In those first minutes, they’ll be stunned. Eyes fixed in a thousand-yard stare, nerve endings numbed. Today’s issue of Le Monde carries a story on nuclear conflict in the Middle East. “They’ll just stand there. Soon, you’ll notice that they are holding their arms out at a 45-degree angle. Your eyes will be drawn to their hands and you’ll think you mind is playing tricks. But it won’t be. Their fingers will start to resemble stalactites, seeming to melt toward the ground. And it won’t be long until the screaming begins. Shrieking. Moaning. Tens of thousands of victims at once. They’ll be standing amid a sea of shattered concrete and glass, a wasteland punctuated by the shells of buildings, orphaned walls, stairways leading nowhere.
“This could be Tehran, or what’s left of it, just after an Israeli nuclear strike.
“Iranian cities — owing to geography, climate, building construction, and population densities — are particularly vulnerable to nuclear attack, according to a new study, “Nuclear War Between Israel and Iran: Lethality Beyond the Pale,” published in the journal Conflict & Health by researchers from the University of Georgia and Harvard University. It is the first publicly released scientific assessment of what a nuclear attack in the Middle East might actually mean for people in the region. Continue reading “The Middle East nuclear option”
Worries are beginning to accumulate on the popular applications of what used to be called “rapid prototyping.” A growing number of devices that create objects from design programs are coming onto the market, potentially allowing just about anyone to make anything at home or at a nearby copy shop. NPR reports about the new concerns over the potential of 3-D printers to make guns or weapon parts.
“You may have heard about 3-D printing, a technological phenomenon that uses a robotic arm to build objects one layer at a time. As people get imaginative and create items in a one-stop-shop fashion, one more creation has been added to the printing line: gun parts.
On the West Side of Manhattan, behind large glass windows, a dozen 3-D printers build plastic toys and jewelry. Hilary Brosnihan, a manager at 3DEA, an events company that sponsored a print pop-up store, says things are moving rapidly. ‘This [3-D printing] is coming down the line; it’s coming down the line very quickly’ Brosnihan says. She also works as a toy manufacturer. The technology has boosted her business, but the idea of printing a gun horrifies her. She says most of her colleagues feel the same way.
“‘They are more of an open-source community that’s about developing things that are useful. And in our terms, weapons aren’t really useful,’ Brosnihan says. ‘Creating a way to adjust your sink faucet so you don’t have issues with it — that’s useful.’ But a lot of Americans do think guns are useful.”
Full story at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/02/06/171154845/using-3-d-printers-to-make-gun-parts-raises-alarms