RADICAL: MIT Scientists Invent Brand New Form of 3-D Printing

Two words: Mind. Blown.

3-D printing has become the rallying cause for a rising generation of designers, engineers, and architects. There seems to be few limits to what the technology can do or what range of products it can spawn, from lampshades to lunar bases. Amid all the hype, however, it’s easy to neglect one key factor: Printing capabilities are directly wedded to the size of one’s printer…

…MIT-based researchers and instructors Marcelo Coelho and Skylar Tibbits teamed up to tackle this very problem… The solution is breathtakingly simple. By merely folding the object you want to print, you can jig it to fit into a small-scale printer… [they use] a dense cluster of thin but sturdy polymer links packaged in a three-dimensional puzzle that can be intuitively assembled.

…The chains are programmed with multidirectional notches, so that they can be latched together at right angles. Assembly is quick because each chain can only bend in the way it’s designed to, thus removing a large obstacle that plagues most 3-D-printing ventures. The final product, then, will look exactly as it does on your computer screen but will be structurally sound enough to stand on its own in physical space. In the process, Tibbits suggests, scale becomes virtually, if not entirely, irrelevant…

Please don’t tell any Democrats about this innovative new technology, because if they find out about it, I’m betting they’ll invent 12 new ways to tax it.

Hat tip: BadBlue Tech News.

Doug Ross @ Journal

PLAN OF ACTION: The Complete list of Holdouts Who Must Be Convinced to Form a Select Committee on Benghazi

Guest post by Walid Shoebat

As of this writing, there are 161 co-sponsors (all Republicans) of Rep. Frank Wolf’s HR-36. This resolution would require the formation of a Select Committee to investigate what happened in Benghazi on 9/11/12. Of course, with 234 Republican congressmen in the House, this leaves 73 Representatives who have not endorsed Wolf’s Resolution; their names and telephone numbers are listed below.

At first blush, it would seem that the Republican establishment has dug in its heels and is refusing to honor the spirit of the ‘Hastert Rule’, which states that no bill will come to the floor without the majority of the majority party being behind it. HR-36 is a Resolution that has nearly 70% of House Republican support. The names of all three members of House leadership – Speaker John Boehner, Majority leader Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy – are all absent from Wolf’s resolution. So is establishment wannabe, Paul Ryan.

Conservatives vs. establishment, right? Well…..

You’ll note that names like Jason Chaffetz (UT), Patrick McHenry (NC), James Lankford (OK), Darrell Issa (CA), and other bulldog conservatives in the Benghazi investigation are on the list of congressmen who have not endorsed HR-36 too. Why?

Let’s consider Wolf’s proposal. Remember what the makeup of a Select Committee would be under HR-36:

…in December 2012, I introduced a bill to create a House Select Committee on the Terrorist Attack in Benghazi, which would have full subpoena power to fully investigate what happened in Benghazi and the Obama Administration’s response. The committee would be comprised of the chairmen and ranking members of the committees on Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, Judiciary, Homeland Security and Government Reform and Oversight, with other members appointed by House leaders based on expertise.

What this means is that the only two members from the House Oversight Committee who would be guaranteed positions on the Select Committee would be Issa and Ranking Member / liar / registered socialist Elijah Cummings (D-MD). Chaffetz and McHenry sit on that committee and would be odd men out if they didn’t make the cut. Issa – and other chairmen – may not be signing on to the amendment because they want their best members involved. There is definitely something to be said for this.

For example, Chaffetz has been extremely close to the Benghazi investigation. He went to Tripoli in the weeks after the attack. He has been among the best of the best in demanding answers. There would be something wrong if he wasn’t on the committee while someone like registered socialist John Conyers was on it (as the ranking member of the House Judiciary, Conyers would be on the Select Committee).

We would suggest that Wolf might get more congressmen to jump on board if chairmen of committees that would be included had greater latitude in determining which of their members would be allowed to serve on the committee as well. Consider that, under Wolf’s Resolution, there are only seven positions on the Select Committee who are not already predetermined based on Chairman / Ranking member status, five of whom could be Republicans and two would likely be Pelosi’s Democrats of choice.

