Tuesday, December 05, 2006
- Chicago's extensive municipal surveillance camera system is expanding to the CTA: wireless cameras capable of transmitting images from the inside of buses and trains are being launched in a $2.4 million pilot project funded by the Department of Homeland Security. [more at CBS2 Chicago, Chicago Tribune, and the official CTA website]
- Drug WarRant reports on the strange emerging trend of police agencies using bulletproof vests on their police dogs, many of whom are used for drug alerting. [Warning: guys will cringe at one account, deep in the linked AlterNet article, of one dog's unfortunate "Scooby snack."]
- [With apologies to R. Crumb] The U.S. Air Force has reportedly developed a new non-lethal weapon (read: "crowd dispersal device") that makes targets feel as though their faces are melting - using a slightly lower-frequency version of the microwaves that cook your Lean Cuisine™. No, it won't actually make their faces melt, but according to test results, subjects could only tolerate about 3 seconds of exposure.
The [ADS (Active Denial System)] beam produces what experimenters call the "Goodbye effect," or "prompt and highly motivated escape behavior." In human tests, most subjects reached their pain threshold within 3 seconds, and none of the subjects could endure more than 5 seconds...In more than 10,000 exposures, there were six cases of blistering and one instance of second-degree burns in a laboratory accident, the documents claim...The ADS was developed in complete secrecy for 10 years at a cost of $40 million. Its existence was revealed in 2001 by news reports, but most details of ADS human testing remain classified. There has been no independent checking of the military's claims.[via BoingBoing] Active Denial System? The "Goodbye Effect"? Gotta love those military euphemisms...I suppose this contrasts them with traditional lethal weapons, which produce the "Good Riddance effect."
- A few months ago we reported on the hair "soy" sauce scandal in China; apparently faux flavorings are only the tip of the fake foods problem. An entire cottage industry of fake egg crafters has popped up, where enterprising adulterators enroll in seminars to learn how to craft 3-cent imitation eggs - that almost look and taste like the real thing - out of gelatin, dyes, and "magic water." UPDATE: Reuters reports a new food scare from China - sewage in lard, and toxic Sudan IV colorant used to give ducks' egg yolks a prized (and pricey) red hue.
Something tells me there's a serious problem with a food manufacture system that provides economic incentives to hand-craft fake eggs (it looks like a laborious process) out of previously manufactured raw materials like gelatin, dyes, and ground chalk. Does the net cost of materials and labor come out to be less than having chickens do it the old-fashioned way? Remember, these aren't 'imitation eggs' designed to be marketed as an egg alternative - these are ersatz eggs foisted off on the market to be sold as real chicken eggs.
- Forget jackalopes: the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists ("M.A.R.T") has an assortment of creatively posed kills (like a stuffed squirrel eating a finger) that'll scare those pesky neighbor kids off your property.
- This delightfully designed "Post-It™" prototype from Japan looks exactly like a peelable red onion.
Labels: links du jour