Alzheimer’s and the link to applying deodorant.

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Most men put little to no effort into finding the best deodorants for their body, Smelling good certainly plays a vital role in our everyday affairs so does killing bacteria and reducing odor and sweat. But their is a myth that the aluminum from cans, can cause cancer.

The ability of metals from food or cookware to cause Alzheimer’s disease is a regular concern in the news. Here’s the evidence behind the presence of metals such as copper, zinc, iron and aluminium.

Can certain metals increase my risk of developing dementia?

At present, there is no strong evidence to support the fears that coming in to contact with metals through using equipment or through food or water increases your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

However, there are many other metals that are present naturally in the brain.

What does the research say?

The current research shows that there is likely to be a relationship between naturally-occurring metals and the development or progression of Alzheimer’s disease. But the evidence doesn’t yet show whether this relationship actually causes Alzheimer’s disease.

It is also unclear whether reducing metals in the brain via drugs or reducing our exposure would have any effect. These metals are essential to the healthy function of our brain, so further research into changes before or during disease development is also necessary to understand if reducing the amount in the brain would actually be beneficial.

Origin of the myth

The myth that deodorant causes cancer has been circulated via emails, on websites, and even in newspapers.  The story varies from source to source, but contains some or all of the following elements:

  • Aluminium-containing antiperspirants prevent toxins from being expelled by the body.  These toxins clog up lymph nodes around the armpits and breasts and cause breast cancer.
  • The aluminium in deodorants is absorbed by the skin. It affects the blood brain barrier and has been linked with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The risk is higher for women who apply deodorant after shaving.  This is because nicks in the skin increase absorption of aluminium and other chemicals.

Metals and the body

Naturally-occurring metals and Alzheimer’s disease

Metals such as zinc, copper and iron are present naturally in our bodies. Small amounts of these metals are essential to keeping our brains and bodies working properly. They are involved in many different processes including energy production, the movement of oxygen and the creation and management of many important molecules in the body.

Metals within food

Along with these essential metals, there are other metals that we are exposed to through things such as food.

The body is able to tolerate these metals in small amounts by clearing through the kidneys. These include aluminium and lead, for example it has been shown that if they are not taken out by the kidneys through organ failure or by exposure to extremely high doses these metals are able to deposit in the brain.

These metals are known to cause negative effects in the brain and have been implicated in several neurological conditions.

Copper, zinc and iron

Copper has been the most extensively studied of the natural metals in the brain, but there have also been several studies on exposure to excess zinc and iron among others.

High levels of iron were first reported in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease in 1953. Since that time it has been shown that iron, as well as zinc and copper are associated with the hallmark Alzheimer’s proteins amyloid and tau in the brain.

These hallmark proteins appear as clumps called amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s and are thought to cause damage.

Laboratory experiments using cells in a dish or animal models have shown that copper, zinc and iron can cause the development of these plaques and tangles. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they cause disease.

Zinc has actually been shown to reduce the toxic effect of the amyloid plaques by changing the amyloid proteins into a shape that is less harmful to the brain.

Reactive oxygen species

Copper and iron, but not zinc, have also been implicated in the development of something called ‘reactive oxygen species’ (ROS) in the brain. These are oxygen molecules that have been altered by a chemical reaction. Increased levels are known to be damaging, contributing to cell ageing and death. This is why antioxidants, which can clear up these ROS, are thought to be beneficial to general health.

ROS are believed to be an early contributor to the mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease development. Increased levels have been seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s and toxic amyloid has been shown to increase ROS production.

Conversely, zinc has been shown to protect against ROS by binding to amyloid protein in the place of copper, which reduces the creation of these reactive oxygen species.

The management of the levels of these and other naturally occurring metals is very tightly controlled by the body. It includes many different molecules and disruption of these processes can occur for various reasons. It is not yet clear if the increase in metals seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s causes the disease. However, it does appear that there is a relationship between the naturally occurring metals and Alzheimer’s disease.

graphic1

Aluminium

In 1965, researchers found that rabbits injected with an extremely high dose of aluminium developed toxic tau tangles in their brains. This led to speculation that aluminium from cans, cookware, processed foods and even the water supply could be causing dementia. The ability of this high dose aluminium to induce tau tangles, increase amyloid levels and contribute to the development of plaques has been shown in laboratory experiments on animals.

