Friday, July 31, 2009

Transparent Aluminium Created!

You no doubt all remember this scene from Star Trek IV when Scotty uploads the matrix for Transparent Aluminum* in order to get free Plexiglass to create a giant fishtank:


Well, it appears that they've finally figured out everything Scotty improbably input into the Mac in those brief seconds. Oxford scientists have now created a transparent form of aluminium by bombarding the metal with the world’s most powerful soft X-ray laser.


* Not a spelling error: Aluminium is spelled and pronounced strangely in the US and Canada as Aluminum.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Iron Man goes Jappy-Anime thingy

Warren Ellis, one of the more respected writers in the comic book industry and writer of the recent surprisingly impressive G.I.Joe: Resolute animated production, will apparently work some of his magic for the Japanese market. As 50% of Japanese culture is based on people in armoured suits since the days of the Samurai, Iron Man should prove somewhat entertaining to even the wackiest of nips.

See for yourselves:


Ellis took Iron Man in a new direction for the 21st Century with the highly acclaimed Extremis storyline in Shellhead's comic book so it'll be interesting to see what he creates here. We'll find out next year perhaps.

Source: AICN

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stargate: Universe coming October 2nd


Oooo, General O'Neill's put on some weight from being stuck behind his desk at Homeword Security - I hope that doesn't happen me after they give me my stars :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Luke Burns His Dad

Still not running out of ideas, the Hasbro toy company, half of which is supported by realising all of George Lucas' imaginings, [the other half by Transformers] has revealed yet another version of Jedi Luke and Darth Vader action figures from Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi, at Comic Con this weekend. This time however they come with Vader's funeral pyre which of course will allow Luke to burn dear ol' dad. This is from the company that said figures of the burned skeletons of Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen would probably be too "morbid."

But the actual event of burning a body is not?

Source: Rebelscum

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Foreign Legion's Epic Fail!

Unlike other units of the French Military, I have great respect for the Foreign Legion. Despite being commanded by French officers, the bulk of it's force is comprised of a bunch of lads stronger, more intelligent and more courageous then any other French soldier because they're all from countries other than France.

So it came as quite a surprise to me to hear that troops from the 1st Foreign Legion regiment almost destroyed the French city of Marseille in a training exercise!!!

Apparently, in violation of standing orders, they began training with tracer rounds. These projectiles contain pyrotechnical material such as phosphorous or magnesium and appear to light up when fired. They are used in very restrictive conditions outside combat as they have an obvious side effect of igniting wood or debris upon impact. And that's exactly what happened here in Carpiagne triggering a huge wildfire that ripped through 2,718 acres of brush and damaged homes in the suburbs of Marseille. The fire was the worst to hit southern France in three years.

No one was killed but one fireman suffered burns and four rescuers were treated for smoke inhalation. At dawn, firefighters said the blaze was under control, but this did little to calm the anger of local officials. Local prefect Michel Sappin, the French government's senior regional official and police chief, criticized the "imbecilic" actions of the military. Marseille's mayor and senator Jean-Claude Gaudin demanded that the military help out with the clean-up operation. "We did the best we can but, when you're faced with this kind of incredible stupidity, you need to say so with a certain force," he added. Thick black smoke swirled around the area, as nearly 500 firefighters — backed up by water dropping planes - tackled the blaze.

Source: Fox News

Friday, July 24, 2009

Two for One! - Part 16 in my "Shoot First, Questions Never" series!

It's been six months since I've reported on a a righteous kill so....

A police officer who fatally shot an elderly woman and her daughter at a suburban Atlanta home was not aware when she was sent to the scene that the younger woman had said she wanted police to kill her.

The officer was responding to a 911 call around 9 p.m. Tuesday from 75-year-old Barbara Baker of Duluth, who reported that her daughter was on prescription drugs, some illegal drugs and had threatened suicide. As Baker was explaining to the responding officers that her daughter wanted police to shoot her, 51-year-old Penny Schwartz came down the stairs pointing a revolver, according to the police report. The 10-year police veteran felt threatened and fired, hitting both women said a police spokeswoman.

