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How Do You Like That Bomb You Mothers

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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**UPDATE**

Actual Afghanistan MOAB Video Below!

Get it? Because the MOAB is affectionately known as the Mother of All Bombs.

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Burst, or MOAB, is as much fun as it sounds – unless you are the enemy.

Weighing in at 22,600 lbs., and 30 feet in length, the MOAB is the largest conventional (non-nuclear) air burst ordinance on the planet. Technically, it’s not the “largest” in our arsenal. That distinction is owned by MOP, the Massive Ordinance Penetrator, which weighs in at 30,000 lbs., and is capable of “penetrating” 200 ft of reinforced concrete.

In other words, it matters little to us where you bags of dirt choose to hide. We don’t need nukes to root you out. And unlike his predecessors, we finally have a President with the stones to utilize the tools provided him. Hopefully it won’t be the last time we hear of such a bomb being used. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Navy Unmanned Mine Hunter

Knifefish can autonomously hunt and identify buried and unburied seamines
Knifefish can autonomously hunt and identify buried and unburied seamines (Credit: General Dynamics)

Underwater mine-hunting is one job you don’t mind a robot taking away from you, which is why General Dynamics Mission Systems in developing the Knifefish robotic mine-hunter. The unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) recently completed evaluation tests with the US Navy in a dummy minefield off the coast of Boston, Massachusetts, demonstrating its ability to detect and classify mines submerged at various depths. read more

Qube Tents for Social Camping

Qubes add a new dimension to camping
Qubes add a new dimension to camping (Credit: M2C Innovation)

The social campers over at M2C Innovation are back doing what they do: building modular tents that link up into full-blown campsite communities. The last time we checked in, they were focused on domes, but now they’ve moved on to Qubes. The new Qube tents are quick-setup blocks that offer enough height to stand up inside. Like Pods, these modular tents connect together with tunnels and create larger tent communities. They’re also more affordable than M2C’s original tents and are proving quite popular on crowdfunding. read more

DARPA’s Prototype X-Plane

An artist impression of the full-scale design
An artist impression of the full-scale design (Credit: DARPA)

After several years of development DARPA has successfully completed flight-testing of one of the most novel, and odd-looking, aircraft designs we’ve seen in some time – the sub-scale electric X-Plane.

After calling for an innovative new approach to an aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities, DARPA awarded its Phase 2 contract to Aurora Flight Sciences in early 2016. Aurora’s design includes 24 electric ducted fans, 18 on the main wings and six on the smaller front canards. Both the main wings and the canards are designed to tilt upwards for vertical takeoff before rotating to the horizontal for regular flight. read more

Stop Planting Trees

In the fight to cut greenhouse gas emissions, we tend to think of trees as our allies, but new research suggests they might not be as “green” as we give them credit for. Researchers at the University of Delaware have found that some types of trees actually emit methane through their trunks, partly countering their role as a greenhouse gas sink. read more

Ice-Free Runways

The testbed at Des Moines International Airport
The testbed at Des Moines International Airport (Credit: Iowa State University)

It’s not just airplane wings that need to stay ice-free in the winter – it’s also pretty darn important that the runways not be icy, either. With that in mind, an Iowa State University team led by Prof. Halil Ceylan has developed a new type of electrically-conductive concrete that melts snow and ice. The material is currently being tested at Des Moines International Airport. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Army Robo Arm

 

Thirty years ago the sci-fi blockbuster film Aliens depicted U.S. Colonial Marines investigating the colony of Hadley’s Hope. The coolest piece of kit in the whole thing? The articulated arm attached to their body armor to help carry their heavy M56 smart guns. Now, in 2017, the U.S. Army is investigating a similar system to ease the burden of machine gunners. read more

The OctopusGripper

As the name suggests, the OctopusGripper has been based on the tentacles of the octopus
As the name suggests, the OctopusGripper has been based on the tentacles of the octopus(Credit: Festo)

The octopus is an odd creature. The mollusc’s large brain makes it a good problem solver, it has the ability to change color in double quick fashion, can dart off suddenly in a cloud of blackish ink and the lack of a skeleton allows it to squeeze through the tightest of spaces. But it’s the creature’s prehensile arms that inspired German automation firm Festo to create a versatile gripper for the production line of tomorrow. We brought you a quick introduction yesterday, so now let’s take a closer look at the OctopusGripper. read more

Is the Universe All There?

New computer simulations have questioned the existence of dark energy, a so-far theoretical force that is ...
New computer simulations have questioned the existence of dark energy, a so-far theoretical force that is said to be driving the expansion of the universe (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

According to the Lambda Cold Dark Matter (Lambda-CDM) model, which is the current accepted standard for how the universe began and evolved, the ordinary matter we encounter every day only makes up around five percent of the universe’s density, with dark matter comprising 27 percent, and the remaining 68 percent made up of dark energy, a so-far theoretical force driving the expansion of the universe. But a new study has questioned whether dark energy exists at all, citing computer simulations that found that by accounting for the changing structure of the cosmos, the gap in the theory, which dark energy was proposed to fill, vanishes. read more

Spider Venom May Help Stroke Victims

The Australian funnel-web spider could prove a lifesaver for future stroke victims after a peptide in...
The Australian funnel-web spider could prove a lifesaver for future stroke victims after a peptide in its venom was discovered to reduce brain damage in a study involving rats(Credit:pelooyen/Depositphotos)

The Australian funnel-web spider is generally something you’d want to steer well clear of, but the creepy crawly could soon be helping out stroke victims. A peptide found in the spider’s venom has been shown to reduce the brain damage that occurs in the hours following a stroke, with early preclinical studies involving rats having delivered extremely promising results.

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