Does E = mc² or mc³? The Science in Bond Films Thread

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  • Posts: 5,797
    The front-end flamethrowers could of course only be used while the car is stationary, or going in reverse. If it's going forward, I think there's going to be problems, for the car and the driver.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited April 2022 Posts: 12,980
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    Survey Underway As Experts Attempt To Save James Bond Island
    From Erosion
    19 Apr, 2021
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    Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is working with other environmental departments to determine how best to save a popular tourist attraction. Khao Ta Pu, commonly known as James Bond island, in the southern province of Phang Nga, is at risk of collapse, due to seawater erosion. The ministry is working with counterparts in the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, in efforts to save the islet.

    The natural marine park landmark, a chunk of 20-metre high limestone, got its nickname after featuring in the James Bond movie, “The Man with the Golden Gun”, in 1974. It is part of Ao Phang Nga National Park. The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Varawut Silpa-archa, says efforts are underway to determine the extent of seawater erosion.
    “The ministry is working with the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to survey the islet and surrounding areas to find ways to prevent erosion that might cause it to collapse. We are adapting the techniques used in surveying damage of limestone at Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park in Surat Thani province and at the Pun Yod Rock Castle in Satun province.”

    Varawut is hopeful the islet’s foundation can be strengthened without impacting its natural beauty.

    “A 3D scanner, marine seismic scanner, and echo sounder have been deployed to gather necessary information. Preliminary estimation suggests that we can reinforce the islet’s foundation without jeopardising the scenery. Furthermore, we are establishing a monitoring programme with cooperation from local communities to track changes of weather and marine conditions in the area that might affect the landmark.”

    Last October, a large chunk broke off Koh Mae Urai, near Phi Phi island in the southern province of Krabi. The huge piece broke off in 2 sections, estimated to weigh around 30,000 to 50,000 tonnes, and collapsed onto a coral reef popular with scuba divers.

    The Thaiger

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    Large “chunk” breaks off Krabi island,
    damaging coral reef at popular dive site
    Caitlin Ashworth | Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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    PHOTO: National News Bureau
    A large chunk of an island near Koh Phi Phi in southern Thailand has broken off and collapsed on top of a coral reef at a popular dive site. No one was around when the cliffsides sheered off and collapsed into the sea, but national park officers on a routine patrol noticed a section of the island had broken off and saw two large sections of rock above the water.

    There has been considerable rain in the region over the past 2 months.

    A section of Koh Mae Urai, located between Koh Phi Phi and Krabi, broke off in 2 large pieces estimated to weigh around 30,000 to 50,000 tonnes. Divers headed down to examine the site to see how much damage has been done to the coral reef. The water has been murky, so it’s hard to tell how much damage was done, but Koh Phi Phi National Park chief, Prayoon Phongphan, says he thinks 20% of the coral around the island was damaged.

    “At this stage, we do not know how much of the reef was damaged, but the reef is home to important coral, including staghorn coral, and was a popular dive site for tourists.”
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    PHOTO: Wikipedia
    Mae Urai is a unique local dive spot with 2 tunnels lined with soft and hard corals, according to Lonely Planet. When the current isn’t too strong and the visibility is good, Koh Mae Urai is “the most beautiful dive site in the Ao Nang area with number soft coral as well as seahorses”, according to Krabi Magazine.

    For now, the area around the island is closed off and boat operators are warned not to approach the site until marine officials can inspect the island’s structure and be sure of the safety for divers and visitors.

    “Please be careful. Boat operators must not approach the site. It can be dangerous… Park officers will mark off the area with buoys with a sign clearly explaining no entry to the sealed-off area.”

    SOURCE: Phuket News
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    The Science of James Bond
    Mark Brake, author of The Science of James Bond, explains why boffins, maniacs and jetpacks make the James Bond spy-fi films the highest-grossing franchise of all time – over and above Harry Potter and Jurassic Park

    IN YOUR BOOK THE SCIENCE OF JAMES BOND, YOU WRITE THAT JAMES BOND IS THE HIGHEST-GROSSING MOVIE FRANCHISE OF ALL TIME. WHY DO YOU THINK JAMES BOND IS SO SUCCESSFUL?
    James Bond is the only international secret agent with a shelf life of almost 60 years. The genre of spy fiction grew a lot after WWII, during the so-called Cold War, when the world was split between the power Blocs of East and West. Like us, Bond lives in a changing world. He’s a lone-wolf trying to save a chaotic world from itself. But the secret to Bond’s success is that it’s spy fiction with a twist. James Bond movies fuse spy fiction with science fiction, reflecting sci-fi’s obsessions with super-villains, the future and world domination or destruction, along with plenty of entertaining gadgets, inventions and spy devices.

    WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE RATIO OF SCIENCE FICTION TO SCIENTIFIC FACT IN THE JAMES BOND FILMS?
    The fiction and fact are fused together in each film. You can see the way the themes change from movie to movie, following Bond’s progress whilst also looking at the bigger picture of science and tech in each plot. There’s an exploration of space in Dr No, You Only Live Twice, Moonraker and GoldenEye. The films For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy focus on a world that is suffering from nuclear paranoia. And the movies Skyfall and Spectre look to a worrying future world where almost everyone is being spied upon using the intrusive technology of spy-craft.

    CHAPTER ONE OF YOUR BOOK STARTS WITH A QUOTE FROM THE VILLAIN DR NO: “ALL THE GREATEST MEN ARE MANIACS. THEY ARE POSSESSED BY A MANIA WHICH DRIVES THEM FORWARD TOWARD THEIR GOAL. THE GREAT SCIENTISTS, THE ARTISTS, THE PHILOSOPHERS, THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS—ALL MANIACS.” DO YOU THINK THERE IS AN ELEMENT OF TRUTH IN THIS?
    American academic Camille Paglia says there are no female Mozarts. Genius, she argues, takes obsession, which produces good and bad talents, and skills. She thinks there are no female Mozarts because there are no female Jack the Rippers. I’m not so sure I believe in the idea of the lone-genius, working away in an isolated lab. There’s still a kind of ‘great men’ myth about science: the false idea that progress in science is due solely to the genius of great men, irrespective of factors such as culture, society and economy. We’re expected to believe that these masterminds just dream up stuff out of thin air. Many histories of science are rooted in the ‘great men’ myth. They are little more than a series of naïve narratives of great discoverers, each with their own momentous and revelatory insight into the secrets of nature. In truth, progress is the fruit of many ordinary thinkers and workers. Great men, and women, have been a crucial factor. But their contribution should be seen in context, and not in isolation from their contemporary setting. An inability to see this often leads to the use of redundant words like ‘brainwave’ or ‘genius’ to explain away those eureka moments of discovery.

    YOU EXPLAIN THAT “THE WORD ‘BOFFIN’ IS AN INFORMAL NAME, MAINLY BRITISH, WHICH IS GIVEN TO SCIENTISTS WHO KNOW MUCH ABOUT SCIENCE BUT LITTLE ABOUT ORDINARY LIFE; THOSE THINGS THAT MAKE US MORE HUMAN.” DR NO IS A “GERMAN-CHINESE MALEVOLENT BOFFIN”; Q IS AN “ANTIQUATED OLD BOFFIN” WHO APPEARS IN MANY OF THE BOND FILMS; WHILE THE LATEST Q, APPEARING IN SKYFALL, IS “A BOFFIN OF THE MILLENNIAL KIND: ALL ANORAK, HEAVY RIMMED SPECS, AND COMPUTER ALGORITHMS”. WHY ARE SCIENTISTS OFTEN PORTRAYED AS BOFFINS? DO YOU THINK THIS IS DAMAGING STEREOTYPE?
    You have to think carefully about the way in which film and fiction portray the scientist. Science has produced, among many wonderful things, the bomb, the cyborg and computer systems capable of killing millions. Many scientists – perhaps most of them – believe that these accusations have been laid unjustly at their doorstep. These monster inventions, they would say, are the sins of technology: sins of applied, not pure science. But movies are unhappy with this muddled division of labour. So, movie-makers conjure up doctors such as Faustus and Frankenstein, and Jekyll and Strangelove, as a warning that mad doctors of science DO exist and that such images still sit in the public’s imagination. Scientists are humans, capable of good and bad.

    IN THE 1963 JAMES BOND FILM FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, THE SPECIAL EFFECTS CREW USED A MINI RADIO-CONTROLLED HELICOPTER INSTEAD OF A REAL ONE TO CREATE A TRUCK-VERSUS-HELICOPTER SHOOTOUT. DO YOU THINK ADVANCES IN SPECIAL EFFECTS TECHNOLOGY HAVE MADE THE JAMES BOND FILMS BETTER OVER THE YEARS?
    Not necessarily. The relationship between special effects technology and movie plot is not that formulaic or mechanical. For example, almost 20 years ago, they put a lot of money into the CGI of Die Another Day. But with the video game James Bond bleeding out into cinema, the CGI-heavy Die Another Day had past the tipping point from espionage into comic book spectacle and excess. Bond became too unbelievable. And it took the grittier Daniel Craig, who really does look like he could kill you if he wanted to, to make Bond more believable again.

    YOU ARE A SPECIALIST IN SCIENCE COMMUNICATION. WHY IS SCIENCE COMMUNICATION IMPORTANT?
    The psychoanalyst Erik Erikson once said, “[humans] need to teach, not only for the sake of those who need to be taught, and not only for the fulfilment of [their] identity, but because facts are kept alive by being told, logic by being demonstrated, truth by being professed.” Erikson called humans the ‘Teaching Species’, writing that a need to teach and help others grow is at the very centre of a human adult’s identity. Our investment in those around us, in the form of science mentoring, is essential if we are to develop a healthy and supportive community, in a communal or global context.

    WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER?
    My idea of what I wanted to be changed over time. Punk was big when I was young, so I set up a punk band and thought about a future in music. Times change, and your aspirations change too. I eventually got into science communication because I was passionate about the fascinating relationship between science and sci-fi, and I wanted to talk to people about this relationship.

    WOULD YOU RECOMMEND A CAREER IN SCIENCE COMMUNICATION?
    It’s not for me to recommend what someone else might do. But I would say that the field of science communication is broad. It embraces the perspectives of many practitioners: scientists, historians, sociologists, journalists, communication theorists, politicians, philosophers and performers. It’s all about the public’s engagement with science. Its main aim is to somehow improve this engagement, so it’s very important right now. Today, around the world, dodgy politicians appeal to people’s worst instincts. Anti-science conspiracy theories, once confined to the fringe, are now mainstream. The age of reasoned argument is on the run. Expert knowledge and scientific consensus are dismissed. Democracy, which relies on shared truths, is in retreat, while autocracy, which depends on shared lies, is on the march. Science communication has never been more important.

