Saturday, November 28, 2015

Medical Advances

In the field of dentistry, regrowing lost teeth.

Sign me up.

Update: Turns out an existing diabetes drug could significantly extend lifespan as well.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Gun Control In The E.U. - Pushback

In the wake of the Paris shootings the panjandrums of the E.U. in Belgium are suggesting even more draconian gun laws that would render the population there effectively defenseless while doing little to inconvenience terrorists. I saw an article citing the Finnish reaction to these proposals that noted that Finland relied heavily on an armed populace to keep the Russians on their own side of the border and they were NOT eager to change this.
For those of you who speak Finnish, sorry for the very impolite word but I was assured it summed up the Finnish reaction to Brussels suggestions. A proper and in-depth translation would probably include something about "...and the reindeer you rode in on".

The Czechs, having just gotten rid of an overbearing socialist dictatorship are likewise not anxious to see another one replace what they have now. Commentary from the Czech equivalent of the NRA is here. Take a look. The Czechs have a fairly liberal attitude toward guns compared to most of the E.U. although requiring a permit to possess a gun even if  it is "shall issue" strikes me as excessive.

If the influx of "refugees" there accomplishes nothing else it should begin to bring the Europeans around to the idea that allowing the populace to go armed is probably their best bet against an invading army with a predilection to violence.

Active Shooter Training

Go here for an essay on active shooters and/or terrorists and what to do in case you meet one. Be Prepared, like a good Boy Scout and for goodness sake don't end up like these people, dead or wounded on the street.
Oh wait, this seems to be several practitioners of Irish Yoga awaiting the first morning bus outside of Clancy's Pub.

Well, never mind then. Carry on.

Gun News - Arming Europe

An Italian news agency, ANSA, is reporting that a shipment of 800 rifles has been stopped and confiscated in Trieste. The article described the haul as being "Winchester SXP rifles". The shipment was on a Dutch truck with a Turkish driver. Oooo, scary. The tipoff was the accompanying picture
The weapons pictured above don't seem like what I was expecting and the .22 on the bottom certainly isn't the weapon of choice for either a terrorist or a citizen defender. Not being the worlds most geeky gun nut, I had to look up the Winchester SXP:
Yup, a 12 ga pump shotgun. It's available in a variety of configurations including a 20" version with a pistol grip but still... Then the light went on. A week or two back I saw an article mentioning that in Austria guns were becoming a hot item among the citizens and since pistols were all but banned, shotguns were the fall back choice. This even to the point that Austria was sold out of shotguns. From what I was hearing, Germany, Holland and Belgium, the guns destination, were to about the same state.

So some capitalist in Northern Europe is trying to take advantage of a sudden sellers market in the only guns the public is allowed to own, and the Italian cops caught him at it. The big beef seemed to be that all the paperwork had not been submitted. You would think that any reputable importer of firearms in Europe would know to provide the truck driver with a couple of envelopes filled with expediting paperwork of appropriate denominations to handle situations like this, but I guess you just can't get good help any more anywhere.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Journalism: What They Need To Know, What You Need To Know

UNC Chapel Hill has decided that J-school majors don't need to know U.S. History or basic economics.

I'm guessing that it's so newly minted reporters won't disrupt politicians at their press conferences by bursting out laughing at inopportune moments.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Science Marches Onward

Scientists have announced that they have modified the DNA of Malaria carrying mosquitoes in such a way that they no longer carry Malaria. Not only that but the modification is transmitted through mating 90% of the time suggesting that the malaria-carrying mosquito could soon become extinct.

Probably shouldn't use that e-word. Once PETA hears about losing another species, the protests will fill the streets of the Ivy League universities of the American north-east. Probably not in India or Africa however where the disease kills about a million people a year, Rachael Carson's legacy.

All this otherwise good news should be tempered however by the nagging suspicion that the new "Franken-bugs" while no longer able to transmit Malaria, will probably transmit the Zombie virus and be unaffected by DEET. Happy camping.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tactical Operator Memo

Not all aggressors with guns are ISIS. Keep this in mind as some of them offer you the courtesy of identifying themselves. Take these bank robbers in Italy:
“On a lighter note, [Italy's] La Stampa daily reported that a gang of masked robbers had stormed into a bank shouting: ‘Relax, we are not Isis. It is only a hold-up.’”
So when you're walking down the street and some miscreant leaps out at you and says "I'm not ISIS, Gimmie what you got!" and what you got includes a standard magazine of say 9mm hollow points, show some professional courtesy and only give him 2 or 3 of them. He probably doesn't want more than that anyway.

In the same situation the thug leaps out and screams "Aloha Snackbar." feel free to give him as much of the contents of your magazine as you can spare considering that he may not be alone. It's only polite you know.

