; Some widely manufactured, others handmade. None of them seem likely to go the way of the "non-existent" all-plastic gun.
The dirty bomb hoax. One of the biggest threats from terrorism was the supposed dirty bomb plot by Jose Padilla which eventually turned up nothing. Even if there was a plot, the threat of a dirty bomb has been over-exaggerated. The U.S. military had already tested the possibilities of a dirty bomb and discovered that "any immediate deaths or serious injuries would likely result from the explosion itself, rather than from radiation exposure." The radiation could be cleaned up with a geiger counter and a vacuum cleaner. But don't forget to buy your nuke pills! (via the Power of Nightmares)
Just fill the catapult with one or more cupids, pull the trigger, and aim at the person of your dreams!
Just fill the catapult with one or more cupids, pull the trigger, and aim at the person of your dreams! This "love gun" alarms me, but maybe I overreact as a parent about my kid's exposure to violence. Is this just a harmless novelty, or a disturbing example of how desensitized we are to guns? At least it's for kids over 3.