    FINALLY, WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BOND GADGET AND WHY?
    For me, it has to be the jetpack. Thunderball opens with Bond escaping using a jetpack, which once more firmly places Bond in spy-fi. The jetpack is a flying device, worn on a person’s back, which uses jets of liquid or gas to propel the jetpack pilot through the air. The idea had been pretty common in sci-fi for most of the twentieth century but became particularly widespread in the 1960s. It wasn’t until September of 2020 that a jet suit for paramedics was tested by the Great North Air Ambulance Service in the Lake District. The suit might mean that in the future mountain-rescue patients would be reached in minutes.
    ​ABOUT MARK BRAKE
    Mark Brake has an illustrious career in science communication, having worked with, among others, NASA, the BBC and Sky Movies, and as a professor of science communication at the University of Glamorgan in Wales. He has written many books, of which The Science of James Bond was published earlier in 2020.
    https://markbrake.org
    Adjusted for inflation, Bond is the highest-grossing movie franchise of all time (and the first saga to reach $10 billion of grossing; for more data see IMDB):

    1. JAMES BOND
    2. STAR WARS
    3. MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE
    4. HARRY POTTER
    5. THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    6. BATMAN
    7. JURASSIC PARK
    8. SPIDER-MAN
    9. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
    10. X-MEN
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    EXTRACT FROM THE SCIENCE OF JAMES BOND
    The Bond villain Blofeld’s “Omega Virus threatens to wipe out entire species across the globe. Since the 1950s it has been possible to create deadly biological aerosols through the use of what’s known as bursting bomblet technology. By the turn of the decade in which Blofeld finds himself, a B-47 bomber dispenser could infect over half of the population of a sixteen-square-mile area with infectious disease.

    “So, rather than dealing in melodrama, Blofeld is dealing in real possibilities. In the On Her Majesty’s Secret Service movie, Blofeld speculates to Bond that the Virus could be engineered to target humans. Science fiction in 1969 perhaps, but certainly not now. The production of such a virus to target humans rather than other animals is a rather straightforward affair today, one which would be within the biotech potential of many labs around the world.”
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    13 min read
    Drink Me: The Kremlin’s
    Long, Evil History of
    Poisoning Its Enemies
    See the complete article here:
    Andrei Soldatov is a Russian investigative journalist
    Irina Borogan is a Russian investigative journalist
    October 4, 2020
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    German emergency personnel walk past the army ambulance which transported
    Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny on August 22, 2020
    at Berlin’s Charite hospital/
    Photo by John Macdougall / AFP via Getty Images/ Newlines.
    The drug was fugu poison. The Japanese use it for committing suicide. It comes
    from the sex organs of the Japanese globe-fish. Trust the Russians to use
    something no one’s ever heard of.

    – M, James Bond’s boss, on a Russian agent’s attempt to poison 007. From
    Ian Fleming’s Doctor No
    When German authorities announced that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, then still in intensive care at the Charité hospital in Berlin, had been poisoned in Siberia with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, the Kremlin’s involvement became almost impossible to deny. Novichok, after all, was developed in the Soviet Union and it was notoriously used to try to assassinate Sergei Skripal, former Russian military intelligence officer turned British spy, just two years ago in the United Kingdom. The Russian authorities vehemently denied the German diagnosis, which struck many as illogical. Why use a bespoke toxin, which is internationally known as poison developed and deployed by the Russian government?

    Among criminals, there are only two types who deliberately leave traces of their handiwork, making law enforcement’s job of identifying and catching them all too easy. The first are psychopaths who have an irrational, subconscious desire to be caught. The second are mobsters who like to turn their murders into lessons or warnings to others that a similarly grim fate awaits them should they cross the line. The Kremlin’s track record of poisonings certainly doesn’t suggest anything irrational.

    The Russian tsars – arrogant, short-sighted and fairly unqualified – fought a desperate struggle for years with the revolutionaries who called themselves, proudly, terrorists or “bombists.” The tsars kept hanging them, or sending them to Siberia, or spying on them abroad. The one thing they didn’t do was poison these radicals.

    What elevated poisoning as a state assassination method in Russia was the Bolshevik regime. Vladimir Lenin inaugurated the program by proposing himself as its first victim: After suffering a debilitating stroke in 1922, the first leader of the Soviet Union asked his successor, Josef Stalin, for cyanide to commit suicide. Stalin refused. Four years later, in 1926, the Russian secret services launched the first poison laboratory, according to most historians, although some argue the laboratory was really established in 1921 under Lenin’s direct orders. As with the name of the Russian secret services themselves, the name of the laboratory changed over time; it was known variously as “Laboratory No. 12,” “Laboratory X,” or just “Camera.” It was headed by Professor Grigory Mairanovsky, a gaunt man with the sunken cheeks of an ascetic. His lab was attached to a group of assassins tasked with killing enemies of the regime. Over the years, Mairanovsky experimented with more than a dozen poisons, from thallium and sodium cyanide to colchicine, digitoxin, aconitine, strychnine and curare. In short order, the poisons were exported for use against Russian political exiles, starting with Gen. Alexander Kutepov, a tough anti-Bolshevik and a veteran of the Russian Civil War, and the head of the military wing of the anti-Soviet émigré organization ROVS (Russian All-Military Union). In January 1930, a bystander saw Kutepov snatched from the streets of Paris by four unknown assailants and injected with something; he was shuffled into a car and driven off, never to be seen or heard from again.

    Poison was also used inside Russia. In 1937, Camera came under the personal control of Genrikh Yagoda, the head of the NKVD (People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs), the forerunner agency of the KGB. Yagoda had been a pharmacist before the October Revolution, so this new purview suited him well, albeit not long. Stalin soon had Yagoda arrested and accused, ironically, of poisoning several prominent Russians including Yagoda’s predecessor, Vyacheslav Menzhinsky, as well the famous Russian writer Maxim Gorky. Yagoda was promptly shot. Grigory Mairanovsky kept Camera in dark business throughout the decades that followed, testing poisons on many recourseless victims, including over 200 Gulag inmates. The list of victims also included an American, former Comintern agent Isaiah Oggins, who in 1939 had been sentenced to eight years in the gulag for supposed “anti-Soviet propaganda” (in reality, he was yet another victim of Stalin’s paranoia). Then, Mairanovsky, too, was purged in 1951.
    Although the Soviet secret services dispensed with Mairanovsky, they didn’t give up on his weapon of choice. In 1959, Stepan Bandera, leader of the Ukrainian independence movement, was shot on the streets of Munich with a bullet filled with a cyanide. It was a mere year after Ian Fleming’s sixth 007 novel, Doctor No, was published, which made ample use of Russian poison in its plot. (Not that the Kremlin was alone in trying to off its opponents this way; in 1960, the CIA had Fidel Castro’s cigar box tainted with a botulinum toxin, although the stogies in question never found their way to El Commandante’s lips.)
    By the height of the Cold War, a clear target pattern emerged in the Soviets’ use of nerve agents and chemical weapons, with political rivals, dissidents, defectors, exiles, and leaders of independence movements in Soviet republics, including one prominent Ukrainian priest, being wiped out with these toxins.

    And the research never stopped. In 1978, a Bulgarian dissident, Georgi Markov, was famously killed after an assassin stuck an umbrella point into his leg, injecting him with a pellet filled with ricin, a poison found naturally in castor beans and therefore somewhat easy to manufacture, making its point of origin harder to uncover. (As this story was being written, a Canadian woman was arrested on charges of having sent ricin to U.S. President Donald Trump.) The KGB had given the pellet to its Bulgarian counterpart, the Committee for State Security.

    When the Soviet Union collapsed, the legacy of Camera appeared to be just that – a thing of the past. The 1990s were a bloody time for Russia – a Chechen separatist insurgency and the brutal repression of it, the gangland violence of organized criminals and billionaire oligarchs. It was a period of guns, bombs, and missiles, but not poisons. The lone exception to this rule involved Novichok, which was used against a Russian financier in a purely commercial dispute. The killers had bribed one of the scientists who’d formerly worked on the Soviet program to manufacture a small dose – the rare instance of a state actor being seconded by non-state actors to deploy the nerve agent.

    Everything changed when Vladimir Putin came to power.

    In the early 2000s, Russia was embroiled in its Second Chechen War – only this time the rebels were assisted in no small way by international jihadists. One of these was the infamous Emir Khattab, an Arab warlord who’d become public enemy number one for Russia’s FSB, the domestic security agency, which Putin had headed until becoming prime minister and then president. Khattab had been responsible for many terrorist attacks inside Russia, and his assassination became a matter of the highest state priority.

    In March 2002, he was hiding in the mountains of the North Caucasus, surrounded by his bodyguards, and was expecting a letter from Saudi Arabia. To prevent being tracked by the FSB, Khattab communicated only via couriers, much as Osama bin Laden later did in Pakistan. The FSB had recruited one of them and poisoned an intercepted letter with a nerve agent, whose toxins were released slowly upon contact. The letter was delivered. Khattab opened it, read it, and threw it into a campfire. Three days later, he suddenly started foaming at the mouth. In a few hours, he was dead.

    This operation, distinct from prior Soviet models that typically involved direct engagement between assassin and victim, was a slow-burn hit, relying on double agents with an underground jihadist network. It was seemingly inspired by Mossad’s killing of Fatah or Hamas targets in Palestine. Indeed, officers from Vympel, the FSB’s elite special operation unit, told us how fascinated they were by the Israeli intelligence’s targeted assassination program. For a short while, it appeared that Russia would refashion Camera’s methodology into a tool of counterterrorism against religious fundamentalists, not as one of terrorism against ordinary citizens or political activists. That trajectory proved false.
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    Picture of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny with the headline “poisoned” outside
    the Russian embassy in Berlin / Odd Andersen
    / AFP via Getty Images/ New Lines.
    In 2003, Yuri Shchekochikhin, a member of the Russian parliament and the deputy editor of Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia’s most well-respected newspapers, was conducting a series of sensitive investigations into corruption within the FSB. He died suddenly from some mysterious intoxication at a hospital at the age of 53. Within two weeks, all his internal organs failed one by one, his skin came off in clumps, his hair fell out, and he said his entire body felt like it was on fire. Shchekochikhin had been in good health and fit condition. One of his friends who returned from his funeral told us how transformed he was from the toxin that killed him: His corpse was that of an old man.

