Kansas jihadist fails at fundamentalist murder and violence

A Kansas man was arrested today after trying to take what he thought was a bomb onto the tarmac of Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, federal prosecutors and the FBI said.

Terry Lee Loewen, a 58-year-old avionics technician from Wichita, planned to use his access card to conduct a suicide bombing at the airport, government officials said.

There was no danger to the public because the supposed explosives were inert and the man was accompanied by an undercover FBI employee, government officials said. Loewen had been under investigation by the FBI since earlier this year…

Loewen was charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against people and property, attempting to use an explosive to destroy property, and trying to provide material support to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

No additional arrests are expected, federal officials said. Loewen would face as much as life in prison if convicted…

The complaint said Loewen left a letter dated Dec. 11 that said, “By the time you read this I will — if everything went as planned — have been martyred in the path of Allah.” It said he added, “I expect to be called a terrorist (which I am), a psychopath and a homicidal maniac.”

Federal officials said Loewen spent months preparing for an attack and communicating over the Internet with a person he didn’t realize was an FBI employee…

Loewen said he wanted to kill as many people as possible, and he explained where to park a vehicle full of explosives to accomplish that, the complaint said. He provided components to make a bomb and worked with a second undercover FBI employee to assemble it, it said.

Loewen was arrested today while trying to get into a security gate at the airport…

Idiot – most of all because of his commitment to terrorism as some sort of positive political tactic. It never has been. Hitler’s initiative dive-bombing the civilians of Madrid, LBJ and Nixon carpet-bombing Indo-China, jihadists murdering office workers in New York City, neo-Confederate racists lynching civil rights activists in the South – they all achieved nothing more than mustering the forces you would expect to band together against evil.

Idiot – because his reason for living became a monomaniacal focus on murder. Not the killing that accompanies war. The indiscriminate murder of civilians who most likely aren’t participants in any political conflict. Sectarian justification for wholesale murder.

Pentagon maintains ties to creepy helicopter firms — why?

Afghan Air Force [sic] Mi-17s

After almost four years of allegations that two related helicopter companies in Lithuania and Russia were doing substandard work and should be banned from new contracts, the Pentagon continued to give them business, according to interviews and documents seen by Reuters.

As recently as last month, an Army planning document shows, the service was weighing contracting helicopter overhauls from the firms, which have been the subject of multiple internal warnings and two Defense Department Inspector General reports…

The Pentagon has been working with Lithuanian company Aviabaltika and a sister Russian firm, the St. Petersburg Aircraft Repair Company (SPARC), for more than a decade to buy spare parts and overhaul Russian Mi-17 helicopters.

Pentagon officials say the Mi-17 helicopters are crucial to the ability of the Afghanistan military to conduct counter-terrorism and anti-narcotics mission as U.S. troops leave, since local pilots have a long history with the rugged aircraft. They have also been supplied to U.S. allies Pakistan and Iraq.

Criticism of the two companies, which are run by the same person and described as a single entity, AVB/SPARC, in Pentagon documents, grew in recent months while the Army continues a review of allegations of overcharging, blocked access to outside quality inspectors and improper advance payments

The scrutiny of AVB/SPARC comes amid a broader backlash against the Army’s more than $1 billion Mi-17 program. Congressional and human rights critics say the program has put the Pentagon in bed with questionable business partners, and they are pressuring the Obama administration to wind it down.

RTFA for all the gory details. In an honest business environment – as scarce as that may seem in headlines about the US economy – these creepy firms might be on the block for sale as scrap and salvage. In practice, most public companies in the United States had better be on the straight and narrow for – even though conservative politicians try like hell to reinvent the mythical Free Market of the 19th Century – oversight and regulation still exists in sufficient enough form to catch a portion of the crooks in business.

Admittedly, the honesty patrol has a harder time with the US government and the Pentagon in particular; but, then, that’s what this investigative piece is all about, eh?

DrumPants will turn you into a human drum kit — WTF?

These days, turning yourself into a one-man band is as easy as slipping on a piece of clothing with a built-in sound board, like Machina’s MIDI Controller jacket or the Electronic Drum Machine shirt. DrumPants on the other hand uses sensor strips and electronics that attach to the inside of clothing, so you can walk down the street in your own clothes and play a beat just by rhythmically tapping your own body…

The basic DrumPants kit consists of two sensor strips and two foot pedal sensors that connect to a control box, all of which are small enough to conceal beneath most types of clothing. Each strip contains two velocity sensors and has thin Velcro patches so users can wear them as a band or run them along a part of their body.

This gives wearers control over six individual sensors at once, but the system can support up to 12 with the addition of extra strips. Once a strip is in place, it just needs to be tapped to produce a sound, which can be heard by connecting either a pair of headphones or an external speaker to the control box…

While the DrumPants were designed mainly with music in mind, the wearable sensors do offer some additional uses beyond tapping out a tune. Each sensor can be reprogrammed to trigger actions within a wide variety of apps, so the wearer can, for example, answer their phone, play a streaming video, cycle through a slideshow, or control a game. The software can also connect with certain Arduino boards, in case an industrious programmer wants to use the sensor strips to control another gadget entirely.

Click the link to the whole article to learn all the whizbang tech. Scroll down to the bottom of the Gizmag article and watch the KickStarter video. Prepare to drive everyone in your life crazy!

NASA Iris satellite shows sun in amazing detail

The region located between the surface of the sun and its atmosphere has been revealed as a more violent place than previously understood, according to images and data from NASA’s newest solar observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS.

Solar observatories look at the sun in layers. By capturing light emitted by atoms of different temperatures, they can focus in on different heights above the sun’s surface extending well out into the solar atmosphere, the corona. On June 27, 2013, IRIS, was launched, to study what’s known as the interface region – a layer between the sun’s surface and corona that previously was not well observed.

Over its first six months, IRIS has thrilled scientists with detailed images of the interface region, finding even more turbulence and complexity than expected. IRIS scientists presented the mission’s early observations at a press conference at the Fall American Geophysical Union meeting on Dec. 9, 2013.

The quality of images and spectra we are receiving from IRIS is amazing,” said Alan Title, IRIS principal investigator at Lockheed Martin in Palo Alto, Calif. “And we’re getting this kind of quality from a smaller, less expensive mission, which took only 44 months to build.”

Click through the link [above] and discover details, photos and a snazzy video. Enjoy!