Showing posts with label Explosives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Explosives. Show all posts

May 31, 2018

Trace Amounts of Cocaine

So this is a funny story from today.

I had a wonderful opportunity to tour a couple of labs at NIST today.

One of them does work in contraband detection.

The scientist asks if anyone has any money in their wallet.

I pull out a dollar and hand it to him.

I ask him what happens if he finds any traces of bad stuff on the money from me.

He says, "A cage will fall from the ceiling" and I'll be in big trouble.

Uh, we all laugh a little.

He unfolds the money and puts it into the machine that looks for the contraband.

Oh sh*t, it comes up in the "red"--positive for cocaine.

Someone else says jokingly, "A little leftover from the weekend?"

I joke back, "Na, It's from this morning before work!"

Ha, ha, I think. 

It turns out the scientist explains that 90% of our currency actually tests positive for cocaine

I'm wondering whether this is a commentary on drug use and even the opioid epidemic in America.

The lab director explains a theory that the automated money counters spread traces of the drugs from bills and contaminates the other currency.

Aside from this little experiment today, I got to learn so much about creating standards for contraband detection systems and equipment and in another lab about magnetism. 

It is unbelievable how smart these scientists are--they are so unique and of the best in the world.

I am so happy to be able to learn from them even if it's contraband on money. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 14, 2012

Underwear, It Can Go Either Way


While the title of this blog may be humorous, the subject matter is not.
Not since Superman has humankind been so intent on creating the perfect shielded clothing.
In superman's case, his bold blue and red outfit was lined with lead to protect him from the deadly radioactive Kryptonite, which came to earth in a meteorite from his exploded planet Krypton.
Today, the U.S. armed forces are creating their own ever superior protective suits for its warfighters.
In recent times, with the threats of improvised explosive devices in the wars overseas, the U.S. is seeking to enhance the protective armor of its underwear.
In fact, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, "In 2010, 259 service members in war zones were injured in the genital area."
The military's answer is a new protective bomb-resistant brief for men and women--sometimes called ballistic briefs or shrapnel shorts.
The bomb-resistant briefs being tested traditionally were made from materials such as Dupont's Kevlar, however, the Department of Defense is finding that tightly-woven silk is much more comfortable.
Due to the Berry Amendment of 1941 that requires the military to purchase food and uniforms from domestically produced material, the military is looking for a waiver in order to get the needed silk from Asia.
Interestingly enough, unlike the Underwear Bomber who tried to use his underpants as a hiding place for explosives in 2009 to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight, the ballistic briefs are intended to protect people from explosive devices.
The ballistic briefs are serious business--according to Bloomberg, the Army intends to buy 750,000 pairs and 250,000 cup protectors over the next 5 years.
The stopping power of the new protective underpants would even make Superman jealous, although the DoD version doesn't come in bright colored red.
(Source Photo: here)

Share/Save/Bookmark

August 19, 2011

Robot Fighters Coming Soon




I love keeping up with the latest in robotics, especially when it comes to battlefield versions.

The Wall Street Journal (19 August 2011) featured QinetiQ's Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System (MAARS) today as "America's Newest Soldiers."

MAARS features tank treads, days and night vision cameras, a 4-barrel 40mm high-explosive grenade launcher, and a M240B 7.62mm machine gun.

"It can stand sentry at a checkpoint and warn people away with a police style hailer, a nonblinding laser, tear gas or smoke grenades. As a last resort, it can fire lethal rounds."

Watching this thing, I imagine the D Day landings in Normandy would've looked a lot different with a swarm of these fellows landing on those bullet-riddled beaches.

The nature of the fight is changing and whoever stands in front of one of these armed robots (and even better next generation versions to come) better be prepared to say "bye bye, it was nice knowing you." ;-)

(Source Photo: here)

Share/Save/Bookmark

November 16, 2010

Who Needs Airport Body Scanners? An Alternative Approach

Not sure if this is serious or a joke, but I received an email for an alternative to body scanners at the airports -- may seem a bit crude, but then again we need to look for an effective security solution that is less invasive.

This particular idea, attributed to Israeli security, is for a booth that rather than take potentially invasive body scans, will safely (but not for you, if you are a terrorist) "detonate any explosive device that you may have on you." Poof!

Advantages: deterrence, speed, privacy, justice, and the objective of safe air transport is achieved.

Share/Save/Bookmark

April 11, 2009

Training is a Critical Element of Enterprise Architecture

CBS News Video: "ATF students learn how to investigate bomb explosions by seeing them firsthand. In training, actual bombs are detonated in vehicles and homes to simulate real scenes."


Watch CBS Videos Online

Training is a critical component of any organization's enterprise architecture. With the proper training, people are provided the necessary preparation to carry out the organization's mission.

Training needs to be built in to everything we do--whether it the business processes we perform or the system we operate--the employees have got to be ready and able to execute precisely.

As a proponent for a Human Capital perspective to enterprise architecture, I see training as being a core component of that area. As architects, we need to define what training is currently being provided to our people, what is needed for future capabilities, and how we will get there.

The training component of EA can be a critical link in the line of sight that aligns people, process, and technology into an effective whole.
Share/Save/Bookmark