    We were young journalists, but we knew that many of our colleagues were gunned down, stabbed, or blown up as retaliation for their reporting. None, however, had ever been poisoned before. It was a gruesome escalation against what was still a relatively independent Russian press, a way of telegraphing to critics of the wealthy and powerful that no longer would they just be murdered. Now they’d die horrible, agonizing deaths that would torment their friends and families. It was right out of Stalin’s textbook. The authorities didn’t even pretend to investigate Shchekochikhin’s killing. A criminal case was opened five years later and then quickly dropped. Officially, the journalist and Duma delegate died of “an allergy.”

    A year later, in 2003, Anna Politkovskaya, Shchekochikhin’s colleague at Novaya Gazeta and a muckraking opponent of Putin’s wars in the North Caucasus, was en route via plane to the city of Beslan, North Ossetia, after terrorists captured over a thousand people, most of them children, in a local school. It became one of the worst hostage crises of modern times, and it ended calamitously when Russian security forces stormed the building with tanks and heavy weapons. The incident left 334 of the hostages, including 186 children, dead. Politkovskaya had drunk a cup of tea on the plane and lost consciousness. It was widely assumed she’d been poisoned so as to stop her from reporting live from the massacre. She survived, only to be fatally shot outside her apartment building two years later.

    After that, Russia poisoning Russians became common practice again, although the substances used –radiological isotopes, synthetic nerve agents – were no longer designed to hide the perpetrators. Now they were designed to advertise them.

    The most powerful image of 2006 was the photograph of Alexander Litvinenko, an FSB whistleblower turned British agent, taken from the intensive care unit of University College Hospital in London. The dirty-blonde exile had already gone bald from exposure to [v]polonium-210[/b], a highly radioactive and extremely rare isotope. Litvinenko died three weeks later. Of the two FSB officers accused by the British government of assassinating him, one, Andrei Lugovoi, was elected to the Russian parliament and awarded a seat on its Security Committee, the body tasked with defining the rules for Russia’s intelligence agencies.

    According to Vil Mirzoyanov, the Soviet scientist who first exposed the existence of Novichok to the world, the option to restore the production of this bespoke family of nerve agents in some form or another was always there. Polonium, on the other hand, has never stopped being manufactured in Russia, guarded by the secret services, home of the lion’s share of it.

    While we were researching our book The Compatriots: The Brutal and Chaotic History of Russia’s Exiles, Émigrés, and Agents Abroad, it struck us that almost everyone we met – an oligarch in exile, an oligarch tamed by the Kremlin, a high-ranking priest of the Russian Orthodox Church – mentioned Novichok. They’d all evidently come to the conclusion that, from now on, they couldn’t rule out being killed with it.

    Poisoning an enemy of the Kremlin with such signature agents is never meant to be about just the death of that enemy. It’s meant to send a message, which is itself a holdover from the bad old days of Communism. The KGB didn’t just destroy one life when it removed a troublemaker from the Soviet system; it then set about destroying the lives of his friends and relatives. If a dissident, for instance, was arrested, his spouse would lose her job, his children would be expelled from university, and/or his other family members would be banned from traveling abroad. Poison, deadly and effective, is perfectly efficient in that its victim doesn’t even die alone. The loved ones must share the horror of death by watching the poisoned expire slowly and painfully.

    Today, with the proliferation of social and digital media, the effects are even more pervasive and menacing: News of someone being rushed to the ICU with symptoms of acute stomach pain, pupil dilation, asphyxiation, or loss of consciousness sends shockwaves around the world. As with any act of terrorism, this one enlists everyone who so much as hears about it as ancillary psychological victims. Even President Trump, it was reported, was chilled by the sight of lifeless Syrian children following the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons in Douma in April 2018, an attack which led to a U.S. and UK military response against the facilities which manufactured and distributed those weapons.

    Poisoning is always a murky business, even when it’s meant to be transparent. By its very nature, use of an invisible murder weapon seen only by toxicologists in closed-off institutes and laboratories leads to wild conspiracy theories and “alternative” explanations. When somebody is shot to death in the street, with multiple gunshot wounds, it’s not really possible, except perhaps for the most febrile mind, to claim that the victim topped himself. But one can always insinuate suicide with poisoning, or even suggest that the victim hadn’t been poisoned at all but was in fact a lead actor in an elaborate act of political stagecraft designed to foster a diplomatic crisis or even war.

    When Litivineko was irradiated in London, a popular Russian newspaper claimed he’d succumbed to his own criminal business activity – namely that he’d tried to hawk radioactive materials on the black market and had accidentally killed himself with them. Many Russians found that theory credible. More than a decade hence, at the height of Salisbury’s containment in 2017, Russian state television was fond of insisting that Sergei and Yulia Skripal weren’t poisoned at all; rather, their entire ordeal was just a hoax orchestrated by British intelligence. Why? Because the Skripals, then under close British government guard, were never carted out before the cameras.

    To a paranoid and distrustful Russian audience, victim-blaming comes easily, and thus the target of state poisoning is attacked twice: first physically, then reputationally.

    In 2015, opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, who has lobbied incessantly for the passage of anti-Kremlin U.S. sanctions, suddenly fell into a coma in Moscow and spent weeks unconscious in hospital. The Russian doctors first alleged his sudden illness was brought on by a dangerous combination of sedatives, nasal sprays and alcohol. Most Americans, with their long history of antidepressant use, would have seen right through such a feeble misdiagnosis. But to an ordinary Russian, it sounded plausible. Kara-Murza thus went from victim to irresponsible self-medicator and boozer. He was poisoned a second time, in 2017, while traveling in Russia.

    The following year, Pyotr Verzilov, the man behind the punk-activist group Pussy Riot, was also admitted to a hospital in Berlin after he left the Moscow district court, walked for two hours and then suddenly started losing his sight, speech and motor skills. Soon he had convulsions and fell into a semiconscious state in the ambulance. Pro-Kremlin media then came up with a theory that Verzilov had simply overdosed. He was declared a junkie, the easier not only to exonerate his assailants but to also dismiss the agitational life he’d led up to that point as one drug-fueled dissipation.

    It came hardly as a surprise, then, that when Navalny’s poisoning was announced, Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT, the Russian state propaganda channel, suggested on Twitter that he was only suffering from low blood sugar. The Russian Health Ministry put out a statement suggesting Navalny had had alcohol in his system, prompting a disinformation campaign on social media that he was drunk. Even Andrei Lugovoi, Litvinenko’s accused assassin turned parliamentarian, trolled the world. Russia’s opposition leader, he said, could only have been poisoned in Germany.

    Using Novichok or polonium means leaving a calling card. And yet, built right into this stark attribution of Kremlin responsibility are also the ingredients for conspiratorial denial. The West knows right away whodunit. Russians, meanwhile, are invited to consider that the culprit could be anyone and everyone except Putin.
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    Can thallium kill?
    In the Bond film Spectre, the bad guy Mr. White is poisoned with thallium, which makes him so sick that he ends up killing himself. Is the substance really that harmful?
    img?regionKey=zXZZxUGWqsZ1MQbjuvYuNQ%3D%3D
    Science Illustrated | 1 May 2021
    The toxin thallium can cause hair loss, nerve damage, and fatal heart failure.

    Thallium is a metallic grey and soft element. It is absorbed through the skin, breathed via the air, or eaten with food. If it is not discovered in time, so that an antidote can be taken to eliminate its effect, the toxin is fatal.

    Thallium ’sneaks’ into the body because its make-up is similar to that of potassium, and the cells of the body cannot always differentiate between the two. They absorb the toxin in the belief that it is the useful mineral potassium, which is good for blood pressure and fluid balance.

    Once inside the cells, thallium interferes with proteins, important biochemical reactions and more. The first symptoms are relatively mild, showing after two days as nausea and diarrhoea.

    After a few days, however, thallium begins to harm the nervous system, so that the victim suffers pain, cramps, numbness, psychosis and memory loss. Victims have spoken of a sensation of walking on hot coals. Two to three weeks later the hair falls out, and one week after that the heart may fail.

    A lethal dose of thallium is about 1gram. Thallium’s slow effect makes it relatively easy for a killer to camouflage their actions, so the substance has been used as a subtle murder weapon. In 1960, a person connected with the French intelligence service murdered FélixRoland Moumié, a well-known anticolonialist from the newly independent former French colony of Cameroon.

    An antidote against thallium can be given in the form of the ferrous pigment Prussian blue. Substantial daily doses of this can absorb thallium and effectively rinse it out of the body.

  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,962
    Well done EON.
  • edited June 2022 Posts: 5,797
    Thallium is also the poison used by the murderer in Agatha Christie's The Pale Horse. Just wanted to mention that. And the novel saved a few lives too (from Wikipedia) :
    This novel is notable among Christie's books as it is credited with having saved at least two lives after readers recognised the symptoms of thallium poisoning from its description in the book.

    In 1975, Christie received a letter from a woman in Latin America who recognised the symptoms of thallium poisoning, thus saving a woman from slow poisoning by her husband.
    In 1977, a 19-month-old infant from Qatar was suffering from a mysterious illness. After the baby was flown to London, Marsha Maitland, a nurse who had been reading The Pale Horse correctly suggested that the baby was suffering from thallium poisoning.[9]
    In another instance, in 1971, a serial killer, Graham Frederick Young, who had poisoned several people, three fatally, was caught thanks to this book. A doctor conferring with Scotland Yard had read The Pale Horse and realised that the mysterious "Bovingdon bug" (the deaths occurred in a factory in Bovingdon, England) was in fact thallium poisoning.[10]
    The novel is also cited to have been the "inspiration" of what was dubbed "The Mensa Murder". In 1988, George Trepal, a Mensa Club member, poisoned his neighbours, Pye and Peggy Carr and their children, with thallium introduced in a Coca-Cola Classic bottles eight-pack. Peggy Carr succumbed while the others survived the attack.[11]
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    GE Aviation Lecture
    Flying Upside Down: How
    Chuck Aaron Created
    Helicopter Aerobatics


    Presenter: Helicopter Pilot Chuck Aaron
    June 21, 2022 | 8 - 9pm
    At the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and Online

    Free, reservations required

    Discover what it takes to fly a helicopter upside down
    Register for:
    Since 1972, helicopter pilot Chuck Aaron has had an amazingly diverse career. He is best known as a pioneer of helicopter aerobatic demonstrations and for his work as a stunt pilot, including in the 2015 James Bond movie Spectre. In 21,000 hours of flying, he has piloted an astounding array of helicopter types in challenging operations around the world. In 2006, after extensively modifying a BO.105 helicopter and working closely with the FAA and sponsor Red Bull, Aaron debuted the first approved helicopter aerobatic demonstration in the United States. Hear stories from his accomplished life and career including how his father inspired him to become a pilot, his time with NASA’s Space Shuttle program, and his gravity-defying aerobatics.
    This program will be presented in-person at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, and will be streamed on YouTube with live closed captioning. Registration is required for in person attendance and encouraged for online viewing.