Baker died at the scene and Schwartz died overnight from her injuries at Gwinnett Medical Center. It is not clear how Baker ended up in the line of fire, and Gwinnett police are investigating.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No more abuse of Terrorists and E.T.s

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed outrage to his combatant commanders after seeing some of the detainee abuse photos now under wraps by the Obama administration. In a memo, Mullen says he is "appalled by even the suggestion that someone in an American uniform would behave in such a way." The photos depict clear instances of abuse -- though not torture -- that included beatings and in some cases deaths during battlefield detentions in Iraq from 2001-2006.

Adm. Mullen is the first top military commander to admit that what were in those photos included what would be described as "abuse." President Obama ordered the photos not be released after commanders argued that their release could jeopardize the lives of American soldiers serving in Iraq and elsewhere.

Unlike the now infamous photos from Abu Ghraib prison, all these photos were taken during battlefield interrogations before imprisonment. In the memo, Mullen demands his forces be trained so they understand this kind of thing should never happen again. "We haven't all absorbed or applied all the lessons of Abu Ghraib," he wrote.

Mullen does not think the photos should be released and agrees such a move would inflame the situation. However, his memo was a shot across the bow to commanders that they need to do more to prevent any abuses of those captured on the battlefield and to prepare troops to handle detainees better and according to the Army Field Manual.

Colonel "Whopper" Creedon of UNETIDA spoke today of how he brought reform to the detention policies of Extra Terrestrials interdicted by his organisation. "I can't say we treated the Greys we caught earlier than the Abu Ghraib disclosure better then the poor souls in those photos, but I think we did get a wake up call when we saw how the majority of the public were outraged, both in the US and the international community," he said.

"Upon an investigation that I was asked to conduct on behalf of the UN Security Council, I discovered some practices that I'd have to diplomatically refer to as "unsound". It all came to an abrupt end in true Japanese fashion when Colonel "Shinobi" Kishimoto, Commander of UNETIDA's Detention Division accepted full responsibility and committed seppuku. [Such a pity that people like Janis Karpinski don't do the same, it would save some serious time and money]," muttered Creedon.

"Don't get me wrong, we not gone all soft of them either," assured the Colonel. "We don't feed the Melmacian's kittens or other cute animals for example. And we do use some pretty foul language and harsh cutting insults. I'm confident that those tactics will also work on the hardened extreme Jihadists who want to kill us all."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Man Walks On Moon!!!

"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."
- President John F. Kennedy, Rice University, Houston, Texas, 12 September 1962.

Today three men were honoured, 3 men that changed our world forever and travelled man's most incredible journey and undertook one of our greatest achievements, the moon landing. They are Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

Today, hailing the Apollo 11 astronauts as "three American heroes," President Barack Obama said exploration spurs ingenuity and inspires students in math and science. The President commemorated the day 40 years ago when man took his first steps on the moon. He said that that Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were the touchstone for excellence in exploration that inspired the scientists of today.

Astronauts attending the ceremony at the White House, including others from Apollo missions, made a pitch for a mission to Mars. Yesterday at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Aldrin and Collins, expressed concerns about NASA getting bogged down on the moon. Aldrin said the best way to honor the Apollo astronauts "is to follow in our footsteps; to boldly go again on a new mission of exploration. Four decades have passed since Neil, Mike and I passed across the blackness of space to win a race," he said. "This time, instead of a moon race, we can try to make the moon a true stepping stone to more exciting and habitable destinations ... If we persevere, we can reach Mars itself before 2035."

Probe launched into Cheney's CIA Hit-Squads

The House Intelligence Committee will launch an investigation to determine whether the CIA broke the law by not informing Congress earlier about a secret plan to train teams to kill Al Qaeda leaders abroad. Committee Chairman Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Tex., announced the investigation in a statement Friday, saying the inquiry "will focus on the core issue of how the congressional intelligence committees and Congress are kept fully and currently informed. As I have said in the past, the committee supports the efforts of the CIA workforce in its difficult mission to keep America safe. I intend to make this investigation fair and thorough, and it is my goal that it will not become a distraction to the men and women of the CIA."

