The US Navy will be deploying a laser weapon system later this year, a la Star Wars, and has plans to deploy a railgun within the next two years. Railgun systems have been available in laboratory settings for a while now, and the real challenge has been meeting their huge power requirements on a seagoing vessel—the ship hosting the railgun, for example, will be able to generate 78 megawatts of electricity, enough to power a medium-sized city.
Archive for the 'Boom!' Category
Last New Year’s Eve, a suicide bomber in Russia was preparing to blow herself up amongst the crowds in Red Square. The bomb was to be triggered remotely by a handler, who would send a text message to a cell phone attached to the explosives. Unfortunately for the bomber, the phone received an unexpected and unwanted text several hours before the planned detonation. The bomb exploded, killing her and no one else.
The linked videos are parts 1 and 2 of a pseudo-documentary where rail workers perform a “complete thermite weld” to connect train tracks. I was a bit surprised by the lack of safety equipment—the workers were manipulating molten metal in short-sleeve shirts. And the guy was pretty nonplussed when the handle of his sledgehammer caught on fire.
Although it’s a bit morbid, this Google Maps mapplet shows the thermal damage caused by a nuclear explosion centered at an address that you specify. It also allows you to choose between various types of nuclear devices.
This weapon is capable of identifying and destroying multiple ground targets. The first link is a video explaining how the weapon works, including real film footage. The second link has an embedded video showing a reconstruction of an Iraq war event where the BLU-108 played a major part. It’s just amazing how far weapons technology has come.
The AA12 is a fully automatic, low recoil shotgun designed for military use, particularly urban warfare. The video goes to great lengths to show just how destructive it is, but then they add shells containing winged grenades and other types of explosives—with a range of nearly 200 yards. It would almost be worth going back into the military if I could use one of these.
Back in late August a US Air Force B-52, flying from Minot AFB in North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, was found to have been armed with nuclear cruise missiles—unbeknownst to the flight crew (or anyone else in the military for that matter). After an investigation, the final reports are in and heads are rolling. Proper procedures, which have multiple checks to ensure this type of thing does not happen, were ignored. Many military careers have just effectively ended, with 4 colonels being relieved of their commands and 65 airmen losing their certification to work with nuclear weapons.
In an update to an earlier post on fires caused by defective laptop batteries, Sony has finally decided to do a recall. This makes sense, as Sony is the battery supplier for the laptop manufactuers that are experiencing problems—it’s really been Sony’s fault from the beginning.
Letterman’s take on the exploding laptop batteries manufactured by Sony (and used by Apple/Dell, among others). Watch this through to the end.