Part spaceship, part racing car, part jet fighter, we go behind-the-scenes to discover how to reach 1,000mph on land
Dubbed as the Concorde for this generation by its makers, the SSC in Bloodhound SSC stands for supersonic car. If all goes to plan, the hope is this vehicle will smash not only the current land speed record but also the air speed record by exceeding 1,000mph (1,600km/h).
So how do you create something that can reach these remarkable speeds? Mark Chapman, chief engineer of the Bloodhound project reveals what it takes to create such a machine. Find out why it needs three engines, and the key problem that took 18 months to solve.
SEATTLE — Police are hoping the public can help identify an armed robber who they say has been targeting restaurants and coffee shops in the Queen Anne, Wedgwood, Ravenna, Maple Leaf, and Greenwood neighborhoods.
Police said Wednesday that over the past three months, the masked gunman has walked into seven different businesses — sometimes just as staff are closing up shop — and demanded money from employees while holding them at gunpoint. Read the rest of this entry »
Texas is where ISIS wannabes get outgunned at an art gallery.
— Kevin D. Williamson (@KevinNR) May 4, 2015
This is Texas. We shoot back.
— Kevin D. Williamson (@KevinNR) May 4, 2015
Ben Kamisar reports: Capitol Police officers misplaced their loaded guns in plain sight on at least three separate occasions, including once when a small child found the weapon, according to a Roll Call analysis of a Capitol Police Board report.
“The Department takes very seriously all breaches of Department rules and has established policies that address such matters.”
— Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman
One officer assigned to protect Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) left his gun in a toilet seat cover holder in a bathroom stall in the Capitol Visitor Center in January, according to the paper.
Another assigned to the detail of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) left a firearm in the bathroom of the Speaker’s suite, where a 7- or 8-year-old visiting child discovered the gun. The Glock pistol left by Boehner’s detail does not have a traditional locking mechanism and could still be fired when left out, Roll Call reported.
“Each disciplinary matter is thoroughly investigated and reviewed, employees are held accountable for their conduct, and they are provided due process in adjudicating these matters. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the violation, an employee’s record, and other required considerations, an appropriate penalty is applied, up to and including termination of employment.”
A janitor found the third pistol out in the Capitol Police headquarters, according to the paper.
The report on the January incident reportedly shows that police brass recommended a six-day suspension without pay for the officer from McConnell’s detail as punishment, but Roll Call reports that the other two incidents are still under investigation.
“As a matter of policy, the Department does not routinely discuss internal personnel matters, in order to maintain the integrity of the Department.”
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel declined to comment on the incidents, referring questions to Capitol Police. Read the rest of this entry »
Videos supplied by DARPA show the bullets making sharp turns in midair as they pursue their targets
(CNN) Don Melvin writes: You know the phrase “dodging a bullet”? Forget about it. Probably not going to happen anymore.
The U.S. military said this week it has made great progress in its effort to develop a self-steering bullet.
“True to DARPA’s mission, EXACTO has demonstrated what was once thought impossible: the continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target.”
— Jerome Dunn, DARPA program manager
In February, the “smart bullets” — .50-caliber projectiles equipped with optical sensors — passed their most successful round of live-fire tests to date, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.
In the tests, an experienced marksman “repeatedly hit moving and evading targets,” a DARPA statement said.
“This live-fire demonstration from a standard rifle showed that EXACTO is able to hit moving and evading targets with extreme accuracy at sniper ranges unachievable with traditional rounds.”
“Additionally,” the statement said, “a novice shooter using the system for the first time hit a moving target.” In other words, now you don’t even have to be a good shot to hit the mark.
The system has been developed by DARPA’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance program, known as EXACTO.
“Fitting EXACTO’s guidance capabilities into a small .50-caliber size is a major breakthrough and opens the door to what could be possible in future guided projectiles across all calibers.”
“True to DARPA’s mission, EXACTO has demonstrated what was once thought impossible: the continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target,” said Jerome Dunn, DARPA program manager. Read the rest of this entry »
Watch this representative from gun-control group “Everytown for Gun Safety” explain on C-SPAN why he won’t debate anybody who disagrees with him:
Here’s transcript of the relevant part of his answer:
Everytown is committed to an evidence-based approach. We speak with criminologists, legislators across the country and we welcome debate. In fact, we’re thrilled that there is an increased amount of research in this area, and an increased amount of conversation about what laws are effective to keeping guns out of the hands of felons and domestic abusers. So, when there’s a credible scientist — somebody who wants to have a real constructive conversation about this — we’re going to be there. But folks who seek to minimize the grave issue of gun violence in this country – or to draw attention away from the real issues to themselves – that’s not a conversation I think it’s productive to be a part of.
