Tag Archives | Weapons

Weapons Made Us Human

San Bushman rock art Perdekop Farm North of Mossel bayThis might just explain why we all can’t get along. Lewis Page writes at The Register:

Boffins investigating a find of ancient stone blades over 70 thousand years old argue that it was possession of advanced ranged weapons – and the organisation to make and use them – which allowed humanity to defeat its early rivals and spread out to conquer the world.

The small stone microlith blades in question were found at a site named Pinnacle Point in Mossel Bay, South Africa. They were complicated to make, with the stone having to be heat treated with fire so that it would flake properly and could then be fashioned to give a sharp edge down one side and a blunt back on the other. This allowed them to be glued onto a wooden shaft, creating a deadly yet lightweight spear.

The investigating boffins believe that such spears would have been hurled by their cunning human creators using atlatls – spear-thrower devices which extend the reach of the human arm and permit a javelin-style weapon to be flung with much greater force than is possible with the unaided limb.

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Ukraine Trains Dolphins With Friggin’ Pistols on Their Heads

Picture: tolomea/Flickr (CC)

Another nightmarish future has opened up with this latest aquatic advancement…

Via Robert Beckhusen via WIRED’s Danger Room Blog:

Killer dolphins with knives and pistols attached to their heads. It might sound crazy, but that’s reportedly one element of the Ukrainian navy’s restarted marine mammal program.

The program reportedly includes training dolphins to search for mines and marking them with buoys. But Ukraine also plans to train the dolphins “to attack enemy combat swimmers using special knives or pistols fixed to their heads,” according to RIA Novosti. A source inside the Ukrainian navy told the agency that the exercises, which are being conducted at the state oceanarium in Sevastopol, are “counter-combat swimmer tasks in order to defend ships in port and on raids.”

Now they’ll be trained to kill, allegedly. If so, it won’t necessarily be the first time. Russian commandos trained to fight dolphins in case the animals were ever used against them.

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Can’t Buy a Gun? Soon You Can Print One

Alexander Reed Kelly writes at Truthdig:

A new dimension is emerging in the battle between gun enthusiasts and their less-thrilled opponents. A 3-D printer, which is exactly what it sounds like, has been used to make parts for a firearm. The composite gun works, and the plans are available freely online.

Smithsonian reports that a person with the username HaveBlue posted pictures of the parts he or she printed on a forum for gun aficionados. “It’s had over 200 rounds of .22 through it so far and runs great! To the best of my knowledge, this is the world’s first 3D printed firearm to actually be tested,” HaveBlue wrote. He or she was proud to have survived the testing, saying: “No, it did not blow up into a bazillion tiny plastic shards and maim me for life – I am sorry to have disappointed those of you who foretold doom and gloom.”

Stratsys, the company that manufactures the printer that was used to make the gun is anxious over the development.

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Brain-Scanning Binoculars Tap Into Soldiers’ Unconscious Minds To Locate Threats

A new breed of devices harnesses the power of the unconscious, unearthing realizations you didn’t know your brain had reached. Popular Science writes:

Soldiers scanning the battlefield for threats may soon get a new tool: a brain-scanning set of binoculars that can pick up on a soldier’s unconscious recognition of a potential threat and bring it to his conscious attention. It’s just one of many ways DARPA and other military research groups are looking to have soldiers mind-meld with their machines and materiel, and it demonstrates how remarkably close we are to deploying mind-control on the battlefield.

The specific binocular device that DARPA is developing is known as Sentinel (for System for Notification of Threats Inspired by Neurally Enabled Learning), and it basically uses the power of the human brain to scan and filter imagery in realtime, picking up on both what the soldier recognizes consciously and what his unconscious might perceive as well.

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Russia Developing A Zombie Ray Gun

Via the Herald Sun:

While many believed it to be an April Fool’s Day joke, Vladimir Putin has confirmed Russia has been testing mind-bending psychotronic guns that can effectively turn people into zombies. The futuristic weapons — which attack their victims’ central nervous system — are being developed by scientists and could be used against Russia’s enemies and even its own dissidents by the end of the decade.

Mr Putin has described the guns, which use electromagnetic radiation like that found in microwave ovens, as entirely new instruments for achieving political and strategic goals.

Plans to introduce the super-weapons were announced by Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov. While the technology has been around for some time, Mr Tsyganok said the guns were recently tested for crowd control purposes. “When it was used for dispersing a crowd and it was focused on a man, his body temperature went up immediately as if he was thrown into a hot frying pan,” Mr Tsyganok said.

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U.S. Homeland Security Buys 450 Million Hollow-Point Bullets

TacticalHSTPistolIs the U.S. Government expecting domestic insurrection? From Business Insider:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office is getting an "indefinite delivery" of an "indefinite quantity" of .40 caliber ammunition from defense contractor ATK. U.S. agents will receive a maximum of 450 million rounds over five years, according to a press release on the deal. The high performance HST bullets are designed for law enforcement and ATK says they offer "optimum penetration for terminal performance." This refers to the the bullet's hollow-point tip...
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Holding A Gun Makes You Think Others Are Too

2188722508_c8313a49fa_nWonder if this ever comes into play in real life? Via Science Blog:

Wielding a gun increases a person’s bias to see guns in the hands of others, new research from the University of Notre Dame shows. In five experiments, subjects were shown multiple images of people and determined whether the person was holding a gun or a neutral object such as a soda can or cell phone. Subjects did this while holding either a toy gun or a neutral object, such as a foam ball.

Simply showing observers a nearby gun did not influence their behavior; holding and using the gun was important. By virtue of affording the subject the opportunity to use a gun, he or she was more likely to classify objects in a scene as a gun and, as a result, to engage in threat-induced behavior, such as raising a firearm to shoot.

“Now we know that a person’s ability to act in certain ways can bias their recognition of objects as well, and in dramatic ways.

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Nuclear Weapons On A Street Near You

Mother Jones on how nuclear weapons quietly pass through major U.S. cities:

At a cost of $250 million a year, nearly 600 couriers employed by this secretive agency within the US Department of Energy use some of the nation’s busiest roads.

Yet hiding nukes in plain sight, and rolling them through major metropolises like Atlanta, Denver, and LA, raises a slew of security and environmental concerns, from theft to terrorist attack to radioactive spills. Moreover, in recent years the OST’s nuke truckers have had a spotty track record—including spills, problems with drinking on the job, weapons violations, and even criminal activity.

nukemap

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Nuclear Testing Continues at the Bay Area’s Lawrence Livermore Lab

Via Media Roots: If you think nuclear testing is now only done on computers, think again. Abby and Robbie Martin grew up in Pleasanton, CA, a city located ten miles from the Lawrence Livermore Lab (LLL), a secret nuclear weapons production facility. They initially set out to explore the psychological impacts of taking nuclear testing into virtual space. But as their investigation unfolded, they found that the LLL—in conjunction with Site 300—has built an impressive greenwashing PR campaign cloaking a dark reality.
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Media Roots Radio: Nuclear Weapons & Fear, Iran War Drum Propaganda, Party Loyalists

Via Media Roots: Abby and Robbie Martin discuss nuclear weapons: living in a perpetual Cold War mentality, MAD, stockpiling, labs and mismanagement, how nuclear fear and control underpin US imperialism; the manufactured GOP debate on contraception as a distraction from real issues; Obama's drone warfare and domestic drone surveillance; the complacency of party loyalists and their approval of Obama's continuation of Bush policies; Iran war propaganda: the political establishment and corporate press trumping up the war drum to instill fear and justify pre-emptive warfare against Iran and Syria.
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