    Register to attend in person at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
    Register to attend online.

    The GE Aviation Lecture Series is made possible by the generous support of GE Aviation.
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    Helicopter pilot Chuck Aaron performs an aerobatic routine during the California International Airshow.

  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,962
    cool! He's an amazing pilot!
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    How A US Military Contractor Wanted To Use
    Jetpacks In The Vietnam War
    Matt Novak | August 2, 2018 at 2:00 am -

    How A US Military Contractor Wanted To Use Jetpacks In The Vietnam War
    When you think of jetpacks, your first thought is probably an image of some fun, carefree piece of pop culture such as The Jetsons or James Bond. Or maybe even the Super Bowl. But jetpacks were serious business for the US military in the 1960s. And, believe it or not, there were plenty of futuristic ideas that involved deploying jetpacks on the battlefield in Vietnam.
    Bell Aerosystems developed a planning document in 1967 that laid out how the company imagined that jetpacks (a class of military vehicle that they called a Light Mobility System or LMS) could be used in combat. Bell, a contractor for the US Department of Defence, had been working on the Bell Rocket Belt for years, and after 3000 flights it had developed a new jetpack-like device called the Jet Belt in 1968.

    Much like so many other military technologies, the first idea presented for Bell’s Jet Belt was for use in reconnaissance. Early drones and robotic vehicles had similar uses before they became weaponised. The futuristic jetpack, according to the Bell report, “presents a small, fast target, capable of evasive maneuvers.”

    “This system is capable of operating over a greater distance in less time than is possible with the ground reconnaissance patrol,” the report from 1967 reads. “It would provide a more responsive means of determining and verifying intelligence which cannot be obtained as rapidly by higher-level resources. Included are missions such as providing point and flank security for moving elements.”

    An illustration from the report labelled “Reconnaissance or Hit-and-Run Missions” imagined US servicemen landing on the beaches of Vietnam.
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    Illustration: Bell Aerosystems
    The report noted that if soldiers operating reconnaissance missions were to be armed they’d have to be carrying weapons that had as little recoil as possible. Presumably, too much kick would cause a soldier to spin wildly in the air.

    Aside from reconnaissance, Bell also imagined that these jetpacks would be useful for so-called psychological operations. The report said that the LMS could disseminate leaflets, be used to easily transport propaganda equipment such as radios and movie projectors, and also be used to broadcast propaganda from aerial loudspeakers fitted onto the flying machines themselves.

    The classic 1979 movie Apocalypse Now features helicopters travelling over Vietnam playing “Ride of the Valkyries”. While the movie is fiction, music was sometimes used by Americans on the battlefield to confuse the enemy. That scene certainly would have played differently in the theatre if the music was coming from a fleet of George Jetsons.
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    Illustration: Bell Aerosystems
    The report highlights other benefits of a jetpack system in war, such as the ability to quickly escape enemy forces and its potential use in search and rescue missions. But it didn’t imagine that this futuristic tech would just be defensive. Page 22 of the report gets to how the jetpack would be used in an assault capacity.

    From the report:
    A large number of troops could be positioned on or near the objective prior to the enemy recovering from the preparatory fire. The speed and aggressiveness of the assault would maximise the surprise and shock to the defending troops. The LMS could provide the mobility required to clear buildings and built-up areas of enemy forces.

    Due to the short range, navigational assistance should neither be required nor would it be practical during the assault. Communications may be needed to maintain close control and initiate any manoeuvre changes.

    The LMS can be used in connection with the movement of and the target location for armoured units.
    In an illustration with the caption “Assault from Offshore Ships,” we see a mock-up of troops carrying their rifles into battle as they zip to shore using jetpacks.
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    Illustration: Bell Aerosystems
    The report emphasises the benefit of “hit and run” attacks, as well as the use of feints — quick and limited attacks that are used primarily to distract the enemy from the main attack that would happen somewhere else. The report explains that “the speed and mobility would allow immediate disengagement and preclude extended fire fights with stronger elements. The most opportune time can be used for withdrawal or redirection of the attack.”

    And that all makes sense. Because if you want to draw attention to something meant as a distraction, why not call up the Rocketeer?

    The report also explains that jetpacks would be great for use in chemical and biological warfare, something that the US engaged in regularly throughout the Vietnam War with Agent Orange and other chemicals, despite ethical concerns.

    From the report:
    The LMS would be useful for small-scale chemical missions such as riot control agent delivery or laying smoke screens. The use of tear gas in counterinsurgency operations has proven to be quite successful and the LMS would, provide a rapid responsive and accurate delivery system.

    The jet turbine engine can easily be adapted to operate as an efficient flying smoke generator. Here again we would have a rapid response system capable of screening small scale movements.

    These operations may be within range of enemy fire. If the radius of operation is small navigation assistance may not be required, however, movement to the area of operation may require navigational assistance. Communications may be required for coordination and direction.
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    Illustration: Bell Aerosystems
    By the end of the report, it becomes clear that the jetpack isn’t just imagined for the Vietnam War, something that wouldn’t end until 1975, eight full years after the publication of this document. Bell imagined that the jetpack had potential to be used in all wars of the future, including what the report describes as a possible “Nuclear War in Central Europe”.

    A two-page illustration visually highlighted the versatility of this military system of tomorrow — from its use for medical evacuation to its ability to do something as simple yet critical as laying cable across a river.
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    Illustration: Bell Aerosystems
    As far as we know, jetpacks were never tried in a combat situation in Vietnam. But there were plenty of other futuristic ideas that were still to come.

    For example, the US military spent over $US3 million per year in the late 1960s and early 1970s on experimental weather-control programs in Vietnam in an effort to cause landslides and wash out river crossings. Called Operation Popeye, its success was mixed, but it showed that the Americans would stop at nothing, even manipulating the weather, to avoid admitting defeat — something that we now know was clear to Defence Secretary Robert McNamara as early as 1965.

    The US also spent roughly $US1 billion per year from 1968 until 1973 on a futuristic program called Operation Igloo White. The idea was to create a “virtual fence” using high-tech monitors and drones to attack the North Vietnamese. And while it was a colossal failure, it did lead to technologies that would eventually be brought back to the US to be used along the US–Mexico border.

    The war always comes home. But since jetpacks are hampered by the need for a tremendous amount of fuel for a very limited flight (a problem that persists today) the jetpack never made it home to America.

    You can bet that agencies such as DARPA haven’t given up just yet. What’s old is new again in war, whether it’s drones, driverless cars or hallucinogenics.
    [Bell Systems Report]
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  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,524
    This reminds me of The Rocketeer.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,687
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    This reminds me of The Rocketeer.

    But of course.
  • Posts: 5,797
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    This reminds me of The Rocketeer.

    Who himself was inspired by Commando Cody, and numerous jetpack-wearing pulp, serial, and comic book heroes from the thirties.

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    1200
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,962
    The British navy has some interesting use for them though....

  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    Dr. Joe Schwarcz discusses the science of James Bond movies // Science Demystified (1:00:22)
    Bibliothèque publique CSL Public Library
    Jul 16, 2021
    Did a 16th-century magician inspire 007? Dr. Joe Schwarcz discusses the possible origins of the 007 code name of James Bond and the science in James Bond movies.
    • 0:00 Introduction
    • 2:15 How Ian Fleming picked the name James Bond
    • 3:35 Where does the number 007 come from?
    • 5:19 John Dee
    • 7:10 John Dee's unique symbol signature looks like 007
    • 11:32 Edward Kelley (1555-1597)
    • 17:00 John Dee's book collection
    • 18:08 Was John Dee the original 007?
    • 18:35 Dr. No
    • 21:40 Cyanide
    • 22:48 Cyanide and Raoul Silva in Skyfall
    • 25:00 M and her British Bulldog
    • 26:40 No Time to Die
    • 27:30 From Russia With Love
    • 27:57 Knife shoes
    • 29:25 Puffer fish and tetrodotoxin, and restaurants in Japan
    • 31:20 The Simpsons and puffer fish
    • 32:45 Poison in Casino Royale, digoxin and lidocaine
    • 36:45 Moonraker and toxins in orchids
    • 40:35 Jaws and his metallic mouth
    • 41:00 Goldfinger
    • 41:35 The Aston Martin
    • 43:07 The Goldfinger character
    • 44:16 The manservant and the steel-rimmed hat
    • 45:30 Fleming didn't like architect Erno Goldfinger
    • 46:55 Would you suffocate from being painted in gold paint?
    • 48:35 The Goldfinger laser predated real lasers
    • 51:25 Goldfinger and Fort Knox
    • 52:40 Pussy Galore and the nerve gas
    • 55:30 Thunderball
    • 55:44 Rocket belt
    • 58:45 Why did James Bond prefer martinis shaken not stirred
    • 59:45 Who will be the next James Bond
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    The Anesthesia Consultant
    is written by Richard Novak,
    MD, an Adjunct Clinical
    Professor of Anesthesiology,
    Perioperative and Pain Medicine
    at Stanford University.
    Casino Royale defibrillator scene

    11 MEDICAL INACCURACIES IN
    FAMOUS MOVIE SCENES . . . AN
    ANESTHESIOLOGIST’S ANALYSIS
    27 Jun 2017

    I love the movies, but it can be painful to watch scenes where the facts are distorted, sometimes so much that the storyline is implausible. Let’s take a look at medical inaccuracies in movie scenes from 11 famous Hollywood films:
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    1. Million Dollar Baby (2004).
    2. Pulp Fiction (1994).

    3. Casino Royale
    . (2006). James Bond realizes he’s consumed a poison drink while at a baccarat table in a casino. He knows he’s about to die, and stumbles to his car in the parking lot outside. He removes some sort of cell phone device from the glove compartment and contacts M’s headquarters in London. Bond instantly inserts a needle into his radial pulse at his wrist, and miraculously his vital signs are revealed to London. The doctor in London assesses that Bond is in ventricular tachycardia, a dangerous heart rhythm, and tells Bond to take the defibrillator out of the glove compartment and connect it to his chest. Within another minute, the electronic device inserted into Bond’s pulse miraculously transmits to London the diagnosis: the poison is digitalis. The doctor tells Bond to inject the blue syringe from the glove compartment to “counteract the digitalis.” (There is zero chance any spy would be carrying this rare antidote in his glove compartment) Bond blindly stabs himself in the neck with the syringe at a 90 degree angle, and then passes out before he can activate the defibrillator. Bond’s lady friend arrives on the scene in the nick of time and pushes the red button on the defibrillator to shock Bond, and he wakes up . . . all cured! None of this could happen.