In the case of the bank robbery the disclaimer was probably a good idea as if the customers and employees thought they were ISIS they might also think that they were all doomed anyway which might inspire some of them to counter attack resulting in injury or death to one or more of the bank robbers.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Paris Massacre, It Could Have Been Worse

Got this in a newsletter I subscribe to. Seems the Paris Massacre has a couple things go wrong that kept the casualty count down. Firse we all know that the bombs intended for the soccer stadium didn't get in thanks to the stadium security. Secondly however, one of the attacks on a restaurant had a lower than expected casualty count thanks to 3 customers there from Columbia. Businessmen of course and in exactly the kind of business associated with Columbia. 
Last Friday various attacks occurred in Paris, leaving at least 129 people dead. At that time, at a restaurant in the city's 10th District, two armed suspects arrived, who began firing on the attendees. However, three people at the locale drew their weapons and killed the attackers, as reported by French media. Police agents detained the three individuals, who are natives of Colombia and are operatives of the Northern Cartel in that country. It is expected that they will be extradited to Colombia, where they will be tried accordingly. The Paris Police Department indicated that the identity of the three individuals will remain anonymous, due to security concerns.
 Bad luck for the jihadis to pick a restaurant with 3 armed narcotrafficantes in it. When the SHTF however any help is greatly appreciated. Too bad there weren't some of them at the club.

There are several links to stories at the link but 4 are in Spanish and one is in French. I guess that's why we have Google translate. No English language source has picked this up yet though.

4-Gun Match

As fallout from the 4-gun match in October, here's the updates:

With 10 shots per gun, one's absolute best score would be 400 points. All guns were shot standing and unsupported. I got 280 or so and finished 5th out of 7 in my class. As I don't shoot a lot of bullseye stuff except for the e-postal matches, while I'm disappointed in the scores I got, I can't say I'm terribly disappointed.

The class winner got 395 out of 400. This is only considered mediocre at the U.S. Olympic training camp. Still, I could have done better. To that end, I'm adding a couple of touches to my air rifle such as a closely adjustable rear sight and some ballast to the barrel to help stabilize it.

I tried the changes out today. They work, but it's obvious that my eyesight is now the limiting factor with the air rifle. Oh well, if I can get into the 300's I'll be happy. That and some more range time which my impending transition back to being retired should help.

Suspicious Activity

Nothing suspicious here. These guys were probably just planning to convert to Christianity.

Winning The Lottery

No, I didn't. I don't do that, I can do math. There is however a lesson here along the lines of Stalin's famous quote:"Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything."

Climate Scientists Denounce Climate Alarmism

At a conference in Texas where among other things the co-founder of Greenpeace denounced climate alarmism as "pure propaganda".

The picture one of them had barely showing Singapore clouded in haze is actually smoke from deliberately set fires. Slash and burn agriculture is still practiced in that part of the world.

November 2015 E-Postal match

Danno has all the details including the real link to the real color target so go there and get it.
Celebrating (?) his son getting his drivers license, we have an automotive-themed target:
Instructions are on the target except the part about liners on the free parking target which counts hits on the bold lines as a miss. Park your shots like you park your car, inside the lines.

The collision sign has drawn some comments. I didn't know it was either permitted or expected in Arizona, but I'll take it to be similar to the "deer crossing" signs you see everywhere else. My take was that the sign needed a small rectangular dot above the top of the car to represent the cell phone the otherwise oblivious pedestrian was texting on when he stepped out into the traffic.

This will be the last E-Postal until March when the glacial ice has retreated from the rest of the country

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Transportation - The Elio Moves One More Step Forward

So O.K. I'm a big fanboi. So sue me. Today they unveiled their P5 engineering pre-production prototype at the L.A. Auto Show. You can see the ceremony here including the answering of a few questions by C.E.O. Paul Elio. As I was noodling around the web I also found a CGI of one with a shark overlay.

The bad news from all of this is that the release date for production is now Q4-16. Since they now have over 47,000 pre-orders, I'm thinking it will be a long time before I get one. Oh Well, I can always build one myself.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Attacking The Gerrymander

The joke goes that the Dems are the Evil party and the Reps are the Stupid party. Sometimes they get together and write legislation that is both Evil and Stupid. This is called bipartisanship. So imagine my trepidation at the news that a bipartisan committee has proposed a constitutional amendment to turn gerrymandering redistricting over to an independent panel of 4 Dems, 4 Reps, and 4 unaffiliated people rather than making the process the unabashed partisan fiasco it is now.

The big problem I have is with the unaffiliated members. Who picks them, the governor? Who are they, party hacks who recently changed their registration from R or D to U? The result of this would be in effect no change at all. If it makes you feel any better, all their hearings would have to be open and public. At least it wouldn’t be too hard to see just how nonpartisan everyone was.

