Leeds University’s School of Civil Engineering has received a £100,000 grant to work on a bullet-proof vest that is made out of cement.
The vest uses ultra-strong cement mixed with recycled carbon fibres and could work out to be up to 90% cheaper to manufacture than the current alumina-based vests.
The British army has been widely criticised for not providing the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan enough armour and protection.
Dr Philip Purnell, who is leading the research team said: “Cement-based body armour would not only create a whole new market but it would also take some of the pressure off the demand for hi-spec alumina models so that people like soldiers, who really need this kit, can get it.”
I’m glad I’m not in the army. I wouldn’t fancy lugging a cement vest around in the desert.
The University of California is undertaking research, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, that will allow the creation of remote-controlled beetles. The beetles remain alive, but unable to control their bodies as the chips take control of their wing muscles via their optic nerve.
I don’t know what it is about this story that terrifies me most. It could be the fact that beetles are so easy to mind-control that you can just stick a chip on them and they’ll do your bidding. It could be that it would be incredibly cheap and easy to build a vast cloud of evil cyborg beetles and send them at your foes.
I might even be that there’s these poor beetles in California, alive, and unable to do anything but passively observe the remainder of their pitiful existence as their muscles spasm upon commands from military generals. I think it’s a combination of all three, so how about we end this post right about now, before I start shivering helplessly.
News just in from the “scary shit” department is that the American army are looking into developing a number of technologies that wouldn’t look out of place in Star Trek. Holograms, virtual people, and controlling peoples memories are all on the agenda.
A draft Army intelligence report reckons that terrorists might be able to use popular microblogging service Twitter to co-ordinate attacks against the United States. It follows fears that World of Warcraft might be used for the same purposes both stories beg the question: haven’t the US army got anything better to do…?
I know what you’re thinking, looking at that photo – you’ve got next year’s Halloween outfit sorted, right? You’ll go as a rabid fighter pilot that’s spent the last 20 years in Chernobyl after a freak accident sent you spiralling from space into the radiation-riddengjost-town.
Sorry to ruin your costume plans, but in order to wear one of these helments, you’ll have to join the Ministry of Defence first, specifically the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter squadron. The helmet is currently being tested…