    Let’s look at the series of medical impossibilities in this scene:

    It’s nearly impossible that in his stuporous state, Bond was able to insert a needle into a blood vessel. (No one inserts a needle into an arm vein without a tourniquet, so the vessel can’t be a vein. The blood vessel must be the radial artery. Also, no one inserts a needle into an arm vein at such an acute angle, so this argues for the vessel being an artery as well. In medicine, we do place catheters in the radial artery, but this takes significant skill as the vessel has an interior diameter of about 1 millimeter. We do send blood samples from a radial artery to a lab to diagnose blood levels, but the lab results take time to be processed. This is science fiction that the touch of a needle into an artery would give an instant analysis of all blood levels, including diagnosis of a digitalis overdose.

    The continued impossibility is that the antidote for a digitalis overdose (A digitalis overdose antidote does exist, but the diagnosis is rare and so is this treatment) just happens to be one of the few syringes in the glove compartment in Bond’s car. The impossibilities continues in that Bond stabs the needle at 90 degrees into his right neck, magically finding a blood vessel there. The two blood vessels in the neck are the jugular vein and the carotid artery, and even the most experienced surgeon or anesthesiologists could not stab a needle into either of them in his own neck at a 90 degree angle without even aiming.

    That’s my analysis. An impossible scene, not medically researched, but it made for a James-Bond-level of entertainment.

    Somehow you had a feeling all along that Bond wouldn’t die, didn’t you? An academic medical paper examined the phenomenon of cardiac arrest survival rate in the movies. The article studied thirty-five cardiac arrest scenes in 32 movies from 2003 to 2012 (including Casino Royale, Mission Impossible 3, Inception, and Spider Man 3) for accuracy and credibility. (Ofole UM et al, Defibrillation in the movies: a missed opportunity for public health education, Resuscitation. 2014 Dec; 85(12): 1795–1798.) This medical study concluded that in the movies, defibrillation and cardiac arrest survival outcomes were often portrayed inaccurately. In 8 scenes of in-hospital cardiac arrest, 7 of the 8, or 88% of the patients survived, compared to survival rates of 23.9% reported in the medical literature. In 12 movie scenes involving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, 8 of 12, or 67% of the patients survived, compared to survival rates of 7.9-9.5% reported in the medical literature. In summary, too many patients survived in the movies. I presume that’s because writers, directors, producers, and audiences all prefer to see their movie stars wake up and live.
    4. Jurassic Park (1993).
    5. Coma (1978).
    6. Split (2016).
    7. Old School (2003).
    8. Awake (2007).
    9. Vertigo (1958).
    10. The Doctor (1991).
    11. Get Out (2017).

    There they are: my 11 favorite examples of medical inaccuracies from major film studios. Will there be more in the future? Don’t doubt it. Hollywood directors and writers aren’t likely to let mere medical science stand in the way of entertainment. 🙂
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  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,962
    Logic would dictate that the survivability in films is higher only on the basis of storytelling: we don't tell stories about those who didn't make it, but about those that did. There's no logic in showing a random person dying whilst medics try to revive said person only to get the statistics right again.
  • Posts: 12,506
    The British navy has some interesting use for them though....


    That is awesome footage! :-bd
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    Insecotocoptors, Robofish, and
    Microdots: CIA Spy Gadgets of the
    Cold War
    June 23, 2016
    Serial Box
    If you thought James Bond had cool tech toys, get a load of some of this stuff.

    And here we though the cast of The Witch Who Came In From The Cold was inventive...The C.I.A., long regarded as one of the world's most secretive governmental organizations, is famously rumored to have developed many, many hi-tech spy devices. Now, for the first time, the C.I.A. has released images of and information about the super sweet spy gear they designed during the Cold War. Sorcery is great and all, but perhaps the Consortium of Ice would benefit from some of these gadgets:
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    A modified ladies make-up compact that doubles as a concealment device. Tilting the mirror at the correct angle reveals the code.
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    The CIA created "Unmanned Underwater Vehicle" fish as part of a study of aquatic robot technology. They created a communications system in the body and a propulsion system in the fish's tail. (An operator on land controlled it by a wireless line-of-sight radio handset.)
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    This Dragonfly "Insectocopter," invented by the CIA's Office of Research and Development in the 1970s, essentially served as a very tiny Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

    One of the first-ever UAVs - long before the acronym entered the popular lexicon - this project pressed forward to test the feasibility of gathering intelligence collection by miniaturized platforms.

    Check out more of these covert devices here:
    https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/secret-cia-spy-gadgets-go-public/26/
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    James Bonds' most incredible escapes? From
    infections.

    His seemingly turbo-charged immune system deserves a bit more credit.
    By Haley Weiss | INSIDE SCIENCE
    October 24, 2021

    This is an Inside Science story.

    Despite extensive travel and little to no regard for personal health, somehow one of our most well-traveled icons of page and screen, James Bond, has yet to find himself writhing on the floor of a hotel bathroom with food poisoning. According to data assembled by a team of researchers, it's only a matter of time before his luck catches up to him, because Bond is downright reckless when it comes to travel safety.

    Bond is a paragon of many qualities -- charisma, marksmanship, personal introductions -- but for Teun Bousema, an epidemiologist studying malaria at Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands, Bond's seemingly turbo-charged immune system is the most impressive by far. He and colleague Wouter Graumans, who often travel to remote areas for research, have each fallen ill multiple times despite taking precautions. "At one point I had six different intestinal parasites," Bousema said. In April, as Graumans began his annual watch-through of all the Bond movies, the pair couldn't help but wonder, as Bousema puts it, "Does [Bond] actually adhere to the travel advice better than we do?"

    Bousema and Graumans analyzed each of Bond's 86 international missions over the course of 25 movies, and cross-referenced those in identifiable countries with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel guidelines. A "single journey to outer space," they write, "was excluded from the analysis because travel advice for this region is currently unavailable."
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    PHOTO: Each phrase in this image represents a travel related health threat James Bond
    encountered in the popular films. They are categorized by color.
    Wouter Graumans, William J.R. Stone and Teun Bousema
    Their findings revealed that his likely exposure to infectious agents (no, not the secret kind) is incredibly high. To start, the paper, published online in the journal Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, counts only two times that the British operative has washed his hands on screen, a level of neglect likely to get you sick even within your own home. In 1973's Live and Let Die, Bond handles raw chicken with his bare hands to fend off an alligator attack, but doesn't stop to wash them before zipping off to a boat chase. And while finding time to squeeze in a good meal is difficult for any busy traveler, Bond's demonstrated penchant for unwashed fruit and raw oysters makes his diet a real who's who of foodborne pathogens, including listeria and vibrio.

    "With the hand-washing issue the authors do not note the mess he has made to public toilet facilities -- including trying to drown one attacker in a hand basin," noted Nick Wilson, a professor of public health at the University of Otago in New Zealand who was not involved in this study. Wilson wrote his own retrospective of Bond's drinking habits, a severe chronic alcohol problem that Bousema and Graumans said is unlikely to help ward off infection.

    The oft-inebriated agent's neglect extends beyond foodborne illness. His travels to a post-pandemic Japan in You Only Live Twice included poor social distancing and even mask-sharing, though his mask protocol was notably more correct in a few later films. In areas with high rates of mosquito-borne illness, Bond's lackadaisical approach has even meant sleeping with the windows open. DEET, the most common and effective insect repellent, was invented nearly two decades before the first Bond release, yet has never graced our hero's skin.

    And speaking of skin, it should come as no surprise that James Bond's riskiest exposure to disease comes via a cavalcade of women. His profile indicates a statistically high likelihood of risky sexual behaviors (male, single, younger age, traveling without partner, alcohol and tobacco use etc., the authors write). Of his 59 sexual partners, only three appear frequently enough to evince a relationship of any real depth. Context clues such as onscreen clocks and hurried introductions make it likely that the other 53 did not stop to debrief with Bond about STI statuses, though Wilson notes that their vaccination status "can sometimes be inferred from a smallpox [vaccine] scar on their upper arm." It's difficult to tell if Bond himself was ever spreading anything, because nearly one-third of the women he sleeps with die before they can get to a doctor.
    Resist the urge, however, to blame Bond alone for his horrendous travel preparations. "I never saw him receiving vaccines," said Graumans, but adequately preparing Bond for missions is solely MI6's responsibility as his employer. "If you can get your new car from Q, you also have time to get your vaccinations," Bousema added. "Given the central role that agents with the double 0 status have in international counter-terrorism activities," they wrote, "we sincerely hope that MI6 will take its responsibility seriously. We only live once."
    Inside Science is an editorially independent nonprofit print, electronic and video journalism news service owned and operated by the American Institute of Physics.
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    Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease
    Volume 44, November–December 2021, 102175
    No time to die: An in-depth analysis of James Bond's exposure to infectious agents
    Author links open overlay panel Wouter Graumans, William J.R .Stone, Teun Bousemaab

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1477893921002167#bib1

    PDF: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1477893921002167/pdfft?md5=c1230c89bb0d6c178dda9db202e4a01a&pid=1-s2.0-S1477893921002167-main.pdf
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  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,962
    Well, there's a lot here they just presume because it wasn't on the screen. Unprotected sex? We never see him have sex at all. So plenty of time to slip on the rubber (if he actually goes all the way as is implied but not proven). Not using DEET? We don't know. He might've sprayed it on im. But a scene where he does so adds little to the story. Tropical desease? He might've been on malaria tablets for a full movie without us knowing so. It's not like we see his every breakfast or toilet stop either.

    Yes, sharing the mask poses a risk, but NOT-sharing a mask posed an even greater risk in said situation. Which, in itself, proves Bond DOES care, but also has a better situational awareness than the scientists who came up with this report.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    The unwashed fruit charge stands as eggregious and unsupportable.

  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,962
    The unwashed fruit charge stands as eggregious and unsupportable.

    The fruit in the clinic in TB was probably washed, as goes for the grapes in DAD.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
    Even the fig in DAD? Plus the knife was washed off screen? Resist if you must.



