Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Who Me

Who Me was a top secret sulfurous stench weapon developed by the American Office of Strategic Services during World War II to be used by the French Resistance against German officers. Who Me smelled strongly of fecal matter, and was issued in pocket atomizers intended to be unobtrusively sprayed on a German officer, humiliating him and, by extension, demoralizing the occupying German forces.

The experiment was very short-lived, however. Who Me had a high concentration of extremely volatile sulfur compounds that were very difficult to control: more often than not, the person who did the spraying also ended up smelling as bad as the one targeted. After only two weeks it was concluded that Who Me was a dismal failure.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Me

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vespa 150 TAP

The Vespa 150 TAP is an Italian Vespa scooter modified to transport a M20 75 mm recoilless rifle, which was used in the 1950s by the French Airborne Forces (Troupes aéroportées, or TAP). It was produced by Ateliers de Construction de Motocycles et Automobiles (ACMA), a licensed assembler of Vespas in France, in 1956 and 1959.

Its mounted M20, a U.S.-made light anti-armour cannon, was very light when compared to a standard 75mm cannon but was still able to penetrate 100 mm of armour by so-called HEAT warhead. The recoil is counteracted by venting propellant gases out the rear of the weapon which eliminated the need for a mechanical recoil system or heavy mounts, enabling the weapon to be fired from the Vespa frame.

The scooters would be parachute-dropped in pairs, accompanied by a two-man team. The gun was carried on one scooter, while the ammunition was loaded on the other. Due to the lack of any kind of aiming devices the recoilless rifle was never designed to be fired from the scooter, the gun was mounted on a tripod which was also carried by the scooter, before being fired.

The "Bazooka Vespa" was relatively cheap: Vespas cost roughly $500 at the time, and the M20s were plentiful. Roughly 800 of these scooters were deployed in the Algerian War.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vespa_150_TAP

Monday, December 13, 2010

Georgia Guidestones

The Georgia Guidestones is a large granite monument in Elbert County, Georgia, USA. A message comprising ten guides is inscribed on the structure in eight modern languages, and a shorter message is inscribed at the top of the structure in four ancient languages' scripts: Babylonian, Classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Egyptian hieroglyphs.

The structure is sometimes referred to as an "American Stonehenge." The monument is almost 20 feet tall if the buried support stones are included and made from six granite slabs weighing more than 240,000 pounds in all. One slab stands in the center, with four arranged around it. A capstone lies on top of the five slabs, which are astronomically aligned. An additional stone tablet, which is set in the ground a short distance to the west of the structure, provides some notes on the history and purpose of the Guidestones.

A message consisting of a set of ten guidelines or principles is engraved on the Georgia Guidestones in eight different languages, one language on each face of the four large upright stones. Moving clockwise around the structure from due north, these languages are: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.

1.Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2.Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.
3.Unite humanity with a living new language.
4.Rule passion - faith - tradition - and all things with tempered reason.
5.Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6.Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7.Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8.Balance personal rights with social duties.
9.Prize truth - beauty - love - seeking harmony with the infinite.
10.Be not a cancer on the earth - Leave room for nature - Leave room for nature.

In June 1979, an unknown person or persons under the pseudonym R. C. Christian hired Elberton Granite Finishing Company to build the structure.

At the center of each tablet edge is a small circle, each containing a letter representing the appropriate compass direction (N, S, E, W).

At the top center of the tablet is written: “The Georgia Guidestones Center cluster erected March 22, 1980”

Immediately below this is the outline of a square, inside which is written: “Let these be guidestones to an Age of Reason”

Around the edges of the square are written the names of four ancient languages, one per edge. Starting from the top and proceeding clockwise, they are: Babylonian (in cuneiform script), Classical Greek, Sanskrit and Ancient Egyptian (in hieroglyphics).

On the left side of the tablet is the following column of text:

Astronomic Features
1. channel through stone
indicates celestial pole.
2. horizontal slot indicates
annual travel of sun.
3. sunbeam through capstone
marks noontime throughout
the year

Author: R.C. Christian
(a pseudonyn) [sic]

Sponsors: A small group
of Americans who seek
the Age of Reason

Time Capsule
Placed six feet below this spot
To Be Opened on
(The words appear as shown under the time capsule heading; no dates are engraved.)

On the right side of the tablet is the following column of text:


1. OVERALL HEIGHT - 19 FEET 3 INCHES [5.87 m].
2. TOTAL WEIGHT - 237,746 POUNDS [107,840 kg].
AN AVERAGE OF 42,437 POUNDS [19,249 kg].
INCHES [4.98 m] HIGH, WEIGHS 20,957
POUNDS [9,506 kg].
5. CAPSTONE IS 9-FEET, 8-INCHES [2.95 m]
LONG, 6-FEET, 6-INCHES [1.98 m] WIDE;
24,832 POUNDS [11,264 kg].
4 INCHES [2.24 m] LONG 2-FEET [0.61 m] WIDE.
POUNDS [2,211 kg].
2½ INCHES [1.28 m] LONG, 2-FEET, 2-INCHES [0.66 m]
WIDE, 1-FOOT, 7-INCHES [0.48 m] THICK.
WEIGHT 2,707 POUNDS [1,228 kg].
8. 951 CUBIC FEET [26.9 m³] GRANITE.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Carmine, also called Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4, C.I. 75470, or E120, is a pigment of a bright red color obtained from the carminic acid produced by some scale insects, such as the cochineal and the Polish cochineal. Carmine is used in the manufacture of artificial flowers, paints, crimson ink, rouge, and other cosmetics, and is routinely added to food products such as yogurt and certain brands of juice, most notably those of the ruby-red variety.

Carmine may be prepared from cochineal, by boiling dried insects in water to extract the carminic acid and then treating the clear solution with alum, cream of tartar, stannous chloride, or potassium hydrogen oxalate. The quality of carmine is affected by the temperature and the degree of illumination during its preparation, sunlight being requisite for the production of a brilliant hue. Good carmine should crumble readily between the fingers when dry.

Carmine is used as a food dye in many different products such as juices, ice cream, yogurt, and candy, and as a dye in cosmetic products such as eyeshadow and lipstick. Although principally a red dye, it is found in many foods that are shades of red, pink, and purple.

In January 2006, the FDA evaluated a proposal that would require food products containing carmine to list it by name on the ingredient label. Food industries were aggressively opposed to the idea of writing "insect based" on the label and they finally agreed to simply putting "carmine".

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmine

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sailing stones

The sailing stones, also known as sliding rocks and moving rocks, are a geological phenomenon where rocks move in long tracks along a smooth valley floor without human or animal intervention. They have been recorded and studied in a number of places around Racetrack Playa, Death Valley, where the number and length of travel grooves are notable. The force behind their movement is not understood and is the subject of research.

Racetrack stones move only every two or three years and most tracks develop over three or four years. Stones with rough bottoms leave straight striated tracks while those with smooth bottoms wander. Stones sometimes turn over, exposing another edge to the ground and leaving a different track in the stone's wake.

Sliding rock trails fluctuate in direction and length. Some rocks which start next to each other start out traveling parallel, but one may abruptly change direction to the left, right, or even back the direction it came from. Length also varies because two similarly sized and shaped rocks could travel uniformly, then one could burst ahead or stop dead in its track.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailing_stones