Once upon a time: the HSV Non-Lethal Tetanizing Beam Weapon

General Questions:

  • What is the device called?
    • We have referred to it as either the “Non-Lethal Tetanizing Beam Weapon” or the “Anti-Personnel Beam Weapon,” The manufacturers are expected to assign their own brand names.

  • How does it work?
    • It immobilizes people and animals at a distance by tetanizing their skeletal muscles with a weak electrical current.

  • What is tetanization?
    • Tetanization is the stimulation of muscles at a rate high enough to keep them contracted. (Muscles normally relax between the neural or electrical pulses that cause them to contract.)

  • How long does it take to immobilize someone?
    • The effect occurs within a few milliseconds.

  • Is the size and strength of the affected person or animal important?
    • Physical size and strength are not factors except that a very large animal would probably have to be targeted with more than one beam. Being strong does not prevent or reduce the tetanizing effect.

  • Can a tetanized person give that effect to someone else?
    • Tetanization itself cannot be transmitted to other people. However, if each of the beams were touching different people who were in contact with each other, the electrical current could be conducted between them.

  • Wouldn’t it be difficult to move a tetanized person?
    • The effect lasts only a few seconds after the current stops, so the problem of moving an immobile person isn’t likely to occur.

  • Can this weapon work under water?
    • No. The electrical current would be dissipated by the water.

  • Would a person fall when he is tetanized?
    • He would fall only if he were out of balance, because he would have no control over his leg muscles. He would very probably not fall if he were in balance because his leg muscles would be rigid rather than limp.

  • Have you built a prototype?
    • The prototype is being developed for us by a laser manufacturer.

  • How big is it?
    • The prototype is about the size of a carry-on suitcase. In a few years the commercial units should be no larger than a flashlight.

  • Why can’t you make these things as small as a laser pointer?
    • We would if there were any commercially available lasers that emitted at least 50 watts of continuous far-ultraviolet radiation. Such a laser would be small enough, but none have been manufactured.

  • I collect rare weapons. May I buy one of yours?
    • There are no finished units available now and will not be for about two years. Then you should ask one of our licensed manufacturers rather than us, as we are exclusively a research corporation. Even then you could not purchase a functional weapon because they will be sold only to law enforcement and military organizations. However, in a few years you should be able to buy a design model.

  • Why just “immobilize” criminals and terrorists when bullets are cheap?
    • We want law enforcement officers and soldiers to have more options. Not all suspects are dangerous criminals or terrorists.

  • Will these weapons, however non-lethal, affect cardiac pacemakers?
    • We don’t think so, because cardiac pacemakers are well insulated. In addition, the manufacturers are required to perform extensive testing in this regard.

  • What if I wrapped myself in aluminum foil or something like that, would I be immune to being tetanized?
    • First, you would have to be very sure that you didn’t leave any skin uncovered, because the human body is as electrically conductive as a sack of salty water. The current would spread from an uncovered wrist, ankle, or neck to a very wide area. Second, you wouldn’t be protected from the bullets that would likely follow a police officer’s failure to stop you by a more harmless means.

  • Is tetanizing painful?
    • There is no pain whatsoever. In fact, when the rate of electrical pulses is properly adjusted, it is impossible to feel the tetanizing effect.

  • Can you make it painful?
    • Although it is not our intent to inflict pain, if the current were increased and the optimal pulse repetition rate were lowered to 2 or 3 pulses per second, the affected person would feel painful shocks.

  • Suppose a police officer held the beams on someone’s eyes for a long time. Would it hurt?
    • Aside from the fact that conducting the current through a person’s face would not immobilize him, prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet beams would be irritating. For more details please click on the paper “Ocular Safety“.

  • Could you make these weapons lethal?
    • We have no intention of doing so. They were created to save lives, not to take them. Perhaps one of the end-users would do this, but it would be without our knowledge or approval.

  • Would it be dangerous to point it at a storm cloud?
    • As would be true with any good conductor, it would be extremely dangerous to point this device toward a storm cloud.

  • Can I get a job making this ray gun?
    • If you apply to one of the manufacturing companies and are accepted by it.

