- "Knife attacker in Japan kills 19 in their sleep at disabled center"--Reuters. 25 other residents were injured. The attacker was arrested after he turned himself in at a local police station (warning: video plays automatically).
- "Hollande says France is at war with ISIS: Islamist knifemen chanting 'Allahu Akbar' behead French priest, 84, and leave nun fighting for her life after storming Mass - before police shoot them dead"--Daily Mail.
- "Turkish troops hunt remaining coup plotters as crackdown widens"--Reuters. "Turkish special forces backed by helicopters, drones and the navy hunted a remaining group of commandos thought to have tried to capture or kill President Tayyip Erdogan during a failed coup, as a crackdown on suspected plotters widened on Tuesday."
- "Putin, Erdogan Mend Ties as Post-Coup Turkey Turns to Russia"--Bloomberg. The deputy prime minister of Turkey described Russia as not only a "close and friendly neighbor," but also a strategic partner.
- "Drug dealers shot dead on the streets of the Philippines as president dubbed 'The Punisher' continues his war on drugs - with 300 gunned down this month alone"--Daily Mail. "Nearly 60,000 Filipino drug addicts surrendered themselves earlier this month to the government after President Duterte urged citizens to 'go ahead and kill' drug dealers and users." It appears K-selection may have hit the Philippines earlier than the rest of the world.
- "Generac Vs. Kohler: Finding The Best Portable Generator"--Survive the Wild. The author compares a portable generator (the Generac) and what is essentially a large Universal Power Supply (UPS) (the Kohler) for use as a short term backup power source. He also discusses some alternatives to the aforementioned products, and notes the advantages to the UPS's when combined with solar panels for charging.
- "PTR-91 A3R Review"--Modern Rifleman. The PTR-91 is a semi-auto version of the HK G-3 battle rifle; i.e., an American made HK-91. The author goes a bit into the history of the G-3 and how the PTR rifles came to be made in America, before delving into the specific details of this particular rifle. One of the failings of most versions of the HK-91 style rifles (and the HK-93 styles, as well) is the general lack of the paddle-mag release. Although there is a side-button release, similar to the release on the AR pattern rifles, the size of the HK rifles places the button too far forward to be accessed without breaking your grip on the weapon. To make up for this, the CETME and G-3 rifles included a paddle shaped magazine release at the bottom of the magazine well that you can engage with your thumb when grasping the magazine as you withdraw the magazine. However, most civilian versions of the rifle lack this release. The A3R version of the PTR-91 includes that paddle mag release; it also has a Picatinny rail for mounting scopes or other optics.
- "BREAKING: US Army Introduces New Enhanced Performance Magazine for M4/M16 Series Rifles"--The Firearms Blog. The new magazine, which will be tan with a blue follower, is designed to angle the cartridge slightly upward so that the steel tips on the new M855A1 rounds do not contact (and thus damage) the aluminum feed ramps.
- "Is Middle America Due For a Huge Earthquake?"--The Atlantic. From the article:
The source of all this anxiety is the fabled New Madrid Seismic Zone. In the winter of 1811 and 1812, three earthquakes of magnitude 7, and possibly as high as 7.7, and countless punishing aftershocks thereafter, rocked the sparsely inhabited frontier of the American Midwest. The earth had slipped somewhere deep under the frontier settlement of New Madrid, Missouri, and the resulting earthquakes opened up chasms, diverted the Mississippi, threw trees to the ground and landslides into the river. It created temporary waterfalls and lasting lakes. Meanwhile, existing lakes were turned inside out, as cracks in the ground spewed volcanoes of sand and water into the air. Boatmen caught in the maelstrom said the Mississippi appeared to run backwards. The quakes woke New Yorkers, rang church bells in Charleston, South Carolina, buzzed bemused Torontonians a country away, and brought down chimneys from St. Louis to Cincinnati. Because the deep rock in the middle of the continent is older and colder than out west, strong shaking was felt over an area 10 times that of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. An alarmed President James Madison even wrote Thomas Jefferson from DC about the tremors.
However, the author goes on to interview a geologist that has studied mid-plate faults who argues that the strain is gone and the New Madrid Fault has shut down. The next big earthquake will be somewhere else. Read the whole thing.
- "Supervolcanoes May Erupt Surprisingly Fast"--Real Clear Science. "Once primed, a supervolcano can decompress and erupt in under a year, a new study shows, offering little warning before a potentially cataclysmic event."
- "The economy: 'Things fall apart', Part 1" and "Part 2"--Bayou Renaissance Man. Part 1 gives a background primer on inflation, the devaluation of money, and how globalization has led to reduced wages. Part 2 discusses how it impacts us, the ordinary citizen. For instance, the author asserts that the actual rate of inflation is currently 10%, which means that if you are not getting at least a 10% raise in salary or wages each year, you are actually slipping behind in terms of purchasing power.
Odds and Ends:
- "The Cost of Nepotism: J.P. Morgan to Pay $200 Million"--The American Interest. The author writes: "J.P. Morgan had been running a 'Sons and Daughters' program; hiring children of several powerful Chinese officials as well as friends and family of leaders at '75% of major Chinese firms it took public'." I've noted before that a meritocracy only lasts one generation.
- Related: "Trump: Tribune Of Poor White People"--an interview with J.D. Vance at The American Conservative. Vance was a hillbilly that wound up attending Yale. He relates:
A lot of it is pure disconnect–many elites just don’t know a member of the white working class. A professor once told me that Yale Law shouldn’t accept students who attended state universities for their undergraduate studies. (A bit of background: Yale Law takes well over half of its student body from very elite private schools.) “We don’t do remedial education here,” he said. Keep in mind that this guy was very progressive and cared a lot about income inequality and opportunity. But he just didn’t realize that for a kid like me, Ohio State was my only chance–the one opportunity I had to do well in a good school. If you removed that path from my life, there was nothing else to give me a shot at Yale. When I explained that to him, he was actually really receptive. He may have even changed his mind.
- Life imitating art: "Physicists Combine Gold with Titanium And Quadruple Its Strength"--Futurism. "The study, published in Science Advances, described the properties of an alloy of the two metals, a 3-to-1 mixture of titanium and gold, called Titanium-3. They found the alloy to be four times harder than titanium." A lot more gold than the
hypothesizedfictional Iron Man suit, which used an exoskeleton supposedly of 95.5% titanium and 4.5% gold.
- "Uncontrolled Refugeeism Will Be The Undoing Of Now-Ruling Political Class"--Zero Hedge. The author writes: "Globalization has resulted in the loss of millions of well-paid manufacturing jobs, we are well aware of it; but undocumented labor flooding the country also has had a significant impact on both wages and the loss of jobs, or opportunity for jobs, by American-born."
- "The Gold Timers"--Vox Popoli. Vox Day comments on an article about "the Gold Timers"--baby boomers that intend on spending all their money rather than leaving something to pass on through their estate to children or other relatives. Day comments: "At the very least, it's a convincing case for eliminating Social Security, shutting down all the bankrupt pension plans, and letting millions of literally useless old Boomers rely upon the children they didn't have."
- "Was Dominique Strauss Kahn Set Up?"--Anonymous Conservative. How politics works in the big leagues.