Petman Humanoid Robot Walks On Treadmill Wearing Protective Suit

This short video by robotics institution Boston Dynamics has already collected over one million views over the weekend. The Petman robot is a DOD humanoid created to test the performance of protective clothing, such as gas masks. The ‘bot walks on a treadmill wearing a haz-mat suit, and even flexes as a soldier would. Viewers can’t help but feel slightly disturbed by the test.  


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Indiana Pacers Surprise Brothers With Heartwarming Reunion

It’s an act of brotherly love that rivals Philadelphia’s famous namesake.

Brothers Aaron, 26, and Brandon Rector, 23 were just excited to be chosen for the half-court shootout challenge during Sunday night’s Indiana Pacers game against the Utah Jazz. For all the brothers from Greenwood, Ind. knew, they had a chance at winning some money — not the real prize that was in store.

No, the real prize wasn’t the $300 they had won after making a free throw and a three-pointer. It was their youngest brother, Justin, a U.S. soldier home from a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan. The Pacers captured the joyous reunion on their Instagram account:

“The emcee walked us out in the middle of the court and we glanced over and saw Justin come out of the tunnel,” Aaron told ABC News. “I lost it. We were pretty excited.”

Their parents and Aaron’s pregnant wife, expected to deliver their child on Feb. 28, had been planning the soldier surprise for about six months, completely unbeknownst to Aaron and Brandon, who thought their brother wasn’t supposed to return until March 7.

“My wife was a big catalyst in all this,” said Aaron. “She obviously wants him to be home for the birth of our daughter, and she helped plan so much of this.”

With no plans for redeployment, Aaron says the Rector family takes comfort in having Justin “home and safe.”

If the memory of the reunion isn’t enough for the family, fellow Pacers fans who witnessed the touching moment shared in the brothers’ excitement by tweeting Aaron and Brandon pictures from their seats.

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U.S. Military Revises Grooming Policies To Allow Hairstyles Worn By Black Women

After complaints from service members and lawmakers, military services now consider cornrows, braids, and twists as acceptable hairstyles. BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘posted_date’, 1408049805); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_posted_time_3418041”).innerHTML = “posted on ” + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(1408049805); });

1. The U.S. military eased restrictions on hairstyles after their policy of banning twists, dreadlocks, and Afros and regulating the size of cornrows and braids, was criticized as being racially biased against women of color, the New York Times reported.

The U.S. military eased restrictions on hairstyles after their policy of banning twists, dreadlocks, and Afros and regulating the size of cornrows and braids, was criticized as being racially biased against women of color, the New York Times reported .

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AP Photo/US Army

In April, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered all military services to review their hairstyle policies in response to a complaint lodged by the Congressional Black Caucus.

In an Aug. 11 letter to the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Hagel wrote that after reviewing their grooming regulations, all military services — except the Marine Corps, who are still reviewing the policies — will now include cornrows, braids, and twists as “authorized hairstyles.”

The Army and Air Force will also eliminate offensive language such as “matted” and “unkempt” from their grooming policy, Hagel said.

He wrote that these changes were in keeping with the military’s efforts to “ensure fair and respectful policies for our diverse force.”

3. The changes also included increasing the size of braids, cornrows, and twists and changing the term “dreadlocks” to “locs.”

The changes also included increasing the size of braids, cornrows, and twists and changing the term "dreadlocks" to "locs."

View this image ›

4. In a statement thanking Hagel, Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman Marcia L. Fudge said the changes “recognize that traditional hairstyles worn by women of color are often necessary to meet our unique needs.”

From her statement:

“I’d like to thank Secretary Hagel for his prompt attention and response to the concerns expressed by women of color serving within our Armed Forces and to the women of the Congressional Black Caucus. Secretary Hagel immediately instituted a review process that has resulted in adjustments to policy language and grooming standards across the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. These changes recognize that traditional hairstyles worn by women of color are often necessary to meet our unique needs, and acknowledges that these hairstyles do not result in or reflect less professionalism or commitment to the high standards required to serve within our Armed Forces.”

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Marine Asks Betty White To Ball

Marine Sgt. Ray Lewis follows the lead of his fellow marines and decides to ask a celebrity out to the Marine Corp Dance. But he’s not interested in the young and beautiful. No, he wants Betty White. Let’s just hope this doesn’t become a full fad.  


