A Real Sham

A Real Sham


This is classic, I had to pass it on.  The story I saw is on The Atlantic Wire via Yahoo News – you can see the story here – http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-rebels-now-tank-powered-playstation-controller-020228394.html .

The reason I had to pass this on is because I was absolutely amazed by something called……  Wait for it….

The Sham.  Actually, that is incorrect it is named…  The Sham II.

No, not a Sham-Wow but a real live Sham.  The naming of this thing was not done in English so I suppose that those naming it may not have known how the name would translate into the general English speaking population.

Definition of sham:

something that is not what it purports to be; a spurious imitation; fraud or hoax.

I have always used the word to describe some lie or hustle which is how I mostly hear the word used.

But there is more, this does get even stranger.  The Sham II is apparently a tank created by Syrian rebels level the playing field against the tanks of Assad regime.

This thing is apparently a homemade tank made out of spare parts, wrapped in a steel case and driving by cameras that are mounted on it.

The cockpit has two large flat screen televisions and the gun is controlled……   Wait for it….     By a Playstation controller.

The whole thing is built on top of an old diesel car and is driven using the steering wheel.

I searched out another article in France 24 and learned more (http://www.france24.com/en/20121209-sham-ii-new-fighting-machine-syria-rebels) and learned more.

Apparently this is The Sham II because the Sham I only shielded the driver but left the rest of the crew exposed to enemy fire 9I know which Job I want in the Sham).

I also found out that the whole thing costs about $10,000 dollars to make.  That’s less that a cheap economy car with no radio on dog dish hubcaps (and a whole lot more fun and useful I might add).  The folks over at Volvo might want to take some safety tips from these guys.

There were also pictures (http://www.france24.com/en/files/imagecache/aef_ct_wire_image_lightbox/images/afp/photo_1355084364140-1-0.jpg?1355122433  –  http://www.france24.com/en/files/imagecache/aef_ct_wire_image/images/afp/photo_1355084430686-1-0.jpg  –  http://www.france24.com/en/files/imagecache/aef_ct_wire_image/images/afp/photo_1355084507593-1-0.jpg ) and I have to admit, it looks more like a legitimate tank that i would have figured.  The biggest enemy however may not be the effects of combat:  The worst enemy might be the rust you see in the picture.  I hope the conflict ends faster than rust can eat the steel.

This is some serious Road Warrior, DR. Dre and Tupac, “California Dreamin” stuff.

My first thoughts were:  “This sounds like the worst place to be in the entire conflict.”  You are fighting against your government and that government’s tanks.   That government is a government that the entire world is trying to keep from using chemical weapons on you and you are going to go up against them in a homemade Road Warrior car shooting through your Playstation in something called the Sham II.

Of course, this was followed by some silliness from me:  “What do you call the crew, the Sham Riders or Sham Warriors”  “If you get killed does it say game over on the screen” “Can you search the internet for cheat codes” “Can you play online against Assad using the card you bought at the local Wal-Mart” “If they win the battles do they unlock special tank features” and on and on.

Later it dawned on me how creative and brave the whole thing is.  To be able to make your own tank and use televisions and video game consoles is amazing.  That’s some real MacGyver stuff.  Then to be the guys who are willing to take this thing into combat for something you believe in is incredibly brave and any victories this tank gets are heroic.

Then the adrenalin junkie in me kicked in and had to think:  “This thing sounds like a dangerous place to be, but that crazy thing sounds like it would be pretty fun to drive around fighting in.

I might have made the whole thing a two man operation with two Playstation controllers and just make the whole thing a big video game experience.

There has to be a documentary, a movie and a few video games in this story.  I am very interested in hearing more about this thing and how it does in combat with actual tanks and I am also eager to play the video game.

Just thought I would share because I thought it was an incredibly interesting story and the Sham II is not a Sham because it is nowhere near being April yet.

What a strange world we are in,

Alethinos Paradoxos


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