Archive for March 2013

by 2020 India will have overtaken Japan, France and Britain to come the fourth military spender

March 30, 2013

For the past five years India has been the world’s largest importer of weapons

India has more active military personnel than any Asian country other than China

Today it is the world’s seventh-largest military spender

by 2020 it will have overtaken Japan, France and Britain to come in fourth. It has a nuclear stockpile of 80 or more warheads

Strategic defence reviews like those that take place in America, Britain and France, informed by serving officers and civil servants but led by politicians, are unknown in India.

India has also addressed weaknesses in heavy lift by buying ten giant Boeing C-17 transports

as China bulks up, India’s strategic shortcomings are becoming a liability. And they are an obstacle to India’s dreams of becoming a true 21st-century power



police drone Vs renegades

March 30, 2013

the military’s cache of U.A.V.’s has grown from just a handful in 2001 to more than 7,000 today.

variety of drones are currently employed by the military —from the famous missile-launching Predator to tiny prototypes shaped like hummingbirds.

The Federal Aviation Administration will release a comprehensive set of rules on drones by 2015.

Both the CIA and military use drones for “targeted killings” of terrorist leaders. The strikes have been an awkward open secret, remaining officially classified while government officials mention them repeatedly.

Drones are piloted from thousands of miles away

The Air Force is playing catch-up trying to train people to fly drones and analyze the mountains of data they produce, forcing them to sometimes rely on civilian contractors for sensitive missions

the Seattle police department showed off a 3.5-pound camera-equipped drone with a battery life of a whopping 10 minutes

emergency responders could soon use smaller drones

One of the first drone-assisted arrests by a local police department took place in North Dakota this year (2012), with the help of a borrowed DHS Predator. It was deployed, as the New Yorker detailed, to catch a group of renegade ranchers in a conflict that originated over a bale of hay.


How sleep is very underappreciated

March 19, 2013

adults who sleep less than five or six hours a night are at higher risk of being overweight. Among children, sleeping less than 10 hours a night is associated with weight gain.

Losing just a few hours of sleep a few nights in a row can lead to almost immediate weight gain

staying up late and getting just five hours of sleep increased a person’s metabolism. Sleep-deprived participants actually burned an extra 111 calories a day

But even though we burn more calories when we stay awake, losing sleep is not a good way to lose weight

Staying up late and skimping on sleep led to not only more eating, but a shift in the type of foods a person consumed.

We found that when people weren’t getting enough sleep they overate carbohydrates

They ate more food, and when they ate food also changed. They ate a smaller breakfast and they ate a lot more after dinner.

sleep-deprived eaters ended up eating more calories during after-dinner snacking than in any other meal during the day. Over all, people consumed 6 percent more calories when they got too little sleep. Once they started sleeping more, they began eating more healthfully, consuming fewer carbohydrates and fats

insufficient sleep changed the timing of a person’s internal clock, and that in turn appeared to influence the changes in eating habits.

lack of sleep alters the biology of fat cells.

Metabolically, lack of sleep aged fat cells about 20 years


a device that opens access to 30-100 Ghz bandwidth

March 16, 2013

Mature technologies, such as radio, operate at lower frequency ranges—for example the 88 to 108 megahertz on the FM radio dial—because it’s easy to manipulate. Communications become difficult at larger bandwidths (which span 30-100 gigahertz)

a “novel device that opens access to this new bandwidth.”:

the device offers seven octaves of operation and unprecedented fidelity

it allows the user to transmit everything from voice and data communications, to satellite communications or radar signals

The device uses a technique of sideband injection locking

“Think of a piano where every eight keys the notes repeat, just at a higher pitch. The differing pitches are harmonics, or related frequencies, of the first tone,”

“If we put a radio signal with an antenna into a custom-made modulator and then connect a laser beam to the device, it generates harmonics.”

By inputting a related frequency into the laser beam, (researchers) are able to generate a shifted harmonic or octave. When mixed, they cancel what is identical, leaving the user with only the signal’s difference frequency

Signals can be routed over long distances through lightweight optic fibers and optical components

Made from fiber optic cables and nanoscale devices, the lightweight system may ultimately reside on the wings of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones


how one animal sniffs another greatly matters within their social network

March 15, 2013

– Sniffing, a common behavior in dogs, cats and other animals, has been observed to also serve as a method for rats to communicate—

animals vigorously sniff when they interact, a habit usually passed off as simply smelling each other.

rats sniff each other to signal a social hierarchy and prevent aggressive behavior

rodents naturally form complex social hierarchies

when two rats approach each other, one communicates dominance by sniffing more frequently, while the subordinate signals its role by sniffing less

if the subordinate didn’t do so, the dominant rat was more likely to become aggressive to the other.

the dominant rat was displaying a “conflict avoidance signal,” similar to a large monkey walking into a room and banging its chest. In response, the subordinate animal might cower and look away, or in the case of the rats, decrease its sniffing

how one animal sniffs another greatly matters within their social network


Are beauty ideals serve to maintain the domination of one sex over the other?

March 12, 2013

“British White men from the community in London, England (N = 361) viewed figures of women that rotated in 360° and varied in breast size along five levels”

“They then rated the figure that they found most physically attractive and also completed measures assessing their sexist attitudes and tendency to objectify women”

“medium breasts were rated most frequent as attractive followed by large and very large breasts”

“men’s preferences for larger female breasts were significantly associated with a greater tendency to be benevolently sexist, to objectify women, and to be hostile towards women”

To be dicussed in relation to a feminist theorie: “beauty ideals and practices in contemporary societies serve to maintain the domination of one sex over the other”


a melting shortcut between Asia and North America: the Northern Sea Route

March 7, 2013

“By mid-century, even ordinary shipping vessels will be able to navigate previously inaccessible parts of the Arctic Ocean, and they will not need icebreakers to blaze their path as they do today”

“the Arctic ice sheet is expected to thin to the point that polar icebreakers will be able to navigate between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans by making a straight shot over the North Pole”

“The route directly over the North Pole is 20 percent shorter than today’s most-trafficked Arctic shipping lane, the Northern Sea Route, which hugs the coast of Russia”

“For vessels traveling between Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Yokohama, Japan, the Northern Sea Route is already approximately 40 percent shorter than the traditional route through the Suez Canal”

“Today, the Northwest Passage is theoretically navigable only one out of seven years, on average, making it too unreliable to be a viable option for commercial shippers”

“mid-century, sea ice will melt in September to the point that it is accessible every other year”

“This will never be a year-round operation”

“in the Arctic, average temperatures have risen faster than the global average since the mid-1980s”

“more than 1,000 Arctic lakes disappears”

“the Artic ocean offers the possibility for traveling between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans through the Bering Strait. Until recently, however, sea ice has blocked access to the potential shortcut between Asia and North America or Europe. But in the past two years, the ice has begun to melt in late summer to such an extent that even ordinary seagoing vessels, albeit with escorts, have been able to enter its frigid waters. In summer 2012, a total of 46 voyages successfully crossed the Northern Sea Route.”