The committee will determine whether the CIA violated the National Security Act, which requires, with rare exceptions, that Congress be informed of covert activities. But the top Republican on the House committee is skeptical that the investigation will be conducted in a bipartisan manner, claiming that Democrats are "putting their partisan conclusions ahead of facts" because the facts don't support the idea that the National Security Act was violated. "In the absence of substantiated facts, to even speculate on potential criminal behavior shows that this is little more than partisan, political theater and continues the politicization of important intelligence matters by Democrats," Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., said in a statement.

CIA Director Leon Panetta told the committee about the program on June 24, a day after he first learned of the program and canceled it himself. Panetta told the committee that as vice president Dick Cheney had directed the CIA not to inform Congress about the operation, sparking an outcry among Democrats. Republicans have dismissed Democratic outrage about the Panetta revelation as an attempt to provide political cover to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who in May accused the CIA of lying to her in 2002 about its use of waterboarding. Hoekstra echoed that argument in his statement Friday when he expressed hope that the committee can reach a bipartisan agreement on how to investigate the issue. "But at no time will the Republicans of this committee agree to or take part in congressional Democrats efforts to tear down the CIA to provide cover for Speaker Pelosi," he said.

There was also some speculation floated that UNETIDA Special Operations Commander, Colonel "Whopper" Creedon was asked to train the CIA assassins, but he was unavailable for comment at press time.

Source: FoxNews

Friday, July 17, 2009

I love the smell of Ligero in the morning...

Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary put some fears to rest concerning the smoking ban that was recommended to be imposed following the publication of a recent report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which called for eliminating tobacco sales at all military installations and setting a “specific, mandatory date by which the military will be tobacco-free.”

Morell said troops already are under enough stress and making enough sacrifices in fighting the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And he says Defense Secretary Robert Gates [right] doesn't want to do add to that stress by taking away one of the few outlets they have to relieve it. However it is expected Gates will look at the study to see what other things can be done to move toward a goal of a tobacco-free force.

The announcement of the SECDEF’s stance coincided with a statement from the advocacy group Military Families United opposing the IOM stance and calling instead for developing a comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation program. "Nobody doubts the effects of smoking, but it is not an illegal substance and should not be banned," said Brian Wise, executive director of the group. "Our troops make enough sacrifices to serve our nation. They give up many of the freedoms civilians enjoy already without being told they cannot partake in yet another otherwise legal activity. Perhaps more than anything, smoking in the field is more about comfort and coping with an often hostile environment."

What caused even more of a stir in Washington was the measure of success being attributed to Colonel "Whopper" Creedon, [left] the stogie-comping Marine hero attached to the United Nations Extra-Terrestrial Invasion Defense Agency when he vocally took exception to the IOM report earlier this week. "Who's insane f&%ked up idea was that?" he was quoted as saying. Rumour has it, the phrase spread like wildfire around all branches of the Armed Forces by all members carrying a Zippo. There have also been unconfirmed reports of T-Shirts created in honour of The Colonel's defiance.

Some members of the Joint Chiefs weighed in on their impression of Colonel Creedon: "Well it would be speculation to say Secretary Gates acted upon The Colonel's words, but as a Marine, I know we can’t be ignored. Case in point: Creedon is often cited as one of the main reasons the V-22 Osprey is flying today" said General Cartwright, the Vice Chairman.
Admiral Mullen, Chairman added “It’s clear to me that we have a lot of influential officers on the front lines like Creedon and we need to be more proactive in tapping into their aptitude and directing it towards policy.
General Conway, Marine Corps Commandant also commented, “It’s clear that he’s used his talent to inspire others and achieve unprecedented success in the field and perhaps it’s now time for him to look into broadening the scope of his authority. He has his finger on the pulse of the issues which we encounter daily and he has proved he has the ideas and solutions to deal with them. To that end, I’ll be personally forwarding Colonel Creedon’s name to the Brigadier General promotion board.”

