Friday, April 14, 2017

April 14, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Remington R51: Buy or Fry?"--Nutnfancy (23 min.)
So Nutnfancy has finally done a review on the R51 Gen. 2. He had no real issues with reliability, even taking it out into freezing temperatures, dumping it in the snow, and it still worked. Accuracy was pretty good. He wasn't sure about the muzzle flip being less than similarly sized guns, but if you compare the video of his shooting the R51 to when he is shooting an XD-S, there is substantially less muzzle flip with the R51. He also acknowledges that it is very thin. He didn't like the grip safety, but admitted that he just doesn't like grip safeties. What he didn't like was the complicated take down (which I will concede), and that it felt slab-sided to him. He felt that the weight was too much for the number of shots. But, basically, it came down to feel and aesthetics.  The comments were full of the standard "I hate Remington" crowd, but one stood out as being actually quite funny: someone complained that gun manufacturers hadn't come out with an 8-round compact with a metal frame. Yeah, that is the R51.

  • TGIF: Another Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. This weekend's edition seems to have links to more articles than normal, with the usual commentary, so be sure to check it out. One comment, in particular, struck me: In discussing an article about a citizen who meekly presented his firearm in self-defense and had it taken from him, Greg Ellifritz comments:
Too many people think of the gun as a magical talisman that will automatically ward off evil as soon as it is drawn from the holster.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  The criminals are very good at recognizing when the honest citizen is fearful or hesitant to shoot.  They will use your emotions against you and, like this incident, take your gun from you without a second thought.  You brought the gun to the fight but that gun isn’t “yours.”  In all truth, the gun belongs to whoever can take it and keep it.
A couple of the articles Greg linked to that jumped out at me in particular were:
  • "Using an AK-47 for Self-Defense" from Shooting Illustrated, which offers tips and tricks on operating the weapon in, shall we say, "dynamic" environments. I really like the tips on operating the safety.
  •  "These ‘Swimming Bullets’ Can Obliterate a Target Underwater"--Kit Up! A Norwegian company has developed bullets that use principles of cavitation to give them better accuracy and range (velocity) in water. This means that it would be more effective for shooting either out of the water toward a target above the water or on land, or into the water at an underwater target. The bullets are available in 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm, and 12.7 mm (.50 cal.). More information here
  • "Problems And Solutions In Rifle Caliber And Training"--Captain's Journal. Herschel Smith and a friend who is a current military officer have comments regarding the Army wanting a new rifle for the distances encountered in Afghanistan. The gist of their comments is that it is possible to quickly and easily turn decent shooters into good shooters that can hit out to the 800 to 1000 yard ranges, and so the Army needs to return to an emphasis on having a designated marksman. 
  • "A get-home kit for emergency use"--Bayou Renaissance Man. Grant starts out by noting that the specifics of the kit will vary according to climes and seasons. Nevertheless, he groups supplies into three basic categories: (1) nutrition, (2) clothing, and (3) equipment (e.g., fire starting tools and supplies, cordage, knife, first aid kit, etc.). I would add that probably one of the most important pieces of clothing you should have are a pair of shoots or boots suitable for walking (if not part of your regular footwear), and socks too, if necessary. I would also add a hat. A hat will often do more for conserving body heat (especially in mid-range temperatures) than a jacket.
  • When seconds count... "Revealed: Thirteen of the 49 Pulse nightclub shooting victims died while waiting for help in the bathrooms during gunman's three-hour standoff with police"--Daily Mail.
  • "Solar Storms Are Doing Something Weird to Our Atmosphere"--Gizmodo. The composition of the earth's upper atmosphere is not wholly stable. The article explains:
Every once in a while our Sun gives off a tremendous belch of high energy particles. Called a coronal mass ejection (CME), these episodes can vary in intensity, but they can produce bursts of electrical charge when they interact with our upper atmosphere in a geomagnetic storm. In a strange twist, new research shows that geomagnetic storms can produce the opposite effect, stripping the upper atmosphere of electrons for hundreds of miles. Which, if you like electronic gadgets, may be a problem.
I bring this up in the prepping section of my daily brief because stripping off electrons from the ionosphere reduces the ability to bounce radio signals off the ionosphere, as is necessary for short wave radio communication.

Other Stuff:
  • Related: "U.S. May Launch Strike if North Korea Reaches for Nuclear Trigger"--NBC. Another public warning to North Korea: "The U.S. is prepared to launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons against North Korea should officials become convinced that North Korea is about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test, multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News."
       Police on Long Island, New York, have discovered the bodies of four young people authorities suspect may have been killed by members of the international MS-13 gang, officials said Thursday.
          Authorities believe the four males, ranging from ages 16 to 20, were killed several days ago in a park in Central Islip, a working-class community about 47 miles east of New York City. Suffolk County Police found the bodies late Wednesday in a wooded area. It wasn't immediately clear what led them to the park.
             The victims "suffered from significant trauma throughout their body with a sharp or edged instrument," county Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said.
               "The manner in which they were killed is consistent with the modus operandi of MS-13," Sini told reporters.
                  MS-13, also known as La Mara Salvatrucha, is one of the largest criminal organizations in the United States, with more than 6,000 members in at least 46 states and the District of Columbia, the US Attorney's Office said.
                   In addition, more than 30,000 MS-13 members operate internationally, mostly in El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.
            • Related: "Obama Wiretapped Low-level Trump Adviser Carter Page"--Anonymous Conservative. The wire-tap order was obtained by the FBI, meaning that FBI Director James Comey lied when he testified that the FBI did not wiretap any of Trump's transition team. Anonymous Conservative has a warning for us, though:
                     The truth is wiretapping is easy – it is getting official approval to do it, and keep a record of it, that is hard. The guys who actually click the keys on the keyboard to get the sound files could do it all day long with no problem. Why anybody thinks that the most secretive areas of government, operating without any approval whatsoever, worry about official rules is beyond me.
                       If you are in the alt right, know that the party line everybody adheres to about this being so difficult is just a fantasy. Keep your nose clean, and act like you are being watched at all times.
                I [used to be] a staunch mechanist. Everything, every decision, every action, every personality was the result of an impersonal molecular mechanism. It created a world where good and evil were subjugated beneath mere consequence. As I have moved through the world however, it has become clear that good and evil do exist. Some people want to help others, some live to destroy any happiness they see others enjoying. The mechanistic paradigm is totally insufficient to describe it.
                • The little law that ate the Constitution: "Third Circuit: neighbors who criticized condo residents over emotional support dogs must face civil rights suit."--Ann Althouse. The Fair Housing Act is another civil rights act that is part-and-parcel with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, except whereas the latter dealt with employment and sale of services/goods, the FHA pertains to housing. This particular decision apparently allows a person to sue her neighbors because of comments that the neighbors posted to social media because it created a "hostile environment." Note that these are just neighbors complaining about the person being allowed to have pets in a condominium complex that ostensibly has a "no pet" policy, not people refusing to sell homes or rent to her, which was the subject of the Act. By the way, the "emotional support animal" is mostly a scam; generally someone getting a doctor's note in order to avoid prohibitions on pets or the additional fees charged to owners of pets.
                • "United Airlines Did Not Have the Legal Right to Refuse Service to the Doctor Dragged Off Its Plane"--Inc. Because it was not technically overbooked; rather the airline was bumping some passengers in preference for other types of passengers. 
                • "Nasa announces one of Saturn's moons could support alien life in our solar system"--The Independent. The moon, Enceladus, is known to shoot plumes of water from its crust, suggesting that liquid water exists under its crust, perhaps heated by thermal processes within the moon. When the Cassini spacecraft flew through a plume, it detected, in addition to water, molecular hydrogen, which most probably came from hydrothermal reactions between hot ricks and water under the moon's crust, similar to geothermal vents in Earth's oceans, and which supply energy for life around such vents on Earth. Carbon dioxide and methane were also detected, which again suggest the presence of life.
                • "AI programs exhibit racial and gender biases, research reveals"--The Guardian. Researchers are worried because the machines are not politically correct. They blame it on cultural biases inherent in our everyday language, which the machines analyze as part of their learning.
                Look around you. Can you find anything with a moving part that was not invented by whites?  Anything electronic? Cars, telephones, computers, aircraft, antibiotics, on and on–all sprang from the minds of white people. You are not supposed to say such things, and could be run out of a university for it–but ask yourself, if you have the courage: Is it true? Do not think that because things are commonplace or easy to use that they are not products of fields of extraordinary difficulty.
                • "Nationalism intensifies"--Vox Popoli. Vox notes that the number of babies being brought to the United States for adoption has plummeted since 2004. Although Vox acknowledges that this is partly due to the decline in the economy and marriage rates, he also speculates that it may be to the declining value in virtue signaling by adopting a foreign baby.
                • "Electric and Magnetic Fields Drive Soft, Flexible Robots"--IEEE Spectrum. "Over the last week or so, two new methods of soft robot locomotion have shown up in the news: One of them using external magnetic fields, and the other using an electric field to power flapping fins."
                • "You're tying your shoes wrong: Bad knots, walking untie laces"--9 News. The article reports:
                  Through a series of experiments, the team worked out the undoing of a shoelace. The downward spiral begins with the foot’s repeated impact against the ground, which loosens the central knot. Meanwhile, the leg’s swinging causes the lace’s free ends to whip around and gradually slide out of the knot. Finally, one lace end slips free, resulting in “runaway knot failure,” the researchers write in this week’s Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
                    If you want to learn different, and better, knots for specific types of footwear and purposes, visit Ian's Shoelace Site.

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