Sunday, May 20, 2018

May 20, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"A Cancer in Science"--Suspicious Observers (4-1/2 min.)
A discussion of how dogmatic can be scientists, with a specific look at climate research and dark matter research. Of course, this is not anything new. For instance, Lee Smolin, a theoretical physicist, published a book in 2006 entitled The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next which was critical of how dogmatic physics had become about string theory, to the extent that it was driving out all research (and researchers) following other theories--and despite the fact that there was little actual experimental results to support string theory.

  • Range notes: Notwithstanding the rainstorms we've had over the last couple of weeks, the road to my favorite shooting area was still passable, so I got to try out my new handloads for .300 Blackout as well as sight in the Holosun 515CM red dot sight. The load I was testing was Hornady 110 grain VMAX over 19.3 grains of Winchester 296. Accuracy was acceptable, but given that I have a 1:7 twist in the barrel, I wonder if a heavier bullet would do better. Unfortunately, I neglected to take out any 125 grain loads for comparison. Also, I don't have ballistic gelatin so I use the unscientific test of shooting water filled plastic milk jugs and comparing how well they explode. At 30 and 50 yards, the jugs blew up very satisfactorily.  At 100 yards, I could get a visible spray of water, but not enough force to upset the jug. I'll try and remember to take my chronograph next time to check muzzle velocity. 
  • It's an invasion and needs to be treated as such: "Arizona Border Ranchers Live in Fear as Illegal Immigration Crisis Worsens"--Judicial Watch. Rancher John Ladd has had over 500,000 illegal aliens arrested on his ranch over his career, and occasionally comes across a dead body. He and other ranchers on the border live in fear of illegal aliens and drug smugglers, however. And from what he describes, there is effectively no control being exercised over the border. From the article:
       Another troubled property owner, John Guerrero, took Judicial Watch on a nighttime tour of a nearby smuggling route that is inexplicably unprotected. The dirt road runs through the Coronado National Forest and Guerrero, a retired U.S. Army Ranger and intelligence officer who served in Iraq and Somalia, has felt the impact of the government’s failure to adequately guard it. Five strands of barb wire serve as the physical boundary between the U.S. and Mexico in a remote portion of the park, which is closed to the public at night and is heavily transited by drug and human smugglers. Illegal immigration has had such a devastating impact on the area that Guerrero wrote a book offering detailed anecdotes of what he and his family endure because they live near the Mexican border. This includes drugs and illegal immigrants piling into vehicles on the road adjacent to his four-acre property and ultralight aircraft flying near his rooftop, just above the trees, en route to make a drug drop. “Local residents are increasingly fearful,” Guerrero said.
           The event that has most impacted Guerrero occurred when smugglers burned down a beloved chapel, Our Lady of the Sierras, situated on a hill across the road from his home. A 75-foot Celtic cross outside the chapel remains lit through the night and serves as a navigational tool for smugglers and the grounds are regularly used to transfer drugs. In 2011, illegal immigrant smugglers started the fire along the border to escape the Border Patrol during a pursuit. Besides the chapel, which has since been rebuilt, the fire destroyed nearly 30,000 acres and dozens of homes. Guerrero and his family were forced to evacuate. Widespread media coverage omitted that illegal immigrants were responsible for the fire, but a local news station finally reported that the Cochise County Sheriff confirmed the fire started 200 yards north of the Mexican border in an area known as Smuggler’s Gulch. “There was absolutely no mention by the federal government as to the true origin of the fire,” Guerrero said.
    • Instapundit has linked to this article a couple of times: "Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning"--Soundings Magazine. The author notes that "[d]rowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for is rarely seen in real life." The author continues:
      When someone is drowning there is very little splashing, and no waving or yelling or calling for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents). Of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In 10 percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening.
                 Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is a secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.
                   Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
                    Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
                Signs of drowning include: Head low in the water, mouth at water level; Head tilted back with mouth open; Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus; Eyes closed; Hair over forehead or eyes; Not using legs; Hyperventilating or gasping; Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway; Trying to roll over onto the back; or, Appears to be climbing an invisible ladder. If you are not sure, the author suggests asking the person if they are alright--if they can respond at all, they probably are, but if they can't, you may have only 30 seconds or less. And if kids suddenly stop splashing and yelling is the time you need to investigate. 
                • "Why Movement is Essential for Self-Defense" (Part 1 and Part 2)--USA Carry. The author observes:
                           If you’re a moving target, you are significantly more challenging to shoot. If your attacker is armed with a hand weapon like a knife, they have to catch you to cut you. As such, movement can help protect you whether or not you’re armed. Even if you are armed, it can provide a wide variety of tactical advantages, such as getting into cover or may also provide an opportunity to escape entirely. Many instructors talk about movement at least a little, usually with some variation of a phrase like “get off the X.” Very often, however, that’s the end of the discussion. It seems extremely obvious, to the point where “practicing” seems needless to many.
                            One of the significant problems, though, is that so much of our training and practice reinforces the opposite reflex. Most people do most of their practice, and even formal training, standing perfectly still at shooting ranges. This is often due to the limitations of shooting range rules and range safety. Shooting ranges aren’t wrong for having these rules, but it is nonetheless a problem when it comes to getting useful training and practice. Shooting on the move while under fire is significantly more difficult than under the calm, ideal circumstances of a shooting range, where you have all the time in the world to assume a proper, comfortable shooting position to engage an entirely stationary target.
                      The author notes in the second part that some people can actually forget how to move in certain ways (giving examples of people that hadn't done any running for so long that they were literally tripping over their own feet when they tried to run). He writes:
                        You don’t need to develop a jogging habit or become a gym rat. Very few self-defense encounters will involve feats of incredible strength or endurance. You don’t need to be able to run a 5K or even a hundred-meter dash. But you should at least make sure that you are capable of short bursts of movement without tripping over yourself. The kind of thing that can let you get out of harm’s way as quickly as possible. It is more about coordination than about cardio.
                          Read both parts.
                          • "Muzzle Direction during a reload"--Notes From KR. The author begins his article by pointing out that the need to reload is extremely rare in self-defense situations. For instance:
                            Tom Givens’ data on his 66 student-involved shootings show that none of them reloaded during the fight. Some shot to slide lock.  Analysis of police gunfights also shows in-fight reloads, where reload speed could be a factor between success or failure, rarely, if ever, occur. 
                              The author describes three basic muzzle direction when reloading a handgun:
                                ... (1) the one I normally use, which has minimum vertical muzzle movement, which was the technique that worked best for me to hit those Grand Master level reload speeds.  (2) The muzzle up reload technique, taught by some tactical schools, which places the muzzle pointing up at the sky. It puts the mag well right in front of the shooter’s eyes, which aids in ensuring the magazine is seated cleanly.  (3) A muzzle down technique, with the gun held down at stomach level, muzzle down as far as I could tolerate and still reload smoothly and within reasonable time limits.
                                  The author found no material differences in reload times between the three options.
                                    But the notion of women paying alimony sometimes “doesn’t sit with our collective cultural stereotype,” Sexton said. “I think (women are) surprised by it: ‘What’s wrong with him? He can get a job’ — which, by the way, you hear from men as well,” he said. “Suddenly, women who sounded like Andrea Dworkin a minute before are like, ‘Wait a minute. Why do I have to pay him alimony?’”
                                    ... Aaron Brown looked at the official NASA global temperature data and noticed something surprising. From February 2016 to February 2018, "global average temperatures dropped by 0.56 degrees Celsius." That, he notes, is the biggest two-year drop in the past century.

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