Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8146 on: Mar 12th, 2013, 08:38am »
Special Forces vet shoots intruder - gets 'court martialed'
BREVARD, Jan. 19, 2008 – Retired Army Green Beret Smokey Taylor got his court martial this weekend and came away feeling good about it. Taylor, at age 80 the oldest member of Chapter XXXIII of the Special Forces Association, was on trial by his peers under the charge of “failing to use a weapon of sufficient caliber” in the shooting of an intruder at his home in Knoxville, TN, in December.
The entire affair, of course, was very much tongue in cheek. Taylor had been awakened in the early morning hours of Dec. 17, 2007, when an intruder broke into his home. He investigated the noises with one of his many weapons in hand.
When the intruder threatened him with a knife, Taylor warned him, then brought his .22 caliber pistol to bear and shot him right between the eyes.
“That boy had the hardest head I’ve ever seen,” Taylor said after his trial. “The bullet bounced right off.” The impact knocked the would-be thief down momentarily. He crawled out of the room then got up and ran out the door and down the street. Knoxville police apprehended him a few blocks away and he now awaits trial in the Knox County jail.
The charges against Taylor were considered to be serious. He is a retired Special Forces Weapons Sergeant with extensive combat experience during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
“Charges were brought against him under the premise that he should have saved the county and taxpayers the expense of a trial,” said Chapter XXXIII President Bill Long of Asheville. “He could have used a .45 or .38. The .22 just wasn’t big enough to get the job done.”
Taylor’s defense attorney, another retired Weapons Sergeant, disagreed. He said Taylor had done the right thing in choosing to arm himself with a .22.
“If he’d used a .45 or something like that the round would have gone right through the perp, the wall, the neighbor’s wall and possibly injured some innocent child asleep in its bed,” he said. “I believe the evidence shows that Smokey Taylor exercised excellent judgment in his choice of weapons. He did nothing wrong, and clearly remains to this day an excellent weapons man.”
Counsel for the defense then floated a theory as to why the bullet bounced off the perp’s forehead.
“He was victimized by old ammunition,” he said, “just as he was in Korea and again in Vietnam, when his units were issued ammo left over from World War II.”
Taylor said nothing in his own defense, choosing instead to allow his peers to debate the matter. After the trial he said the ammunition was indeed old and added the new information that the perp had soiled his pants as he crawled out of the house.
“I would have had an even worse mess to clean up if it had gone through his forehead,” Taylor said. “It was good for both of us that it didn’t.”
Following testimony from both sides, Taylor was acquitted of the charges and was given a round of applause.
Meanwhile, back in Knox County, the word is out: Don’t go messing with Smokey Taylor. He just bought a whole bunch of fresh ammo.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8149 on: Mar 12th, 2013, 10:13am »
Made Poor by the Crisis: Millions of Europeans Require Red Cross Food Aid
Two-thirds of national Red Cross societies within the European Union have begun distributing food aid, according to the head of the aid groups' international organization -- a sign that the economic crisis in Europe is having an alarming effect on poverty.
Yves Daccord, Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said on a visit to New Delhi on Monday that the scope of food distribution had not been at its current level since the end of World War II.
Germany's relative economic strength has made it mostly immune to the rise in food need. In contrast, the Spanish Red Cross is supporting 3 million Spaniards with food aid. Daccord said the need in Spain was so great that the organization has begun soliciting donations for not just foreign, but domestic operations as well.
Middle Class Hard-Hit By Crisis
A document published by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Socities provides more detail on the food need. Last year alone, the Spanish Red Cross provided 33 million kilograms (73 million pounds) of groceries to the needy. It also supported 21,500 people with water and electricity, or with financial aid in paying rent.
The organization's counterpart in Romania has been operating a donation-based food distribution program since 2009. Three million people live in absolute poverty, according to the aid group, a figure that constitutes 14 percent of the country's total population. The relative poverty rate in Romania is also shockingly high, at 40 percent. Last year, the Romanian Red Cross distributed more than 500,000 kilograms (1.1 million pounds) of food to more than 81,000 needy families.
The IFRC also noted a rise in poverty in previously middle-class families and individuals. In Italy, the group noted a rise in the homeless population to include single parents, "particularly separated and divorced men who end up impoverished or on the streets as they struggle to maintain themselves while keeping up child support and alimony payments."
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8150 on: Mar 12th, 2013, 10:19am »
3D Printing Hype Doesn't Equal Reality Yet
12 March 2013 by Mitch Free
Say you lose the back of your TV remote. You have turned your house upside-down looking for the piece that holds the batteries in, but without any other choice, you surrender and secure a piece of duct tape to the back of the remote. What if you had the option to log onto your TV manufacturers website, download the 3D CAD file for the replacement part, send the CAD file to your local FedEx Office, they upload your 3D CAD file to a 3D printer, and you swing by to pick-up the part within an hour. This is the possibility that 3D printing brings.
There is a lot of buzz around 3D printing and it is easy to get excited about the potential impact it could have on how things can be made. While the technology is still in the very early stages, the hype around 3D printing becoming a real world application is very near. 3D printing is a tool that can be used to validate a design, ensure pieces fit together properly and even make a product mock-up for marketing. It is with rare exception that 3D printed parts are the actual products we buy.