Importantly, these results were only seen with extremely high exposures that far exceed the levels that can enter the body through food or potentially through contact with aluminium cookware.

Since this study was reported, much research has been done on the relationship of aluminium and Alzheimer’s disease. As yet no study or group of studies has been able to confirm that aluminium is involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Aluminium is seen in the normal, healthy brain. It is not clear how aluminium is getting into the brain from the blood. The levels currently seen in peoples brains hasn’t been shown to be toxic but an ageing brain may be less able to process the aluminium. Although aluminium has been seen in amyloid plaques there is no solid evidence that aluminium is increased in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. No convincing relationship between amount of exposure or aluminium in the body and the development of Alzheimer’s disease has been established.

Aluminium in food and drink is in a form that is not easily absorbed in to the body. Hence the amount taken up is less than 1% of the amount present in food and drink. Most of the aluminium taken into the body is cleaned out by the kidneys. Studies of people who were treated with contaminated dialysis have shown an increase in the amount of aluminium in the brain. This was believed to be as a result of inadequately monitored dialysis which then led to encephalopathy related dementia. Methods of dialysis have since been improved and doctors are better able to predict and prevent this form of dementia.

One large recent study did find a potential role for high dose aluminium in drinking water in progressing Alzheimer’s disease for people who already have the disease.

However, multiple other small and large scale studies have failed to find a convincing causal association between aluminium exposure in humans and Alzheimer’s disease.

CMSRI-Infographic-4-Risk-Factors-for-Alzheimers-061317-Update

Treatments

The idea that metals could be contributing to Alzheimer’s disease has led researchers to study the effects of drugs which remove or inactivate metals in the brain on disease progression. To date, several different drugs have been trialled to see if they can remove excess copper or zinc from the brain or the amyloid plaques.

Many of these drugs have shown positive results in human trials on either reducing plaques and/or cognitive decline. However, as yet, none of these drugs have been approved for use in people due to significant side effects such as severe headaches, renal failure, or life threatening low calcium, among others. Research in to this potential treatment is ongoing.

Current evidence

The Journal of The National Cancer Institute published a study in 2002 exploring the relationship between breast cancers and antiperspirants or deodorants in 1606 women.  The findings did not show an increased risk of cancer amongst deodorant or antiperspirant users, or amongst women who shaved before using deodorant or antiperspirant.

Another small case control study, in 2006 found that 82% of the controls (women without breast cancer) and 52% of cases (women with breast cancer) used antiperspirants, indicating that using the under arm product might protect against breast cancer. While the study is too small to make such a claim, it certainly does not support the ‘antiperspirants cause cancer’ story.

Furthermore, antiperspirants work by aluminium salts blocking sweat glands, not lymph nodes.  Although lymph nodes do remove toxins, they do not remove them by sweating.  Most carcinogens are removed through the liver or kidneys and excreted out.  It is also pertinent to note that breast cancer starts in the breast and spreads to the lymph nodes, not the other way around.

Studies show that there is no relationship between antiperspirant use and Alzheimer’s disease. Humans are exposed to aluminium from food, packaging, pans, water, air and medicines.  From the aluminium we are exposed to, only minute amounts are absorbed, and these are usually excreted or harmlessly stored in bone.  At any one time, the average human body contains much less aluminium than an antacid tablet.  The Alzheimer’s Society states that the link between environmental Aluminium and Alzheimer’s disease seems increasingly unlikely.

Reputable organisations like the American National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research UK, the American Cancer Society and most other major authorities suggest the link between deodorant or antiperspirant use and breast cancer is unconfirmed, or simply a myth.

It is impossible to ignore when researching this question that the large majority of the research articulating the possible link between underarm cosmetics and breast cancer comes from one research group.  And it seems despite the absence of evidence to support the link, their search to prove the theory persists.

