Sramana Majumdar

"Violence, Identity and Self-determination: Narratives of conflict from the Kashmir Valley" 4:15 PM, Monday 18 Nov Room 239, BYC Bryn Mawr College

Exposure Index

Tired of paper and pencil questionnaires about integration and intergroup contact? Try the new and improved EXPOSURE INDEX (click tab above on this page).

Air Guard unit OK’d to fly drones in Syracuse area

According to this press release, a New York wing of the Air National Guard has been General Atomics MQ-9 Reapers instead of manned aircraft for three years.  Following the trend of increased domestic drone use, their operational area has recently been expanded.

New York Times Crossword Clue

In today’s puzzle, 45 Across: “Spying Aircraft”, for which the solution is “drone”.

Israeli drone strike kills suspected Islamic militants in Egypt

Egypt denied any cooperation with Israel on the strike, and even denied that a strike had taken place.  This conflict between a government desiring drone strikes and a populace that sees them as signs of western imperialism and civilian casualties is familiar from Pakistan.

Mars Curiosity Milestone: Top 5 First-Year Discoveries

Earth’s most famous and popular unmanned vehicle – the Mars rover Curiosity – has completed one full year of geological and atmospheric surveying.  The article summarizes the major headlines of the last year and what the rover will be looking at next.

ROV Finishes First Leg of Expedition Off East Coast

The North-West Atlantic may not be the deepest or most exotic location, but the region’s fisheries depend on a sound underlying ecology and good management of it.

3 US drone strikes kill 12 militants in Yemen, officials say

As the debate over the limits and uses of domestic unmanned vehicles heats up, the drone strikes abroad continue.  Variations of this article (originally by AP) also appeared in the New York Times and The Guardian.

Elysium (2013)

In Blomkamp’s Science Fiction parable of economic inequality, unmanned vehicles of all kinds are used to control, police, and oppress the protagonist and others.  The most common use of unmanned vehicles in fiction has been – like this film – as tools of the antagonists and obstacles.

2013 International Aerial Robotics Competition tests student-built espionage robots

As the article says, “Some of the most advanced work in autonomous aerial robotics is not done by DARPA, or by massive corporations.”  The growing collection of intercollegiate competitions produce ideas, future unmanned systems engineers, and good publicity for the industry.

Pterodactyl-like bot “Daler” uses its wings for walking

A sign of greater flexibility to come, this design can both fly and walk.  The proposed application is search and rescue – getting to a disaster zone and then being able to go into the rubble to look for survivors.  Note, though, that the article’s example for UAVs is military drones “raining death from above”.

U.S. may end drone strikes in Pakistan

After years of Pakistani anger over U.S. drone strikes, Secretary of State Kerry’s statement is probably viewed as a good sign there.