weapons
Despite Everything, You Can Now Buy 3D-Printed Gun Plans Online

The DEFCAD file repository of 3D-printable gun blueprints is live. There, you can buy the plans to print parts for anything from an AR-15 to the plastic Liberator pistol. Defense Distributed, the controversial organisation that wants to enable easier access to firearms, started selling these files last week, despite a day-old court order that forbids it from posting gun blueprints online. Read More >>

police
Police in Paraguay Discover Their Rifles Have Been Replaced With Toy Replicas

Last week, police officers in Paraguay found that at least 42 battle rifles had been stolen from their armoury and replaced with toy replicas. It’s unclear if a flag with the word “BANG!” written on it popped out of the barrels. Read More >>

nuclear war
Meet the Nuclear Weapons Nerds

John Coster Mullen was driving his lorry to a warehouse in the US state of Wisconsin when he told me that he owns uranium. He’d been talking on the phone for about hour, and I hadn’t been able to ask a single question about the project that has consumed a quarter century of his lifethe reverse-engineering of America’s first nuclear bomb. I was too engrossed to interrupt. The news of uranium, though, made me stutter. Read More >>

technology
China Tests Hypersonic Aircraft Capable of Penetrating US Missile Defence Systems

China claims to have successfully tested a hypersonic aircraft capable of reaching speeds in excess of Mach 6, or 4,563 miles per hour. The cutting-edge vehicle has the potential to penetrate US missile defence systems and be refitted to include a nuclear warhead. Read More >>

toys
Now There’s a Water Gun That Shoots Liquid Bullets and Refills Itself

Until the Super Soaker came along in 1990, water guns hadn’t changed much in over a century. But the Super Soaker was 28 years ago, and a group of German engineers and designers think it’s finally time for water guns to evolve again. They’ve created the self-filling Spyra One that fires quick bursts of water instead of a steady stream, which promises to improve accuracy and distance. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Thousands of Top AI Experts Vow to Never Build Lethal Autonomous Weapons

Hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals, many of them researchers and engineers prominent in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence, vowed on Wednesday never to apply their skills toward the creation of autonomous killing machines. Read More >>

watch this
I Want to See This Javelin-Launching Slingshot Cannon Shatter Records At the Olympics

The Olympics are supposed to be a series of competitions that test the physical capabilities of the competing athletes. But increasingly, it seems like it’s become a competition over which athlete brings the best gear: be it highly-engineered running shoes, wetsuits, or sleds. So why shouldn’t track and field athletes be allowed to use a comically-monstrous slingshot cannon at the javelin event? Read More >>

watch this
Firing This Saw Blade-Launching Handheld Catapult Looks More Terrifying Than Getting Hit by It

Joerg Sprave has finally built an elastic-powered weapon that even the burly slingshot master can barely handle when the trigger’s pulled. It’s a handheld trebuchet (a type of catapult) that flings circular saw blades for hundreds of feet, and it looks almost as terrifying to yield as it is to be in the weapon’s crosshairs. Read More >>

star wars
This Glowstick-Shooting Star Wars Blaster Replica Looks Like It’s Firing Actual Lasers

Star Wars cosplayers of the world take note: Joerg Sprave, the internet’s favourite slingshot-designing mad scientist, has come up with a clever way to simulate blaster fire in real life. Instead of employing dangerously powerful lasers that will get you kicked out of a convention faster than you can reload, his replica of Rey’s blaster from Star Wars: The Force Awakens fires glow sticks, creating a convincing effect. Read More >>

anthropology
Why Papuan Men Made Daggers From Human Thigh Bones

Up until the 20th century, the use of bone daggers among the Papuan males of New Guinea was commonplace. Many of these daggers were forged from the femurs of large birds, but some were made from the bones of humans. New research shows which of the two materials provided for a superior dagger, demonstrating that, for Papuan men, it wasn’t the strength of the blade that mattered—but rather the prestige bestowed by the weapon. Read More >>

watch this
This Swordsmith Hacks Ancient Weapons to Unlock the Secrets of Viking Metallurgy

Jeff Pringle is a US-based swordsmith, so it’s no surprise he has has hundreds of pre-industrial and Viking-era swords, axes, knives and other sharp, wonderful artefacts in his collection. But Pringle describes his collection as almost “accidental” and he the way he uses his collection has put the blades he makes himself in high demand amongst living history fans eager to use a weapon as close to historically accurate as possible. Read More >>

war
MPs Think North Korea Could Nuke Us by 2020

Worrisome thinking by a cross-party group of MPs working as a Defence Committee has warned that we could be in range of a nuclear strike by North Korea within 18 months, although they think we'll probably be OK as the regime doesn't deem us much of a threat. Which is yet another pretty decent metaphor for the current state of the nation. Read More >>

nuclear war
Putin Nukes Florida in New Animated Video Showing Russia’s Futuristic Weapons

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual address to the country’s Federal Assembly today, showing off some impressive new weapons in the process. One of the concept videos even showed a nuclear strike using multiple warheads against the United States. The video depicts the state of Florida, to be exact—the site of President Trump’s private club in Palm Beach. Read More >>

space
Is China Really Planning to Destroy Space Junk With Lasers?

There may be at least half a million pieces of man-made junk orbiting this planet. Tiny pieces can travel around 10 kilometres per second, far faster than a bullet. The International Space Station has had to adjust its orbit just to avoid the stuff. People are rightfully concerned about what to do with all this orbital litter. Read More >>

science
How Physicists Recycled WWII Ships and Artillery to Unlock the Mysteries of the Universe

A million Russian artillery shells helped scientists discover the Higgs boson, and all over the world, remnants of World War II weapons are built into the most mysterious experiments in physics. Read More >>