Summary

There is insufficient evidence to support the myth that applying deodorant or antiperspirant after shaving will increase the risk of cancer, as demonstrated by the 2002 study mentioned above. The American Cancer Society (ACS) states that the main risk related to using theses products is that they can cause skin irritation if a razor nick or cut is infected.

Electric Vespa Reimagines Classic Italian With a Futuristic Twist

Vespa Industrial Design by Giulio IacchettiOver the years, the Vespa has become increasingly bulky, but Iacchetti’s proposed electric motor allows him to remove lateral side panels for a slimmed down version. This brings his concept back to the days when the Vespa graced the screen during the Golden Age of Italian Neorealist cinema. Yet, while cultivating this nostalgia, Iacchetti doesn’t lose sight of new technology.

A built-in smartphone holder recharges your phone while keeping it protected from the rain. And the speedometer, fuel gauge, and lights are accessed through a wireless app. At the same time, the designer maintains classic elements like the front circular headlight and cleverly integrates turn signals into the rear-view mirrors. Overall, Iacchetti has put an interesting twist on the Vespa, a classically Italian scooter born from the necessity for affordable transportation in post-World War II Italy.

Italian industrial designer Giulio Iacchetti has created a Vespa concept called Vespampère, which features an electric motor.

Electric Vespa Design by Giulio Iacchetti

Vespa Concept by Giulio IacchettiElectric Vespa Design by Giulio Iacchetti

The cantilevered seat is a nod back to early Vespa designs, while the model has integrated smartphone technology.

Vespa Concept by Giulio Iacchetti

Vespa Concept by Giulio IacchettiVespa Concept by Giulio Iacchetti

Vespa Concept by Giulio Iacchetti

The Vespa 98, which debuted in 1946, was a source of inspiration for Iacchetti’s revamped scooter.

Electric Vespa Design by Giulio IacchettiElectric Vespa Design by Giulio IacchettiIndustrial Design by Giulio Iacchetti

Engineering the Ford Cortina Mark I

The 1962-66 Cortina Mark I was a landmark product for Ford of Britain. Watch the engineers torture-test their new creation in this nifty factory film. Introduced to the public on October 20, 1962, the Cortina Mk I represented a major step forward at Ford of Britain—it was “a miracle of packaging, manufacturing efficiency, and price,” proclaimed Auto Express. Initially, a front-wheel-drive system as used by Ford of Germany’s Taunus was considered by the Dagenham engineers, but then rejected in favor of a conventional rear-drive platform. Handsomely styled by Roy Brown Jr., the American designer responsible for the vivacious Edsel, the Cortina was offered in an ambitious variety of body styles—-coupe, sedan, and estate wagon—and in a plethora of models and trim levels, including a GT and a potent Lotus model.

 

 

A popular car in its day, the Cortina (initially called the Consul Cortina, but the Consul label was soon dropped) was produced in more than one million copies in the Mk I version through 1966, and millions more in the successor Mk II through Mk V models through 1982. Take note of the performance statistics in the film. They may not seem terribly exciting today, but they were impressive indeed for an affordable British car of the early 1960s. A series of small but capable four-cylinder engines and a light, modern unit-construction chassis enabled the zippy performance numbers. Let’s tighten our belts and ride along with the Ford test drivers.

 

Porsche eBike X+: A bike that could change your way of life

Are you the competitive type? Are success, status and prestige important to you regardless of whether it’s work or play? And are you ready to fight for it? Then we’ve got some disappointing news for you: some fights can’t be won. But you don’t always have to always win anyway…

Porsche eBike X+ | € 9,911 | 140/140 mm (f/r) | 22 kg

Which Porsche do I buy if I’ve already bought over 200 of them? This is a question only a handful of people on this planet have the luxury of asking themselves. One of them is our good friend Erik Bötzle. Erik is the Managing Director of ESG EuropService, an international company specialising in the long-term rental of premium cars. Since Erik can remember he’s dreamt of Porsches – he calls himself “Porschista”.That quickly becomes apparent when you enter the premises of his company in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen – incidentally also the hometown of Porsche. Unobtrusive yet somehow ubiquitous: whether in the wardrobe, the picture frames on the wall, the display case, the magazine rack or in the fridge, everywhere you look, you will find Porsche memorabilia in the form of model cars, René Staud portraits, Christophorus magazines, t-shirts, baseball caps or jubilee champagne. But it doesn’t end there – you’ll find plenty of actual cars in the company’s various garages.

