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British

  1. Tech

    British Armed Forces Use Smallest, Most Adorable Drones of All

    Something that's called The Black Hornet Nano Unmanned Air Vehicle sounds like it would be terrifying, but measuring in at about four inches long and weighing a scant 16 grams, it borders on being downright cute. The Black Hornet's diminutive scale doesn't stop it from aiding British troops in Afghanistan in seeking out enemy targets and checking if an area is safe before entering. This once again proves that it's not the size of your drone that matters -- it's how you use it.

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  2. Weird

    Lone Gurkha Holds Swarm of Taliban Attackers, is Total Badass

    While on sentry duty in Helmand province this past September, Acting Sergeant Dipprasad Pun, a member of the British Gurkha fighting unit in Afghanistan, spotted a group of Taliban fighters heading toward the checkpoint. Without missing a beat, he climbed to the checkpoint's roof and engaged the enemy alone for at least fifteen minutes. That may not seem like a long time, but he certainly accomplished a great deal. Sergeant Pun singlehandidly held off 30 attackers (though the figure was revised to about 15 from local observers), firing over 400 rounds of ammunition and using 17 grenades in the process. When his gun failed, he used the tripod to beat off the attackers. When he ran out of ammunition, he used a landmine to thwart the last two attackers. When describing the assault, Sergeant Pun maintained a sense of humor about his experience. From the Mirror:

    His company commander, Major Shaun Chandler, arrived shortly after and slapped the Gurkha on the back – which made him think he may have been under attack again. Asked if he might have accidentally fired on his commander, he smiled and said: “I had no ammunition left.”
    Born in Bima, Nepal, Sergeant Pun earned Britain's second highest military honor for his acts of bravery and utter badassery. (Image via Mirror, BBC)

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  3. Science

    Ice Age Brits Used Skulls for Cups

    Though it sounds like something out of Conan The Barbarian, researchers have announced that ice age bones in Gough's Cave seem to indicate ancient Britons used skulls as cups. Other bones in the site were also apparently cleaned of flesh and marrow, raising the grim possibility that a cannibalistic meal accompanied whatever was in the skull cups. The report concludes that the skull cups were some 14,700 years old, making them the oldest found and the only skull cups in the British Isles. But the use and purpose of the skulls is a matter of pure speculation, as is the fate of the cleaned bones' previous owners. From Reuters:
    They may have been killed, butchered and eaten -- with the skull-cups just the end of this event -- or may have been part of the group who died and were eaten in a crisis situation, with the skull-cups created as a tribute to the dead. "We simply do not know," [the researchers] said in a joint emailed response to questions.
    Perhaps some might see this as embarrassing, with their ancestors displaying rather distasteful behavior. However, I find it best to take history in stride, and congratulate the British as confirming, archeologically, that their ancestors were totally badass. (via Reuters, image via Wired)

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  4. Weird

    Wanna Hear the Most Annoying Sound in the World? Meet the Vuvuzela House Alarm

    Don't just scare the people trying to rob your house - annoy them away. Thank you, Alarm Monitoring Company. Thank you, so very much. What happens when you attach five vuvuzelas to an alarm system? The answer has arrived in the VuVutech 5000! UK security experts developed the system which unleashes "135 decibels of vuvzela fury" on intruders. It's like taking the "most annoying sound in the world" from "Dumb and Dumber" and amplifying it with plastic and machinery. Great. (via Engadget.)

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