Map drawing would be done by professional cartographers so we can be assured of good graphics at least, and final approval would require 8 of the 12 members which wouldn’t be too hard if the 4 indies turned out to be aligned with one party or the other. The new districts are required to be competitive to some definition of competitive. No word on the compact and contiguous part yet.

Really there are computer programs capable of creating compact, contiguous, and competitive districts from the available data in a flash and if it were deemed necessary to include a “pigtail” to a district to account for terrain or city or county boundaries, that too can be arranged. Iowa has a similar law that amazingly got their boundaries drawn the last time without any lawsuits being filed over them at all. The big difference is that in Iowa, the legislature has to approve the result while in our proposed method, the committee approves its own work.

Update: The jury's still out as the committee has proposed putting forward the amendment but the actual wording hasn't been worked out yet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Gun Control In 2016

From the Blaze, here's this:

President Barack Obama said in a recent interview that he hoped gun control will be a major issue in the 2016 election and regrets that he was unable  “to capture this moment” of the Sandy Hook shooting to pass more restrictive laws.

Now he has another chance after some 125 Frenchmen were killed in an act of "senseless gun violence" which no doubt could have been prevented by the addition of just a few more "common sense gun laws"  in France which by the way should also be passed here.

The proof of this approach will be when ISIS arrives in Washington DC to carry out their promised action only to find that most of the hardware they planned on using, guns and bombs, has already been banned there. Imagine their disappointment...

Vetting The Syrians

HRC has suggested we let in some 65,000 Syrian refugees assuring us that they will all be carefully vetted.

As a bipartisan suggestion, let's admit all vetted Syrians but let's turn the vetting process over to the IRS after telling them that all the Syrians are religious conservatives.

Me, I don't see any of them ever getting in.

People Of The Year

It was announced on Tuesday that President Obama will be on the cover of GQ's annual "Men of the Year" issue.
I suppose if Caitlin Jenner can be Woman Of The Year, then Obama can be Man Of The Year.

Remember when Journalism had standards?

Monday, November 16, 2015


“What I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people and to protect the people in the region who are getting killed and to protect our allies and people like France. I’m too busy for that.”
Translation: Climate change needs my attention. You guys are on your own. As I said before, if things get ugly, I'm with the Muzzies.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Presidential Statements

Aggregating 3 of them from recent history, here's the news release:

"The Jayvee team of ISIS is on the run and is now contained. Jihadi John is dead and General Motors is alive."

Probably won't be taking questions after that either.

France has admitted just over a million "refugees" in the last 4 years, not counting 2015 and is getting significant terrorist attacks on a regular basis. As the invading army grows, they can expect larger attacks. It is also worth noting that in spite of the rather strict gun laws in France, the attackers seem to have no trouble acquiring explosives and automatic weapons. The net effect is to only disarm the populace. Compounding this is the current French practice of disarming the police so that the first responder can at best make an impassioned call to headquarters to call out the armed portion of the force, the Gendarmes who actually carry armes.

In France you can get into the country fairly easily although they insist on at least counting heads as you cross the border. Here we don't even do that.

Sociological Insight

I have often wondered why it is that refugees from various hell holes from the Middle East to California move to a new location and immediately begin turning it into the exact same hell hole they left. There may be an answer in this rather lengthy video from Bill Whittle and Stefan Molyneux.

Both of these guys are way smarter than I am but in this talk they explain certain sociological phenomenon in an understandable manner. Get a cuppa and make yourself comfortable. Think about the implications of what they are saying. The video auto starts so don't open it in another tab and come back to it later.

Quick summary: The theory divides everyone into two types, r-types and k-types. r-types are best described as rabbits which thrive in a low-risk environment with lots of resources. K-types are predators who live in a high-risk environment with limited resources. The environment changes with time and the populations of rabbits and wolves sloshes back and forth from shortage to surfeit. Some would attribute this to lack of government management but I think that with close government management both species would soon be on the border of extinction.

Click the link, it's highly recommended.

Bringing People Together - ISIS

Perhaps the move by the administration to bring the remaining prisoners at Gitmo to the U.S., say Colorado, is just an effort to bring families closer together, like letting anchor babies keep their extended families here regardless of the families immigration status or police records.

After all, isn't a general's army part of his family? What could go wrong? Open your arms, and leave your mind at the door.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Home Made Guns

Why settle for an AR when you can have a rail gun just like the Navy?
The huge muzzle blast is characteristic of this type of weapon. Even my little one produced a large loop of an arc on the muzzle end when test fired with no projectile at all.

