Navy Test Fires Electromagnetic Cannon Capable Of Firing A Projectile 110 Nautical Miles At Five Times The Speed Of Sound

The US Navy announced a successful test Friday of an electromagnetic cannon capable of firing a projectile 110 nautical miles (200 kilometers) at five times the speed of sound.

This demonstration moves us one day closer to getting this advanced capability to sea,” said Rear Admiral Nevin Carr, chief of naval research.

Tested at the Navy’s Dahlgren Surface Warfare Center in Virginia, the futuristic weapon uses powerful jolts of electric current to propel a non-explosive slug along rails before launching it at supersonic velocities.

The latest test involved a 33-megajoule shot, the most powerful ever attempted and three times that of the previous test in January 2008.

A megajoule is equivalent to the energy released when a one-tonne vehicle slams into a wall at 100 miles (160 kilometers) per hour.

“Today’s railgun test demonstrates the tactical relevance of this technology, which could one day complement traditional surface ship combat systems,” Carr said.

“The 33-megajoule shot means the Navy can fire projectiles at least 110 nautical miles, placing sailors and marines at a safe standoff distance and out of harm’s way.”

Read moreNavy Test Fires Electromagnetic Cannon Capable Of Firing A Projectile 110 Nautical Miles At Five Times The Speed Of Sound

TV Watching Is Bad for Babies’ Brains

Babies who watch TV are more likely to have delayed cognitive development and language at 14 months, especially if they’re watching programs intended for adults and older children. We probably knew that 24 and Grey’s Anatomy don’t really qualify as educational content, but it’s surprising that TV-watching made a difference at such a tender age.

Babies who watched 60 minutes of TV daily had developmental scores one-third lower at 14 months than babies who weren’t watching that much TV. Though their developmental scores were still in the normal range, the discrepancy may be due to the fact that when kids and parents are watching TV, they’re missing out on talking, playing, and interactions that are essential to learning and development.

This new study, which appeared in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, followed 259 lower-income families in New York, most of whom spoke Spanish as their primary language at home. Other studies examining higher-income families have also come to the same conclusion: TV watching not only isn’t educational, but it seems to stunt babies’ development.

Read moreTV Watching Is Bad for Babies’ Brains

US Government Wants Rearview Cameras For Cars And Trucks

Driver cams: Safety tool or the road to loss of privacy (The Sacramento Bee):

Smile at the windshield – and say cheese?

California is giving the green light to allowing video cameras to be mounted onto vehicle windshields in an attempt to improve road safety.


WASHINGTON – Rearview cameras could become more common in future cars and trucks under rules proposed by the government Friday to address concerns about drivers unintentionally backing over children.

The new requirements from the Transportation Department are intended to improve rear visibility in cars by the 2014 model year. Most carmakers would comply by installing rear-mounted video cameras and in-vehicle displays. The government estimated that video systems would add about $200 to the cost of each new vehicle.

Congress in 2008 set in motion the safety upgrades in response to dozens of accidents in which children were backed over. At issue in particular were blind zones in large sport utility vehicles and pickups.

“There is no more tragic accident than for a parent or caregiver to back out of a garage or driveway and kill or injure an undetected child playing behind the vehicle,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. He said the changes would “help drivers see into those blind zones directly behind vehicles to make sure it is safe to back up.”

Nearly 300 people are killed and 18,000 injured each year because of backovers, according to data kept by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many happen in driveways and parking lots. Nearly half the deaths involve children under age 5, and the crashes also affect the elderly.

The agency estimated that the requirements annually could save 95 to 112 lives and prevent more than 7,000 injuries. (Sure!)

Read moreUS Government Wants Rearview Cameras For Cars And Trucks

Review of the TSA X-ray backscatter body scanner safety report: hide your kids, hide your wife


I am a biochemist working in the field of biophysics. Specifically, the lab I work in (as well as many others) has spent the better part of the last decade working on the molecular mechanism of how mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA2, result in cancer. The result of that work is that we now better understand that people who have a deficient BRCA2 gene are hypersensitive to DNA damage, which can be caused by a number of factors including: UV exposure, oxidative stress, improper chromosomal replication and segregation, and radiation exposure. The image below shows what happens to a chromosome of a normal cell when it is exposed to radiation. It most cases, this damage is repaired; however, at high doses or when there is a genetic defect, the cells either die or become cancerous.

Quite some time ago, I posted a short educational video that describes how BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations cause cancer. In short, when a person who has a mutation in one of these genes is exposed to environmental factors that cause DNA damage, they simply don’t repair the damage with the same efficiency as the general population. Over the course of their lifetime, the incremental exposures to relative small and seemingly safe doses of ionizing radiation (which is everything from UV light to X-rays to gamma radiation) statistically accumulate damage (or the effects of damage and improper repair) until the probability of developing cancer becomes almost certain. This is because BRCA1 and BRCA2 are both part of a molecular process that is very similar to the spell-check on your word processor (in oncology parlance, these genes are known as caretakers of the genome for this specific reason). When these genes don’t work, mutations accumulate faster and eventually results in cancer.

