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Be All You Can Pee: Urine Might One Day Power America’s Wars
It’s one of the first things a soldier learns on deployment: not every water bottle filled with liquid is a source of healthy refreshment. Some, in fact, are filled with urine — the aftermath of a long mounted patrol or an overnight watch shift. Because, sometimes, there’s simply nowhere else to “go.” Naturally, these “piss bottles” get thrown away. They’re gross.
Soon, however, there might be another option: convert that filthy human waste into clean, efficient fuel.
Scientists at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland are developing a nano-powder based on aluminum, which releases pure hydrogen when combined with any liquid containing water, according to the Army. This is major.
Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the entire universe, has the potential to fuel cells and provide energy that doesn’t cause pollution. In fact, fuel cells are “more energy-efficient than combustion engines,” according to the Department of Energy.
“What we do as Army scientists is develop materials and technology that will directly benefit the Soldier and enhance their capabilities,” Dr. Kristopher Darling, an ARL researcher, told an Army reporter. “We developed a new processing technique to synthesize a material, which spontaneously splits water into hydrogen.”
Turns out, urine contains water (but not the kind you should drink). And not only does it release hydrogen when it comes into contact with this miracle nano-powder, it releases hydrogen at a much higher rate than ordinary H20. Why? The ARL researchers aren’t sure, but they suspect it has to do with the electrolytes and the acidity of that warm liquid gold.
“When we demonstrated [the effect] with urine, we saw almost a twofold increase in the reaction rates,” Darling said. “We were very excited.”
And they should be. Dr. Philip Perconti, the ARL laboratory director, told the Army that this newly discovered utility for urine could be a game-changer for “forward deployed troops who need a compact and lightweight energy source.”
In theory, soldiers might be able to use their own bladders — and piss bottles — to store fuel to power mission-essential equipment that can’t be easily resupplied, like communications and electronics gear.
The ARL team will continue investigating the implications of their new discovery in the coming months, while also teaming up with other researchers at the laboratory, such as the Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, to develop ways to harness the nano-powder as a potential energy source.
Imagine the possibilities — not just for troops overseas, but for all of us. There may come a day when we won’t ever have to leave the couch during, say, an overnight Call of Duty marathon or the series finale of Game of Thrones. We’ll just piss into the television. Or, even better, into a diaper that’s connected directly to the TV by some sort of tube.
The future can’t come soon enough.
The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.
The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.
The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.
Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.
Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.
Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.
These CIA officers were the first US boots on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 — and one was 'Marine Todd'
Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
"Shoots like a carbine, holsters like a pistol." That's the pitch behind the new Flux Defense system designed to transform the Army's brand new sidearm into a personal defense weapon.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."