Assuming there’s no law restricting the size of a Select Committee, perhaps Wolf could make the tent bigger and get folks like Chaffetz, McHenry, Lankford, and Issa to join him if Committee chairmen are authorized to have a greater say in selecting additional members.

Check out some of the text from HR-36, via Congress.gov:

(a) The select committee shall be composed of…
(7) Five members appointed by the Speaker.
(8) Two members appointed by the Speaker after consultation
with the minority leader.

If the chair or ranking member of any such committee declines to serve
on the select committee, then the Speaker in the case of a chair, or
the Speaker after consultation with the minority leader in the case of
a ranking member, shall designate the member or members from that
committee to serve on the select committee.
(b) The Speaker shall designate one member as chairman and the
minority leader shall designate one member as the ranking minority
member of the select committee.

While it’s true that any Select Committee that’s formed may exclude the best conservative firebrands, it will also do what these firebrands have not been able to do to this point – put the scandal on the national media stage. A Select Committee would almost necessarily cause mainstream media coverage, which has been so egregiously lacking, despite extremely compelling hearings in the House committees.

It is for these reasons that we believe a House Select Committee – despite its downsides – is the best course of action. As such, we encourage you to contact the congressmen below and urge them to support Wolf’s resolution.

SPENCER BACHUS AL-06 202 225 4921 JOHN BOEHNER OH-08 202 225 6205
LARRY BUCSHON IN-08 202 225 4636 DAVE CAMP MI-04 202 225 3561
ERIC CANTOR VA-07 202 225 2815 JASON CHAFFETZ UT-03 202 225 7751
HOWARD COBLE NC-06 202 225 3065 CHRIS COLLINS NY-27 202 225 5265
MICHAEL CONAWAY TX-11 202 225 3605 PAUL COOK CA-08 202 225 5861
RODNEY DAVIS IL-13 202 225 2371 JEFF DENHAM CA-10 202 225 4540
CHARLIE DENT PA-15 202 225 2371 MARIO DIAZ-BALART FL-25 202 225 6831
JOHN DUNCAN TN-02 202 225 5435 RENEE ELLMERS NC-02 202 225 4531
VIRGINIA FOXX NC-05 202 225 2071 BOB GOODLATTE VA-06 202 225 5431
KAY GRANGER TX-12 202 225 5071 RICHARD HANNA NY-22 202 225 3665
GREG HARPER MS-03 202 225 5031 VICKY HARTZLER MO-04 202 225 2876
DOC HASTINGS WA-04 202 225 5816 JOE HECK NV-03 202 225 3252
JEB HENSARLING TX-05 202 225 3484 JAIME HARRERA BEUTLER WA-03 202 225 3536
GEORGE HOLDING NC-13 202 225 3032 RICHARD HUDSON NC-03 202 225 3715
BILL HUIZENGA MI-02 202 225 4401 DARRELL ISSA CA-49 202 225 3906
LYNN JENKINS KS-02 202 225 6601 MIKE KELLY PA-03 202 225 5406
JOHN KLINE MN-02 202 225 2271 JAMES LANKFORD OK-05 202 225 2132
FRANK LOBIONDO NJ-02 202 225 6572 BILLY LONG MO-07 202 225 6536
CYNTHIA LUMMIS WY 202 225 2311 KEVIN MCCARTHY CA-23 202 225 2915
PATRICK MCHENRY NC-10 202 225 2576 BUCK MCKEON CA-25 202 225 1956
CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS WA-05 202 225 2006 CANDICE MILLER MI-10 202 225 2106
GARY MILLER CA-31 202 225 6536 JEFF MILLER FL-01 202-225 4136
DEVIN NUNES CA-22 202-225 2523 ERIK PAULSEN MN-03 202-225 2871
SCOTT PERRY PA-04 202-225 5836 TED POE TX-02 202-225 6565
MIKE POMPEO KS-04 202-225-6216 TREY RADEL FL-19 202-225 2536
TOM REED NY-23 202 225 3161 HAL ROGERS KY-05 202-225 4601
MIKE ROGERS AL-03 202 225 3261 MIKE ROGERS MI-08 202 225 4872
PETER ROSKAM IL-06 202-225-4561 ED ROYCE CA-39 202 225 4111
JON RUNYAN NJ-03 202 225 4765 PAUL RYAN WI-01 202 225 3031
MARK SANFORD SC-01 202 225 3176 AUSTIN SCOTT GA-08 202 225 6531
PETE SESSIONS TX-32 202 225 2231 MIKE SIMPSON ID-02 202 225 5531
ADRIAN SMITH NE 03 202 225 6435 LEE TERRY NE-02 202 225 4155
MICHAEL TURNER OH-10 202 225 6465 FRED UPTON MI-06 202 225 3761
DAVID VALADAO CA-21 202 225 4695 GREG WALDEN OR-02 202 225 6730
DANIELWEBSTER FL-10 202 225 2176 LYNN WESTMORELAND GA-03 202 225 5901
ROB WOODALL GA-07 202 225 4272 TODD YOUNG IN-09 202 225 5315