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    Monday Science
    Episode 94: Nanobots and 007..No Time to Die
    (starts at 3:26, more focused at 10:45, NTTD at 17:30, nanobots 24:12 and after of 34.28)
    Monday Science
    In this episode...Dr Bahijja discusses the science and fiction of Nanobots featured in the latest 007 James Bond Film, No Time to Die.
    *Please note, this episode contains some spoilers!*
    Dr Bahijja's credentials include being an extra in Skyfall (Charing Cross Tube Station).
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    The #1 Way You're Eating Apples Wrong, According to
    Science
    See the complete article here:
    Most of the antioxidants that reduce inflammation and lead to weight loss are lost when you eat an apple this way.
    By Olivia Tarantino | Published on February 5, 2021
    Backtrack to the last time you snacked on an apple—did you peel and cut the fruit into finger-friendly slices or did you bite into it whole? If you're guilty of committing the former, here's some stark news: You're eating apples all wrong! If you're taking a knife or a peeler to the fruit's nutritious skin, you're missing out on many incredible health benefits apples have to offer.
    According to a review published in Nutrition Journal, evidence has linked apple consumption to a reduced risk of many chronic ailments including obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Researchers believe many benefits of apples are due to their high levels of phytochemicals, including quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acid, all of which are strong antioxidants.

    And most of that free-radical-fighting goodness? It's found in the skin!

    What are the benefits you can only get from the skin?
    As mentioned, many of the protective effects of apples have been attributed to their antioxidant properties. Apples contain several phytochemicals that are thought to be protective in cancer, according to a Food and Chemical Toxicology study, noting that these include carotenoids, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, and phenolic acids.

    Flavonoids and phenolics, two phytochemicals that are thought to be protective in cancer, are found in higher quantities in apples retaining their skins, according to a Nature study. That same study noted that apples with skin have higher antioxidant capacity than those without, thanks to higher levels of vitamin C.

    Speaking of vitamin C, apple skins contain significant levels of vitamins and minerals that are lower or almost non-existent in apple flesh. In fact, a raw apple with skin contains up to 312% more vitamin K, 70% more vitamin A, 35% more calcium and potassium, and 30% more vitamin C than a peeled apple.

    Apple peels also contain the majority of the fiber found in apples. Without the skin, a medium apple has just 2 grams of fiber, but with the skin, the same size apple contains more than double that: 4.4 grams of fiber.

    As a bonus, apple skin is very high in a specific type of fiber called pectin. This soluble fiber has prebiotic capabilities, which means that it acts as a food source for the beneficial "probiotic" bacteria that live in your gut, helping them to thrive so they can support your health. Pectin has been shown to promote the presence of anti-inflammatory beneficial bacterial species in the gut microbiome, which are known for their health-supporting functions.

    What kind of apple is best?
    With so many different varieties in the produce section, it can be tough to judge on anything other than color and taste. As it turns out, the red breeds have the most anti-inflammatory nutrients, which keep you slim and ward off hunger.

    The best of the best, though, are Pink Lady apples, which top the charts when it comes to nutrition. According to a study conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Food and University of Western Australia researchers, Pink Lady apples have the most antioxidants and flavonoids compared to any other variety offered in grocery stores. They're also the first type of apple to be sold under a trademark-protected brand rather than the fruit's variety name. To qualify as a Pink Lady, apples have to meet a certain criteria in sweetness, crispness, and color.
    Does eating the peel mean eating pesticides, too?
    Since most of the fiber and antioxidants are in the peel, you'll want to consume an apple whole to reap the fruit's full benefits; however, most shoppers know that the skins of fruit and veggies often have pesticide residues. Thankfully, consumers have a trusty resource at our disposal. Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) comes out with a report: Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

    The non-profit organization uses data from laboratory tests by the USDA Pesticide Testing Program and the Food and Drug Administration and then ranks fruits and vegetables by concentration of pesticide residue. A piece of produce lands on one of two lists: the "Dirty Dozen" or "Clean Fifteen." Unfortunately, conventional apples consistently rank on the Dirty Dozen list, and in 2020 they were listed fifth worst for pesticide residues out of 48 items.

    To reduce your exposure to pesticides, the EWG recommends opting for organic produce whenever possible for these Dirty Dozen foods, including apples. Shoppers who report they "often or always" buy organic produce have significantly fewer organophosphate insecticides in their urine samples, according to a 2015 study published in the journal Environment Health Perspectives.

    Organic apples are also the preferred produce of those seeking health benefits as organic apples contain a more diverse and balanced bacterial community compared to conventional apples, which support a more diverse and healthier microbiome, according to a Frontiers in Microbiology study.

    On top of buying organic, if you're still concerned about bacteria and pesticide residue, check out the best way to wash an apple before digging in.
    All in all, apples are a must-have on any grocery list thanks to the plethora of health benefits they offer. Read more with the 11 Side Effects of Eating Apples Every Day.
    https://www.eatthis.com/side-effects-eating-apples/

    For more healthy eating news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

    Olivia Tarantino is the Managing Editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in nutrition, health, and food product coverage.
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    Sea vessels
    Watch: The Navy missile system starring in
    new Bond film 'No Time To Die'
    See the complete article here:
    Roxan McCrae | 1st October 2021
    https://www.forces.net/news/hms-dragon-makes-hollywood-debut-new-bond-film-no-time-die
    [Video link : Duration 1:29]
    Military enthusiasts will be able to spot more than just human stars in the long-anticipated Bond movie 'No Time To Die'.

    As reported by Forces News at the beginning of the month, the Royal Navy's HMS Dragon plays her own starring role in Daniel Craig's fifth and final appearance as the famous spy.

    The warship, from the Daring-class of Type 45 destroyers, appears on the big screen with her red dragon emblem on her hull, cutting through the waves.
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    HMS Dragon returning to Portsmouth in 2020 (Picture: MOD).
    In the US version of the trailer and in the film itself, HMS Dragon is seen firing missiles while manoeuvring in warm climates, something the UK version of the film advert did not depict.

    An MOD spokesperson, however, told Forces News that "no weapons were fired during the filming", suggesting that Dragon's firing scenes were created using CGI special effects.

    In reality, missiles fired from Dragon's Sea Viper weapon system used on board these warships can blow a moving target out of the sky from more than 70 miles away.
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    The Sea Viper being fired (Picture: MOD).
    The ship has 48 vertical launch cells which house two types of Aster missiles.

    Control has the ability to guide 16 missiles at the same time, firing at a rate of eight every 10 seconds – they detonate on impact or within close range of a target.

    Missile Specs:
    • The Aster 15 is a short to medium-range missile, which travels at a speed of MACH 3 and can hit targets that are more than 18 miles away.
    • The Aster 30 is a short to long-range missile with a speed of MACH 4.5, which can reach distances of more than 70 miles.
    • An upgrade to the destroyers missile system is expected in 2026.
    • The MOD says the new system will boost the destroyers' missile capacity to 72.
    As well as HMS Dragon, the Royal Air Force also granted film-makers access to key assets and personnel.

    RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire was used as a backdrop in the film, standing in for a NATO airbase in Norway.

    Meanwhile, the Army supplied troops from the Household Cavalry.
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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aster_(missile_family)
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    James Bond 60th anniversary:
    The science behind the most
    poisonous plot twists
    As the James Bond film franchise nears its 60th anniversary, chemist and author Kathryn Harkup takes a look at the science behind the macho superspy's most poisonous plot twists.
    By Kathryn Harkup | Thu, Sep 22, 2022

    Can it really be six decades since Ursula Andress first emerged from the sea, resplendent in her iconic ivory bikini, knife on her hip, clutching a pair of conch shells, to become the first Bond Girl, Honey Ryder? Well dust off your Walther PPK, and get out your gadgets, because the 007 film franchise is celebrating its 60th anniversary next month.

    The big-screen adaptation of Ian Fleming's superspy novel, Dr No, was released in the UK on October 5, 1962, and Sean Connery uttered those immortal words: "Bond, James Bond", changing films - and our perception of espionage - forever.

    Science and technology have always been a crucial part of the Bond mix, from lasers to amphibious cars to stealth boats, biological warfare and huge, floating fortresses. Often far from scientifically accurate, especially in the earlier films, we enjoy them as part of the indulgent, over-the-top entertainment of the movies.

    As a chemist and science author I'm especially interested in the many toxins that pop up in a multitude of grisly ways in the films. Not everyone would immediately associate the world of James Bond with poisons but there have been a surprising number of toxic substances deployed in the films: deadly gases, darts, cigarettes and drinks, and many poisonous animals (scorpions, spiders, monitor lizards, octopuses, and snakes for starters).
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    My new book, Superspy Science, looks at everything from the practicalities of building a volcano-based lair, to whether being covered in gold paint really will kill you, and - if your plan is to take over the world - whether it is better to use bacteria, bombs or poison. Whatever the next 60 years has in store for 007 fans, we'll have to wait and see.

    Obviously I'm hoping for many more instalments of the James Bond franchise and a few more poisoning plots and toxic twists along the way. Until then, here are my favourite five toxic moments from Bond on the big screen.
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    KILLER MOLLUSC: Octopus venom takes baddie’s breath away
    OCTUPUS TO THE FACE: OCTOPUSSY (1983)
    With that title, it is only fair that at least one character should be killed by an eight-limbed mollusc.

    In the blockbuster finale fight at Octopussy's palace, Bond (played by Roger Moore) shoves a henchman head-first into a fishtank - the unlucky goon emerging with an octopus wrapped around his face. Suffocation might seem the obvious cause of death, but in fact Octopussy (Maud Adams) doesn't have just any-old pet cephalopod, she keeps a blue-ringed octopus.

    They use venom to kill their prey (or any baddies that dare to intrude into their home). The venom is tetrodotoxin. It blocks the action of nerves so the victim is completely unable to move, even the muscles that control breathing. Victims of tetrodotoxin poisoning do, in fact, suffocate, but because of the effects on their nerves. In the case of Octopussy, having your airways obstructed by an octopus certainly wouldn't help either.

    There is no known antidote for tetrodotoxin and the only hope of survival is rapid medical attention and mechanical support for breathing while the toxin clears from his body. In the film, the action doesn't linger over any clear-up operation or medical response but that henchman is probably a goner.
    DRAX'S PLAN FOR WORLD DOMINATION: MOONRAKER (1979)
    Ignore the more ridiculous aspects of this film, like the space lasers and most of the plot. Hugo Drax's dastardly plan to wipe out most of the human race and replace it with his chosen group of beautiful people contains a surprising amount of chemistry.

    Drax (Michael Lonsdale) has developed a nerve gas from a compound found in a rare orchid. The orchid is invented, as is the poison that derives from it. But the idea that compounds found in plants can be extracted, manipulated and made useful is solid science.

    Many chemicals, from food additives to medicines, originate in plants, though the scientists who work on them are trying to benefit humanity, not destroy it.

