Jason Smigelski

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The long guns: History of US military rifles

The U.S. Army’s upgraded M4A1 combat rifle is just the latest development in a category of weapons that American soldiers have carried since the country’s earliest days.<p><b>Long Gun Beginnings</b><p>Even before there was actually a "United States" there was what could arguably be considered the first true …

This 1983 test proved a ‘limited’ nuclear strike doesn’t exist. But the Obama administration still pursued it

Code named Proud Prophet, the exercise changed our whole strategy<p>Things are contentious again between us and Russia — our only serious nuclear rival, …

Forgotten Cold War Waste Will Re-emerge With Global Warming

Before this century’s end, toxins, radioactive material will come back to haunt us<p>In 1951, the United States government made a pact with the Danish government to begin building camps and testing sites throughout Greenland to protect themselves from arctic Soviet attacks.<p>Camp Century, built 125 …

Machu Picchu Is Overrated, Go to Choquequirao Instead

The first bus to Machu Picchu leaves Peru’s party-all-night tourist town, Aguas Calientes, at six in the morning. The line to be on it forms sometime …

From drones to AKs, high technology to low politics.

There are many reasons to keep certain parts of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex a secret. But fraud, waste,...<p>The U.S. Army never really liked the …

Uncertain Future for Earth’s Biggest Telescope

(<i>Hear Nadia Drake interviewed live about the Arecibo telescope on Science Friday from Public Radio International, on Friday June 10 at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST</i>.)<p>Tucked into a sinkhole in the Puerto Rican jungle, the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope scans the skies for signs of distant …

The Air Force's most beloved fighter jet was rescued by ISIS

After years of battling with Capitol Hill lawmakers, the U.S. Air Force has given up on its request to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack …

The World's 30 Most Impressive Fortresses

Mighty military strongholds from ancient castles to modern innovations.<p>A fortress protects and gives military personnel a safe harbor from the enemy. But not all fortresses were created equal. And they certainly weren't all created the same. We look over time and distance to find the 30 most …

Crushed Nissan Skyline Owner Admits He Knew His Car Was Illegal

“I knew it could be crushed,” Billy Crider told me quite simply. “I never hid that from anyone.” What’s more complicated is why he bought a car that …

Nissan Skyline

“People know next to nothing about Reconstruction”: The pernicious Civil War revisionism poisoning American history students

<b>(AP/David Goldman)</b><p>“Reconstruction” author Eric Foner talks Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and what’s become of the GOP<p>Eric Foner<p>August 20, 2015 9:48pm (UTC)<p>The new issue of <i>Jacobin</i>, commemorating the 150th anniversary of Union victory and emancipation, is out now. Subscribe today to get a copy …

Political Science

“The Confederate flag still flies overseas”: Endless war, domestic racism and the forgotten history of the stars and bars

Before it became a pennant for right-wing backlash, the Confederate flag was a symbol of American imperialism<p>The Pentagon just can’t let go. In the wake of the Charleston Massacre, Amazon and Walmart have announced that they will no longer sell Confederate flag merchandise. Ebay says it will stop …

Putin, once critical of Stalin, now embraces Soviet dictator's tactics

Only six years ago, President<p>Vladimir Putinvisited the Polish port of Gdansk, birthplace of the Solidarity movement that threw off Soviet domination, and reassured his Eastern European neighbors that Russia had only friendly intentions.<p>Putin spoke harshly that day of the notorious<p>World War II-era …

An Introduction to Ancient History

End of the car age: how cities are outgrowing the automobile

Photograph: Alamy<p>Pedestrian-friendly central Lyon, on the banks of the River Rhône.<p>276<p>http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/4/27/1430129976057/28363585-19a0-4f66-a0e6-0f6b72edb47a-460x276.jpeg<p>460<p>Photograph: Alamy<p>Pedestrian-friendly central Lyon, on the banks of the River …

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Gallipoli: WWI's Most Disastrous Battle

It nearly ruined Winston Churchill’s career and launched Ataturk’s. On this day 100 years ago, tens of thousands died in one the most global battles …

Off The Grid Rentals

Who doesn’t want to hit the backcountry in a teardrop trailer? Problem is, most of us don’t have an extra $20,000 laying around to scoop one up. The …

The invisible network that keeps the world running

One of the world’s most dazzling engineering feats is largely hidden from view. Travelling with a group called Unknown Fields, Tim Maughan stepped on board a container ship to investigate the humungous, algorithmically-controlled network that supplies most of what you own.<p>It’s been just over 45 …

REPLAY! Round 13 - TORC: The Off Road Championship from Crandon, WI