What do busy busy bumblebees and sinister serial killers have in common? They both stray far from their home when doing plying their trade, according to scientists from the University of London. When foraging for nectar, a bumblebee will create a ‘buffer zone’ around its nest that it won’t drink the flowers in, so that predators and parasites don’t follow it back to its home. The researchers found that this buffer zone was very similar to the pattern created by serial killers when they kill their victims. By studying the paths of bumblebees they hope to give forensic experts better clues as to where a killer might live based on his killings. We’d better make sure we keep the bees alive then.
Normally I’d leave surveillance-outrage stories to BoingBoing, but really:
Four young residents of a North Philadelphia house who circulated petitions questioning police-surveillance cameras were rousted from their home Friday and detained 12 hours without charges while police searched their house…. 9th District Police Capt. Dennis Wilson…was quoted …as saying of the residents: “They’re a hate group. We’re trying to drum up charges against them, but unfortunately we’ll probably have to let them go.”
If they have nothing to hide, they shouldn’t be asking questions.
Out in the rural peace of the Kent countryside lies Policetown, a mock-up English town used by London’s Metropolitan Police force for training purposes. [Via Subtopia]
The modern law enforcement specialist needs thorough training to cover all potential eventualities. So Policetown includes houses, pubs and nightclubs, fake train and subway stations … and even a faux airport, complete with truncated aircraft fuselage for simulating hostage situations. [image by FeelGuiltyInc.]
Leaving aside issues of cost and effectiveness, there’s something fabulously Ballardian about the idea of a fake town, for whatever purpose. I wonder how apparent its falseness would be if you were to accidentally drive through it on your way elsewhere? And I wonder how many other fake towns and buildings might be out there that we don’t yet know about …
Bullets don’t just bounce off Superman, they don’t even slow him down. Real-life police and soldiers can’t say the same, even when they’re wearing a bulletproof jacket of Kevlar or something similar. Although bullets don’t penetrate–the bulletproof material spreads their force–the force is still tranmsitted to the tissue underneath the bulletproof shell, causing severe bruising or even organ damage.
Now engineers from the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology at the University of Sydney have found a way to use carbon nanotubes to not only stop bullets penetrating material but actually rebound their force, so bullets can be repelled with "minimum or no damage to the wearer of a bullet proof vest.” (Via Science Blog.)
If they can just nail the X-ray vision, super-strength and flying stuff, they can break out the red-and-blue tights. (Image from Wikimedia Commons.)
[tags]nanotechnology, security, military, police[/tags]