Its because of my interest in this aspect of cancer biology that I felt compelled to review the safety reports released on the TSA website here. However, my interest is not only professional, but also personal. My grandmother died of breast cancer in 2005 after being in remission for 20+ years. While she was never tested for either BRCA1 or BRCA2, her family history indicates that there is a strong probability of one of these mutations running in my family. Including my grandmother, at least four of her siblings developed cancer: two died of breast cancer, one developed a rare form of leukemia and another died of skin cancer. All of her female siblings had cancer, and its noteworthy that her mother died of a very young age (maybe 30’s or early 40’s) of an unknown (to me) cause. For these reasons, I fear that inadequate safety evaluation of these machines could unduly expose my family (and myself) to levels of radiation that might be harmful should this high familial cancer rate in fact be hereditary.

Last spring, a group of scientists at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) including John Sedat Ph.D., David Agard Ph.D., Robert Stroud, Ph.D. and Marc Shuman, M.D. sent a letter of concern to the TSA regarding the implementation of their ‘Advanced Imaging Technology’, or body scanners as a routine method of security screening in US airports. Of specific concern is the scanner that uses X-ray back-scattering. In the letter they raise some interesting points, which I’ve quoted below:

  • “Our overriding concern is the extent to which the safety of this scanning device has been adequately demonstrated. This can only be determined by a meeting of an impartial panel of experts that would include medical physicists and radiation biologists at which all of the available relevant data is reviewed.”
  • “The X-ray dose from these devices has often been compared in the media to the cosmic ray exposure inherent to airplane travel or that of a chest X-ray. However, this comparison is very misleading: both the air travel cosmic ray exposure and chest X-rays have much higher X-ray energies and the health consequences are appropriately understood in terms of the whole body volume dose. In contrast, these new airport scanners are largely depositing their energy into the skin and immediately adjacent tissue, and since this is such a small fraction of body weight/vol, possibly by one to two orders of magnitude, the real dose to the skin is now high.”
  • “In addition, it appears that real independent safety data do not exist.”
  • “There is good reason to believe that these scanners will increase the risk of cancer to children and other vulnerable populations. We are unanimous in believing that the potential health consequences need to be rigorously studied before these scanners are adopted.”

Read moreReview of the TSA X-ray backscatter body scanner safety report: hide your kids, hide your wife

War Machines: Recruiting Robots for Combat

‘War would be a lot safer’, …



An armed robot, called Maars, maneuvering at a training site at Fort Benning, Ga.

FORT BENNING, Ga. — War would be a lot safer, the Army says, if only more of it were fought by robots.

And while smart machines are already very much a part of modern warfare, the Army and its contractors are eager to add more. New robots — none of them particularly human-looking — are being designed to handle a broader range of tasks, from picking off snipers to serving as indefatigable night sentries.

In a mock city here used by Army Rangers for urban combat training, a 15-inch robot with a video camera scuttles around a bomb factory on a spying mission. Overhead an almost silent drone aircraft with a four-foot wingspan transmits images of the buildings below. Onto the scene rolls a sinister-looking vehicle on tank treads, about the size of a riding lawn mower, equipped with a machine gun and a grenade launcher.

Three backpack-clad technicians, standing out of the line of fire, operate the three robots with wireless video-game-style controllers. One swivels the video camera on the armed robot until it spots a sniper on a rooftop. The machine gun pirouettes, points and fires in two rapid bursts. Had the bullets been real, the target would have been destroyed.

Read moreWar Machines: Recruiting Robots for Combat

Airport Body Scanners: Why You should REJECT ‘Routine’ NON-Diagnostic X-ray

See also:

Full-Body Scanners Emitting ‘High-Energy’ Radiation Increase Cancer Risk



Recent “News” and media misinformation touting airport x-ray scanners “safety” is misleading!

Policies that allow the traveling population to be subject to greater exposure of ionizing, non-diagnostic x-ray will lead to greater incidence of thyroid disease, and greater burden on the health care system of this country. Ultimately it also means more money out of your hands, and into the hands of the pharmaceutical giants, the insurance companies who will raise their rates again with the excuse of greater disease rates, and the manufacturers of these airport x-ray scanners. None of these entities care that your long-term health is at risk, proportionately with greater x-ray exposure.

