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Weapon Wednesday – Army’s Tactical Augmented Reality Device

The TAR display is mounted on regular US Army helmets
The TAR display is mounted on regular US Army helmets (Credit: David Vergun)

Information is power when a soldier is enveloped by the fog of war. Precisely locating the positions of both friends and foes is key for a mission to roll out both smoothly and without avoidable casualties. The US Army has just revealed its latest innovation, a head-up display system for soldiers called “Tactical Augmented Reality,” or TAR. read more

Flying Surfboard

Incredible footage has captured a ‘flying surfboard’ in action as it hovers above the surface of sparkling blue water.

The board, which can reach speeds of up to 25mph (40 km/h), is powered by an electric motor that helps to keep its rider upright and gliding through the air.

The new design was created to allow amateur surfers to experience the thrill of harnessing the power of a wave without the years of practice it requires.

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Incredible footage has captured a 'flying surfboard' in action as it hovers above the surface of sparkling blue water. The Lift eFoil (pictured) is the work of a sports brand based in Puerto Rico that builds flying toys.

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Global Warming Science – It’s Settled – They Lied Again

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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How many times would you put up with being cheated on in a relationship? How many times would you tolerate being lied to? Is it one and done? Or maybe 2 – 3 – a half a dozen?

Obviously, this is a loaded question. It would depend on a number of factors. Independence vs. interdependence – or maybe just how forgiving a person is. Maybe it’s a relationship of convenience – like the Clintons – more a business partnership than a personal, loving relationship.

But what if the relationship were between you and cause? A cause you felt so strongly for, people considered you “wedded” to it. A cause like…oh…I don’t know…Global Warming.

What if you were all-in on man caused global warming because, as experts have oft-repeated, the science of global warming is settled? But then you found out that the cause you’ve been wedded to is almost entirely a lie? What would you do? You just may have to reevaluate your loyalty. read more

Smog Free Bicycle Blows Fresh Air on Rider

It is one of the most polluted countries on the planet, but a new project hopes to use pedal power to help free China of its smog-filled air.

The Smog Free Bicycle will absorb carbon and other particles from the atmosphere in major cities like Beijing.

The plans are part of a wider project that includes towers which use the technology, with the pollutants they collect then turned into jewellery.

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It is one of the most polluted countries on the planet, but a new project hopes to use pedal power to help free China of its smog-filled air (artist's impression) 

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Thank the Democrats for a Non-Functioning Missile Defense System

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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Last Friday IBD wrote  that, “Shortly after the North Korea [ICBM] test, Politico ran an article pointing out that ‘the Pentagon and its contractors still haven’t figured out how to reliably shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile.’ The Washington Post noted that after spending tens of billions of dollars, the system ‘has never faced combat or been fully tested.’”

You may recall the fanfare a few months ago over a triumphant test of our missile defense system. We successfully intercepted one of our own mock ICBMs launched from the Marshall Islands. A Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) was deployed from California and shot down the ICBM. Hooray for us!

Unfortunately, that intercept is the exception, not the rule, and that’s very worrisome. The one successful intercept was as close to being “laboratory” conditions as one can be. Everything about the trial was highly scripted.

And Missile Defense Agency (MDA) director Vice Admiral James Syring told a House committee recently that “I would not say we are comfortably ahead of the threat. I would say we are addressing the threat.” Translation: We’re in trouble. read more

Private Sector Space Race

A private spaceflight company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos plans to build a powerful new rocket engine in Alabama for space flight, the company and state officials announced Monday.

Blue Origin President Robert Meyerson said his company is seeking a production contract with United Launch Alliance, a private company that provides satellite launches for the U.S. government and others.

He said the company will locate a production factory for the BE-4 rocket engine in Huntsville upon a contract being signed.

Jeff Bezos rocket firm Blur Origin plans to build a powerful new rocket engine in Alabama for space flight, the company and state officials have announced.

According to the company’s website, the powerful BE-4 engine is designed to end dependence on Russian-built engines for launching payloads into space. read more

Go Anywhere Elevator

This cable-free, Willy Wonka-style concept, can move multiple cars vertically and horizontally in a single shaft ...
This cable-free, Willy Wonka-style concept, can move multiple cars vertically and horizontally in a single shaft using a magnet-based drive system similar to that of Maglev train technology. (Credit: ThyssenKrupp)

After unveiling its Multi concept in 2014, German engineering conglomerate ThyssenKrupp has made its vision of a cable-free, Willy Wonka-style elevator design a reality. Over the past few years the company has been constructing a 246-m (807-ft) high test tower and refining the technology that would allow multiple cars to move vertically and horizontally in a single shaft using a magnet-based drive system similar to that in Maglev trains. Just last week, after two-and-a-half years of construction, the test tower and first fully functional Multi unit were launched. read more

Weapon Wednesday – First Shot from Laser Weapon

Raytheon mounted a high energy laser on an Apache helicopter similar to those in this image
Raytheon mounted a high energy laser on an Apache helicopter similar to those in this image (Credit: Raytheon)

Laser weapons have been tested on ships, planes, and even armored vehicles, but Raytheon has pushed the envelope further again by successfully testing a high-energy laser mounted on an Apache AH-64 attack helicopter. According to the company, the laser pod flew last April at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico under the aegis of the US Army Apache Program Management Office and the US Special Operations Command, where it was able to lock onto and hit an unmanned target. read more

Time to Clean up Space

Artist's concept of a magnetic tug nearing a derelict satellite
Artist’s concept of a magnetic tug nearing a derelict satellite (Credit: ESA/Philippe Ogaki)

An ESA-funded scientist is developing a magnetic space tug to combat the growing problem of space debris. The tugs could lock onto derelict satellites and deorbit them before they become a hazard to navigation, and because they use cryogenic magnets, they wouldn’t have to even touch the derelicts and the targets wouldn’t need to be specially modified for towing. read more

Step Closer to Fusion Energy

Runaway electrons can melt the solid metal walls of nuclear fusion reactors but a pair of ...
Runaway electrons can melt the solid metal walls of nuclear fusion reactors but a pair of young physicists have discovered a way to slow and control these electrons paving the way for safe nuclear fusion reactors (Credit: Eurofusion CC-BY 3.0)

A functional fusion reactor may still be a dream, but it’s a dream that is slowly becoming a reality with numerous research efforts and experiments aiming to unlock the near unlimited supply of clean energy that such a reactor would provide. The challenges scientists face in getting nuclear fusion to work are undeniably difficult, but not insurmountable, and two young physicists have recently solved one of the major problems engineers have been grappling with for almost half a century. read more