For Erik, Porsche is no longer just a car brand but a lifestyle. Intangible values such as the company’s history, service and countless experiences made driving previous Porsches are just as important as their raw performance, design and exclusivity.

 As this isn’t meant to be an advertisement for Porsche, let it be clear at this point: Erik isn’t always completely loyal. Occasionally he drives a Bentley or a Range Rover, and he’s also got a model BMW 3.0 CSL and Lamborghini sitting on his desk.

The answer to the question posed at the beginning, “Which Porsche do I buy when I’ve already bought 200 of them?” is a particularly tough one, because the singular original has been replaced by a much larger range. Of course, the purest of all Porsches, the 911, represents the core of the brand and is probably the car most people have dreamt of at one time or another. It’s a desire as unreasonable as it is emotional, but maybe one day it’ll simply be the reward for your success.* However, we have to warn you that there’s a new Porsche model to add to your wishlist.

In case you’re thinking Erik is a billionaire, that’s not the case (at least we don’t think it is). Most of the cars belong to the company for its high-end car rental business.

The new Porsche eBike X+ is an exclusive limited-edition eMTB with just 250 units available. It’s based on the Rotwild RX+, featuring a unique design and specced with only the best components that money can buy. It’s hard to believe, but it’s exactly this “Porsche” that fundamentally changed Erik’s life, as his wife Gabi tells us. Whether she sounds annoyed or happy is hard to tell. Both, perhaps. Since getting the eMTB, Erik has spent a lot of his evenings and lunch breaks in the saddle and it’s made him a more balanced and relaxed person. He has embraced this new world of ebikes full of enthusiasm and a childlike sense of wonder and curiosity, fiddling with the componentry and even buying himself a torque wrench for his workshop, his most proud acquisition. Yes, the stereotype that Porsche drivers are perfectionists, fascinated with mechanics and technology, is true. But Erik’s day to day life has changed in many more ways than that.

 His Porsche eBike X+ beats a GT2 RS in a drag race – at least from 0 to 2 km/h. After that the GT2 RS pulls away! But his grin is the same, whether he’s in the GT2 RS going from 0-100 in 2.8 seconds or on his ebike going from 0-15 km/h in 2 seconds.

The new ebike has also allowed him to explore completely new terrain and travel in a different way. Peak traffic? No problem. Finding a parking spot in the city centre? No problem. A little cardio during the lunch break? Go ahead. Need to get out of the office for a bit? With pleasure. A quick ride after a long day at work? Yes, please. Take in the sunset? Of course. Enjoy the feeling of freedom. Absolutely. Play in the woods like a child? Yes… A change in approach can help you solve a long list of problems, stress factors and obstacles when choosing the right tool for the job – and often an ebike is the best tool!

“There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living.” Seneca knew how easy it is to forget how beautiful the little things and experiences in life can be when you’re too busy being in search of recognition, status and success. Quality of life has very little to do with your bank account balance. The true value of something is not measured by its price tag but by how much you’re able to enjoy and appreciate it.

Full-on Porschista: Erik’s bike equipment is stowed away in a premium Weekender bag made by Porsche Design.

Of course, sometimes Erik loads his bike into the back of his Panamera E-Hybrid and drives off to the Alps for a weekend of biking, but you don’t always have to travel far for worthwhile experiences. A short after-work ride on his home trails, a cold beer at the Bärenschlössle, the chirping of birds and the sunset on the horizon – it’s the little things that make life worth living!

But there’s more to it than that. An eMTB makes for a perfect practical SUV for the concrete jungle – safe, fast and sexy, attracting attention wherever you go.

