Sunday, January 23, 2005


Read More Here
Gun-slinging robot headed for Iraq combat
Bomb-defusing Talon robots were converted to SWORDS by adding standard-issue weapons.

By Michael P. Regan
Associated Press

The Army is preparing to send 18 of these remote-controlled robotic warriors to fight in Iraq beginning in March or April.

Made by a small Massachusetts company, the SWORDS, short for Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection Systems, will be the first armed robotic vehicles to see combat.


But officials are quick to point out that these are not the autonomous killer robots of science fiction. A SWORDS robot shoots only when its human operator presses a button after identifying a target on video shot by the robot's cameras.

"The only difference is that his weapon is not at his shoulder, it's up to half a mile a way," said Bob Quinn, general manager of Talon robots for Foster-Miller Inc., the Waltham, Mass., company that makes the SWORDS.

Great. Let's sanitize our war experience. I'm sure we'll make LOTS of friends that way.

On a related topic, check out:
The War in Iraq Cost the United States:
$151,285,084,654 (and climbing)

Instead, we could have hired
additional public school teachers for one year.

Instead, we could have provided
students four-year scholarships at public universities

Instead, we could have fully funded world-wide AIDS programs for

Instead, we could have fully funded global anti-hunger efforts for

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Matter Rides Black Hole's Space-Time Wave
By Robert Roy Britt
(read the whole article here)

Black hole basics

Black holes are so dense they can trap light. They can't be seen, but astronomers find them by noting their gravitational effect on surrounding objects or by seeing X-rays and other radiation kicked up in their vicinity when gas is superheated as it swirls in at phenomenal speeds.

The infalling gas forms a thin disk, theory says. From this accretion disk come the X-rays used in the new research.

Any object with mass warps the space and time around it, in much the same way a heavy object deforms a stretched elastic sheet. Light passing by a very massive star or galaxy can be noticeably bent, for example.

Einstein's work predicts all this. But beyond Einstein, even stranger things are predicted. If an object spins, it further distorts space-time; imagine the elastic sheet being twisted by a heavy, spinning heavy.

The effect is called frame dragging. It is a modification to the simpler aspects of gravity set out by Newton. Working from Einstein's relativity theory, Austrian physicists Joseph Lense and Hans Thirring predicted frame dragging in 1918. (It is also known as the Lense-Thirring effect.)

Other studies have found evidence for spinning black holes and the warping of space-time around them. Even the rotation of Earth has been shown to distort nearby space-time, causing satellites to be dragged by 6 feet (2 meters) every year.

Frame dragging may play an important role in the twisted physics that cause black holes not just to swallow light and matter, but to spit out tremendous amounts of hot gas in high-velocity jets seen in several studies.

Please take time to read the whole article. Heck, you're at the computer, what else you gonna do? Why not fill the time with a quick and invigorating read into the world of cosmological physics.

Better yet, click HERE first and listen to a song I wrote called "FRAME DRAGGING". THEN, with the song playing (don't forget the headphones!), read the whole article from

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Extreme Lazers

from CNN:
Official: No laser, terrorism link
Latest aircraft lasering Sunday

"There's not any evidence that these lasers are being used by terrorists," said Asa Hutchinson, undersecretary of border and transportation security. "The FBI certainly continues to investigate and look at these fact scenarios. It's also a safety issue that the Department of Transportation would certainly want to look at."


The FBI is investigating eight incidents since Christmas involving lasers -- or lights believed to be lasers -- directed at various aircraft across the nation, including incidents in the District of Columbia, Ohio, Colorado and New Jersey. All of the pilots were able to land without incident.


There were incidents last year when laser beams were directed into plane cockpits, including one on September 22 in which a Delta Air Lines pilot reported damage to his retina from a laser beam during a landing in Salt Lake City.

But Wait! It gets better!

On November 22, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security alerted police agencies that terrorist groups have shown an interest in using laser beams to try to bring down flights.

"In certain circumstances, if laser weapons adversely affect the eyesight of both pilot and co-pilot during a non-instrument approach, there is a risk of airliner crash," the bulletin said.

Yes, America! Our keen and enlightend bureaucrats have assured us that the dreaded "terrorists" are not currently firing lazers into the eyes of aircraft pilots.

Nonetheless, lazer beams are now being fired into aircraft cockpits despite the WARNING on November 22 that the dreaded "terrorists groups" have shown an interest in using laser beams to try to bring down flights.

And "they" said Kerry flip flopped...

So, great, the current outbreak of lazers in aircraft cockpits isn't linked to "terrorism". So who's doing it?