Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October 11, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"How To Make Grass Rope [Improved Method]"--Night Hawk In Light (9 min.)

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
        On Sept. 25, 1993, a former co-worker of mine named Dale Shrader was piloting a UH60 Blackhawk helicopter under night vision goggles just above the rooftops in Mogadishu, Somalia. The sordid events described in the book “Black Hawk Down” would occur a mere six days later.
            Dale’s Blackhawk was hit suddenly and unexpectedly in the fuselage by an RPG antitank rocket. The aircraft caught fire immediately. Dale managed a controlled crash into downtown Mogue. The aircraft skidded fully 100 meters before coming to rest. ...
             ... Perry was so badly injured as to be combat ineffective. Dale had a broken wrist and severe burns, but he could move under his own steam. Between them they had two M9 9mm pistols and a pair of survival knives. For whatever reason, neither of their survival radios was operational. It was pitch dark and the Somalis were hunting them.
                Dale fought off the probing Somalis armed with Kalashnikovs and hand grenades for nearly an hour with nothing more than these two handguns, killing at least one enemy combatant in the process. ...
                  La Palma was rocked by more than 40 seismic movements of low magnitude and intensity between 1.5 and 2.7 on the Richter scale, according to the data of the National Geographic Institute.
                     The biggest earthquake, recorded at around 1pm on Saturday, had a magnitude of 2.7 and took place in the area of the Natural Park Cumbre Vieja, 28 kilometres deep. 
                       The second largest quake, of 2.6, took place at 1.23pm on Sunday in the same area, while the third quake erupted at midnight on Monday, reaching a magnitude of 2.1, according to the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan).
                Yes, this is the Cumbre Vieja volcano that it is feared, if it erupts, could see a massive landslide and tsunamis striking North America and Europe. I wrote more about this back in 2012.
                          The 9.6x53mm Lancaster cartridge was developed by Russian Molot and Techcrim companies. It is based on the 7.62x54R case which was trimmed and necked up to accept 10.3mm diameter bullets. The shoulder of the parent case is also moved back. What makes this cartridge a bit different is that it is designed specifically to be used with oval bore (Lancaster rifling) firearms. The unusual designation of 9.6mm with a 10.3mm bullet diameter is because after leaving the oval bore, the bullet’s cross-section becomes oval too with the narrowest portion (width of oval) measuring 9.6mm.
                            The absence of traditional grooves and lands qualifies these firearms as shotguns according to Russian and some post-Soviet countries’ legislations. That allows owning such a firearm without the need of mandatory 5-year shotgun ownership experience required for acquiring a rifled firearm. Although the Lancaster rifling is probably not as precise as the normal rifling, it still provides performance pretty close to a rifled firearm.

