Ah, July 4th, America's favorite annual indulgence in grilled food, cold beer, and aggressively irresponsible fun with explosives.
Fireworks, like any mass-market pyrotechnics, come with the twin possibilities of extreme fun and extreme injury. In 2016, nearly 12,000 Americans were rushed to hospitals with fireworks-related injuries; a full third of those were to the fingers and hands. And of the approximately 15,600 fires started by fireworks annually each year in the U.S., more than a quarter occur over the Independence Day holiday, according to government data.
Why do we indulge in this dangerous ritual every year? Simple: It's fucking awesome. Playing with fire is as old as human civilization, and finding new ways to make giant explosions at the risk of serious bodily harm is as American a past time as baseball and apple pie. And there's no better example of this than the recent emergence of the DIY firework 'minigun,' the apex of American ingenuity and stupidity.
Though not technically a minigun due to the noticeable absence of six rotating barrels, firing off more than 1000 fireworks in 45 seconds ain't half bad. Luckily, this video was shot in January 2016, and the folks featured spent the next year improving their design:
"I apologize for the swearing at the end but I nearly lost a finger when the mortar was launched," the uploader writes. "Please do not ever attempt anything similar to this." Agreed on both counts, but we'll still be toasting your pyrotechnic badassery come this holiday weekend — from a safe distance, of course.
The Navy has identified the missing sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln as Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Slayton Saldana, who was assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 5, with Carrier Air Wing 7.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force has suspended paying incentive fees at all 21 military housing bases operated by landlord Balfour Beatty Communities following a Reuters-CBS News report that the company falsified maintenance records at an Oklahoma base to help it qualify for millions of dollars in bonuses.
The wait is over: the Marine Corps's brand new sniper is officially ready for action.
The Mk13 Mod 7 sniper rifle reached full operational capacity earlier this year after extensive testing, Marine Corps Systems Command announced on Wednesday. Now, the new rifle is finally available in both scout snipers and recon Marine arsenals.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran announced on Monday it had captured 17 spies working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and sentenced some of them to death, deepening a crisis between the Islamic Republic and the West.
Iranian state television published images that it said showed the CIA officers who had been in touch with the suspected spies.
In a statement read on state television, the Ministry of Intelligence said 17 spies had been arrested in the 12 months to March 2019. Some have been sentenced to death, according to another report.
"Cosmonaut diversity was key for the Soviet message to the rest of the globe: Under socialism, a person of even the humblest origins could make it all the way up," wrote Sophie Pinkham just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.