Seeing and being seen: anyone who rides into the pedestrian zone with the Porsche eBike X+ will get envious stares thanks to its sustainable, sporty and prestigious image. That’s not (yet) something you’ll see every day.

The Porsche eBike X+ in detail

Erik is increasingly enjoying the things money can’t buy and appreciating what he’s already got. Sure, prestige is still important, but status isn’t everything to him any more. Erik has realised that the things he does and experiences in the moment are much more important than owning things or impressing other people. On his ebike, Erik is invisible and inconspicuous, yet somehow he also stands out amongst the crowds. People regularly look on with fascination, approaching him with interested eyes: “Is that a real Porsche?” “What does an ebike like that cost?” “Where can I buy one?” Yes. € 9,911. At the Porsche dealership and in select bike shops. You can tell he gets these questions a lot. During the time we spent with him in the city around the exclusive Breuninger shopping mall in Stuttgart, he was approached three times. Maybe Erik should change jobs and get into the ebike business too? From insiders at Porsche, he knows that Porsche plans to grow their ebike segment in the future.

The Porsche eBike X+ features sophisticated DT Swiss suspension, a Shimano XTR drivetrain and brakes, as well as the powerful Brose Drive S motor and a 648 Wh, removable battery. The four support levels can be customised using a smartphone app.

Forks DT Swiss F535 ONE 140 mm
Shock DT Swiss R535 ONE 140 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR 12-speed
Brakes Shimano XTR 203/180 mm
Handlebar Crankbrothers Cobalt 2 760 mm
Stem Crankbrothers Iodine 65 mm
Seatpost Crankbrothers Highline 125 mm
Tires Continental Mountain King Protection 29×2.3”
Wheels DT Swiss 29 HX1501 SPLINE ONE
Motor Brose Drive S
Battery IPU.R.660 CARBON 648 Wh
Sizes S/M/L/XL
Weight 22 kg

Keep cool!
The Air-Cooler motor cover’s vents help manage the Brose Drive S motor’s temperature.
Battery to go!
To charge the battery, the IPU unit can be removed from the downtube by loosening just one screw. If the bike needs to stay in the basement or the garage (next to the other Porsche), this is a really helpful feature for charging the battery off the bike!4
Comfort and safety
The Porsche eBike X+ offers 140 mm travel on the front and rear
Smooth
The Shimano XTR 12-speed drivetrain offers a large gear range and super-precise shifting!

 I couldn’t have imagined that eMTBing could be so much fun and have such an impact on my quality of life. Ebiking is awesome – of course, driving a GT2 RS is too! said Erik, and quietly sped away…

The great thing is that ebikes are so accessible – you’re out in the open and fresh air, you’re more flexible, it’s a healthier way to travel and it’s much easier to get into conversations with people. And is that not what it’s all about anyway? It is an illusion to think that we must always have our guard up and project a certain image. True winners don’t need to prove themselves but find fulfilment in what they do. This is what projects authenticity and authority. If you understand that, you’ll always be a winner – no matter if you’re driving a Polo, a GT2 or riding your eMTB**.

** we have to admit: it’s particularly easy with an eMTB.

If you’re interested in purchasing a Porsche eBike X +, you will have to be quick as the limited run of 250 bikes is nearly sold out. You won’t find them at your regular bike shop, only through Porsche Centers in Germany as well as some exclusive bike shops. If you’re interested, you can send us an email at porsche@ebike-mtb.com, and we will forward you directly to Porsche.


This article is from E-MOUNTAINBIKE issue #018

 

10 Facts About the Spanish Armada

The Spanish Armada was a naval force sent by Philip II of Spain in May 1588 to join up with a Spanish army coming from the Netherlands and invade Protestant England – the end goal being to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and reinstate Catholicism.

The Armada failed to join up with the Spanish army, however – let alone successfully invade England – and the engagement has become a defining part of the mythology of Elizabeth and her reign. Here are 10 facts about the Armada.