  • May I participate in this project?
    • That depends upon what you mean by “participate.” If you mean to participate as a target subject, we will not be performing such experiments. If you mean to participate by investing, as a “C” corporation under California law we may not solicit investors. If you mean something else and would like further clarification, you may contact us at

  • From what I read in your patent, the current is not much different from what I get by combing my hair. So why does it “tetanize” anyone?
    • The very weak current we use is able to hold the major skeletal muscles contracted because it closely replicates the nerve impulses that control those muscles. That is, the combination of the pulse wave form, the pulse repetition rate, and the amperage is exactly designed to mimic the neural pulses nature uses to activate those muscles. Only the voltage is greater so that the current will penetrate clothing and skin.

  • Do the beams have to touch bare skin?
    • It isn’t necessary for the beams to touch the subject’s skin. Because of its high potential the current easily penetrates clothing.

  • Do the beams have to contact particular areas of the body?
    • No, because the current spreads throughout a very large area.

  • Is your stock sold OTC (Over The Counter)?
    • HSV Technologies is incorporated under the laws of the State of California as a “C” corporation. As such, we may accept unsolicited investments, but not solicit them. If you wish further information please send an e-mail inquiry to:

  • Could these weapons be used by criminals and terrorists?
    • These weapons could be used unlawfully, but there are several reasons why such use would be limited. First, the manufacturers will sell them only to law enforcement and military agencies. Second, they would have to be greatly modified to make them lethal. Third, the beams cannot penetrate metal like bullets. Fourth, they are considerably more expensive than firearms. Fifth, almost any lethal purpose for which they might be used could be accomplished as well by rifles or pistols. Sixth, their unlawful use would doubtless be severely prosecuted.

  • Could the beams of the Vehicle Disabling Weapon harm the passengers?
    • Not at all. Less than one percent of the ultraviolet radiation and none of the electrical current can penetrate window glass. Moreover, the beams are emitted for less than a millisecond, which is too brief to injure anyone they contact.


Technical Questions:



  • How far can you project the tetanizing effect?
    • With an ultraviolet wavelength of 193 nanometers, the maximum effective range is about 100 meters. The effective range increases to two kilometers when a wavelength of 248 nanometers and a more intense beam are used.

  • Why are only the skeletal muscles tetanized?
    • The skeletal muscles are held immobile because they are composed of striated or “stringy” muscle tissue. Striated muscle tissue is easily stimulated by electrical currents. On the other hand, heart muscle is affected only by significantly more powerful currents. Thus, this difference in sensitivity is a natural safety factor.

  • How do you get the electrical current to the target?
    • The electrical current is conducted through two channels of ionized air between the device and the target. The channels are created by two laser beams having a wavelength in the far-ultraviolet region, such as of 193 or 248 nanometers.

  • Why use two beams?
    • We use two beams because there would otherwise be no return path for the electrical current. One beam creates a conductive channel of ionized air to the target and the second beam ionizes another channel through which the current returns. In this way, the target becomes a part of the electrical circuit.

  • Are the beams visible?
    • Although the ultraviolet radiation itself cannot be seen, the beams are obvious. This is because oxygen molecules fluoresce green when they de-ionize. Moreover, an even brighter coaxial beam of visible light commonly will be used to designate the target.

  • Why doesn’t the current in the ionized channels jump to ground before it reaches the target?
    • The current cannot flow to ground because it is surrounded by a strong insulating material, air. Un-ionized air is an excellent electrical insulator (dielectric), as its breakdown potential is about 38,000 volts per centimeter. Also, the recombination time between the liberated electrons and their parent oxygen ions is measured in microseconds. Therefore, the electrons are able to travel only a few nanometers outside the ultraviolet beam before being absorbed, thus preventing the formation of any conductive paths to ground.

  • Your patent says that the current is only a few milliamps, so why does the voltage have to be so high?
    • There are two reasons for the very high potential (voltage). The first is to help ionize the air channels, and the second is to insure that the current penetrates the clothing of the target person.

  • How does photoionization make air electrically conductive?
    • Photoionization is the process by which particles or wave-packets of electromagnetic energy called photons, in this case ultraviolet photons, bombard and dislodge electrons from the molecules of oxygen they strike. The electrons are then free to move as a current whenever they are subjected to an electrical potential. (A flow of electrons is an electrical current.)