The name 3D printing is a misnomer, and is more accurately called additive manufacturing. In traditional manufacturing processes, such as machining, material is removed from a piece of raw material to produce a part, also known as subtractive manufacturing. In additive manufacturing, material is added in small layers, cross section by cross section, to build a part. Think of an inkjet printer with a print head that rises and continually prints on top of the last image it printed. Additive manufacturing can also be achieved by a number of other methods, such as selective laser sintering (SLS).
What are the challenges additive manufacturing must overcome to be a useful industrial tool? Materials and speed. The material choices for additive manufacturing are very limited and for the most part, the materials are not strong or durable enough to be used in an actual product. The only time this is an exception is when you combine specific types of polymers and metals with specific additive manufacturing processes.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8152 on: Mar 12th, 2013, 10:25am »
Ridley Scott announces he's working on 12 (yes, 12!) new sci-fi projects
Tue, 03/12/2013 - 9:18am
Always one to push the boundaries, sci-fi mastermind Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Prometheus) is turning to the web to create a dozen new sci-fi projects. So what’s the deal?
Scott and his production company have signed on with online video outlet Machinima to develop 12 new sci-fi shorts, with potential for some or all of the projects to evolve into feature length films.
Machinima has become a player in the fledgeling online video space, and is best known for sci-fi shorts Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome, Mortal Kombat: Legacy and Halo: Forward Unto Dawn. Those three projects were big, but inking a deal with Scott is huge.
Neither side has announced exactly what the shorts could entail, but the idea seems to be an “incubator” for new ideas that Scott might not have had a chance to try out on the big screen. It’s also possible Scott could partner with young sci-fi filmmakers to help develop new talent around the genre.
Scott seemed pretty excited about the deal, saying it would give him a chance to deliver on some new concepts in a new medium:
“[Ridley Scott and Associates] has always been at the forefront of creating innovative work. With new media transforming the way audiences connect with films and filmmakers, Machinima is a great partner for us as we embark on this new model of delivering original content to fans. It’s a tremendous opportunity for pushing the creative boundaries for both our filmmakers and the audience.”
Do you plan to follow Scott online and check out some of these new projects once they get off the ground?
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8158 on: Mar 14th, 2013, 09:53am »
New Results Indicate That Particle Discovered at CERN Is a Higgs Boson
Mar. 14, 2013
— At the Moriond Conference today, the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) presented preliminary new results that further elucidate the particle discovered last year. Having analysed two and a half times more data than was available for the discovery announcement in July, they find that the new particle is looking more and more like a Higgs boson, the particle linked to the mechanism that gives mass to elementary particles.
It remains an open question, however, whether this is the Higgs boson of the Standard Model of particle physics, or possibly the lightest of several bosons predicted in some theories that go beyond the Standard Model. Finding the answer to this question will take time.
Whether or not it is a Higgs boson is demonstrated by how it interacts with other particles, and its quantum properties. For example, a Higgs boson is postulated to have no spin, and in the Standard Model its parity -- a measure of how its mirror image behaves -- should be positive. CMS and ATLAS have compared a number of options for the spin-parity of this particle, and these all prefer no spin and positive parity. This, coupled with the measured interactions of the new particle with other particles, strongly indicates that it is a Higgs boson.
"The preliminary results with the full 2012 data set are magnificent and to me it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is." said CMS spokesperson Joe Incandela.
"The beautiful new results represent a huge effort by many dedicated people. They point to the new particle having the spin-parity of a Higgs boson as in the Standard Model. We are now well started on the measurement programme in the Higgs sector," said ATLAS spokesperson Dave Charlton.
To determine if this is the Standard Model Higgs boson, the collaborations have, for example, to measure precisely the rate at which the boson decays into other particles and compare the results to the predictions. The detection of the boson is a very rare event -- it takes around 1 trillion (1012) proton-proton collisions for each observed event. To characterize all of the decay modes will require much more data from the LHC.
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its member states are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Romania is a candidate for accession. Cyprus, Israel and Serbia are associate members in the pre-stage to membership. India, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have observer status.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #8159 on: Mar 14th, 2013, 09:54am »
Report: Surge in N. Korea Air Force Sorties
Mar. 13, 2013 - 07:04AM By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
SEOUL — North Korean jet fighters have flown an “unprecedented” number of sorties in recent days in apparent response to a joint South Korean-U.S. military exercise, a report said Wednesday.
The number of sorties by fighter jets and helicopters peaked at 700 on Monday, the same day the “Key Resolve” exercise was launched, Yonhap news agency cited a military source as saying. The volume of flight missions “is seen as unprecedented in scale,” the unidentified source said.
The South Korean Defense Ministry declined to confirm the report but reiterated that the North’s army, navy and air force were carrying out drills ahead of an expected statewide exercise.
“Key Resolve” is an annual, largely computer-simulated exercise but still involves the mobilization of more than 10,000 South Korean and 3,500 U.S. military personnel.
About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea.
Pyongyang condemned the drill as a provocative invasion rehearsal and announced it was scrapping the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War in response. Military tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen to their highest level in years, with the communist state threatening nuclear war in response to U.N. sanctions imposed after its third atomic test last month.