Journalist displeases the insects

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Of course they’re displeased. Taking out an insect infestation with a tank is serious overkill.


Well, you have to use a tank. There’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded cicada.


The gif was so funny I shot my coffee out’a my nose.

Need costume change!

What a buzz!

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Good thing she doesn’t know how delicious they are. More for me!

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I lasted until it got on her mouth and shut that down.

Did she live?


Oh, man; it’s a good thing that her report wasn’t on women in combat. Though it would have made it nine times more hilarious.

[Note to those with no sense of humor who are looking for an excuse to misinterpret what I just wrote: Context. Get over yourselves.]

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Wow, you managed to turn a fairly lame sexist joke into a really belligerent affront. Good Job!



…and the “Six-legged soldiers” book…


Yeesh, the Canadians were spearheading the whole allied biological war effort during WWII.

I knew the Canadians participated in the war, but man, they did some fucked up work with fleas.

Of all the WMDs, I gotta say I only get a visceral reaction from biological weapons. Chemical weapons disperse relatively quickly once deployed (small pockets of residue notwithstanding) and they do eventually run out. It’s not like ricin or sarin can make more of itself.

Nuclear weapon fallout generally goes away and can be cleaned up too, just look at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They’re clean today. And the bigger the nukes get, the less fallout they have proportionally. The H-Bombs only really need to be ignited and with properly arranged shielding will just keep going turning Hydrogen into Helium until the fuel runs out.

Whereas biological weapons… They can lie dormant for a very long time, infect a single carrier, and then depending on what it is we can have global pandemics that just keep going. Whatsmore, they can be totally undetectable to most screening, and once a new one’s been developed, there’s really no general countermeasure besides avoiding exposure at all. At least with chemical and nuclear weapons we know shielding and respirators work, and for a lot of chemical weapons we have stuff like atropine or scopolamine and other antidotes.

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I’m waiting on the dubstep remix.

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Unless you have the third fission phase included. The cleanness of the bomb is the fusion/fission ratio, where the fission is the only part that provides the troublesome products. (The fusion neutrons result chiefly in short-lived activated isotopes, these don’t really count.) The Tsar Bomb was the cleanest bomb in this regard, but if it was not downgraded from the original 100Mt design it’d be quite bloody dirty.

(Art thought: a geiger clock, where the seconds signal is simulated as irregular sequence with (say) 120 clicks per minute, which gives reasonable two per second, irregularly spread across the minute. The long-term average time would still be accurate, but the ticking sound would be geiger-like. Another thought is using an actual Geiger counter and having the clock mechanism as a dose integrator.)

It’s usually not that bad. Even the medieval plagues tapered out and there were quite many survivors. Organisms adapt rather fiercely, and a word goes around that whatever pathogen it is there’s at least few percent of survival rate.

And the usual infection dynamics modeling is rather pessimistic. See the spread of Ebola in Africa, which was proposed to be exponential but it is actually tapering out.

Hence my proposal of membrane-based DNA scanners. Pull a DNA strand through a pore surrounded with nanoprobes (I suggested carbon nanotubes acting as tunneling microscopy probes, which would work as a shape scanner for the molecule, which could sense not only the base pairs but also the methylations, but other ways may be possible too), get a whole genome analysis in seconds. Anything that wouldn’t fit would stick out like a sore thumb. (Except non-nucleic acid threats like prions, but these are usually also limited in modes of spreading.)

Then there’s the other proposal of a DNA or RNA printer; laser-actuated “enzymes” sitting on a membrane that would attach bases to a strand. With an appropriate laser blink sequence (five colors - one for each base, one for reset necessary for attaching another base, to avoid production of polymers of a single base on a continued illumination), any arbitrary sequence could be generated. Voila, quick production of inhibitory RNAs that can halt a pathogen in its tracks until something better can be produced, and quick making of vaccines on demand and in-situ.

With these two instruments in tandem, any pathogen could be discovered and countered in the scale of hours.

Their proliferation would of course lead to various engineered pathogens, but if the defense side is stocked up, the attack side cannot win - a slow germ will be caught in time, a fast one if fast enough to kill the host before the instruments can help will naturally limit itself by killing the hosts before it can spread.

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