  • Why do you ionize the oxygen in air instead of the more common nitrogen?
    • Nitrogen is four times more common in air than oxygen, but is difficult to photoionize. Oxygen is easily ionized by photon bombardment, especially by far-ultraviolet radiation. For example, at a wavelength of 193 nanometers (nm) only two simultaneous photons are needed to dislodge an electron from a molecule of molecular oxygen (O2). By using 193 nm ultraviolet radiation we are able to create a channel of ionized, and therefore electrically conductive, air up to 100 meters (yards) long. For more details, please click on
      US Patent #5,675,103

  • Infrared lasers have been available for more than thirty years, so why not use them?
    • We would never use infrared lasers. It would be extremely dangerous to create the ionized air channels with them. This is because at least six simultaneous infrared photons are required to dislodge a single electron from an oxygen molecule. Infrared beams of such intensity would easily burn the skin and destroy the sight of any person or animal they struck.

  • How is the anti-vehicle weapon different from the tetanizing weapon?
    • The vehicle disabling weapon (VDW) differs from the tetanizing weapon in several ways. First, it uses only a single 500 microsecond pulse of high-frequency current to destroy the electronic controls of the target vehicle. It is able to do this because the integrated circuits in the controls are easily damaged by such currents. Second, the wavelength of the laser radiation emitted by the VDW is 248 rather than 193 nanometers (nm). Third, the range is approximately two kilometers. This range is achieved because the longer wavelength radiation is less rapidly absorbed. (At 248 nm, three simultaneous photons are needed to dislodge one electron from molecular oxygen. Therefore, a higher intensity must be emitted to create the same ionization density over the two-kilometer distance.) Fourth, it is larger and heavier because it may be carried in a vehicle rather than by hand. For more details, please click on Vehicle Disabling Weapon by HSV Technologies, Inc. (Adobe Acrobat required)

  • Does altitude affect the ionized channels?
    • The lower air density at higher altitudes increases the efficiency of the ionization process. To the point where the oxygen is too tenuous to be an adequate source of electrons, the liberated electrons have a longer mean free path in less dense air.

  • Could this technique be used to make a laser lightning rod?
    • Several types of laser lightning rods have already been designed. For further information, you may read on the internet the papers of Jean-Claude Diels and Bruno La Fontaine, among others.

  • Are the beams affected by atmospheric conditions?
    • Even the strongest wind is not a problem because the recombination time between the liberated electrons and their parent O2 ions is extremely rapid, on the order of microseconds (depending on the energy imparted to them). Therefore, the electrons are able to travel only a few nanometers outside the ultraviolet beam before being absorbed. The ionized channels thus remain straight and steady no matter how powerful the wind. On the other hand, heavy rain and fog are a major problem because the electron attachment rate to water vapor is quite high. However, it may be possible to overcome that difficulty by using a coaxial beam of infrared radiation to heat the supersaturated air.

Lampreys suck!

Nature – Screw people who religiously like ‘natural’ things. Most of them wouldn’t know nature if it bit their faces off. Nature is always at war and it never signed the Geneva Convention. A good example are lampreys, who makes the average Lovecraftian Mythos creature look well adjusted.

Officially, lampreys are fish, but in fact, they’re just tubes with teeth, like autonomous tentacles with a Dracula complex. The name comes from admixture of Latin and Greek and means “stone lickers” (lambere: to lick, and petra: stone.) Now if they’d stick to bother stones there wouldn’t be much of a problem, but once you’re in the water, you too are food.

During the Middle Ages, they were widely eaten by the upper classes throughout Europe, especially during fasting periods, since their taste is much meatier than that of most true fish. King Henry I of England is said to have died from eating “a surfeit of lampreys.” Still, it’s probably the creepiest food you’ll ever eat.

If you want to swim safely, now the Michigan State University is trying to develop a lamprey repellant. It seems to be working. By using a “semiochemical mixture produced by the putrefying carcasses of sea lampreys” they can add the smell of dead lampreys to water, which freaks the horrors out, big time.

This is how panicing Sea Vampires look:

Continue Reading »

Scientists say: We’re fucked if ET comes knocking

The Solar System – Even while the Fermi paradox states the universe is teeming with life (but somehow we can’t find any, paradoxally) the chances of anything coming from Mars is estimated a million to one. Which is a good thing. Because science says we’re fucked if it happens.

A bout of theorycrafting has resulted in a paper that says we’re likely screwed when extra-terrestrial entities come to earth.

