Thursday, January 25, 2007

Zap 'Em

The development of non-lethal weapons is a serious matter, but it's hard not to laugh when thinking about where the inspiration for these latest designs might have come from.

First, there's a microwave device that zaps bad guys 500 yards away. It doesn't cook them--that, to state the obvious, would make it a lethal weapon--but it does make them feel hot under the collar. Not angry hot under the collar, but "I feel an overwhelming desire to go jump in the nearest lake" hot under the collar.

Second, there's a spray-on equivalent of the banana peel. The "polymer ice," according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is supposed to "degrade the ability of our adversaries to chase us." It's suitable for use on streets, sidewalks, stairs, and dance floors in any country where plaintiffs' attorneys are in short supply.

Coming soon: automated ear-twisters.

[Via Foreign Policy Passport.]