Several other videos with explanations here.  Article that started it all here at Popular Mechanics.
Yes, I have one too. What did you expect?  P.S. 1 joule = .737 pound(force)-foot

Modern Science Solves Monster Problem

Picture yourself ambling down a country road with your newly minted monster to terrorize a village when suddenly he conks out. Now what?
Gary Larson posits the above solution but modern science suggests that the real problem lies in the placement of the electrodes. This makes sense. After all you need to jolt the mental abilities to get the old boy going again, so shouldn't the electrodes be on the head, near the brain?
This picture suggests so. This article suggests that giving yourself a boost, even a very small one from a 9V battery can even make you a better shot, eliminating the need to get up in the villagers faces.

A Google search on "9V brain stimulation" yields a plethora of information including detailed instructions on how to build the simulators for well under $10. Of course you could buy one already built but prices go as high as $600. Keep this in mind if you're out of work and looking to raise a few bucks.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Economic News - Mine

To no ones surprise at all I have been informed that since the project I was hired to work on has been such a smashing success, my contract will end at the end of this month unless I find someone else to pick me up.

As has been noted: The better and faster, an engineer does his job, the sooner he's out of it.

I retired almost 3 years ago so I suppose I can do it again. If blogging suddenly stops, it will be because D'wife got tired of me pacing around the house and messing up the kitchen. Invitations to a big pulled pork barbecue party should be regarded with suspicion.

Meantime note the endorsement for Billlls Bullseye Sight for you Ruger shooters.

Cruz Has A Modest Suggestion

Ted Cruz sets out his vision for what he'd like to do should he get elected.
During my first year as president, I will fight to abolish the IRS, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. To do that, I will press Congress relentlessly.
This sounds like a good start. He also suggests a flat 10% income tax on all income over $36,000 and cut the corporate tax rate to 16%. This is very close to what the Irish did shortly after joining the EU which led to them becoming the haven of choice for anyone with one Euro to rub against another. The howls of anguish from Paris were truly heartwarming.

The big drawback I saw was that he wanted to somehow "strengthen and preserve" Social Security. The correct approach is to phase it out over 20 or 30 years and replace it with a privatized system as was done in Chile.

The article makes for interesting reading so give it a look.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

FBI Halts Anti Terror Program At The Request Of Islamic Terrorists.

Always eager to not offend anyone for any reason at all. Besides, they have an ally with a pen and a phone in a very high place.

First Colorado Hi-Cap Mag Case!

Given the reluctance of anyone to pursue such cases the headline alone raises some flags. So it seems our miscreant had made threats to shoot a security guard and burn down a building at a local community college if they didn't re-enroll him. This got him reported to the local cops who picked him up for evaluation.

During the evaluation it transpired that he had an AR pattern rifle and a Glock pistol along with "multiple large-capacity magazines for both firearms".

So now all the DA has to do is prove that he acquired those mags after they became illegal back July of 2013. Possession of these mags is legal if you had them before the law was passed.

Unless the mags have a "made on" date on them it's going to be hard to make that particular charge stick.  Meantime the whole thing follows the DA's standard practice of charging people with everything in the book, then offering to reduce the charges to what he thinks he can make stick on a good day.

Meantime I'm going to take this as an example of how big a moron you have to be to get that kind of attention from the authorities.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Government As A Criminal Enterprise

There's a going joke in private industry which I've heard originated at one of my former employers. It goes that the CEO was asked how many people worked at the CYZ corp. His answer was "About half of them."

When we get to government, the percentage is nowhere near as good with evidence in this gem at National Review suggesting the percentage of useful workers might be as low as 10%. Kevin Williamson is inclined to see the other 90% as the descendants of protection racket thugs now gone "legit" for certain definitions of the word legit. He suggests that beyond police, firefighters and educators, the rest of government provides little in the way of public goods.

His point of view is valid enough but...

In most communities there isn't much actual crime, thus there is a need for only a small force of police. OTOH if you have a larger police force than you actually need, the force can not only take care of such crime as may happen, it can in its spare time, raise enough money to support itself in a fairly comfortable style.

The public works department serves a useful purpose in that it maintains the roads, filling the potholes, keeping the streetlights on and in their spare time, hanging the Christmas lights. In some places it's also a place to put the mentally challenged offspring of city aldermen.

Educators provide a useful service insofar as they actually educate the children but to my observation when you give them a monopoly, the quality of that service tends to fall off rapidly. Cutting them by 50% and opening the district up to charter schools has a salutary effect on the kids test scores.

Click the link and read the story, it's well worth the time.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

More Humor

Must be a funny time of year:




Haven't found the button to get rid of the all caps format I got it in and I'm too lazy to retype it so sorry about the shouting.