Source: AP, MarineCorpsTimes, Fox News

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Non-Gimp Whiplash and Achingly Sexy Black Widow to be scored by Debney! It's the Iron Man 2 News Hour!

Time for some Iron Man news now as it's the most anticipated movie of the next decade.

Some new character shots have been revealed recently, the one of Mickey Rourke as the classic Iron Man villain Whiplash.

For some reason I can't fathom, many fans were upset with this depiction of Whiplash not being enough like his comic-book appearance. To those clowns I ask - Whiplash has appeared in both of the costumes below in the comic books - which did you want? The Gimp-Mask or the Feather Plume?

Despite having Mickey Rourke cement his magnificent comeback started by The Wrestler last year in an almost Travoltaesque fashion, there were far more and certainly lecherous eyes [my own included] to see what Miss Scarlett Johannson would be sporting for her Iron Man 2 fashion collection as the Black Widow.

Sweet mother of Lucas! I don't think straight male on the planet has a single issue with a flame haired Scarlett sewn into chafingly tight leather almost identical to her comic-book counterpart. Whooa Momma!!!

On a final note this evening about Iron Man 2, I was delighted to learn today that Favreau's composer on both Zathura and Elf, John Debney would assume the scoring duties for shellhead's sequel, and I'm suitably impressed. Debney has not got the chance to score too many good movies, in almost 10 years since End Of Days and The Scorpion King. However I hope that his work on Iron Man 2 will somehow fuse his modern work on The Tuxedo with the passion he obviously had for his greatest work ever Cutthroat Island - the definitive Pirate-Movie score [although hardly the definitive Pirate Movie]. I originally hoped for Debney for the original Iron Man considering his past collaboration with Fav, but for whatever reason the job went to one of Hans Zimmer's crew, the Prison Break composer Ramin Djawadi who, although provided a hard and suitable score for Iron Man, it lacked the thematic content demanded by a super-hero movie. Hopefully Debney will correct that.

Iron Man 2 opens May 7th 2010

Source: Joblo, AICN

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Skynet's Plan Thwarted

A naked man claiming to be a Terminator sent back in time from the future has been arrested at a casino.

Sean Stanley Smith, 19, was taken into custody at the US Stateline Gambling Club - which borders California and Nevada - and jailed on charges of indecent exposure and resisting a police officer. The cop was flagged down by a motorist who had seen the nude man running on the highway, while he then spied the suspect and commanded him to stop. However, Smith ignored the warning and proceeded inside of the casino, where he was tasered in an arcade full of children.

He told the officer that he was the character Terminator from the popular sci-fi film franchise, before admitting that he had taken LSD and marijuana. Smith was transported to a local area hospital and later booked at Douglas County Jail.

A representative of UNPASID [the United Nations Paranormal and Supernatural Interdiction Directorate] did "interview" Mr. Smith but reported "nothing of value" and no connection to this organisation.

Source: Digital Spy

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Holy Crap! What's Next: A ban on Grenades because they could explode?

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces may soon find that they aren't allowed one of life's simple pleasures for defending their country.

Health "experts" at the Pentagon are pressing SECDEF Gates to ban the use of tobacco by troops and end its sale on military installations, according to a report in USA Today. The report says Gates will be advised to adopt proposals by a federal study that cites rising tobacco use and higher costs for the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs as reasons for the ban. The VA and the Pentagon requested the study, which found that troops worn out by repeated deployments often rely on cigarettes as a "stress reliever." The study also found that tobacco use in the military rose after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.

The study recommends requiring new officers and enlisted personnel to be tobacco-free, eliminating tobacco use on military installations, ships and aircraft, expanding treatment programs and eliminating the sale of tobacco on military property. The Institute of Medicine study recommends a phased-in ban over a period of perhaps up to 20 years.