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Airman Nathaniel Mills Dunks at Team USA Scrimmage (Video)

Nathaniel Mills, a member of the United States Air Force, windmilled a sweet dunk during a timeout at the Team USA Basketball scrimmage in Las Vegas. And he did it in his combat uniform and boots! Apparently Mills had been showing off his dunking skills prior to the game, when he was encouraged by Carmelo Anthony and other players to get back on the court during the timeout.

H/T: With Leather

Air Force Jam Band Perform Rolling In The Deep

A group of talented men and women in uniform perform an acoustic version of the summer hit pop song, Rolling In The Deep by Adele. There are seven talented Airmen playing the guitar, percussions, and even a violin.

But who really steals the show is the Airwoman who sings. She has no microphone and no computers to help, but she sounds like a real star. Get this woman to American Idol now! They pulled this together while just ‘taking a little break’.


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High School Senior Surprised By Her U.S. Soldier Father

After MSG Joseph D. of the U.S. Army returned home, there was one child he and his wife wanted to especially surprise. Their only daughter, a high school senior, was giving a speech in the school auditorium, and they thought of no better place to surprise her.

The video is the latest from the WelcomeHomeBlog to go viral, amassing over 170,000 views in a week, and being featured by CBSNewsTheFeed


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Missing Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl seen alive in recent video obtained by US military!/KTLA/status/423520198927597568

Bergdahl is believed to have been taken captive in Afghanistan in June 2009.!/edlavaCNN/status/423511702668587009

The newly-obtained video shows that Bergdahl was alive as of this past December.

From CNN:

The video, which has been described to CNN by [a U.S. military] official, shows Bergdahl in diminished health from the effects of close to five years in captivity.

The proof-of-life video has a reference to December 14, 2013. CNN has contacted Bergdahl’s family. The military says that it keeps the family aware of developments regarding his case.

Bergdahl is the only American soldier in captivity, and this the first video of him in three years. The previous one was sent in February 2011. Last year, Bergdahl’s family received a letter from him via the Red Cross. CNN has not seen the video, but its contents have been described to the network.!/ColMorrisDavis/status/423519852880338944

So far, Bowe’s father Robert hasn’t tweeted about the news, but the Bergdahl family has released a statement:!/nbcnightlynews/status/423536084673241088

Here’s the full statement via NBC Nightly News:

“Today we learned that a new video of our son, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, has been distributed by his captors.

“Naturally, this is very important to us and our resolve to continue our efforts to bring Bowe home as soon as possible.

“As we have done so many times over the past 4 and a half years, we request his captors to release him safely so that our only son can be reunited with his mother and father.

“BOWE – If see this, continue to remain strong through patience. Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!”

Though some questions about the Bergdahl situation do remain, we hope and pray that he is safe and that he will soon be reunited with his loving family.!/TarheelKrystle/status/423522247777980416



Robert Bergdahl has shared CNN’s story:!/bobbergdahl/status/423544899124740096

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Army’s Bionic Exoskeleton Puts Soldiers Back on Their Feet

The United States Army began developing an exoskeleton to rejuvenate damaged legs in 2008, and soon, this technology will be available to all.

A soldier whose leg was damaged by bullets or blasts would make an appointment with Ryan Blanck, the creator of the exoskeleton, and have his leg cast in a mold. From that mold, Blanck would construct a carbon-fiber cast that fit around the injured leg. The cast let soldiers push off from the ground again, and with time and physical therapy, the vast majority of soldiers have regained full mobility, Blanck told Mashable.

Civilians suffering from leg damage will soon be able to get the same treatment, thanks to prosthetics provider Hanger, where Blanck now works.

The Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis is like a prosthetic for a leg that is still attached to the body, but one that is painful. Many who visit Blanck have considered amputation.

“They might be able to stand on it, but they can’t fully weight bear on it,” Blanck said. “They can’t push off from it. They can’t walk around the community.”

Blanck said the carbon fiber mold can reduce pain to almost nothing, allowing patients to wear the exoskeleton almost anywhere. In fact, the device may be hard for patients to live without at first.

Over time, the carbon fiber leg strengthens muscles and joints in legs that patients were originally unable to stand upon.

“There are certain types of injuries that can wean away from the device down the line,” Blanck said. “They may not [go without it] for running or certain activities or hiking or so on, but they may not always, in some cases, use it for daily activities.”

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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