    In the film, when MI6 quartermaster Q (Desmond Llewelyn) briefs Roger Moore's 007, he shows the chemical structure of the compound. The film deserves an A+ for effort - but basic chemical errors in their drawing of the structure marks it down to a C- for execution.
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    CYANIDE-SCARRED FACE: SKYFALL (2012)
    The classic bit of chemistry associated with spies is the cyanide pill they are all supposed to carry. Cyanide crops up a number of times in the James Bond films, knocking its victims unconscious in a few seconds and killing them shortly after.

    At worst they suffer twitching or frothing at the mouth. This is the sanitised and speeded up version of the reality of cyanide poisoning - headaches, disorientation, vomiting, convulsions, coma and death - all of which can take between seconds and minutes in real-life.

    In Skyfall things get more graphic but less accurate. The villain Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem, confronts M (Judi Dench) by showing what happened when he bit down on his standard issue cyanide capsule. He pulls a prosthetic out of his mouth revealing hideous damage to the bone: a sunken eye socket, rotted teeth and misshapen jaw. It looks dramatic, but this is simply not what happens.

    Cyanide will undergo a chemical reaction in the mouth to produce hydrocyanic acid. Acids have the potential to react with the calcium carbonate in bone but hydrocyanic acid is very weak, weaker even than the acetic acid in vinegar - and you can eat that on your chips.

    To be fair, the acetic acid in vinegar is very dilute and the cyanide in Silva's capsule would have been very concentrated. Damage to the soft tissues inside the mouth would not be unexpected. But extensive damage to skull bones is highly unlikely. However, it does make for a very dramatic moment.
    DIGITALIS IN THE DRINK: CASINO ROYALE (2006)
    In Bond's poker battle with Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) it looks like the baddie is going to lose so he tries to take out his opponent with a poisoned martini. Bond, Daniel Craig in his first outing as 007, staggers out of the hotel, sweating and breathing hard, to hook himself up to a heart monitor and some kind of blood-tox analyser (handily, standard issue in a 00-agent's car).

    The results indicate it is digitalis, an incredibly potent heart drug. The monitor shows his pulse is racing and lists drugs that could counteract the effects of the poison before Bond goes into cardiac arrest.

    Ignoring the fact that the digitalis acts far too quickly (this is an action film, not a slow-paced medical drama), the treatment with lidocaine is actually an excellent strategy to deal with the abnormal heartbeat produced by digitalis.

    The shock from the defibrillator that Vesper Lynd gives to him, however, is not such a good idea - it could trigger worse arrhythmias or even stop 007's heart altogether.
    ROSA KLEBB'S SHOE: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963)
    The scene where the sadistic SPECTRE operative Rosa Klebb chases 007 around his hotel room trying to kick him with a blade hidden in her shoe is a classic.

    Bond, this time Sean Connery in his second outing as 007, may be trying to avoid a potentially nasty stab wound, but the audience knows far worse is in store for the secret agent if Klebb (Lotte Lenya) hits her target because the tip of the blade has been laced with a lethal venom.

    Venoms found in nature are usually complex blends of salts, amines and proteins. The mix, and the components themselves, vary enormously between different species. The salts, often potassium based, interact with the nerves.

    The amines also affect the nerves by altering the chemical endings. Proteins, in the form of muscles, blood vessels and the earlier scene in the film another Russian, is stabbed with an identical collapses and dies in 12 seconds.

    Any substance that kills in under a minute would be considered fast-acting, but 12 seconds is astonishingly quick.

    The venom isn’t named but many, particularly from sea snakes, can be fast acting because they need to be.

    Sea snakes use their venom to kill prey, and if it isn’t incapacitated rapidly, it can swim off and the snake loses its dinner.

    The prey may not actually be dead at this point but the outcome is clear. The same could be said for the Russian agent who collapses on the floor.

    He may not be stone cold dead after 12 seconds, but as no one tries to help him, he might as well be.

    Superspy Science: Science, Death and Tech in the World of James Bond by Kathryn Harkup (Bloomsbury, £17.99) is out now. To order for £16.19 with free UK P&P, visit expressbookshop.com or call 020 3176 3832.
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    The Rise of Bionic Eyes
    See the complete article here:
    Researchers open up a new avenue for potential sight-restoring devices
    24 Apr 2007 By Phil Berardelli

    The trick to restoring vision in people blinded by injury or disease may be to bypass the eyes entirely. By establishing a connection between a video device and the part of the brain that receives visual stimuli, researchers have shown that the brain can interpret electronic signals in the same way it interprets light waves.

    For years, scientists have tried with limited success to provide sight to the blind via prosthetic devices. One approach is to stimulate the remaining healthy neurons in the retina, the light-sensitive lining of the inside of the eyeball, with miniature electrodes that mimic the effects of incoming light. But retinal tissue is so fragile that it is easily damaged. Another tactic involves inserting microelectrodes into the primary visual cortex--the main part of the brain responsible for processing visual signals-- and stimulating visual nerve cells with electrical impulses. So far, however, no one has been able to achieve more than simple behavioral responses in test animals because of the complexity of that cerebral area and the nature of visual signals.
    A team from Harvard Medical School has tried a new approach. Reporting online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers describe how they got lab animals to track preselected artificial visual signals with their eyes--just as though they were watching lights flashing on a real video screen--by precisely inserting two minute electrodes into the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the thalamus. This part of the brain acts like a relay station for visual information. All signals from the eyes run through the LGN to the visual cortex. The experiment used sighted monkeys so the researchers could compare their responses to real images with artificial signals, says neuroscientist and co-author John Pezaris. Although the team only used two electrodes as proof of concept, he says, the monkeys followed both the real and artificial signals in exactly the same way.

    If further animal research is successful, Pezaris says his team hopes to move on to work with human volunteers, using implants containing more and more electrodes to transmit visual signals of increasing complexity. Eventually, the procedure could lead to a full-fledged artificial vision system comprising twin digital video cameras worn as a pair of glasses that transmits signals wirelessly to an implanted neural stimulator, which in turn connects to micro-electrodes planted in the brain.
    The research represents "a fundamental advance toward a visual prosthesis," says neurobiologist Nicholas Hatsopoulos of the University of Chicago in Illinois. For one thing, he says, the thalamus is easier to stimulate than the retina and is much less prone to tissue damage. Furthermore, current neurosurgical procedures, such as those used to treat diseases such as Parkinson's, "could be modified relatively easily to stimulate the thalamus."
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    Primo’s Bionic Eye with SPECTRE cradle In No Time to Die(2021)
    Bond nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld festers in a high security prison in London. But he continues to cause criminal mayhem with the help of this sophisticated bionic eye.

    Worn by his proxy, Primo aka Cyclops, the eye records, stores, and broadcasts audio and visual data. When paired with his own prosthetic eye, it allows Blofeld to see and hear whatever Primo sees and hears. That comes in handy at a gathering of SPECTRE agents in Cuba which Bond infiltrates.

    “I see you from my little eye,” Blofeld tells Bond, “And my little eye says “hi”.”
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited January 2023 Posts: 12,980
    Double post made in error.

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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,980
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    Unraveling The Mystery: Do Sumo Wrestlers Tuck Their
    *****?
    by Alexie Juagdan | January 20, 2023

    The sport of sumo wrestling is an ancient Japanese tradition, and as such it has a variety of deep-rooted customs and traditions. One of the most interesting questions surrounding the sport is whether or not sumo wrestlers tuck their balls. This question has been the subject of much curiosity and debate among fans and experts alike. Sumo wrestlers must adhere to a strict code of conduct, which includes a variety of rules on how they must dress and behave. This code of conduct is known as the Rikishi-Do, and it is strictly enforced by the Japan Sumo Association. According to the Rikishi-Do, sumo wrestlers are not allowed to tuck their balls while wrestling, and any infraction of this rule can lead to severe disciplinary action. While there is a fair amount of debate surrounding this practice, it is generally accepted that sumo wrestlers do not tuck their balls while competing.
    If a Sumo wrestler retracts his testicles into his or her torso, the testicles will be safe. Ian Fleming, who created James Bond, popularized the concept of fully dissolving nuts. It would be ineffective to return balls to the body in sumo. The cremaster muscle is responsible for regulating the rise and fall of the testicles. They’re still exposed enough for a kick to cause severe pain, even if the partial retraction has been partially retracted. retractile testicles are a type of condition in which one or both testicles must be manually pushed back into the scrotum.
    The dohyo, which is located on the outskirts of Tokyo, is used for the majority of Sumo bouts, with many wrestlers spending the majority of their time there performing rituals. The two rikishi spend a few minutes scaring evil spirits away by slamming their bellies and spraying salt in the dohyo, then rinsing the arena clean to protect themselves.
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    Credit: telegraph.co.uk
    Do Sumo Wrestlers Wear Anything Under Their Mawashi?
    It is against the law for grand sumo rikishi to wear anything beneath the mawashi. The pants are not shorts, not a G-string, and not anything more. Only bandages and taping are permitted in cases of injuries. If there is one, the white mawashi sekitori wear with the heya’s gyoji usually includes a large, clear kanji signature with their shikona.

    In 1909, the Japanese national sport of Sumo was established as a 1500-year-old ritual. The mawashi (or loincloth) is the traditional attire of a sumo wrestler, which includes a belt and handles. rikishi wear makashi as their official uniform when training for official sumo tournaments or practice. During a Sumo tournament, wrestlers are required to wear mawashi, the only garment permitted. These are worn by sumo wrestlers to show gratitude to God and goddesses. The kesho-mawashi version of mawash was also developed by the top-ranked rikishi. When a Sumo wrestler is out in public, he or she wears a kimono or yukata.

    The tsuna is an outfit worn by a grand sumo champion known as a Yutsuzuna. A rope is strung along the edge of the diamond-shaped paper rectangles in this pattern. A semi-god’s attire gives the wearer the same status as one. The tokoyama, a trained barber, is in charge of styling the hair on the shoulders of a Sumo wrestler. For sumo wrestlers, there are two types of footwear. Wrestling with a lower-ranking member of the team is subject to the strictest shoe rules. As a rikishi ascents’ rank rises, the restrictions fall.

    Although it may appear to Westerners as a joke, the traditional outfit of sumo wrestlers, the Mawashi, is extremely popular in Japanese culture. Mawashi are more than just large thongs or diaper covers; they are also functional items that athletes use on a daily basis. There is a belt that wraps around the waist and has fabric tucked in. Wrestling is a physical activity that involves keeping one’s body in place as well as holding it together during matches. It serves as a symbol as well, with various colors and fabrics representing different skill levels in the sport.
    Aside from their sleeping habits, the wrestlers in sumo wrestling excel at their jobs. Wrestling athletes take a nap right after eating to maintain their weight and strength, which usually takes place on hard surfaces. Wrestling is a physically demanding sport, so it is critical that wrestlers are well rested and in top physical shape in order to compete effectively. The mawashi and sleeping habits of sumo wrestlers must be respected and understood by the culture as a whole, and they must be valued and ingrained in the sport.