Please call your representatives. Please keep calling them. Keep the pressure on.

Doug Ross @ Journal

Russia, Iran sign agreements to form “strategic partnership” as Russia sends warships to Iranian port.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a meeting in 2005.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a meeting in 2005.

Regulars readers of this blog — and books like The Ezekiel Option and Epicenter – know that I’ve been writing about a growing and troublesome alliance between Russia and Iran since 2005. Given that history, I thought it would be important to bring this New York Post article to your attention today. The headline is, “Why Iran is falling into Russia’s arms,” and it’s written by Amir Taheri.

Taheri is an Iranian dissident and former editor-in-chief of an Iranian newspaper whom I find quite insightful about Iranian foreign and domestic policy and political intrigues. He was one of the first international journalists to  notice and begin reporting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s obsession with eschatology. After reading Taheri’s work, I began to study more closely Ahmadinejad’s pronouncements on the subject and began studying more carefully the substance of Shia End Times theology and its impact on Iranian foreign policy. While he was ahead of the curve on Ahmadinejad’s eschatology, Taheri is a little behind the curve on noticing the alliance forming between Russia and Iran. and its implications. Still, the good news is that he has focused on important new developments in recent weeks and is on to the story now.

Students of Bible prophecy will find all this particularly interesting. After all, the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel wrote 2,500 years ago that a dictator (Gog) from the territory we now call Russia (Magog) would form an alliance in the “last days” with Persia (what we now call Iran) and a group of other Middle Eastern countries. The goal of the alliance will be to threaten and then attack a prosperous and secure Israel in the years following Israel’s prophetic rebirth. Such an event has never happened in human history, but a growing number of Jewish and Christian Bible scholars and teachers believe geopolitical trends suggest the fulfillment of the “War of Gog and Magog” prophecy might not be so far off.

For now, I commend Taheri’s column to your attention.

Key excerpts:

