Reaching Around the Aisle
House leaders move to protect House leaders.
Al Uthman

Hunger Striking for Osama
Churchill was right; Gandhi was a terrorist.
Alexander Zaitchik

BEAST Science for Hicks
A quck & fatal introduction to science for the logically challenged.
Ian Murphy

The BEAST Aeronautic Defense Technology Roundup
What's new in death from above.

The Great Genesee Cream Ale Challenge
A decent excuse for us to get hammered.

I Always Knew Canadians were Terrorist-loving Bastards
A BEAST Reader Opinion.

Man's Death Offset by Fantastic Accumulation of Possessions
Josh Righter

Artvoice “Sour Grapes” E-mail Determined to be a Forgery
Who's behind the malicious hoax?

Chertoff to Buffalo: We're 51.4% Behind You
Homeland Security budget cuts reveal predictable pattern.

Page 3 Serpent Bride

Kino Korner
X-Men 3, The Break-Up, The Omen.

BEAST-O-Scopes
Your cosmic fortune in insult form.

[sic] - Letters
Tech support, smeared scientists, & Hitler equivalence.


A Look Back Through the Ages by The BEAST's former Editors.

100 BEASTs of Gratitude
A brief note from the asshole in charge.
Al Uthman

Father Knows BEAST
A few unkind words from our founder.
Matt Taibbi

Outrage 101
A BEASTly education.
Paul Salamone

Me & My Buddy The BEAST
Chris Riordan

Viva El BEAST!
Recollections of an undocumented BEAST Staffer.

The Truth About our Intentions
The very 1st BEAST Editorial.

The BEAST Government Kids Page Review
Ian Murphy

Murtha's My Lai
Stan Goff

Call me Old Fasioned, but I Think the President Should be Killed
A BEAST Reader Opinion
by Gengis Khan

Still Scum, Still Sucking
Our local Rep, Tom Reynolds.
Paul Fallon

  The BEAST New Aeronautic Defense Technology Roundup

Defense experts agree, when it comes to convenience in intelligence-gathering and targeted killing, no other developing technology is as promising as the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Widely predicted to be a major growth sector in the insanely huge-yet-growing military-industrial complex, These pilotless planes have taken the dirty work out of warfare. In addition to reducing war casualties and further removing Americans from the tragic human consequences of their foreign policy vision, these remote vehicles have done the impossible: turned a generation of listless video game addicts into well-prepared future warriors. Whether spying or shooting, the average American 18-year-old has the requisite hand-eye coordination and thumb calluses to monitor and operate one or more of these military droids with grace and efficiency, all while instant-messaging “omg this Roxorz” to his buddies back home.

Yup, those UAVs are pretty useful. In fact, their uses are not limited to simple war and espionage. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, for instance, will begin using the Octotron SkySeer model, a drone about the size of a remote controlled model plane, next month. Luckily, L.A. residents needn’t fear Big Brother-style monitoring, though—because it’s already happening. Just ask LASD Commander Charles Heal, as the BBC did: “There’s no place in an urban environment that you can go to right now that you’re not being looked at with a video camera and you have nothing to fear from your own government - you are being watched by your fellow citizens,” said Heal.

Of course, L.A. law enforcement is always on the cutting edge of innovation in civil rights abuses, but the con-trail doesn’t end there. According to Declan McCullagh of CNET news, “one North Carolina county is using a UAV equipped with low-light and infrared cameras to keep watch on its citizens. The aircraft has been dispatched to monitor gatherings of motorcycle riders at the Gaston County fairgrounds from just a few hundred feet in the air--close enough to identify faces--and many more uses, such as the aerial detection of marijuana fields, are planned.”

But what if these 4-pound, six-foot wingspan flyers are too unwieldy for the task at hand? Look no further, my friend than Israel Aircraft Industries' Mosquito 1 micro UAV. Measuring in at nine ounces and a 13-inch wingspan, this plucky little robo-spy is cherished by the Israeli military for its ability to fly through doors and windows, helping to identify targets in the Palestinian territories. Plus, it’s virtually invisible at low altitudes! My only question: how much are they, and where can I get one? Talk about the perfect stocking-stuffer for the stalker on your Christmas list.

On the other side of the size spectrum, the unmanned Boeing X-45 has been designed for the US Air Force at a cost of $256 million to drop 3,000 pounds worth of bombs on combat targets. Throw in a few thousand little unmanned tanks, and the American casualty figures from our next invasion might consist of the few heart attacks suffered by keyboard-clacking remote pilots who ingest one too many bags of Funyuns from the office vending machine. At a price tag of 10 to 15 million bucks each, however, these planes will be out of reach to all but the wealthiest civilians.

Sure, remote-driven airplanes are cool, but there’s one glaring feature missing from these gadgets: hovering capability. So where are the tiny unmanned helicopters? Well, they’re working on it, but the effort suffered a setback when the Israeli firm Steadicopter had its prototype burgled in a Hollywood-style industrial espionage heist. The thirty-pound prototype was the first to succeed in independent flight without remote control, something other firms had yet to achieve. I’ve got to say, I really love this crime. It makes all of those silly action movie stereotypes—the super-stealthy, black-clad professional burglar, the twisted, murderous industrialist, the criminal scientist—a bit less absurd. At any rate, depending on what defense contractor or hostile nation is currently hard at work reverse-engineering designs from the prototype at the moment, this technology will emerge sooner or later.

Speaking of things we usually only see in movies, nothing is more likely to make young men want to join the military than the Gryphon Single Man Flying Wing. Originally developed for the German army as a glider that could carry a paratrooper 32 lateral miles from a 33,000-foot jump, the new model, powered by two 15-pound turbojets, can get you 124 miles away from a 13,000-foot hop. Needless to say, this is incredibly cool, especially if you bring your iPod along for the ride. In addition, the psychological advantage of invaders who literally fly into town like a horde of Batman clones can’t be overstated. Then again, jumping out of an airplane with a half gallon of jet fuel on your person could lead to unpleasant complications.

Other, more dire possible problems stemming from the exponential uptick in the number of contraptions marring the sky include possible mid-air collisions between UAVs and passenger flights, or MAVs. Such problems have been reported in Afghanistan and Iraq. Obviously, there aren’t enough air traffic controllers in the world to monitor the thousands of friendly drones soon to monitoring our daily activities, but I’m sure we’ll figure out some kind of solution after a mere handful of fatal crashes. Onward and upward!

 

BEAST Blog

Idiot Box by Matt Bors
Big Fat Whale by Brian McFadden
Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch
Bob the Angry Flower by Stephen Notely
Deep Fried by Jason Yungbluth

e-mail the evil editors at sic@buffalobeast.com
John Stossel's Invisible Handjob
Leaking Integrity: WaPo lies
I'm with Stupid: Tony Snow
10 Questions for Scott McClellan
Ask Dr. Cruise
Guide to Post-9/11 Opportunism
Ask a Horrible Human-Monkey Hybrid
GWB's Rapture Report
© Copyright 2002-2005, The Beast. All rights reserved.