I agree about the serendipity of Lawrence's death, a freak accident after everything he had lived through. What a tragedy. I think Korda's book is an exceptionally good read and covers a lot of history in the process. Since Lawrence was busy making that history, that's not hard to do in a biography of him.
Regarding war and technology, I'd forgotten about the suggestion to use nukes in Nam--that would have been insane. And yes, 9/11 is a good example of a lower tech enemy trumping a high-tech nation. Interestingly, the Lawrence of Arabia biography I read recently points out that Lawrence's work fighting the Turks with the desert Bedouin pretty much started modern guerilla warfare, especially the use of explosives, in the Middle East. A mixed blessing. I highly recommend the biography--"Hero" by Michael Korda--for the history of the times as well as for the info about Lawrence.
I just saw a web posting of a robotic creature that could jump up onto buildings and then jump off of them and get away. It was quite impressive, and it would certainly be a handy tool to deal with rooftop snipers, both for fighters and the police. But for dealing with IED challenges the directed energy device will probably be the solution in that it is able to detonate the weapon while it is still being transported, but if accidently directed at an innocent party they just experience a hot flash. That feature will save a lot of lives, I hope. I am not permitted to divulge any more information.
You make a really good point that it's not always technology. I think Vietnam was lost because of restrictions on engagement (and thank goodness for those limitations). It was suggest we use nukes in Vietnam, which certainly would have altered the outcome. So technology could have won -- as horrible as that would have been.
Another example to support your point of low-tech advantage in war was 9/11. The enemy confiscated our technology and succeeded with a willingness to kill civilians.
As for the earthworm, I was just postulating. And I enjoy very much your articles on biomimicry.
In his keynote address at the RAPID 2015 conference last week, Made In Space CTO Jason Dunn gave an update on how far his company and co-development partner NASA have come in their quest to bring 3D printing to the space station -- and beyond.
On Memorial Day, Americans remember the sacrifices the US armed forces have made, and continue to make, in service to the country. All of us should also consider the developments in technological capabilities and equipment over the years that contribute to the success of our military operations.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.