[Check out Charles C. W. Cooke‘s new book: “The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s Future” at Amazon.com]
Obviously, the speaker is doing little more than begging the question. “Sure we’ll talk to people who disagree” he appears to be saying, “but only if they agree. Because to disagree with the claims that we are making is to take attention away from the claims that we are making, which are true by virtue of their having been made.”
Oddly enough, this is also exactly how critics of, say, Christina Hoff Sommerstend to explain away their unwillingness to engage. Read the rest of this entry »
Dom Esposito writes:
…Apple Watch is finally available to preorder, but if you missed the mark at 12:01 a.m. you might be waiting quite a while to get your hands on one. Luckily, Apple is providing try-on appointments that will allow you to get a taste of the experience and feel one out for yourself. Recently, we took that opportunity to get our hands on a few and offer some initial impressions on the hardware and software…
In the video below, we take a look at three Apple Watch models and the widely popular Apple Watch Sport in Space Gray. Along with that we took a tour of the software available on the demo models and it was quite interesting. Apple Watch is definitely a very different product from anything we’ve seen the company offer, but along with that it brings a unique experience that no other product can match up to.
We got our hands on the 42mm Apple Watch with the Leather Loop, Milanese Loop, and Link Bracelet band styles. Each band really does bring an entirely different look, feel, and experience to the table. The Apple Watch Sport comes along with a “custom high-performance fluoroelastomer,” but don’t let the generic term “rubber” turn you away. It actually feels very nice.
Is it all worth the hype? Well, that’s somewhat subjective, but check out our hands-on and first impressions video above for a closer look at Apple Watch hardware and software:
We also took a brief look through the software UI and features with the demo models. While these demos are running loops throughout various portions of the interface, there’s still quite a bit that you can do to test out its functionality. It’s smooth overall, but we noticed a bit of lag here and there. Read the rest of this entry »
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) April 10, 2015
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) April 10, 2015
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) April 10, 2015
Seventy-thousand people are expected to attend the National Rifle Association’s convention opening on Friday in Tennessee, and not one of them will be allowed to come armed with guns that can actually shoot. After all the N.R.A. propaganda about how “good guys with guns” are needed to be on guard across American life, from elementary schools to workplaces, the weekend’s gathering of disarmed conventioneers seems the ultimate in hypocrisy.
There will be plenty of weapons in evidence at the hundreds of display booths, but for convention security the firing pins must be removed…(read more)
The National Rifle Association and the Music City Center have confirmed that gun owners with the proper carry permits can bring their guns with them into the center during the association’s convention, which will be held there this weekend….(read more)
…Music City Center spokeswoman Mary Brette Clippard confirmed to The Tennessean on Tuesday afternoon that the NRA had no problem with gun owners with the proper gun permits bringing their weapons inside. Read the rest of this entry »
New Glock Commercial Shows Everyday People Carrying Everywhere
The wait is over. The G43 is our new single stack 9mm pistol. The G43 is the most highly desired and anticipated release in GLOCK history. Designed to be the favored back up or last resort option for both civilian and law enforcement use, this subcompact slimline design is the perfectly balanced answer to your everyday concealed carry needs. It is ultra-concealable, accurate and comfortable for all shooters regardless of hand size.
Pentagon Official: ‘Even in the Best-Case Scenario in an Unstable Country We Never Have 100 Percent Accountability’Posted: March 21, 2015
Pentagon Loses Track of $500 Million in Weapons, Equipment Given to Yemen
Craig Whitlock reports: The Pentagon is unable to account for more than $500 million in U.S. military aid given to Yemen, amid fears that the weaponry, aircraft and equipment is at risk of being seized by Iranian-backed rebels or al-Qaeda, according to U.S. officials.
With Yemen in turmoil and its government splintering, the Defense Department has lost its ability to monitor the whereabouts of small arms, ammunition, night-vision goggles, patrol boats, vehicles and other supplies donated by the United States. The situation has grown worse since the United States closed its embassy in Sanaa, the capital, last month and withdrew many of its military advisers.
In recent weeks, members of Congress have held closed-door meetings with U.S. military officials to press for an accounting of the arms and equipment. Pentagon officials have said that they have little information to go on and that there is little they can do at this point to prevent the weapons and gear from falling into the wrong hands.
“We have to assume it’s completely compromised and gone,” said a legislative aide on Capitol Hill who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
U.S. military officials declined to comment for the record. A defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the Pentagon, said there was no hard evidence that U.S. arms or equipment had been looted or confiscated. But the official acknowledged that the Pentagon had lost track of the items.
