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How the Science of Smell is Changing Modern Warfare

The sensory chaos of battle has always posed a challenge to armies hoping to prepare for—and recover from—war. And while it’s clear to most people how sight and sound factor into a soldier’s experience and memory of battle, the smells of combat were, for most of history, largely ignored. But by the eve of the 20th… » 7/17/15 11:21am 7/17/15 11:21am

Fascinating visualization breaks down how the Roman army was organized

Legionary. Century. Centurions. Cohorts. Legions. These are all terms for a certain group or type of Roman soldier. This rather interesting break down of the Roman Army shows how the army was organized, how Roman citizens were Legionaries and non-Roman citizens were Auxiliaries and how those soldiers were grouped… » 6/10/15 2:00am 6/10/15 2:00am

The Secret 1949 Radiation Experiment That Contaminated Washington

The physicists who invented the nuclear bomb worked out of Los Alamos in New Mexico, but the people who did the dirty work of making the bombs were in Hanford, Washington. Throughout the Cold War, Hanford churned out plutonium for our nuclear arsenal. It was also, conveniently, a place to experiment with radiation. » 6/03/15 2:53pm 6/03/15 2:53pm

Islamic State Forces Have Seized The World Heritage Site Of Palmyra

Five days after capturing the Iraqi city of Ramadi, ISIS forces have now taken the historic desert city of Palmyra in central Syria. Given Islamic State’s penchant for destroying historical artifacts and ancient monuments, there’s now concern that these ruins, a UN World Heritage site, could be destroyed. » 5/21/15 10:20am 5/21/15 10:20am

What It Feels Like to Shoot With the Military’s Experimental Smart Scope

You’ve probably never fired an M4 carbine. Until a couple weeks ago, I hadn’t either. But at a recent DARPA demo day, I loaded a magazine (also a first for me), snuggled up to the deadly assault rifle, and looked through one of the most technologically advanced smart scopes ever built. Then I pulled the trigger. » 4/29/15 12:09pm 4/29/15 12:09pm

The Forgotten Era: When Bed Bugs Were Tested for Combat in Vietnam

In 2004, Brooke Borel got bed bugs in New York. Then she experienced them again in 2009—twice in two different apartments. Because of those experiences, which were part of a widespread bed bug resurgence in the US, Borel, a science journalist, decided to explore why the bugs were back. This excerpt is one of many… » 4/27/15 11:40am 4/27/15 11:40am

The Sound of a War's End, Visualized

Above we see seven seconds of an audio recording from November 11, 1918. On the left we can see three seconds of guns firing. In the middle? The official time of the ceasefire to end World War I and a sudden reprieve from the staccato of weapons blasting. On the right, the first three seconds of peace. An uneasy… » 3/14/15 7:15pm 3/14/15 7:15pm

Saudi Arabia Is Building a 600-Mile Wall Along the Iraq Border

Saudi Arabia is building great wall — or rather, a great chainlink fence with razor wire — to "protect against ISIS" in Iraq. And it's not the only country investing in very expensive walls right now, even though they probably won't work. Why? Because walls aren't just about security. They're also powerful symbols. » 2/11/15 2:19pm 2/11/15 2:19pm

The Ultimate Breakdown Of The Hobbit's Battle Of The Five Armies

You know that the third movie in The Hobbit trilogy is subtitled The Battle of the Five Armies, but how much do you really know about the titular battle? This infographic from Shirts.com not only explains the strength and armaments of the various combatants, but reveals each armies' tactics, step-by-step. » 1/05/15 10:40am 1/05/15 10:40am

Reconstruction In Afghanistan Cost Nearly As Much As Apollo Program

The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan formally ended its combat mission yesterday, handing responsibility to the country's own military. The U.S. will keep 10,000 personnel there in support roles. Reconstruction efforts in the war-torn nation will also continue — but they've already cost $104 billion. » 12/29/14 12:23pm 12/29/14 12:23pm

If You're Planning To Invade The US, 2028 Will Be The Optimum Year

Timing is everything in warfare, so here's a helpful tip for any up-and-coming global superpowers, evil masterminds or future corporate nation-states. The best year to stage your very own version of Red Dawn could be in 2028, when the U.S. Navy, the main protector of America's sovereignty, will be at its weakest. » 12/26/14 7:40am 12/26/14 7:40am

The Multiple Asian Border Disputes That Could Trigger The Next War

The ongoing — and some would say, worsening — tension between China and Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea frequently makes headlines. But often overlooked are the dozen or so other rival territorial claims across Asia that could erupt into wars, dragging in neighboring countries or the U.S. » 11/11/14 8:40am 11/11/14 8:40am