Awesome or Off-Putting is a weekly delve into cryptozoology, ufology, aliens, medical marvels, scientific wonders, secret societies, government conspiracies, cults, ghosts, EVPs, myths, ancient artifacts, religion, strange facts, odd sightings or just the plain unexplainable.
This week: Scientific Wonders
If Wonder Woman was smart, she'd use her invisible-jet technology to make an airline. Tremendous success would be unavoidable – everybody would have a window seat, and the guess work involved in the aeroplane bathroom would be more entertaining than the in-flight movie. And extremely public.
Unfortunately though, on the island of Mepos from where we're pretty sure Wonder Woman is originally from, they just don't share technology. But it looks like we don't need them to. The Ministry of Defence has recently announced they can make tanks invisible.
And since that engine noise is pretty unnoticeable it's really looking like their enemies are effed.
Imagine you're a horrible and Godless 14-year-old Iranian soldier in a few years time, sleeping in your tent dreaming of killing American babies and wondering what your wife looks like. Suddenly, you're startled awake by the roar of a tank. You step out your camel-hide tent and peek over your war-donkey, but you just don't see a thing. There's still the sound of metal gears crunching together, and you can physically see tank tread-marks and exhaust fumes getting closer to you, but there is no tank. What do you do?
You go back to bed. At least that's what the Ministry of Defence is hoping anyway. They've invented the invisible tank, you see, and hope to have them ready for the kill by 2012. A soldier who's seen it first-hand says:
"This technology is incredible. If I hadn't been present I wouldn't have believed it. I looked across the fields and just saw grass and trees – but in reality I was staring down the barrel of a tank gun."
As we understand it, the technology involves a whole bunch of cameras and projectors. The surrounding area is filmed, then projected onto the tank's other side. It seems then, that 'invisible' may not be the right word. Perhaps 'perfectly camouflaged' would suit things better. We don't care though, the headline stays.
If a camera breaks mid-battle, or a projector just fails, that's it. The competitive edge provided by an invisible tank is all but lost. The man behind this all, one Professor Sir John Pendry, knows this and he has a plan:
"The next stage is to make the tank invisible without [the cameras and projectors] – which is intricate and complicated, but possible."
What's more – the same technology could be used to make jackets for the soldier himself. This of course means an invisible soldier could emerge from an invisible tank and wreak absolute havoc on the guy with the war-donkey we talked about earlier.
The MoD isn't the only group looking to harness invisibility. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA (they're attached to the pentagon), has even loftier goals – that of "shoot-through, invisible, healable body armor." You read that right, and it means exactly what it sounds like.
The tanks will supposedly be rolling out for use in or around 2012, and when that happens hopefully the Bahamas will finally get what's coming to them.
We predict by then they'll be sitting in prominent seats at the Axis of Evil's conference table. It's just a gut feeling, really.