Colonel "Whopper" Creedon [right] was one officer apalled by the recommendations. "First we had a ban on Cubans, the best cigars on the planet and now they want us to give up all of them? Who's insane f&%ked up idea was that?" Creedon is well known for lighting up while leading his men into battle. "..of course they draw enemy fire at night - that's what makes life so godammn exhilirating! Hooyaa!"

Kenneth Kizer, a committee member and architect of California's anti-tobacco program points out that the Commander in Chief, President Obama, could set an example for all the military by ending his own smoking habit once and for all...

Read all about it at USA Today.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Trailer - The Pacific

It's going to be extreamly dfficult for Steven Speilberg and Tom Hanks to produce something better than Band Of Brothers - easily the best miniseries of the decade. In 2010 we will see how they've directed their attention to World War Two's Pacific campaign in a new epic ten-hour miniseries which tracks the intertwined odysseys of three U.S. Marines, Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale), Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello) and John Basilone (Jon Seda) across the vast canvas of the Pacific. The extraordinary experiences of these men and their fellow Marines take them from the first clash with the Japanese in the haunted jungles of Guadalcanal, through the impenetrable rain forests of Cape Gloucester, across the blasted coral strongholds of Peleliu, up the black sand terraces of Iwo Jima, through the killing fields of Okinawa, to the triumphant, yet uneasy, return home after V-J Day. Produced by HBO Films in association with Playtone and DreamWorks Television, and scheduled to debut on HBO in early 2010.


Source: HBO

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Out, but not down! PALIN 2012!!

The future of US Politics was dealt an Earth-Shattering blow this weekend when the former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin announded she was stepping down from office as Governor of Alaska.

She cited may reasons for her decision chief of which was to put an end to the "insane" amounts of taxpayers money that Alaska was forced to spend using lawyers to fend off her political opponents. Yes, that's right, she must be one of the only selfless politicians in existance to rather not be in office than to waste taxpayers money.

I'm hoping this is just a bold strategic move before begining her race to the White House in 2012, and not as #2 this time - 73% of Republican voters want this lady in the big chair.

Until then Palin will continue to work for Alaska [and of course she has her $7m book deal to fund her]. Alaska's Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell, who will assume the Governor's office on July 26th, said "She doesn't need a title to effect change and bring some hope to people who need it."

P A L I N 2 0 1 2

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Friday, July 03, 2009

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen - The #1 Movie on the Planet!

As no one watching this movie should be jumping into it without seeing the original then there are only two camps – one that loved the original, as I did and the other side that thought it was trash. If you’re a member of the latter then you’ll find this equally shit and you should just wait until I review Public Enemies. If however you’re one of the former, then I think you’re in for a real treat. This is a fantastic voyage through the insane mind of a wholly unrestricted, unleashed Michael Bay and you’ll be swept into more exciting chases, battle scenes, robotic transformations, Megan Fox pouting and running in slow motion, military jargon and spectacular explosions. As God once said, [when creating Skywalker Sound] that "sound is 50% of the cinema experience" and this is really an aural assault like no other – even against Bay’s own Armageddon!

Now I won’t pretend the movie is without problems, the opening half hour is far too long and contained unnecessary sequences that had no business at all being there. For example: Sam’s mother accidentally eats a hash brownie resulting in ridiculous American Pie style “hilarity”. Bay is undoubtedly the greatest action movie genius director of the modern age, but he must forever stay away from the realm of teen-comedy. I also thought the Leo Spitz character was completely redundant and expanded an already bursting cast without reason. However, these issues and the multitude of obvious continuity errors are not significant enough to spoil the magic.

Despite being a ridiculously hokey plot it’s technically superior to the original in several ways, the character models themselves are more defined and more recognisable against the backgrounds of this movie. Transformations are upgraded for the better and the voice actors seem somewhat more believable than they originally did. And is it my imagination or is Megan Fox even hotter this time round?