We see two types of scenarios in which ETI might intentionally harm us.  The first scenario involves hostile, selfish ETI that attack us so as to maximize their own success.  This scenario suggests a standard fight-to-win conflict: a war of the worlds.  The second scenario involves ETI that are in no way selfish but instead follow some sort of universalist ethical framework.  ETI might attack us not out of selfishness but instead out of a universalist desire to make the galaxy a better place.

Surely humanity doesn’t suck that much to warrent extermination for the betterment and greater glory of the universe? Well, yes, we do. The universal definition of ‘intelligent life’ is ‘nuking humanity from orbit for the good of all.’ And can we blame them? We don’t have that good a trackrecord with other peoples and species, so when we extrapolate such behavour to ET’s:

The astronomers and others hope that the extraterrestrials, delighted to discover fellow intelligent beings, will sit down for a friendly chat. Perhaps the astronomers are right; that’s the best-case scenario. A less pleasant prospect is that the extraterrestrials might behave the way we intelligent beings have behaved whenever we have discovered other previously unknown intelligent beings on earth, like unfamiliar humans or chimpanzees and gorillas.

Just as we did to those beings, the extraterrestrials might proceed to kill, infect, dissect, conquer, displace or enslave us, stuff us as specimens for their museums or pickle our skulls and use us for medical research.

So, it’s a good thing space is really big and empty. Even when, say, 1% of all planets has inteligent life, the nearest planet would be hundreds of lightyears away. Also, there isn’t really a reason to go here, except for tracing back those signals we are sending into space. Hellooooo! We’re here! Please come wipe us out!

IBM one step closer the “The Technological Singularity”

Armonk, N.Y. – IBM announced a new step in processing technology, as they revealed their Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) project which is about experimental computer chips designed to emulate the brain’s abilities for perception, action and cognition.

In a sharp departure from traditional concepts in designing and building computers, IBM’s first neurosynaptic computing chips recreate the phenomena between spiking neurons and synapses in biological systems, such as the brain, through advanced algorithms and silicon circuitry. Its first two prototype chips have already been fabricated and are currently undergoing testing.

The goal of SyNAPSE  is to create a system that not only analyzes complex information from multiple sensory modalities at once, but also dynamically rewires itself as it interacts with its environment – all while rivaling the brain’s compact size and low power usage. The IBM team has already successfully completed Phases 0 and 1

They also announced that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is investing $21 million in phase 2 of this project. For science, ofcourse, not to build some ultra-smart weapon out of it, because that would be stupid.


IBM’s SyNAPSE project leader Dharmendra Modha  states: “This is a major initiative to move beyond the von Neumann paradigm that has been ruling computer architecture for more than half a century. Future applications of computing will increasingly demand functionality that is not efficiently delivered by the traditional architecture. These chips are another significant step in the evolution of computers from calculators to learning systems, signaling the beginning of a new generation of computers and their applications in business, science and government.”

Unlike OCP’s RoboCop project, these chips contain no biological elements. While this bodes well for using these chips in elevators, without making them too murderous, the technology does borrow a lot from the structure of organic brains and use digital silicon circuits inspired by neurobiology to make up what is referred to as a “neurosynaptic core” with integrated memory (replicated synapses), computation (replicated neurons) and communication (replicated axons.)

RoboCop is just so 1987…

The two prototypes where fabricated in 45 nm SOI-CMOS and contain 256 neurons. One core contains 262,144 programmable synapses and the other contains 65,536 learning synapses. The IBM team has successfully demonstrated simple applications like navigation, machine vision, pattern recognition, associative memory and classification.

For Phase 2 of SyNAPSE, IBM has assembled a world-class multi-dimensional team of researchers and collaborators to achieve these ambitious goals. The team includes Columbia University; Cornell University; University of California, Merced; and University of Wisconsin, Madison. While this is a large team, none of it’s members seem to have seen any movie about artificial intelligences destroying humanity, even while the list of these movies is nearly endless. Also, one of the more prominent killer AIs, HAL9000 got it’s name by taking each letter from IBM and replacing it with the one before it in the alphabet.

Read more about the project here.

Read about the Technological Signularity here.

Feeling poor? there’s a fix for that

kootbie-tegenpartij1As early as 2004, yes, over seven years ago, two scientists using the magic of emprical evidence figured out how anyone can get rich, or at least feel rich. Want to know how you can add the experience of earning tens of thousands of dollars/euros extra per year to your life? The answer is simple:

Have more sex

Professors David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald found that increasing sex from once a month to once a week is equivalent to the amount of happiness that $50.000 extra above the average salary adds to your life. Go from single to married, and you can add an extra $100,000 to your income.

