The Weight of Thought

Why would one of the world’s most successful and innovative technology corporations research a highly controversial subject and risky future product opportunity such as E.S.P. (extrasensory perception) and then – oh by the way – tell the world they proved it existed?

Huh… unlikely? What company and why isn’t this more widely known? That’s just what I thought. I came across this fun fact while searching for information to help me understand a strange series of events that had occurred six years ago this month. Coincidentally, I happened to be working for this company when I found out.

Described as “anomalous processes of information or energy transfer”, Psi phenomenon is a very controversial subject. On one side, scientists, physicists, and PhDs attesting to its reality, and on the other, their opponents who question the methods of study, the resulting data and testimonies.

Tens of thousands of people rallied on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa Sunday against the deployment of US Osprey military aircraft after a series of accidents elsewhere involving the planes.

Protesters demanded the United States and Japan immediately scrap plans to deploy 12 MV-22 Ospreys at the Futenma US base on Okinawa and shut down the Futenma base in the crowded city of Ginowan.

The turnout at the main rally was estimated by organisers at more than 100,000. Okinawan media put the number at “tens of thousands”.

"We don’t want the Osprey, the world’s most dangerous aircraft" read a placard at the mass rally at a seaside park near the base, according to television footage. "Osprey. No!" said another.

Similar rallies were staged on two smaller islands in the Okinawa island chain and in Tokyo several thousand people circled the Japanese parliament building.

The Osprey has rotors that allow it to take off like a helicopter. It can refuel in the air, allowing it to cover big distances in a region where concerns have mounted over the rise of China.

Ginowan mayor Atsushi Sakima told the rally the safety of the hybrid transport aircraft “has not been guaranteed”.

In April, an MV-22 Osprey crashed in Morocco, killing two Marines.

Another variant of the aircraft crashed in June in Florida, injuring five crew members, although US officials said the accident was not due to mechanical problems.

Concerns heightened further when an MV-22 made an emergency landing in a residential area outside a Marine base in Jacksonville, North Carolina, on Thursday.

For those feeling down in the dumps, the US military now has a solution: an anti-suicidal nasal spray that delivers antidepressant chemicals to the brain.

­The US Army has awarded a scientist at the Indiana University School of Medicine $3 million to develop a nasal spray that eclipses suicidal thoughts. Dr. Michael Kubek and his research team will have three years to ascertain whether the nasal spray is a safe and effective method of preventing suicides.

The research grant comes after the Army lost 38 of its soldiers to suspected suicide in July, setting a record high. So far in 2012, the Army has confirmed 66 active duty suicides and is investigating 50 more, making a total of 116 cases.

The Army’s suicide rate is at the highest level in history, with more American soldiers taking their own lives than being killed by the Taliban. The Pentagon reported in June that suicides among soldiers averaged one per day this year, surpassing the rate of combat fatalities.

But the naturally occurring neurochemical thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) could slow the rising suicide rate. The chemical has a euphoric, calming, antidepressant effect. TRH has been shown to decrease suicidal ideas, depression and bipolar disorders.

“We’ve known since the 1970s that TRH has antidepressant effects, and it works quite rapidly,” Kubek told The Daily. “The bottom-line problem has been figuring out how to get it into the brain.”

Imagine a stun gun that doesn’t just drop you to the floor, but renders you unconscious for several minutes. This tech is called a “nano-second electrical pulse,” and the Pentagon believes it could be used in a gun that would hit targets with high voltages of electricity for an amazingly short amount of time – we’re talking billionths of seconds here. That would make the enemy an easy capture. But today’s stun guns are already linked to dozens, if not hundreds, of abusive incidents. What happens if they become even more powerful?

The stun gun is only one of several projects that the Department of Defense showcased at the Non-Lethal Weapons Industry Day in Quantico, Va. on June 22, an opportunity for the Pentagon to give a glimpse of the present and future of its weapons that are designed to injure, rather than kill.

The Joint Non Lethal Weapons Directorate, the Pentagon’s agency responsible for these projects, has been working on these system for years, proposing all kinds of exotic and futuristic less-than-lethal alternatives to its deadly arsenal, including sticky foam guns, sonic cannons, and devices that could potentially create voices in the target’s heads, mimicking the effects of schizophrenia.

Military Suicides on Rise: More US Soldiers Killed Themselves Than Died in Combat in 2012

Pakistan conducts ballistic missile test

Military says test of intermediate range missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons was successful.

This is the LiveLeak video (allegedly) showing US Marines pissing on dead members of the Taliban that has Afghanistan in an uproar. Semper Fi?

One night in October, an Army private named Danny Chen apparently angered his fellow soldiers by forgetting to turn off the water heater after taking a shower at his outpost in Afghanistan, his family said.

In the relatives’ account, the soldiers pulled Private Chen out of bed and dragged him across the floor; they forced him to crawl on the ground while they pelted him with rocks and taunted him with ethnic slurs. Finally, the family said, they ordered him to do pull-ups with a mouthful of water — while forbidding him from spitting it out.

It was the culmination of what the family called a campaign of hazing against Private Chen, 19, who was born in Chinatown in Manhattan, the son of Chinese immigrants. Hours later, he was found dead in a guard tower, from what a military statement on Wednesday called “an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound” to the head.

Empire - Extra: Uncle Sam is getting old

Fault Lines: Robot wars