Hey everyone, welcome back to Bionic Bug podcast! You’re listening to episode 12. This is your host Natasha Bajema, fiction author, futurist, and national security expert. I’m recording this episode on July 8, 2018.
First off, I have a personal update. Next week, I’m headed to New York City for ThrillerFest, which is the premiere conference for thriller enthusiasts, bringing together famous authors and new ones along with industry professionals, agents, and fans. This year, George R.R. Martin, author of Song of Ice and Fire, more popularly known as the HBO drama Game of Thrones will serve as the ThrillerMaster. I’m a huge fan of the books and the series and look forward to meeting him. I’ll also be meeting with agents to pitch the Lara Kingsley series in the hopes that I’m offered a publishing deal. More likely, my soul will be crushed and I’ll have to drink away my sorrows. Stay tuned for more information.
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Let’s talk tech. This week, I have two headlines for you, both are more funny than serious.
- “German Police Raid Augsburg Fablab, Confiscate 3D Printed “Atom Bomb”
- July 5 on all3DP.com
- On June 20, German Police raided a Fablab in Augsburg, Germany, where they confiscated a 3-inch tall 3D printed “Atom Bomb”. Let me be clear this is a plastic model of the Fat Man implosion bomb from 1945. It is made of thermoplastic. It is the equivalent of a plastic toy.
- FabLabs are DIY lab spaces open to the local community. Anyone can join in and learn how to use 3D printers. FabLabs have sprung up around the world to encourage people to experiment with this new technology. This particular lab is located in Augsburg, Germany.
- The founder of the open lab and all individuals present during the raid were arrested for setting off explosive materials. They were later released.
- In a YouTube video, you can see some dudes launching the plastic model from a spring launcher, somewhat like a nerf launcher. They’re trying to launch it into an open vent.
- This incident demonstrates the difficulty of mitigating the risks of technology with broad accessibility. 3D printers can be used to make harmless, plastic toys, but they can also be used to make nefarious items such as guns, IEDs and more.
- Governments will face enormous challenges trying to police what individuals are now capable of doing within the privacy of their own homes.
- This story resonates with me because I bought a 3D printer about a year ago. And one of my first projects was an attempt to design a 3D model of the Fat Man bomb as a gimmick to promote a series of fiction books I was working on. I gave up trying to design a model myself because the available 3D modeling software was too difficult to use in just a few hours. Perhaps, I can just download their model and customize it.
- “Gene Editing: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)”
- John Oliver did a stint about gene editing on July 1, which is hilarious and offers some good info about CRISPR and gene drives. It also features (makes fun of) my recent podcast guest, Dr. Josiah Zayner, who has expressed his amusement at making it onto John Oliver’s show. My favorite part is when Dr. George Church, a famous geneticist, is asked if it would be possible to create a unicorn. I think I nearly fell of my chair, laughing at the look on his face and his answer. It’s definitely worth a watch.
Let’s turn to Bionic Bug. Last week, Lara visited the National Cryptologic Museum to meet with her mysterious stalker. Unfortunately, he was a no-show, but left a note and cut the fuel line on Lara’s motorcycle. In Chapter 12, Lara is with Detective Sanchez at the police station to meet with the medical examiner. Let’s find out what happens next.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.