Final Verdict: This is one movie that just doesn’t require a lenghty review. It’s not one of these movies that taxes your brain, or where the merits of it explosions can be debated for hours. It’s simply a joy to watch and meets all the criteria for a loud and action packed summer blockbuster.

Colonel Creedon Rating: *****


Thursday, July 02, 2009

R.I.P. Karl Malden 1912 - 2009

Oscar winner Karl Malden has died at his home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, three years shy of his 100th birthday. He was awarded the Best Supporting Actor in the 1951 Academy Awards for A Streetcar Named Desire and was later nominated for On The Waterfront in 1954.

During his early years, his theatrical career was interrupted by World War II, during which he served as a noncommissioned officer in the 8th Air Force. While in the service, he was given a small role in the U.S. Army Air Forces play and film Winged Victory. After the war ended in 1945, he resumed his acting career, quickly becoming an in-demand film star.

Malden also played the famous Army General Omar Bradley in Patton [Pictured] and was the spokesman for American Express during whose advertisments he coined the catchphrase "don't leave home without it!" However it is his protrayal of Lt. Mike Stone on the classic cop show The Streets Of San Francisco that he will undoubatedly be most remembered.




His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame can be found at 6231 Hollywood Boulevard.

M-ATV in the fast lane!

The Pentagon has announced that Oshkosh Corp. has won the $1 billion contract to build new, mine-resistant vehicles for off-road use in Afghanistan, with the Army and Marine Corps to receive the bulk.

The Wisconsin-based vehicle maker will oversee production of 2,244 heavily anticipated Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles [M-ATV] and the order could grow to as many as 10,000 M-ATVs, Pentagon officials have said. The M-ATV is needed to provide the same type of protection expected of the MRAP while offering additional mobility, top Pentagon officials have said. The current MRAPs have struggled with the rocky terrain in Afghanistan.

On June 2, the Joint Requirements Oversight Council approved a plan for 5,244 M-ATVs to be built and called for the Army to get 2,598, the USMC getting 1,565, SOCOM receiving 643, the USAF 280 and the Navy receiving 65. An additional 93 vehicles would be set aside for testing.

Because of the Pentagon’s urgent demand for these vehicles, Oshkosh began daily production on its manufacturing line a few weeks ago and may enlist the help of others to increase production, company officials said in statement. Oshkosh beat out three other teams to build the M-ATV: BAE Systems, Navistar International Corp., and Force Dynamics, a joint venture between General Dynamics Corp. and Force Protection Inc.

Marine Colonel "Whopper" Creedon voiced concern: "This thing is is a lightweight MRAP right? Well it weighs 32,500lbs and that's mainly due to the Plasan Composite armour. Now I'm OK with that because even with that, it's top speed is 65mph but a fully armoured Humvee's top speed is also 65mph. The problem there is the Humvee offers the protection of a motorised egg-carton wrapped in tinfoil by comparison to an MRAP." And Creedon has first hand experience as he was injured in March 1991, when as Captain of a Force Recon element attached to the 13th MEU in Iraq, his own Humvee was destroyed by a landmine killing his driver.

"This new M-ATV may not be as nimble as a Humvee, but my boys are not in situations now over there where they're dodging 20 RPG's a day - they're dodging roadside bombs and sooner or later you're gonna hit one no matter how maneuverable you are. I'd rather have the protection of an M-ATV when that happens, but the brass ain't replacing Humvees with them. Now dammit, I'm not suggesting that that all the Humvees are replaced, but at least consider those that are being sent into serious hotspots in-country. They should apply some of the MRAP tech to the JTLV program instead of the fucking about with contracts for that program which has stalled again - but don't get me started on that." The Colonel was referring to the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle programme, which is slated to create a true replacement for the Humvee by 2015.

Source: Marine Corps Times, Army Times, Oshkosh Defense, Military.com, Global Security, Reuters, Defenselink