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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How Tasers work

By Marshall Brain

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Tasers are in the news often right now. Police officers are using Tasers more and more, people sometimes die after being hit by a Taser, the United Nations is looking into the possibility that a Taser is an instrument of torture, and so on. Which leads to the obvious question: How does a Taser work?


So let's start at the beginning. Taser is the name of a company. The company makes a wide range of products designed to incapacitate people using high voltage shocks. There really is no magic here. Farmers have been using high voltage shocks - in the form of electric fences - for decades. Taser is the company that popularized the pistol version of this idea for use on people.


I got my indoctrination to high voltage shocks on an otherwise peaceful summer day. When I was in college I worked on a farm that raised cattle, and they used electric fencing to keep the cows in their pasture. An electric fence is just a strand of bare wire that connects to an electric fence charger in the barn. About once a second, the charger sends out a high voltage pulse along the bare wire. It was raining and I was working with a cow when I accidentally touched the wire with my arm.


It is hard to describe how it feels, but imagine all of your muscles tensing at once. It is not really painful, but you are incapacitated for sure. The voltage overwhelms the signals that your brain is sending to the muscles, and you lose control of your own body.

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A Taser pistol is a modernized, portable version of the farmer's electric fence. The gun contains a small version of an electric fence charger that can produce up to 50,000 volts. It is a battery-operated circuit that creates a high voltage pulse. That part is easy. The problem is this: how do you get the voltage into the criminal to incapacitate him? Taser solved this problem using darts.


At the front of the gun are two small metal darts. The tip of the dart is a stainless steel needle with a barb on it like a fishhook. Each dart is connected to a thin, 20-foot-long wire. When the officer pulls the trigger, it opens a cartridge filled with high-pressure gas. The gas shoots the two darts out of the barrel of the gun, and the wires uncoil behind them. When the darts hit the criminal, the high voltage charge flows through the wires, into the darts and into the criminal's body. Most people fall to the ground when they get hit. Usually that is enough, but if necessary the officer can apply more that one dose of electricity.


Two other things happen when the officer pulls the trigger. First there is a little shower of confetti. The dart cartridge contains small tags printed with the serial number of the cartridge. The tags show where the officer was standing when he fired and which cartridge was fired from that position. Second there is a data record that gets created. A Taser pistol can record the date, time and temperature at the time the officer fired the gun, as well as the length of each pulse and the number of pulses sent into the darts. This information makes it easier to reconstruct what actually happened at the scene.


Thousands of Tasers in the United States have also been outfitted with small digital video cameras. They start recording as soon as the officer releases the gun's safety. The Taser Cam records audio and video, and has an infrared capability so it can record in the dark. The recording makes it easier to understand exactly what was happening when the officer fired the Taser.


A Taser is supposed to be a non-lethal product, but people sometimes die after being hit by a Taser. In fact, dozens of people have died in the United States shortly after a Tasering. The question: Is the Taser the cause of death? The jury is out on this. Animal tests show that Tasers are not lethal, at least to animals. And in many cases where people die after being Tased, there are extenuating circumstances such as drug use or extreme exertion during arrest. One large scale study performed by Wake Forest University showed most Taser injuries to be minor. Both the United Nations and Amnesty International are studying Tasers to determine whether or not they should be classified as instruments of torture. If so, police would have go back to using pepper spray.

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Previously:


How giant TV screens work
How foreclosure works
How Air Force One works
How wildfire fighting works
How vitamins work
How ejection seats work
How reattaching limbs works
How hot air balloons work
How paparazzi work
How counterfeiting works
How CDs work
How the Edsel worked
How Stinger missiles work
How hybrid cars work
How sharks work
How mosquitoes work
How diesel engines work
How water towers work
How the Dawn mission works
How Kassam rockets work
How the North American Eagle works
Why aren't we flying to work?
How tofu and soy milk work
How Colony Collapse Disorder works
How airbags work
How the U.S. income tax works
How gum works
How caffeine works
How Daylight Saving Time works
How a cruise missile works
How snow making works

© 2007, How Stuff Works Inc. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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