That should make one wonder: why do most countries provide a minimum income and not a minimum amount of sex to its citizens?

Source: WebMD, read the full article here.

And They Call Me Bulletproof

The Netherlands – Move along, spiderman! Having spider-based superpowers may be closer than you might think. You might not get spidersense, or the ability to climb on any surface – yet. Still, the Forensic Genomics Consortium Netherlands might give you the power to shrug off bullets using a spider-based transgenic human skin.

“2.6g 329m/s” is the name of this project, the performance standard for bulletproof vests. The Forensic Genomics Consortium Netherlands is working on a way to implant transgenic human skin with cast-iron spiders’ web. The project expressly asks the question if this technological innovation is socially desirable.

Spidersilk thread is relatively much stronger than steel and can even be made by a living being. Woven it would be capable to resist the impact of a bullet, much like a bee on the spider’s web. If human skin would be able to produce this thread, would we be protected from bullets?

Art meets science in this transhuman experiment. Is this a desirable step in the development of the human race or will it just encourage people to get better guns and up the ante in the arms race humanity has been involved in since the dawn of time? Will we see a future of unstoppable super soldiers? With this project Jalila Essaïdi wants to show that safety in its broadest sense is a relative concept. How far are people willing to go?

Read more about this project here and here. I didn’t find a form to sign up for virtual invulnerability, but now the cat is out of the bag, it’s only a matter of time.

The Last Astronaut?

The Solar System – With the end of the Space Shuttle program, things looked rather grimm for space exploration. With the cold war far behind us, the urge to fake do moonlandings has greatly diminished. The optimism of the 60′s and 70′s seem to have been replaced by complacency,while investments in manned space flight seemed to have dried up allmost completely.

The new of the death of the space age seems to have been greatly exaggerated, however. Last friday NASA revealed they still intend to sail the Final Frontier and seek out new life and new civilisations and hopefully court some green-skinned women that live beyond low-earth orbit, and generally promote imperial peace and order in the Great Beyond. There will be flag-planting involved, most likely.

“America is opening a bold new chapter in human space exploration,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “By combining the resources of Space Operations and Exploration Systems, and creating the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, we are recommitting ourselves to American leadership in space for years to come.”

The Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate, which combines the Space Operations and Exploration Systems mission directorates, will focus on International Space Station operations and human exploration beyond low Earth orbit.

Plans involve the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle as well as the development of a new rocket: the Space Launch System among other things. While these plans seem ambitious, NASA didn’t divulge any plans to probe Uranus and mine gasses from it in the immediate future.

Read the NASA HEO announcement here.

A Planet, Darkly

Outer Space – Science does it again as it finds the most stygian, dark planet since Yuggoth became a plutoid. The pleasantly named TrES-2b is blacker than coal, making it the most goth planet in the known universe.

Measurements show that TrES-2b reflects less than one percent of the sunlight falling on it, making it blacker than coal or any planet or moon in our solar system. “TrES-2b is considerably less reflective than black acrylic paint, so it’s truly an alien world,” said astronomer David Kipping of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), lead author on the paper reporting the research. TrES-2b orbits its star at a distance of only five million Km. Heck, Earth orbits the sun at about 150 million Km which is a lot more.

“It’s not clear what is responsible for making this planet so extraordinarily dark,” stated co-author David Spiegel of Princeton University. “However, it’s not completely pitch black. It’s so hot that it emits a faint red glow, much like a burning ember or the coils on an electric stove.” The planet must be the physical location of Hell, then.

“But remember – that dark world of fungoid gardens and windowless cities isn’t really terrible. It is only to us that it would seem so. Probably this world seemed just as terrible to the beings when they first explored it in the primal age. You know they were here long before the fabulous epoch of Cthulhu was over, and remember all about sunken R’lyeh when it was above the waters.”
- H.P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness

TrES-2b orbits the star GSC 03549-02811, which is located about 750 light-years away in the direction of the constellation Draco, somewhere beyond the final frontier.

Read more about this find here and here.

Compare Nineteen Eighty-Four to Brave New World

Police robot…

If only the police in the UK possessed these machines…