                      Other Stuff:
                      • The medium was the message: "Theory of the Case"--Mark Steyn. A member of an unnamed U.K. think tank emailed Steyn with their theory of the motive for the shooting:
                        There is only one plausible motive for what this man did. And here it is:
                                 This man wished to telegraph to America in graphic form the hard irrefutable evidence that guns and gun ownership and the ease of gun purchase in America are an evil and must be controlled. On that hypothesis everything now makes sense. And it must be said his concept has a certain demented genius.
                                    Because even if the public learns and believes that his motive was all about 'guns' the horror of the act itself - an act to protest such acts - is in some ways even worse for being plain evidence that there is no limit to the insanity to which guns can be put.
                                     Here then is our argument:
                                        1. His long planned and carefully executed purchase of a virtual armoury of unprecedented scope and scale guaranteed that very armoury would inevitably become the central focus of the media.
                                          2. His assiduous removal of evidence of any tangible motive also removed the possibility that the news cycle might move on from guns - simply the means of the killing - to considering the more interesting issues of motive and message - be it political or economic or environmental or anything else.
                                             3. This man was a highly methodical and systematic thinker. Nothing in the scenario that unfolded was left to chance - even down to positioning cameras to surveil the corridor. It is therefore inconceivable that this was all done in this precise manner for no reason. That there is no message.
                                              But of course there is indeed a message. It only happens to be implicit instead of explicit. That message is 'guns'. And that message is being trawled over every minute of every day on every network in America. Given the nature of the man and the facts this is not a chance outcome. On the contrary given the known facts it is indeed the only possible outcome. An outcome so obvious that anyone given the full story beforehand would have predicted as inevitable.
                                                 4. The people he chose to kill supports the hypothesis on 'guns'. Country and Western fans are virtually guaranteed to own or at least to defend the ownership of guns. By a certain logic this provides the gunman with two sound moral positions (because it is not beyond possibility he has a conscience):
                                                   First - While killing a very large number of innocent people is an horrendous crime it is nonetheless entirely justifiable - in moral terms - if it causes a restriction on guns. Because such a restriction would - it is widely held - save innumerable lives in the long run. There is no evidence for this but it is still a widely and passionately held belief.
                                                    Second - Since the people he is shooting are actively or passively defenders of guns and an obstacle to gun control they are by definition responsible in part for all the people who have been and continue to be killed by guns.
                                                    The inscription tells of how King Kupantakuruntas ruled a kingdom called Mira that was located in what is now western Turkey. Mira controlled Troy (also in Turkey), according to the inscription, which additionally described Trojan prince Muksus leading a naval expedition that succeeded in conquering Ashkelon, located in modern-day Israel, and constructing a fortress there. [Biblical Battles: 12 Ancient Wars Lifted from the Bible]
                                                       The inscription details King Kupantakuruntas' storied path to the throne of Mira: His father, King Mashuittas, took control of Troy after a Trojan king named Walmus was overthrown. Soon after that, King Mashuittas reinstated Walmus on the Trojan throne in exchange for his loyalty to Mira, the inscription says.
                                                         Kupantakuruntas became king of Mira after his dad died. He then took control of Troy, although he wasn't the actual king of Troy. In the inscription, Kupantakuruntas describes himself as a guardian of Troy, imploring future rulers of Troy to "guard Wilusa [an ancient name for Troy] (like) the great king (of) Mira (did)." (translation by Woudhuizen).
                                                • "Huge underground reserve of 'life-saving' helium in Tanzania is TWICE as big as initially predicted"--Daily Mail. This is a big deal because there was concern that we were running out of helium. As the article notes, "[m]ore than half the world's supply is stored in the US National Helium Reserve in Texas. But that supply is dwindling after the US passed a law in 1996 obliging it to sell off a certain volume of helium every year at a fixed price, in order to raise funds for the Government." Helium is normally extracted from the drilling of natural gas, but there are few easily accessible deposits with large concentrations of helium. Besides being used in balloons, it is important in certain lasers and for certain cooling processes in industry and science.
                                                • Harvey Weinstein has fled to Europe and beyond the reach of U.S. law--ostensibly to obtain treatment for his "condition"--while Hollywood has begun the process of scrubbing his name from companies, production credits, and so on. Hollywood is still circling its wagons--it's just that it was forced, in this case, to draw the wagons in to exclude Weinstein. I'm sure that there are worse things being covered up.
                                                • "Fearsome Plague Epidemic Strikes Madagascar"--New York Times. Not the marmot variant, but it is pneumonic plague, which is bad enough by itself. From the article:
                                                  •         Madagascar typically has about 400 cases of plague each year between September and April, but they are usually focused in the nation’s central highlands and spread by fleas living on rats in rice-growing areas. This outbreak is unusually worrying because most new cases are in cities and are pneumonic plague, the form transmitted by coughing. 
                                                               Pneumonic plague kills even faster than the better-known bubonic form, which is transmitted by flea bites and gets its name from the infected lymph nodes that form large, swollen “buboes” in the groin, armpits and neck. 
                                                                  Both forms caused the infamous Black Death of the mid-14th century, which is thought to have killed a third of Europe and caused major social upheavals. 
                                                                    The Madagascar outbreak started in August, when a 31-year-old man originally thought to have malaria traveled by bush taxi from the central highlands to his home in the coastal city of Toamasina, passing through the capital, Antananarivo. 
                                                                     He died en route and “a large cluster of infections” broke out among his contacts, according to a W.H.O. update issued Oct. 4. Those contacts passed it on to others. 
                                                                        Plague was not confirmed until blood samples collected from a 47-year-old woman who died on Sept. 11 in an Antananarivo hospital of what appeared to be pneumonia were tested at Madagascar’s branch of the Pasteur Institute. The samples came up positive on a rapid test for plague. 
                                                                          The W.H.O. was notified on Sept. 13. 
                                                                            Plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Terrifying as the disease is, it can usually be cured by common antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant strains have been isolated in Madagascar but are not thought to be a factor in the latest outbreak. 
                                                                               The W.H.O. calculated that the antibiotics it has shipped, and another 244,000 doses on the way, will be enough to treat 5,000 patients and protect another 100,000 people who might have been exposed. 
                                                                                 Personal protective gear and disinfection equipment, similar to that used during Ebola epidemics, also will be sent. Local health workers will be trained to safely treat patients and to trace all their contacts and offer them prophylactic antibiotics.
                                                                        According to the article, "Since August, the country has reported over 200 infections and 33 deaths."

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