1. It all started with Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

If Henry hadn’t wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn then it’s unlikely the Spanish Armada would ever have come about. The Tudor king’s desire for divorce was the spark for the Reformation, which saw the country move from Catholicism to Protestantism.

Spain’s Philip was the widower of Catherine’s daughter and Elizabeth’s half-sister and predecessor, Mary I of England. Philip, a Catholic, saw Elizabeth as an illegitimate ruler because Henry and Catherine had never officially divorced under Roman law. He is alleged to have plotted to overthrow Elizabeth and install her Catholic cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, in her place.

In our first-ever History Hit Live in association with the British Academy, Dan talks to Diarmaid MacCulloch about Thomas Cromwell, whether or not the Reformation was like Brexit, and what is wrong with Putney.LISTEN NOW

Whether this was true or not, Elizabeth retaliated by supporting a Dutch revolt against Spain and funding attacks on Spanish ships.

2. It was the largest engagement of the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War

Though neither country officially declared war, this intermittent conflict between England and Spain began in 1585 with the former’s expedition to the Netherlands to support the Dutch revolt and continued for nearly two decades.

3. It had taken Spain more than two years to plan

Spain was the global superpower of the day in 1586, the year that Spain began making preparations to invade England. But Philip knew an invasion would nonetheless be extremely difficult – not least because of the strength of the English naval fleet which he had helped to build up while his deceased wife, Mary, had been on the English throne. And he wasn’t nicknamed “Philip the Prudent” for nothing.

These factors, combined with an English raid that destroyed 30 Spanish ships at the port of Cadiz in April 1587, meant that it would be more than two years before the Armada would set sail for England.

4. Philip’s campaign was supported by the pope

Sixtus V saw the invasion of Protestant England as a crusade and allowed Philip to collect crusade taxes to fund the expedition.

5. England’s fleet was much bigger than Spain’s

Dan talks to Helen Castor about her book on Elizabeth I and the way she governed.LISTEN NOW

The Armada was made up of 130 ships, while England had 200 in its fleet.

6. But England was seriously outgunned

The real threat came from Spain’s firepower, which was 50 per cent more than England’s.

7. The Armada caught a group of English ships by surprise

In this first episode of our four-part audio drama an imprisoned Perkin Warbeck, played by Iain Glen, is interrogated in the Tower of London over his true identity, following the collapse of his rebellion.WATCH NOW

A fleet of 66 English ships were re-supplying in the port of Plymouth, on England’s southern coast, when the Armada appeared. But the Spanish decided not to attack it, instead sailing east towards the Isle of Wight.

The English gave chase to the Armada, up the English Channel, and a lot of ammunition was spent. Despite this, the Spanish fleet maintained its formation well.

8. Spain then made the fatal decision to anchor in open seas off Calais

This unexpected decision taken by the Spanish admiral, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, left the Armada open to an attack by English ships.

In the clash that ensued, known as the Battle of Gravelines, the Spanish fleet was dispersed. The Armada was able to regroup in the North Sea but strong south-westerly winds prevented it from returning to the Channel and English ships then chased it up the east coast of England.

This left the Spanish ships with no alternative but to journey home via the top of Scotland and down past the west coast of Ireland – a risky route.

9. The English fleet didn’t actually sink or capture many Spanish ships

The Armada returned home with only around two-thirds of its ships. Spain lost around five of its ships in the Battle of Gravelines, but a far greater number were wrecked on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland during severe storms.

There was some disappointment over this in England, but Elizabeth was ultimately able to work the victory in her favour. This was in large part due to her public appearance with troops in Tilbury, Essex, once the main danger was over. During this appearance, she made a speech in which she uttered the now famous lines:

“I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too.”

10. England responded with a “counter-Armada” the following year

This campaign, which was similar in scale to the Spanish Armada, is little talked about in Britain – no doubt because it proved a failure. England was forced to withdraw with heavy losses and the engagement marked a turning point in Philip’s fortunes as a naval power.

The military expedition is also known as the “English Armada” and the “Drake-Norris Expedition”, a nod to Francis Drake and John Norris who led the campaign as admiral and general respectively.