  • “A strategic partnership”: So Iran and Russia describe the series of security, economic and cultural agreements they’ve signed together in the past few weeks.
  • Iran’s Foreign Minister Ai-Akbar Salehi arrived in Moscow this week to co-chair the first annual session of the “partnership” with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Days earlier, a group of officers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard arrived in the Russian capital for a crash course in crowd control and civil unrest. They’re expected to return to Iran by May and be “operational” in time for the June presidential election. Iranian authorities are nervous about expected unrest during the elections, and so have called on Russia to help prevent an Iranian version of the “Arab Spring.” But Russia made its support conditional on signing a security treaty with Iran; Tehran complied last month.
  • The agreement represents a break with an old principle in Iran’s defense and security doctrines. Russia has been a source of fear and fascination for its Iranian neighbors since the 18th century. Several wars of varying magnitude proved Russia to be a threat, as successive czars dreamed of winning control of a port on the Indian Ocean — which meant annexing or dominating Iran.
  • In Iranian political folklore, Russia has long been depicted as a bear whose embrace, even if friendly, could smother you….Even after the fall of the shah and of the USSR, the Iranian tradition of keeping the Russian bear at arm’s length continued under the Khomeinist regime. It’s clear that a different fear has moved Tehran to abandon that tradition.
  • The new security pact provides for cooperation in intelligence gathering and the fight “against terrorism, people-trafficking, and drug-smuggling.” But it more significant is that it commits Russia to training and equipping Iranian security forces to deal with civil unrest….
  • There are other signs of change in Moscow-Tehran relations. Last week, Iran played host to Russian warships visiting Bandar Abbas on the Strait of Hormuz in what looks like the opening gambit for a Russian naval presence in the strategic waterway….
  • Days after the Irano-Russian pact was signed, Putin announced that he had terminated security cooperation with the United States on the fight against drug trafficking, people-smuggling and piracy.
  • Observers in Tehran say the change in relations is caused by several factors. Both regimes are involved in the Syrian civil war on the side of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Both believe that the “Arab Spring” is the result of “plots” hatched by Washington under the Bush administration. Both fear that the “velvet revolution” recipe for regime change could be used against them. And both Moscow and Tehran regard what they see as an US strategic retreat under President Obama as an opportunity. They think that, with the United States out, no other power has the capacity to check their regional ambitions.

Important related recent headlines:

>> What does the future of Israel hold? Come with me and The Joshua Fund on a “Prayer & Vision Trip” to the Holy Land and to the 2013 Epicenter Conference this summer. For more details, and/or to register, please click here.

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Peres officially taps Netanyahu to form next government as IDF warily eyes threats in the North.

President Shimon Peres signs the formal document charging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with forming the next government, at a ceremony at the President's Residence, February 02, 2013. (Photo credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO/FLASH90/Times of Israel)

President Shimon Peres signs the formal document charging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with forming the next government, at a ceremony at the President’s Residence, February 02, 2013. (Photo credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO/FLASH90/Times of Israel)

Tensions are running high in the North of Israel. The IDF is bracing for possible retaliation by Syria, Hezbollah, and/or Iran after its recent air strikes on Syrian targets. Some Mideast analysts believe it’s just a matter of time before there is significant trouble on Israel’s northern borders. Other analysts, however, say Israel took a calculated risk, hit what it needed to, enhanced its deterrance, and that retaliation is unlikely.

With this backdrop, Israeli President Shimon Peres formally gave Netanyahu permission to begin putting together the nation’s next government, a process that could take several weeks and could be complicated by the security challenges facing the Jewish state.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night promised to establish ‘the widest possible national unity government’ and urged even those political leaders who did not recommend him as prime minister to reconsider and join him,” reports the Times of Israel. “Netanyahu spoke immediately after President Shimon Peres, at a ceremony at the President’s Residence, formally charged him with the task of forming the next government. Netanyahu said the first priority of his new government would be thwarting Iran’s effort to attain nuclear weapons. He also pledged to seek peace, saying ‘every day that passes’ without negotiations with the Palestinians was a day wasted, and urging Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to come back to the peace table.”

“Netanyahu, who was recommended as prime minister by 82 of the 120 incoming MKs, also pledged to try to heal many of Israel’s internal divides — on equality of military service, on easing economic burdens, and on electoral reform — ;without tearing the nation apart,’” notes the Times. “Netanyahu, noting that he would be starting his third term as prime minister — having held the post from 1996-99 as well as in the last four years — thanked the public and the MKs who backed him ‘for the faith you have placed in me’ and said he saw the job as a privilege and an honor….He said Israel had weathered the global financial crisis in large part because of the stable government he headed these past four years, but that the economic and security challenges in the region were actually becoming more grave. The dangers facing Israel were the worst it had faced for many years, he said. Therefore, although his next government would tackle domestic challenges, Israel’s security would come first, and the top priority would be thwarting Iran’s nuclear weapons drive ‘and other threats to our nation and our citizens.’”

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog