Friday, February 17, 2017

February 17, 2017--A Quick Run Around the Web

"Brazil's desperate battle for water: Parched children live among cow carcasses and cracked-earth after vital reservoir dries out leaving an entire CITY facing evacuation"--Daily Mail
Firearms/Self-Defense:
  • TGIF: The Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. Lot's of links to good articles, but a couple that jumped out me: 
  • "FK BRNO 7.5 Review, My Exclusive First Look: Part I"--Personal Defense Network. "We shot through a Czech Military Issue IIIA Vest, in the carrier, on a 25+ kilogram gelatin torso replica with a simulated bone plate 3″ inside the front edge. The round went through front of the carrier and armor, through the body torso and was trapped inside the back armor panel… from 100 Meters out of a 6″ barrel."
  • "Three lethal 12-gauge slug offerings from DDupleks-USA"--The Gun Writer. In his summary, Greg Ellifritz has this to say about the company: "I saw video of some classified ballistic testing done by a certain three-letter government agency a few years ago.  The DDupleks Steelhead slug performed better than anything else against vehicle bodies.  That slug routinely out performed both 7.62 x 39mm and .308 rounds against car bodies and engine blocks.  It was very impressive."
  • "Cognitive Dissonance and Denial"--Chiron. Rory Miller discusses the fact that machismo is often vocalized, but cowardice is silent; and someone has been very vocal about something, but when faced with it remains silent, the resulting cognitive dissonance results in denial. The example he gives is someone asserting that if someone molested their child, they would kill the molester. Then when a relative does so, and they don't follow through with their past threats, they end up denying that the relative could have done such a heinous act. Read the whole thing.
  • "What Cops Need to Know About Autism"--Breach Bang Clear. The author discusses a shooting of the caretaker of an autistic man, then provides some examples of his dealings (as a police officer) with autistic individuals, before summing up:
Autistic people can display a lot of odd behaviors. Talking to themselves, spinning, suddenly sprinting away, tapping on things repeatedly (like hundreds of times a day), rocking, humming, chewing strange objects, wearing clothes backwards, spitting, all kinds of things. They can be aggressive. They can also overreact to things that don’t bother typical people and ignore things the rest of us would freak about; for example, my son screams like he’s being tortured when we cut his toenails, but barely cried when he broke his arm. Their actions can mimic dangerous, drug-induced behaviors. So we cops need to not jump to conclusions when we see someone acting in ways that look criminal.
    String One: 10 Shots In 15 Seconds, At 15 Yards
      String Two: 10 Shots In 10 Seconds, At 10 Yards
        String Three: 10 Shots In 5 Seconds At 5 Yards
          300 Points Possible, Scored On A B8 Bullseye Target

          Other Stuff:
                   According to these lake sediments, the Central Mississippi Valley started getting more rain in the 900s. And that's when corn started thriving. A few decades later, skeletons from several Mississippian cities start showing a distinct carbon isotope signature from corn that suggests people were not only eating corn but eating lots of it. "That comes at right around 950 and that's around the time the population at Cahokia explodes," Bird says.
                     This is around the same time that the city's great earthwork pyramids started rising. Beside the massive, 10-story Monk's Mound is a grand plaza that was used for religious ceremonies and for playing the American Indian sport chunkey, involving distinctive stone discs later unearthed by archaeologists. "[Corn production] produces food surpluses," says Bird. And that allowed the Mississippians to build a society with complex recreation and religious practices, he says.
                       Cahokia became so notable at this time that other Mississippian chiefdoms may have begun forking off or springing up from its success, says Pauketat. Those other cultural centers were probably copying Cahokia, he says.
                         But the good times didn't last. Just a couple of centuries after the Mississippian cultures reached their prime, the medieval warming trend started to reverse, in part because of increased volcanic activity on the planet. Around A.D. 1200, weather patterns across North America shifted, and a transcontinental jet stream that once pulled life-giving rains from the Gulf of Mexico began funneling cold air from the bone-dry Arctic. "We switch to profound drought at A.D. 1350," Bird says. It was the start of the Little Ice Age. The dry spell wouldn't break for up to 500 more years, according to the Lake Martin calcite sediments.
                           The weather became poor for growing corn. On top of that, previous work from other researchers suggests that as the midcontinent and regions east of the Mississippi River became drier, lands west of the river became much wetter. Rains inundating its western headwaters might have caused massive flooding at Cahokia, stressing the already faltering farms. "This area hadn't been flooded like that for 600 years," says Samuel Munoz, a paleoclimatologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute who did this research but wasn't part of Bird's study.
                             As food resources dwindled in the face of an unforgiving, centuries-long drought, Bird thinks the Mississippians' political atmosphere began destabilizing. "The signs of conflict don't really start in earnest until resources become scarcer after A.D. 1250," he says. "Not just more palisades and burned villages but actual skeletal injuries, decapitations, raids and things like that." With mounting bloodshed and increasing food scarcity that must have followed the dramatic change in climate, Bird thinks the Mississippians abandoned their cities and migrated to places farther south and east like present-day Georgia, where conditions were less extreme. Before the end of the 14th century, the archaeological record suggests Cahokia and the other city-states were completely abandoned.

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