Do you remember the last time you got x-rays at the dentist? They used a “thyroid shield” as an addition to the lead apron, in an attempt to block any scatter radiation from reaching your thyroid gland in your neck. Scatter radiation is often labeled as “harmless,” yet they use a shield for this at the dentist’s office. Why? The thyroid is one of the most vulnerable tissues in your body.

Have you also noticed that any time a person takes your x-ray, they leave the room? Guess why. It is to reduce their exposure to scatter radiation. Cumulative scatter radiation is unhealthful. This is a fact. It is not at all comparable to ultraviolet radiation, that you experience every time you go out into the sun, or fly in a plane. X-radiation is classified as ionizing radiation, while ultraviolet radiation is NOT. When they tell you your exposure from scatter radiation from each scan (classified as ionizing radiation) is less than your exposure to “background” radiation (including aspects from ultraviolet radiation that are NOT a type of ionizing radiation), they are comparing x-ray to daylight. It is not an intellectually honest comparison. Sunlight is not ionizing radiation.  “Cumulative scatter radiation is unhealthful. This is a fact.”

The effects of x-ray exposure are not immediately measurable. The wrong question to ask is if one scan has been shown to be “harmful.” There is no short-term way to measure the long-term effects. This common question only considers the short term consequences, which cannot be measured, and is therefore a foolish, misleading question. Every time this obnoxious question is asked, the wrong issue is addressed and the confused public continues to line up at the airport for a dose of ionizing scatter radiation.

The real issue is the long term effects of large populations being exposed to non-diagnostic ionizing radiation, and the disaster it poses for our own health and our healthcare system. We are commencing this disaster right now, by this short-sighted and dangerous policy.

Read moreAirport Body Scanners: Why You should REJECT ‘Routine’ NON-Diagnostic X-ray

US launches largest eavesdropping satellite ever

The Delta-4 Heavy rocket roared into the the night sky in Cape Canaveral carrying a mysterious satellite

MIAMI (AFP) — The United States has placed in orbit a vast reconnaissance satellite reputed to be the largest eavesdropping device ever launched into space.

The largest unmanned American launch vehicle, the Delta-4 Heavy rocket, roared into the the night sky in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sunday carrying the mysterious satellite on a mission dubbed NROL-32.

The National Reconnaissance Office did not disclose the purpose of the satellite but widespread reports in the US media suggest it is for eavesdropping on enemy communications.

Read moreUS launches largest eavesdropping satellite ever

US Scientists Develop Laser Camera That Takes Photos Around Corners


Ramesh Raskar explains how the camera can shoot around corners

A camera that can shoot around corners has been developed by US scientists.

The prototype uses an ultra-short high-intensity burst of laser light to illuminate a scene.

The device constructs a basic image of its surroundings – including objects hidden around the corner – by collecting the tiny amounts of light that bounce around the scene.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology team believe it has uses in search and rescue and robot vision.

“It’s like having X-ray vision without the X-rays,” said Professor Ramesh Raskar, head of the Camera Culture group at the MIT Media Lab and one of the team behind the system.

Read moreUS Scientists Develop Laser Camera That Takes Photos Around Corners

Michael Chertoff And TSA Scanners Exposed

See also:

Rep. Ron Paul to TSA: Stop Irradiating Our Bodies and Fondling Our Children!

US: The TSA Is Totally Out Of Control



Added: 17. November 2010

If it looks like a Nazi and acts like a Nazi…

The US news media protects Michael Chertoff.

Why?

He has done more damage to the US than any person I can think of, living or dead.

His record speaks for itself.

Somehow, he was working on the PATRIOT Act before 9/11, he had a hand in “normalizing” torture, he sat on his hands and let New Orleaneans die, and now he’s engineered a mass irradiation and humiliation program that effects millions of Americans.

The new growth industry in the US is criminalizing, harassing, robbing and imprisoning American citizens.

Call it the “Chertoff Century.”

Source: Brasscheck TV

Related information:

Passenger Becomes Internet Sensation For Telling US Airport Security ‘Don’t Touch My Junk’

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 is NATIONAL OPT-OUT DAY!

New Jersey Lawmakers Seek to Stop Airport Security Scans

German Protesters Strip Down In Airport To Protest Full-Body Scanners

World’s largest pilot union shuns full-body scanners, warning cites radiation risk

TSA: 500 Full Body Scanners By The End of the Year, 2,000 Planned

Pilot to TSA: ‘No Groping Me and No Naked Photos’

The Full Body Scanner Invasion; New Scanners Break Child Porn Laws

US prisoners forced to submit to radiation experiments for private foreign companies

Full-Body Scanners Emitting ‘High-Energy’ Radiation Increase Cancer Risk

TSA lies exposed: Full-body scanners do save and transmit images, secret documents reveal

Israeli Airport Security Expert: Full-Body Scanners Are Waste of Money