Classified: The New Boeing High-Tech Autonomous Fighter

Photo: Boeing
Photo: Boeing

The BATS plane is primarily intended, in its wingman role, to protect against electronic attacks

With every passing year, items of technology once confined to the realm of science fiction make their leaps from the pages of novels and comics and the silver screen of Hollywood into cold, hard reality.

The latest piece of futuristic technology to make the jump from the imaginary to the real is Boeing’s new unmanned fighter-like jet, developed in collaboration with the Royal Australian Air Force. The aircraft was revealed to the world in February 2019, and is called the Boeing Airpower Teaming System.

The BATS – also called the Loyal Wingman – was developed in Australia, making it that nation’s first domestically-developed military aircraft since the Second World War. Australia has been, though, a perfect place to develop the BATS plane, as this is Boeing’s largest base of operations outside of the US.

Boeing ATS. Photo: Boeing
Boeing ATS. Photo: Boeing

Australia also has a lot of empty airspace in which prototypes can be tested. The BATS project is thought to be Boeing’s largest investment in the development of a new aircraft outside the United States.

The concept of an unmanned plane is hardly a new one. Unmanned aerial vehicles, otherwise known as drones or UAVs, have been used in a military context since WWI, although the current crop of high-tech drones, based on technological advances made in the 1980s, differs radically from earlier UAVs.

What is significant about Boeing’s new autonomous fighter-like jet, though, is just how much more advanced it is than anything else in the drone field.

Boeing ATS with AEWC. Photo: Boeing
Boeing ATS with AEWC. Photo: Boeing

The BATS fighter-like jet is roughly the same size as a normal fighter jet – it is around 11 meters long (38 feet), with a body and wingspan roughly proportional in size to many current fighter jets used in the Royal Australian Air Force.

The reason it is referred to as a “fighter-like” jet is that the prototype has not been designed to be armed in the traditional manner of a standard fighter jet – although the possibility of arming a BATS plane with missiles and bombs in the future remains open.

Rather, the current focus of the BATS plane is to fly alongside manned fighter jets, hence the “Loyal Wingman” moniker. The designers envision, in one possible example, a squadron of four to six of their autonomous BATS planes flying alongside a P-8A Poseidon, E-7 Wedgetail or F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

Boeing ATS with SuperHornet. Photo: Boeing
Boeing ATS with SuperHornet. Photo: Boeing

The BATS plane is primarily intended, in its wingman role, to protect against electronic attacks as well as conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions in places deemed to dangerous to send manned aircraft, but could very easily be modified to take on a more aggressive role. While it is unlikely that this model could go as far as getting involved in dogfights with manned jets, the possibility of arming it for a number of offensive missions is there.

One reason a large amount of money has been poured into the BATS project (Boeing has declined to say just how much) is because of the potential such an aircraft offers in terms of overcoming human-piloted fighter jet limitations.

A model of the unmanned Boeing Airpower Teaming System was unveiled at the Australian International Airshow Feb. 27. The Boeing Airpower Teaming System will provide multi-mission support for air control missions. (Boeing photo)
A model of the unmanned Boeing Airpower Teaming System was unveiled at the Australian International Airshow Feb. 27. The Boeing Airpower Teaming System will provide multi-mission support for air control missions. (Boeing photo)Human pilots, even the most gifted and highly trained, can only take a certain number of G’s (gravitational forces), fly for a certain length of time without becoming tired, and can only process a certain amount of information at once. A plane piloted by AI (artificial intelligence), or even remotely, could overcome a number of these hampering factors.

Photo: Boeing
Photo: Boeing

The BATS plane currently has a range of 2,000 nautical miles, and is powered by a commercially-available jet engine. It uses standard runways for landing and take-off, and can quite easily be modified to operate from an aircraft carrier at sea. While Boeing has not confirmed that the BATS plane will be able to fly at supersonic speeds, this does seem like a likely possibility.

