Beware of QR Codes

LIke all viruses, it's not that all QR codes are going to melt your cell phone. But there's value in not blindly using them and assuming everything will turn out fine. An ounce of prevention, eh?

robotic jeeps and cargo helicopters

I remember seeing stuff like this in the movies when I was a kid. Then, once I got into the Air Force, I used to wonder why we didn't automate more stuff. Now, I wouldn't want to fly in an airplane as a passenger with a robot at the controls, but there are tons of applications where human beings aren't aboard. I'm all for taking soldiers away from danger as much as possible. But I have to admit it's a little hard to wrap my head around the idea of combat happening in a room full of kids sitting in comfortable armchairs playing "video games". Anyone ever read the book, ENDER'S GAME? Look like it's almost here...

Upcoming book isn't so far out after all!

So, I just finished the galleys on a book called HER HERO AFTER DARK. It's due out in May 2012. The premise is that a wealthy patriot is financing genetic and stem cell research to enhance certain human abilities and to create the super-soldier of the future. Jeff Winston is the first human test subject, and he happens to be extremely STRONG.

There's been some discussion over how "far out" an idea this is and if I've gone off my Romantic suspense rocker. Lest anyone think I'm straying too far from a plausible near future with this premise, I give you the following article reporting on creating super strong mouse muscles. We all know after the mice come the primate studies, and soon thereafter, human experimentation.

Where I get ideas for action scenes

You can't make stuff like this up. The hardest part is writing about it and having anybody believe you! Fact is far wilder than anything fictional I can cook up. These are some extreme athletes doing, well, extrme things. Great soundtrack and gorgeous filming.

SOmething every Girl should know--how to escape from Zip Ties!

And I mean that purely in a tactical, self-protection context, mind you! This article even has videos and discusses all the possible positions your wrisits can be zip-tied into and how to escape from each. Very, very cool.

Exoskeltons are here

Remember those cool exoskeltons in the Aliens movies that Sigourney Weaver used, or the one the bad guy used more recently in Avatar? Yeah? Well, they're heeeeere...

More on the dangers of Smartphones

Computer World has followed up the last article I linked to on this subject and gives us all further food for thought on the subject of personal privacy and security. Definitely "hmmm" worthy!

Free Energy for All

If you've not discovered, you're missing out! The smartest people on the planet are brought together every year for a conference, and the smartest of them are invited to give a talk up to 20 minutes long about the most important thing they can think of to talk about. Thankfully for us normal folk, the TED talks are recorded and put up free on the Internet for all to see.

This talk is by a scientist who's pretty much figured out how to make energy free. For everyone. Forever. Heady stuff...

How to Spy with your Phone

This article is written by a fellow named Michael Yon who is embedded with various military units in Afghanistan. He takes breathtaking photos, and in his almost daily dispatches gives a real sense of what it's like to be on the ground and an American soldier in Afghanistan today. Some of it is beauitful, some graphic, and some downright chilling.

I'm thinking this little article falls into the Holy Cow That's Scary category. Will definitely have to use this  technology in a book someday. And I bet readers won't believe me.

Feet wash ashore in Canada

Okay, so it's gross enough that a ninth foot has washed ashore in British COlombia, but did the Canadians have to be so perky about announcing that this one's different from the others? This one was found in a fresh water bay while the others were found in saltwater. But even more importantly, apparently, the others were all wearing running shoes and this one was wearing a hiking boot.

Makes me think of that children's of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong, one of these things is not like the others, can you find it by the end of this song?


That said, it would make an awesome opening for a book.

No more need to Walk

Check out this dod-dad from Honda. It's like a unicycle for dummies. Eliminates the need for us humans to even walk. Gonna need wider seats for our giant bums when we don't even bother to walk any more! LOL!

Coll technology, though. Can imagine a few military/spy applications. How 'bout you? Any ideas? Lemme know.

Going Free

Local news covered the release of a man from prison today who spent twenty years in jail for a crime he never confessed to, and which a new review of his case showed he was wrongly accused of doing.

Can you imagine the emotional journey this man's been on? Having to survive prison as an innocent man. No one believes you. Do you stand your moral ground or become the criminal they've accused you of being? How angry are you? Who are you angry at? The system? The prosecutors and jury who did this to you? Yourself? How do you accept the loss of your youth, loss of your friends, your career, loss of any chance at a family of your own?

And when you're finally set free...who are you? What will other people think of you? How do you start your life over with a massive stain on it that's not of your making? Are you angry? Grateful? I'm sensing a character in this...

Am so glad this man's getting at least some portion of his life back. Regardless of the tragedy of a mistake like this, I still say we have the best legal system in the world. All it takes is traveling to a few countries without our Bill of Rights to appreciate just how good we have it as Americans.

Foreign language training for Medusas

Now that we know it's possible for real women to become real Medusas, it occurs to me that I've gathered a lot of information over the course of writing my Medusa series of books that might be of interest to a woman who'd like to pursue becoming a female Special Forces operative.

If you're one of those courageous ladies, from time to time, I'll share links and sources with you that might be helpful in your preparation to enter this incredibly demanding and rewarding world.

The first thing I'm going to suggest is the Rosetta foreign language programs. They are, bar none, the best software I've ever found for learning a language fast and well. They have software for dozens of languages, too. But what language to choose?

You need to pick a language that's used in a part of the world you're interested in working in and which is of high strategic or political interest to the United States. Some of those are pretty obvious...the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan.

But there a few other countries of emerging significance to consider: Brazil and Turkey come to mind immediately. If you can physically pass for Chinese, it's a no-brainer to learn Chinese.

Two other considerations: What languages are spoken widely throughout the world, and where are places women are completely marginalized and ignored and where they can be developed as valuable intelligence assets.

Using these criteria, French and Spanish leap onto the list a widely used and potentially valuable languages, and perhaps Hindi (India) or Farsi (Iran).

Personally, I wouldn't recommend Russian. Remind me to blog sometime about how the Russian population is gradually collapsing and the impact it's likely to have on them as a world power. I also don't think it's a country we need to use female operators in specifically in order to gain access to intelligence information.

Rosetta works best if you use it daily. If there's an advanced level Rosetta program in your language of choice, by all menas get it and master it, too. Then, do whatever you can to practice and use that language with native speakers of the tongue. Watch it on television, read the language on the Internet, whatever you can to increase your proficiency. It takes about a year of hard work, but you can master another language if you want it bad enough!

(And it'll take a year to get into good enough shape to pass the physical portion of your training anyway. You may as well use the time to put another language on your resume, too.)

Good luck!

Medusa's are REAL!

You won't believe this...dropped my jaw when a friend sent this link to me. Turns out the MEDUSA's are REAL! I always suspected they were, but now I have unclassified proof. What's spooky is how very closely my all-female Special Forces team and this real one parallel each other. Am going to try to get in touch with these ladies and, hopefully, talk to a few of them. In the mean time, check this out...

Dead Bodies on Cruise ship

How about that cruise ship that pulled into port in Boston with two dead bodies on board? A young guy and an elderly woman. Reports say they didn't know each other and their deaths are not related...but if I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd be all over this one. I wonder how the two victims might have been linked...

Any wild ideas?

here's the full article: