Less lethal “less than lethal” rounds so you can die less

4310717 448b7f6f11 450x299 Less lethal less than lethal rounds so you can die less

Just because it's nerf doesn't mean it can't hurt. (img by Gideon Tsang)

The problem with paintball, airsoft, and pepper spray is that they just don’t hurt enough. I mean, say you have to get a bunch of people to stop blocking buses taking the 99% home at the end of the day. Pepper spray is getting pretty passé… people just shrug that shit right off. But you can’t just kill or maim them. Thankfully, we have technology and weapons companies working to help us hurt more and die less.

Each 18-mm projectile contains a micro-sensor, able to detect acceleration and deceleration. When the munition is fired off, the sensor detects that increase in speed. And when the projectile slows down? Ah. Must be time to detonate.

Nearly instantly, the munition deploys its payload: a liquified, compressed gas that delivers, in Verini’s words, “a shockwave to the system.” For one thing, the compressed gas makes a jarring noise as it exits the bullet. Plus, it’s been formulated to flash brightly and obscure a target’s vision. And, of course, the bullet itself is designed to hurt.

Read more at Wired, or check out their handy video tutorial:

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Bike thieving for fun and profit.

4218479978 f2f1070486 450x337 Bike thieving for fun and profit.

Maybe in Wyoming. But not in New York or Denver. (img by Volker Neumann)

I have personally seen 2 bike-theft attempts in my life. Both happened at the same location in downtown Denver, where I worked for a little while as a security guard. One was successful. The other was stupid. The stupid one could have succeeded easily, but just happened to stand in the wrong place and do the wrong thing.

But before I get into any of that, get some perspective by watching this video of guys stealing their own bikes in broad daylight in New York City. (more…)

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Guns work sim’lar to the past

Renton United Cowboy Action Shooters 01 660x440 450x300 Guns work simlar to the past

They had sunglasses in the Wild West, didn't they? (img by Sol Neelman)

I missed this, partially due to the fact that my prairie dress wasn’t done gettin’ took in. That’s not to say I didn’t spend an afternoon a while back casting lead for a few calibers of muzzle-loaders. Not that I knew much about what I was doing… I mostly watched other people figure out how to get the lead to flow just right and to get the mold to the right temperature to prevent frosting.

I was in charge of putting lead scraps back into the pot and occasionally fluxing with candlewax. After a couple of hours, my compatriots trusted me with quality control, but I didn’t touch the mold once (unless it was to hand it to someone more knowledgeable).

The Renton United Cowboy Action Shooters and my friends on the Olympic Peninsula (more directly) are teaching me that the world of firearms is more complicated, yet accessible, than I had originally thought. And it’s better to know how things work than to shy away.

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Intermission: This is life

In case you don’t have enough time or drugs to get through the original. The speed and choice of music change the message a wee tad, but it’s still beautiful.

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India Winning Polio Fight

CrippledMan India Winning Polio Fight

Altaf Qadri, Associated Press

By William Thomson, the Diplomat

India has closed out the first polio-free year in the country’s history. As noted by the World Health Organization (WHO), this marks significant progress for a country that as recently as 1994 was experiencing as many as 4,791 cases a year. The polio-free year means that India will no longer be considered a “polio-endemic” country, leaving its South Asian neighbors, Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as Nigeria, as the only remaining nations holding this label.

Given the public health challenges that India faces, this is a staggering achievement. With a population of about 1.18 billion, 42 percent of whom live on less than $1.25 day, India suffers from developmental challenges that make fighting health issues such as polio particularly challenging.  India also has one of the lowest physician ratios in the world.

Perhaps most challenging of all is that 69 percent of the population by some estimates suffers from unimproved sanitation. Additionally, 43.5 percent of children under the age of 5 are malnourished, the most important age bracket for fighting polio. This is the age when the vaccine is most effective, and is an area in which India has achieved notable success. The lessons learned for fighting large scale public health issues shouldn’t be overlooked by either Indian health officials or, perhaps more importantly, India’s neighbors. (more…)

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CIA digs in as Americans withdraw from Iraq, Afghanistan

ciaseal CIA digs in as Americans withdraw from Iraq, Afghanistan

Alex Wong/Getty Images

By Greg Miller, the Washington Post

The CIA is expected to maintain a large clandestine presence in Iraq and Afghanistan long after the departure of conventional U.S. troops as part of a plan by the Obama administration to rely on a combination of spies and Special Operations forces to protect U.S. interests in the two longtime war zones, U.S. officials said.

U.S. officials said that the CIA’s stations in Kabul and Baghdad will probably remain the agency’s largest overseas outposts for years, even if they shrink from record staffing levels set at the height of American efforts in those nations to fend off insurgencies and install capable governments.

 U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta declared the official end to the Iraq war, formally wrapping up the U.S. military’s mission in the country after almost nine years. (more…)

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