Another major advantage of the BATS plane is its price. While the exact price of one of them has yet to be announced, Boeing has described the BATS as having a “very disruptive price point” and has sung its praises for featuring “fighter-like capability at a fraction of the cost.” It could potentially serve as a force equalizer for nations that cannot currently afford to field a large number of fighter jets in their air forces.

Photo: Boeing
Photo: Boeing

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Also, Boeing emphasizes the BATS’ flexibility and its potential for customization, stressing that while it is currently intended for a “Loyal Wingman” role, the scope of its possible future uses extends far beyond this single function.

The first flight of a BATS plane is scheduled to take place in 2020, and commercial production is still an unspecified number of years away. Once Boeing does reach the commercial production phase, it is expected that they will sell the BATS plane globally.

WHAT DID THEY DRINK ON THE TITANIC?

More than a 100 years after the Titanic hit that fateful iceberg, we’re still fascinated with the legendary steamship—as much because of its glamour as its tragic ending. The pride of the White Star Line and the largest passenger ship in its day, it was modeled after the Ritz Hotel in London, with a gymnasium, Turkish baths, a squash court, four restaurants and 416 first-class staterooms.

titanicThe Titanic was 882.5 feet long, or about the length of four city blocks. At the time of its launch, it was the largest passenger ship in the world.GETTY

Now Titanic expert Veronica Hinke has gone back in time with The Last Night on the Titanic: Unsinkable Drinking, Dining and StylePart cookbook, part first-person narrative, part anthropolical study, it uses cuisine, cocktails, dress decor and other cultural threads to dive into our obsession with the ill-fated ship and the Edwardian era as a whole.

Bartenders in the dining car saloon would have been whipping up cocktails like the Rob Roy, the Robert Burns and the Bronx to tony travelers like John Jacob Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim. Some 850 bottles of spirits were brought onboard, and the ship’s wine cellar was stocked with 1,000 bottles—including a lot of Champagne and Bordeaux, apparently.

0831_Titanic_lunch_menu_03An original lunch menu saved by a passenger aboard the Titanic, just hours before it began to sink, will be up for auction on September 30, Lion Heart Autographs.LION HEART AUTOGRAPHS
Lavish 10-course meals were the norm for first-class passengers—chilled spring pea soup, chicken in cream sauce, Oysters à la Russe—and each dish was paired with a glass of wine.

“It’s absolutely incredible that we have menus that Titanic passengers and crew tucked away in their pockets and letters they wrote home describing their meals,” Hinke tells Newsweek. “These letters and menus provide rare and precious glimpses at life and food aboard the Titanic, and also throughout the world in the early 20th century.”

Her recipes, curated in narrative form, include dishes served on the ship as well as Hinke’s moden adaptations. She filled in the gaps by looking at menus from other steamships of the day, as well as from bars and restaurants that were au courant when the Titanic went down—like the Waldorf Astoria and Knickerbocker Hotels and Delmonico’s restaurant (where Hinke had her book launch this week).

“By seeing what someone like John Jacob Astor IV might have eaten while dining out in New York City, we can imagine what he likely would have eaten while on a steamship like the Titanic,” she says.

One drink we know for sure that was served on the Titanic is Punch à la Romaine, a shaved-ice concoction popularized by famed French chef (and spiked slushie fan) Georges Auguste Escoffier. Made with rum and Champagne, it was served as a palate cleanser between courses. Light, refreshing and citrusy, it can easily stand on it own.

Below, try out the recipe for Punch à la Romainé included in The Last Night on the Titanic

1 egg white
1 oz. white rum
½ oz. simple syrup
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. fresh orange juice
2 oz. Champagne or sparkling wine
Crushed ice—enough to fill the glass
Twist of orange peel, for garnish

Add the egg whites to an empty cocktail shaker and shake until frothy. To the cocktail shaker add rum, simple syrup, lemon juice, and orange juice and shake vigorously. Mound crushed ice in a coupe glass and pour mixture around it, being careful to leave enough room for the Champagne.

Top with Champagne and garnish with orange peel. The cocktail should be liquid and frothy enough to drink without a spoon.

Punch à la Romaine

Punch à la Romaine