“Even in the best-case scenario in an unstable country, we never have 100 percent accountability,” the defense official said.
Yemen’s government was toppled in January by Shiite Houthi rebels who receive support from Iran and have strongly criticized U.S. drone strikes in Yemen. The Houthis have taken over many Yemeni military bases in the northern part of the country, including some in Sanaa that were home to U.S.-trained counterterrorism units. Other bases have been overrun by fighters from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
As a result, the Defense Department has halted shipments to Yemen of about $125 million in military hardware that were scheduled for delivery this year, including unarmed ScanEagle drones, other types of aircraft and Jeeps. That equipment will be donated instead to other countries in the Middle East and Africa, the defense official said. Read the rest of this entry »
L.A. City Attorney: 9-Year-Old Boy Finds Gun Under Dog Bed, Takes Gun to School, Leads to Predictable Press Conference, Charges FiledPosted: March 12, 2015
— Robert Holguin (@ABC7Robert) March 12, 2015
— Robert Holguin (@ABC7Robert) March 12, 2015
Beginning with the unrest after the August 2014 shooting of Micheal Brown and that which followed the grand jury verdict in favor of Officer Darren Wilson, as well as the fervor maintained by national hucksters intent on keeping racial tensions aflame, gun sales in Missouri are through the roof.
[Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins]
Brown was shot on August 9 ,and within days gun sales began a sharp rise. On August 13 Breitbart News reported that citizens in and around St. Louis were buying up the firearms they needed to protect their lives and property. Read the rest of this entry »
Philip Bump reports: On Monday afternoon, while the attention of the political media world was focused on events at the United Nations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced that it was dropping plans to reclassify a particular form of ammunition. It was a rare success for a letter-signed-by-most-Republican-senatorsthis week, after Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) got most of his colleagues to sign on to a missive that captured an already-bubbling sentiment among conservatives. (That opponents of gun control measures won a victory, of course, is anything but a rare success.)
If you want the full back story, it’s here. But what we want to focus on is the phenomenon that has frequently resulted when the administration has either threatened new gun control measures or when the public has been worried that it might, as it did in the wake of the ATF’s recent announcement: Firearm sales skyrocket.
As soon as Barack Obama won the 2008 election, gun sales spiked. The number of background checks (a point of data linked to gun sales numbers) increased by 50 percent over the rest of that year in November and December. (December figures are often higher, we’ll note, due to the popularity of giving weapons as Christmas presents.) The Aiken Standard in Aiken, S.C., wrote about spiking sales that December, quoting an employee at a local gun store: “There’s been a definite increase. It’s because a Democrat is in office, in my opinion.” Not quite in office, but you get the point.
To measure how big the Obama Gun Boom has been, we turned to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. It uses data on excise taxes collected by the government on weapon and ammunition sales to estimate the total market for those products. It provided its estimates from 1982 through the third quarter of last year to the Post.
Overall, the estimates look like this. We’ve shaded in the Obama Era as encompassing 2008 through 2014, due to the spike at the end of 2008. (That plays into our projections later, so bear that in mind.) Notice the spike in 1993, as well, the last time a Democrat assumed the presidency. And, of course, backed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which is precisely the sort of thing gun advocates fear. Read the rest of this entry »
Lockheed-Martin‘s prototype laser weapon is called the Advanced Test High Energy Asset, or ATHENA, and this is what it can do. The 30-kilowatt laser fired at this pickup truck from more than a mile away during a recent test.
This was the first full field test of the weapon. Lockheed says the poor pickup was mounted on a platform with its engine running to simulate real-world conditions.
Laser weapons—once pure fantasy, and then a pie-in-the-sky tech that couldn’t perform in the real world—are coming into their own. The U.S. Navy is testing its own 30-kw death laser at sea. Enemy boats, beware the red dot.
Cristina Marcos reports: Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) has reintroduced legislation to do away with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
“The ATF is a scandal-ridden, largely duplicative agency that lacks a clear mission. Its ‘Framework’ is an affront to the Second Amendment and yet another reason why Congress should pass the ATF Elimination Act.”
— Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, House Judiciary Committee
Sensenbrenner, a senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the policies under ATF’s jurisdiction could be easily incorporated into other agencies. Moreover, he argued, the ATF has become embroiled in too many controversies in recent years, like the botched “Fast and Furious” gun-tracking operation.
“The ATF is a scandal-ridden, largely duplicative agency that lacks a clear mission. Its ‘Framework’ is an affront to the Second Amendment and yet another reason why Congress should pass the ATF Elimination Act,” Sensenbrenner said in a statement.
