Inventions with revolutionary potential made by a mysterious aerospace engineer for the U.S. Navy come to light.
- U.S. Navy holds patents for enigmatic inventions by aerospace engineer Dr. Salvatore Pais.
- Pais came up with technology that can "engineer" reality, devising an ultrafast craft, a fusion reactor, and more.
- While mostly theoretical at this point, the inventions could transform energy, space, and military sectors.
High frequency gravitational wave generator.
Credit: Dr. Salvatore Pais
A craft using an inertial mass reduction device.
Credit: Salvatore Pais
Laser Augmented Turbojet Propulsion System
Credit: Dr. Salvatore Pais
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently issued $8 million in follow-up funding to a team of neuroengineers developing brain-to-brain and brain-to-machine technology.
- Brain-to-machine interfaces have existed for years, but wireless and non-invasive interfaces aren't yet precise enough to be useful in real-world applications.
- In experiments on insects, a team at Rice University has successfully used light and magnetic fields to both read and write brain activity.
- The team hopes to use the technology to restore vision to the blind, while DARPA hopes to use brain-machine interfaces on the battlefield.
Insects that have been injected with nanoparticles
Credit: Rice University<p><br></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"We spent the last year trying to see if the physics works, if we could actually transmit enough information through a skull to detect and stimulate activity in brain cells grown in a dish," Jacob Robinson, lead investigator on the MOANA Project at Rice University, <a href="https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/In-4-years-humans-could-don-magnetic-helmets-14432577.php" target="_blank">told</a> the university's Office of Public Affairs.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"What we've shown is that there is promise. With the little bit of light that we are able to collect through the skull, we were able to reconstruct the activity of cells that were grown in the lab. Similarly, we showed we could stimulate lab-grown cells in a very precise way with magnetic fields and magnetic nanoparticles."</p><p>If rodent experiments prove successful, the team plans to conduct trials on blind patients, who would be injected with nanoparticles. Using ultrasound waves, the researchers would guide the nanoparticles to the brain's visual cortex. </p><p>There, the nanoparticles would be stimulated to activate specific neurons, which could potentially restore partial vision to the patients. For example, blind people may someday wear a camera that transmits visual data through the interface and enables them to see what the camera is looking at. </p>
Brain-machine interfaces in the battlefield<p>But while restoring vision to the blind is the near-term goal, DARPA has additional applications in mind. The MOANA Project is part of the agency's Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program, <a href="https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2018-03-16" target="_blank">first announced in March 2018</a>. The Rice University team and others have been working with DARPA to develop noninvasive brain-machine interfaces that soldiers may someday use to, say, control drones in the battlefield.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"If N3 is successful, we'll end up with wearable neural interface systems that can communicate with the brain from a range of just a few millimeters, moving neurotechnology beyond the clinic and into practical use for national security," Al Emondi, the N3 program manager, said in a <a href="https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2019-05-20" target="_blank">statement</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Just as service members put on protective and tactical gear in preparation for a mission, in the future they might put on a headset containing a neural interface, use the technology however it's needed, then put the tool aside when the mission is complete."</p><p>If the human trials prove successful, it could greatly accelerate the development and adoption of brain-machine and brain-to-brain interfaces. After all, even if other types of brain-machine interfaces are effective, it's likely that many people won't want to have a device implanted into their skull.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"That's the big idea, this non-surgical interface," Robinson said. </p>
A new look at existing data by LSU researchers refutes the Trump administration's claims.
- The United States Department of Defense gifts surplus military equipment and clothing to local police departments.
- The militarization of police coincides with a significant loss of trust in law enforcement from the American public.
- Militarized police departments are more likely to interact violently with their communities.
