Sunday, May 22, 2011

Technology in the News

Today we're going to look at some stories about technology, from the high to the low.  Starting off,  NASA, continues to seek solutions to the complications of human space flight, even as the Shuttle program comes to a close.  With the navy already working on laser weaponry, NASA is seeking the other half of a sci-fi kid's dream: energy shields.  OK, it's really just electromagnetic radiation shielding which could protect astronauts in the same manner that the Earth's magnetic field protects the rest of us.  Right now, it's an item on a wish-list, but you never know what the future will bring.

On the in-production side, one of the big headline makers from a certain recent special forces operation in Pakistan was a strange helicopter tail rotor.  Speculation indicates there may have been one or more helicopters involved in the raid with stealthy modifications, possibly to a Blackhawk transport.  Perhaps something came out of the cancelled Comanche program after all.

Once upon a time, back in a distant, cell-phone-less time known as "the eighties," digital watches were how many kids kept time.  One particular style, of which I had several versions back in the day, now comes under scrutiny from the government.  Apparently inexpensive Casio digital watches are a bad thing to wear in Gitmo.  Relatively simple, reliable, thirty year old timepiece technology, in the hands of terrorists becomes a simple, reliable bomb timer.  Jerks.  Of course, having reliable items becomes a big deal when bombs are involved.  After all, having someone blow you up via text message is embarrassing.  Or possibly poetic justice, depending on your point of view.

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