The ATF has drawn the ire of Republican lawmakers for its proposed ban on an armor-piercing bullet used in AR-15 rifles. Republicans say that hunters frequently use the bullets. The bureau says it initiated the regulation to help protect law enforcement officers from bullets that can pierce armored vests. Read the rest of this entry »
C. J. CHIVERS and ERIC SCHMITT report: The Central Intelligence Agency, working with American troops during the occupation of Iraq, repeatedly purchased nerve-agent rockets from a secretive Iraqi seller, part of a previously undisclosed effort to ensure that old chemical weapons remaining in Iraq did not fall into the hands of terrorists or militant groups, according to current and former American officials.
[Also see – Laurence H. Silberman: The Dangerous Lie That ‘Bush Lied': ‘Some Journalists Still Peddle This Canard As If It Were Fact’ – punditfromanotherplanet.com]
The extraordinary arms purchase plan, known as Operation Avarice, began in 2005 and continued into 2006, and the American military deemed it a nonproliferation success. It led to the United States’ acquiring and destroying at least 400 Borak rockets, one of the internationally condemned chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein’s Baathist government manufactured in the 1980s but that were not accounted for by United Nations inspections mandated after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.
“Without speaking to any specific programs, it is fair to say that together with our coalition partners in Iraq, the U.S. military worked diligently to find and remove weapons that could be used against our troops and the Iraqi people.”
— Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, in a written statement.
The effort was run out of the C.I.A. station in Baghdad in collaboration with the Army’s 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion and teams of chemical-defense and explosive ordnance disposal troops, officials and veterans of the units said. Many rockets were in poor condition and some were empty or held a nonlethal liquid, the officials said. But others contained the nerve agent sarin, which analysis showed to be purer than the intelligence community had expected given the age of the stock.
A New York Times investigation published in October found that the military had recovered thousands of old chemical warheads and shells in Iraq and that Americans and Iraqis had been wounded by them, but the government kept much of this information secret, from the public and troops alike.
These munitions were remnants of an Iraqi special weapons program that was abandoned long before the 2003 invasion, and they turned up sporadically during the American occupation in buried caches, as part of improvised bombs or on black markets.
“If we were aware of these compounds, and as it became clear over the course of the war that our troops had been exposed to them, why wasn’t more done to protect the guys on the ground? It speaks to the broader failure.”
— Aaron Stein, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute
The potency of sarin samples from the purchases, as well as tightly held assessments about risks the munitions posed, buttresses veterans’ claims that during the war the military did not share important intelligence about battlefield perils with those at risk or maintain an adequate medical system for treating victims of chemical exposure.
The purchases were made from a sole Iraqi source who was eager to sell his stock, officials said. The amount of money that the United States paid for the rockets is not publicly known, and neither are the affiliations of the seller.
Most of the officials and veterans who spoke about the program did so anonymously because, they said, the details remain classified. The C.I.A. declined to comment. The Pentagon, citing continuing secrecy about the effort, did not answer written questions and acknowledged its role only obliquely.
“This was a timely and effective initiative by our national intelligence partners that negated the use of these unique munitions.”
— Retired Army Lt. Gen. Richard P. Zahner
“Without speaking to any specific programs, it is fair to say that together with our coalition partners in Iraq, the U.S. military worked diligently to find and remove weapons that could be used against our troops and the Iraqi people,” Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a written statement.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Richard P. Zahner, the top American military intelligence officer in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, said he did not know of any other intelligence program as successful in reducing the chemical weapons that remained in Iraq after the American-led invasion. Read the rest of this entry »
Russian Bombers More Aggressive Near U.S. Territory
Sam LaGrone reports: While Russian military aircraft have stepped up their activity everywhere from the North Sea to the Baltic to the Black Sea in the last year they have also been spotted more frequently closer to the U.S. territory in the Arctic, the head of U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) told USNI News on Tuesday.
In particular – flights of Tupolev Tu-95 Bear ‘H’ Bombers have increased recently NORTHCOM’s Adm. Bill Gortney said.
“They’ve been very aggressive – under my NORAD hat – for us in the Arctic. Aggressive in the amount of flights, not aggressive in how they fly.”
Since the March seizure of the Ukrainian region of Crimea by Russian forces Moscow has significantly stepped up air patrols in Europe, Asia and near the Americas.
The flights extend as far North as the edge of American air space near Alaska and as far South as U.S. holdings in Guam.
In December, two Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornets intercepted a two Bears near the Beaufort Sea entering a U.S. and Canadian Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). Read the rest of this entry »