Friday, November 5, 2010

US searches for 'stupid ray'.

US Air Force posts request for real-life 'stupid ray'

A still from cartoon series Futurama showing a "stupid ray" that makes victims less intelligent. Picture: 20th Century Fox
AND now for something completely stupid.
Humanity is set to once again test the boundary between science fiction and fact by trying to build a classic imaginary weapon — the "stupid ray".
Different arms of the US military have recently been looking for ways to boost the mental abilities of troops.
Both DARPA and the Air Force Research Lab have projects underway aimed at finding external stimulants to temporarily enhance awareness and reduce stress.
But the boffins at the Air Force appear to have had a brainwave. If someone can do what they're asking, perhaps they could do the opposite too.
Wired reported this week that in an update to its call for research proposals, the Air Force has included a new topic for consideration.
First, it describes a few potential mind-enhancing technologies that could be used in the field.
Then, it says: "Conversely, the chemical pathway area could include methods to degrade enemy performance and artificially overwhelm enemy cognitive capabilities."
In other words, how about an invention that will make the other side dumber?
And if you think they’re not serious, there’s a chunk of $US49 million up for grabs for anyone who reckons they can do it.
Reports that sales of tinfoil hats tripled following the announcement are yet to be confirmed.

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