"Remington .357 mag 158gr SJHP carbine Gel Test Review"--TFB TV (8 min.). A week ago, the author of this video had tested this load out of a revolver (see my Nov. 7 run around the web). This time, he tests the same ammunition out of a carbine with a 16-inch barrel. I've noted before that most semi-auto cartridges don't gain very much in performance after the barrel reaches 8 to 10-inches, and, in fact, with long barrels, performance may drop off as friction between the bullet and barrel plays an increasing role. However, revolver cartridges are often an exception to this rule, with some significant improvement in performance in the longer barrels, especially with rounds such as the .357 and .44 Magnums.
- 3-gun leads the way again: "SOCOM Solicits $33 MILLION Contract for Variable-Power Squad Optics"--The Firearms Blog. SOCOM is looking for a few good 1-6x or 1-8x optics.
- "The Ten Best .22 Handguns"--Range 360. Not just a list, but some history on each of the handguns featured. Of course, Ruger is disproportionately represented on the list, what with the Ruger Mark series (Mark I, II, III and IV, as well as the .22/45 models), the Single-Six, and GP100 offered in .22 caliber. As the article notes, however, it is interesting to observe the features that were copied over to newer pistols from the classic Colt Woodsman.
- "The Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC) Explained – Shooting With Both Eyes Open"--Red Dot Sights.
The BAC works as such: As the shooter moves their scope to track a target with both eyes open, the image observed through it by the shooting eye becomes blurry due to the fast magnified motion. When this happens the brain will adjust to primarily take in the view from the non-shooting (and non-magnified) eye, which sees a much wider FOV. By using a scope with a bright reticle, the reticle remains visible in the shooting eye and gets merged into the non-magnified view.
Essentially, the brain takes the two images of the target scene – one from each eye – and combines them, pulling the non-magnified view from the non-shooting eye, and the reticle from the shooting eye, to create on combined image. The end result is the shooter seeing a non-magnified view with the reticle still present.
When the weapon settles on a target and becomes still, the brain readjusts back to primarily taking in the view from the shooting eye, allowing the shooter to use the scope as intended. Shooters who practice this method are able to track targets as they move downrange without losing them. The whole process is a natural effect that takes place within the brain, all the shooter needs is two eyes and a bright reticle to make it work.
- "Tactical Hand Signals"--Common Sense Evaluation. There is a nice graphic showing different hand signals at the link.
- "Hand over your weapons"--Boston Globe. The author of this piece, David Scharfenberg, argues that the only way to deal with mass shootings in particular, and gun deaths generally, is to confiscate firearms and rid the body politic of weapons. Scharfenberg specifically focuses on Australia's gun confiscation (which he acknowledges only resulted in confiscation of 1/5 of the firearms) as a goal. But he acknowledges that there are difficulties with implementing such an confiscation in the United States, such as the pesky 2nd Amendment, America's expectation of freedoms, and the sheer number of firearms. (Although Scharfenberg doesn't give the numbers, if a confiscation program in the U.S. was just as successful as Australia's, it would still leave 240 to 320 million firearms in circulation). In any event, Scharfenberg argues that mandatory gun confiscations where a restraining order is in place, such as California, or where family members or others express concern over someone's actions, would be a nice intermediary step.
- Modern ruins: "10 Abandoned Racetracks"--How Stuff Works.
- "Evangelical quits Church of England leadership over 'heretical' stance on sexuality"--The Telegraph. According to the article, "Lorna Ashworth left the Archbishops' Council, an executive committee in the Church in protest over a 'revisionist agenda'" that coddles same-sex couples and transgenders.
"In light of this revisionist agenda and the heretical teaching that comes with it, I am no longer willing to sit around the table, pretending that we, as a governing body of the Church of England, are having legitimate conversations about mission," she said.
- Robert Mugabe has been removed from power in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe used to be called Rhodesia (after Cecil Rhodes) and was a prosperous country under the rule of its European descended inhabitants. However, it became caught up in the European hysteria of "decolonization," and after a long armed struggle and international sanctions, finally gave into the pie in the sky dream of shared rule. However, in a familiar story, the then newly elected President Mugabe turned out to be a violent, despotic tyrant who crushed all political opposition (especially from different tribes), eventually driving most of the white farmers out of Rhodesia, and turned the country back to its natural state as a third-world hell hole. Although Mugabe knew that the white farmers were needed for national prosperity, and made overtures to try and convince some to return, there was always the constant need to confiscate lands and distribute it to his loyal supporters to maintain their favor. If the country continues to follow the script, Mugabe will either be replaced by someone that is even worse of a tyrant, or will descend into civil war, or both.
- "Plague ravaging Madagascar will inevitably become RESISTANT to antibiotics, experts warn"--Daily Mail. According to the article, just over 2,000 cases have been reported, with 165 having died. About 4% of the cases involve health care workers who, presumably, contracted it from their patients. The Daily Star breathlessly reports that the plague can kill in as little as 3 hours (although no source or evidence is given or cited). I'm still note seeing the extraordinary spread that would warrant such concern. So, either this is a case of the media trying to create a panic to sell newspapers (or garnish page views), or there is more than is being reported. I suspect the former.