A wide lack of support<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDk0NTA5MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MTgxMjQ3MX0.MkHMggYd2V-JEEGobDPR51QSNgycPFCUFXGMMPCS2cc/img.jpg?width=980" id="e4754" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="523ef043784b62c3fba76f42668de0a4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1440" data-height="912" />
Credit: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Images<p>It's no wonder that more than half of the American public <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/12/us/gallup-poll-police.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">no longer trusts the police</a>. It's hard not to get the impression that for many police departments, the mission has changed from one of support for its communities to an attempt to intimidate and dominate its members.</p><p>Studies back this up. Police whose departments use military equipment are <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2053168017712885" target="_blank">more often violent</a> with community members and are more likely to kill them. Neither is this a small problem at the margins of policing: <a href="https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/nationaltrends" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Over 1,000 people</a> are killed by police annually.</p><p>In spite of the Trump administration's faith in the soundness of the 1033 program, others from across the political spectrum disagree. On the right, the Charles Koch Foundation <a href="https://www.charleskochinstitute.org/issue-areas/criminal-justice-policing-reform/militarization-of-police/" target="_blank">asserts</a>, "This erosion of public confidence in law enforcement and low support for militarization impedes law enforcement's ability to effectively secure public safety." From the left, the American Civil Liberties Union <a href="https://www.aclu.org/issues/criminal-law-reform/reforming-police/police-militarization" target="_blank">says</a>, "We advocate for a return to a less dangerous, more collaborative style of policing. We should not be able to mistake our officers for soldiers."</p>
Sketchy records<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDk0NTA5NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMTE1Nzk5MX0.KuoUq6a7B-1Pc01yH9bMziQE6rTg-aGvN00SgSCBUVA/img.jpg?width=980" id="7f861" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="602430081af21aa3ec2c66b79042a96a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1440" data-height="1033" />
Credit: JeremyAdobe Stock<p>Gunderson explains to <a href="https://www.lsu.edu/mediacenter/news/2020/12/07polisci_gunderson_nature.php" target="_blank">LSU Media Center</a> that, "scholars rely on accurate data to track and analyze the true effect of police militarization on crime. Policymakers also need accurate data to base their decisions upon. However, to-date, we do not have reliable data on SME transfers to local police and sheriffs through the federal government."</p><p>The research cited by the Trump administration was a study done by the American Economic Association based on SME data collected through a 2014 Freedom of Information Act request. Having a look at that data themselves, along with other FOIA 2014 data released by National Public Radio and newer data from 2018, the LSU researchers found that things didn't quite line up. Where FOIA suggests certain counties received SME, NPR's data showed no such transfer. Similarly, NPR reported departments receiving items such as weapons, grants that were not reflected in the 2018 data as expected.</p><p>"When we looked at the data and ran the replications, nothing looked like the results being cited by the Trump Administration," Gunderson recalls. "We spent a year trying to diagnose the problem."</p>
Instead<p>The LSU researchers' conclusion was the the previously released SME data from the DOD was too inconsistent to produce reliable insights. They conducted their own analysis, aligning newer data with country-level LEA data, to derive a cohesive, accurate picture that allowed them to more definitively assess who got SME transfers and who didn't, and what effect it had on local crime statistics.</p><p>They found no indication that SME transfers led to a reduction in crime. The study concludes, "we find no evidence that federal distributions of SME to local LEAs across the United States reduce crime rates, neither violent nor nonviolent crime rates, in the jurisdictions that receive it."</p><p>Gunderson adds:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"This is a cautionary tale about the importance of oversight. The most important thing for policymakers and the public to know is that you can't justify giving surplus military equipment to police departments on the grounds it will lead to a reduction in crime. There is no evidence for that. You can't claim this program is important because it reduces crime."</p><p>What's more says, the report, "because of serious data problems and debatable methodological choices in prior studies, the empirical foundations on which social scientists, along with policymakers and the public, stand when making causal claims about the effects of the transfers of SME may be no firmer than quicksand."</p>
SEAL training is the ultimate test of both mental and physical strength.
- The fact that U.S. Navy SEALs endure very rigorous training before entering the field is common knowledge, but just what happens at those facilities is less often discussed. In this video, former SEALs Brent Gleeson, David Goggins, and Eric Greitens (as well as authors Jesse Itzler and Jamie Wheal) talk about how the 18-month program is designed to build elite, disciplined operatives with immense mental toughness and resilience.
- Wheal dives into the cutting-edge technology and science that the navy uses to prepare these individuals. Itzler shares his experience meeting and briefly living with Goggins (who was also an Army Ranger) and the things he learned about pushing past perceived limits.
- Goggins dives into why you should leave your comfort zone, introduces the 40 percent rule, and explains why the biggest battle we all face is the one in our own minds. "Usually whatever's in front of you isn't as big as you make it out to be," says the SEAL turned motivational speaker. "We start to make these very small things enormous because we allow our minds to take control and go away from us. We have to regain control of our mind."
America's Space Force has acquired a horse for an important mission.
- U.S. Space Force has acquired a new horse named Ghost.
- The horse is part of the Conservation Military Working Horse program.
- The horses help patrol a large territory, supporting threatened species.