    The Sacred And Practical Mawashi Of Sumo Wrestlers
    Wrestling for sumo is strictly regulated by a set of rules and traditions. A mawashi, a canvas or silk loincloth, is the most important component of an outfit. This plant is linked to a series of colors that have been combined by hardened silk fronds known as sagari. Every time there are fewer than 13 fronds, it is considered an odd number to mark the only portion of the mawashi that cannot be touched. In contrast to normal clothing, the mawashi of a sumo wrestler is not washed. For two reasons, they are hung up. To keep things good, one should wash their clothes in the washing machine, and another should be to keep the fabric from cracking. It is disqualified if a mawashi collapses during the match. Mawashi are used by sumo wrestlers for competitions and are a valuable piece of equipment; however, Westerners may mistake them for undergarments or diapers, which are clearly not feminine.

    Can Men Retract Their Balls Into Their Body?
    Stimulating the cremaster reflex by rubbing a nerve in the inner thigh or by expressing oneself through fear and laughter is a common way of doing so. It is also activated by a cold environment. It can result in a retractile testicle, which is one that pulls out of the scrotum and up into the groin, depending on the strength of the cremaster reflex.

    What Happens If Your Balls Go Into Your Body?
    True, your testicles may be able to return up there. However, there is no cause for concern. Your testicles will fall down as soon as your muscles relax if they pull your muscles up there. It may be worthwhile for you to learn that it is something that most people do intentionally.

    Can You Push Your Balls Back Inside?
    Following the testes have been shoved back up into the inguinal canal. Their canal is connected to their corresponding finger. Two or three fingers can be used to guide them there. This step should not be rushed. If you feel any pain or discomfort after a short break, stop and try again.
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    What Is Forbidden For A Sumo Wrestler?
    A sumo wrestler must abide by a strict set of rules and regulations. These rules are designed to maintain the integrity of the sport. Some of the things that are forbidden for a sumo wrestler include eating junk food, drinking alcohol, smoking, having tattoos, and engaging in any behavior that could be seen as disrespectful or dishonorable. Additionally, sumo wrestlers must adhere to strict guidelines regarding their physical appearance, such as the way they wear their hair and the type of clothing they wear. Violations of these rules can lead to severe penalties, such as disqualification from competitions or even expulsion from the sport.

    Tattoos are not permitted on wrestlers at segu. Tattoos are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cosmetic surgery issues for sumo wrestlers. Tattoos have been associated with organized crime in Japan for many years. In an effort to improve the image of sumo, the Japanese Sumo Association is attempting to improve the game. Due to a lack of facial hair, tattoos, and long nails, the Japanese Sumo Association has barred all members of the public from participating in sumo wrestling. It is working to clean up the image of sumo and protect the ring’s sanctity in order to preserve it. The presence of long nails can scratch and cut the skin of the opponent, giving them an advantage.

    It is illegal for wrestlers to bet on baseball in the US for any reason because of their links to the yakuza, who operate a gambling ring. After phubbing his father, Harumafuji Yomuza Kohei confronted a lower-ranking wrestler in a bar fight. Since then, the JSA has attempted to make the image of sumo much more appealing.

    Tomoko Nakagawa, mayor of Takarazura, Japan, intends to make a change in the country’s policy of allowing female wrestlers to compete in sumo. Despite the fact that the city has traditionally held only male-only sumo competitions, Mayor Tom Potter has taken steps to include women in the competitions. The number of female sumo clubs in Japan is currently only six, with one girl participating for every three hundred boys. There is also no professional competition for women in sumo. Women have been permitted to compete at the amateur level since 1997, when they were first permitted to do so. It is an honor to salute Mayor Nakagawa for his efforts to increase gender equality in the sport of sumo. More young girls will be able to take part in the sport in Japan if the sport is made more accessible to females, and they will have a better chance of earning medals. The promotion of gender equality and increased visibility of female athletes is a great idea. Furthermore, it would promote more opportunities for female wrestlers to showcase their skills, as well as motivate more young girls to get involved with the sport. Matsugawa has set a new tone for sumo as he leads a movement toward greater transparency and ethics. By doing so, she is paving the way for greater gender equality in the sport and, as a result, allowing more women to participate in it.

    What Are The Rules For Sumo?
    If any part of your body other than your feet touches the ground or steps outside the ring, the match is over, and your opponent is declared the winner. You are not permitted to pull hair during a fight. The eyes gouge.

    Are Sumo Wrestlers Allowed To Marry?
    They account for only 10% of the entire Japan Sumo Association population and are known as sekitori. In the upper four divisions, a rikishi earns a salary, gets married, can leave their stable, and lives a far more comfortable life than a Sekitori.

    Are Sumo Wrestlers Allowed To Have Tattoos?
    According to Japan Sumo Association elder Oguruma, beards, long nails, and tattoos are not permitted in the sport, at a recent meeting in Osaka. The dohyo ring is regarded as sacred by many people. “I want to make them feel good when they watch the game,” the U.S.

    Can A Non Japanese Be Sumo?
    Japan, where professional sumo is held, is the only country where foreigners compete, with ten non-Japanese wrestlers and seven Mongolians ranked as the top 26 wrestlers. Since 2006, Japanese wrestlers have not won a grand sumo championship in Japan.


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    Credit: pinimg.com
    Can Sumo Wrestlers Wipe Their Bottoms
    Can sumo wrestlers wipe their bottoms? This is an interesting question that has sparked debate among sumo fans and wrestlers alike. While some argue that it is part of their traditional culture and practice to not do so, others say that it is necessary for sanitary reasons. It is believed that sumo wrestlers have been wiping their bottoms for centuries, so it could be argued that it is an accepted part of their culture. It is ultimately up to the wrestler to decide if they want to wipe their bottom or not, but it is important to remember that hygiene should come first.

    How Do Wrestlers Protect Their Balls
    Wrestlers take extra precautions to protect their balls from injury. They wear protective gear such as a jockstrap and cup which help to provide a layer of protection against potential kicks or blows to the groin area. The jockstrap also helps to reduce movement in the area, which can help to lessen the chance of injury. Wrestlers also practice proper technique when competing to minimize the risk of injury to their balls. This includes not allowing opponents to grab or squeeze their balls, as well as avoiding moves that involve direct contact to the groin area. By taking these measures, wrestlers can help to protect their balls from harm.


    The origins of Sumo can be traced back to around 1,500 years ago, when it was a competition among ancient agricultural communities. For entertainment, the royal court used sumo, and warriors trained with sumo. At the age of ten, a young sumo wrestler typically begins working as a “heya” (sumo stable) in his or her own right. Because it takes years to become a professional sumo wrestler, the majority of recruits drop out within a year. The rikishi are subjected to harsh training, constant service to their superiors, and injury in order to remain competitive. There have been four Grand Champions among Mongolians in recent years, including a wave of Mongolians who have ascended to the highest ranks.



    Alexie Juagdan
    I am Alexie Juagdan, 35 years old, a former Filipino and now a resident of the United States. I am the main author of Asian Journal USA, an online magazine that covers Asian news, culture, and events. Through my website, I strive to inform and educate the Asian–American community about the latest stories and happenings in the Asian world. I am passionate about advocating for Asian–Americans and bringing awareness to the issues they face in the American society. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, cooking, and traveling.



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    You Only Live Twice, Ian Fleming, 1964.
    Chapter -
    'I must congratulate you on your stoicism. You do not appear to value your life as highly as most Westerners.' Tiger looked at him kindly. 'Is there perhaps a reason for that?'
    Bond was offhand. 'Not that I can think of. But for God's sake chuck it, Tiger! None of your Japanese brain-washing! More sake, and answer my question of yesterday. Why weren't those men disabled by those terrific slashes to the groin? That might be of some practical value to me instead of all this waffle about poetry.'

    Tiger ordered the sake. He laughed. 'Unfortunately you are too old to benefit. I would need to have caught you at the age of about fourteen. You see, it is this way. You know the sumo wrestlers? It is they who invented the trick many centuries ago. It is vital for them to be immune from damage to those parts of the body. Now, you know that, in men, the testicles, which until puberty have been held inside the body, are released by a particular muscle and descend between the legs?'

    'Yes.'

    'Well the sumo wrestler will have been selected for his profession by the time of puberty. Perhaps because of his weight and strength, or perhaps because he comes of a sumo family. Well, by assiduously massaging those parts, he is able, after much practice, to cause the testicles to re-enter the body up the inguinal canal down which they originally descended.'

    'My God, you Japanese!' said Bond with admiration. 'You really are up to all the tricks. You mean he gets them right out of the way behind the bones of the pelvis or what not?'
    'Your knowledge of anatomy is as vague as your appreciation for poetry, but that is more or less so, yes. Then, before a fight, he will bind up that part of the body most thoroughly to contain these vulnerable organs in their hiding-place. Afterwards, in the bath, he will release them to hang normally. I have seen them do it. It is a great pity that it is now too late for you to practise this art. It might have given you more confidence on your mission. It is my experience that agents fear most for that part of the body when there is fighting to be done or when they risk capture. These organs, as you know, are most susceptible to torture for the extraction of information.'

    'Don't I know it!' said Bond from the heart. 'Some of our chaps wear a box when they think they're in for a rough house. I don't care for them. Too uncomfortable.'

    'What is a box?'

    'It is what our cricketers wear to protect those parts when they go out to bat. It is a light padded shield of aluminium.'

    'I regret that we have nothing of that nature. We do not play cricket in Japan. Only baseball.'
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    Thrilling Cities, Ian Fleming, 1963.
    Chapter -
    With only three days in Japan, I decided to be totally ruthless. I
    told Dick that there would be no politicians, museums, temples,
    Imperial palaces or Noh plays, let alone tea ceremonies. I wanted, I
    said, to see Mr Somerset Maugham, who had just arrived and was
    receiving a triumphal welcome; visit the supreme Judo Academy; see a
    Sumo wrestling match; explore the Ginza; have the most luxurious
    Japanese bath; spend an evening with geishas; consult the top Japanese
    soothsayer; and take a day trip into the country. I also said that I
    wanted to eat large quantities of raw fish, for which I have a
    weakness, and ascertain whether sake was truly alcoholic or not.
    Thanks to Dick [Hughes] and Tiger Saito, I achieved all these ambitions to the
    full, with the exception of the Sumo wrestling bout which I was only
    able to see on television.
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