- The wages of
sinsocialism: "Venezuela just defaulted, moving deeper into crisis"--CNN Money. Venezuela has not only run out of other people's money (at least, other people are no longer willing to loan it money), it has nearly run out of its own money. It lacks the money to purchase needed food or medical supplies. Poor people are starving while everyone else must buy through the black market. It's only source of foreign funds is its increasingly poor quality oil. By defaulting, the story notes that creditors could move to seek payment by having oil that has already been delivered to foreign ports seized and sold, which will (from the Venezuelan government's perspective) merely make matters worse because it will cut off a supply of foreign funds. Of course, no one has suggested that government leaders dip into their clandestine off-shore accounts to pay the debts.
- A Christmas message from the religion of peace: "ISIS Group Vows 'Christmas Blood' While Depicting Attack on Vatican"--PJ Media.
- "NYT Op-Ed: White People Are Violent Racists"--Rod Deher at The American Conservative. Deher weighs in on black law professor Ekow N. Yankah's version of "the talk." He writes, in part:
John Derbyshire lost his job at a leading conservative magazine because he wrote a column on another website detailing his strategy for helping his children protect their Sino-Anglo bodies (Derb is a British-born man married to a Chinese-born woman) from violent black people. I didn’t see that Derb left NR editor Rich Lowry much choice but to fire him. Some things you simply cannot publish without serious consequence, even if they express honestly your fears, well-grounded or not. If you’re white, that is. But if you’re black, you can submit a column to The New York Times saying that all white people are violent racists unless proven otherwise, and that blacks should not be friends with whites, and it will be published, because that is what it means to be a right proper American liberal in 2017.
- Well this stinks: "Morgues shut doors as ultra-violent Mexican state is overwhelmed by bodies"--The Guardian.
Violence in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero has emptied entire villages, closed schools and forced bus companies off the road.
Now it has shut down the state’s overcrowded morgues as workers walked off the job, saying the stench of hundreds of decomposing bodies had become unbearable.
- I'm sure that Black Lives Matters will be right on this: "Migrants trying to reach Europe are being sold as modern-day slaves by smugglers in Libya for just £650 each"--Daily Mail. Sub-Saharan Africans hoping to illegally enter Europe have had their hopes dashed as Italy has cracked down on human smuggling, particularly that facilitated by NGOs. This has left the erst-while illegal aliens stranded in Libya with no way to pay off their smugglers. The smugglers have, accordingly, started selling them in slave markets to pay their debts. That slave markets would be opening again in the Muslim world should not be surprising. Remember that the destruction of the slave trade was accomplished by the British Empire and enforced under the Pax Americana. This is the natural consequence of the roll back and decline of Western power generally, and the collapse of the British Empire in particular.
- "The World Needs to Prepare for ‘Peaked China’"--The American Conservative. The author argues that China's actual GDP growth has been a more modest 2 to 3% over the last several years instead of the 7+% claimed by the Chinese government, that China has taken on huge amounts of debt, and that China is about to get hit by a population bomb of an exploding number of elderly requiring health care and other government benefits. The author adds:
There is also a bigger problem we must consider. The legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party is based on delivering strong economic growth, a better standard of living and upward mobility for most of its society. But what happens when most of China’s citizens realizes this grand bargain, which is paid for in the form of a population that is controlled by what can only be described as an authoritarian regime offering very little freedoms or rights, is not getting what they “paid” for? Could Chinese leaders—and some would say this is already happening—push a hardline nationalism that seeks to channel the population’s anger against Beijing’s geopolitical competitors? In such a scenario, the Communist Party would blame America, Japan, and all of its neighbors for Beijing’s problems, and push to dominate the region through raw power, to prove to the people it still deserves the right to rule.
- Why the Kurds will not be allowed to become an independent nation: "Silk Road is Soft Power for Expanding China"--The American Conservative. Note that the planned "Silk Road" will pass right through Kurdish territories. From a different perspective, expanded rail service from the Far East to the Near East will facilitate the travel and supply of millions of troops to the battle of Armageddon. Just sayin'.
- "Remember when Joshua made the sun and moon stand still?"--Bayou Renaissance Man. Peter Grant discusses an article that hypothesizes that the famous event described in the book of Joshua was actually a description of a solar eclipse on October 30, 1207 B.C. He quotes from the cited article:
To begin with the theory of eclipse, the authors suggest that rather than the sun and moon stopping in their celestial tracks, including based on the original Hebrew word, "a plausible alternative meaning is that the Sun and Moon stopped doing what they normally do: they stopped shining." This interpretation actually goes back at least a century, the authors themselves point out, to an article in the Princeton Theological Review of 1918.
"This interpretation is supported by the fact that the Hebrew word translated 'stand still' [dom] has the same root as a Babylonian word used in ancient astronomical texts to describe eclipses," Humphreys stated.
While an interesting hypothesis, I see two problems with it: First, it seems to be too early. The eclipse described would have been just before or about the time of the Exodus, not 40+ years after it. Second, it doesn't explain the shower of hail or rocks (bolides or meteors?) that struck down the enemy forces. In any event, you can find a short summary of various theories and arguments at Blue Letter Bible. I would also note that Chuck Missler has advanced a theory that the Earth's rotation was slowed by a near pass-by from Mars.
- "New Earth-Size Planet Found Around Nearby Star"--National Geographic. The star is a red dwarf called Ross 128b, and is about 11 light years from us. The exo-planet is believed to be about the size of the Earth and at a distance where it could have temperatures similar to that of Earth. Unfortunately, the article doesn't mention whether the planet is tidily locked. Given how close it would have to be to Ross 128b, I would assume so.