Friday, October 12, 2018

October 12, 2018 - A Quick Run Around the Web

"Modern Knife Expert Compares Medieval Dagger Techniques with Modern Knife - Ft. Keith Jennings"--Blood and Iron HEMA (9 min.). This is an interesting comparison of techniques to respond to similar situations. Keep in mind that the modern techniques, and the slashes it uses, assume a person in normal attire and the slashes probably would not work against persons wearing armor or heavy clothing.

  • TGIF: The Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. Articles on shooting through glass, attending church services while armed, voice phishing scams, a critique of Dave Grossman's work, using ballistic calculators, how to ram through a road block, and more.
  • "Cold Weather Carry"--Handguns Magazine. A discussion of the problems, and some tips to overcome them, when carrying in cold weather and wearing heavy clothing. The primary problem in cold weather is accessing a holstered weapon--it likely is under a coat and, perhaps, other layers of clothing, and you may be wearing gloves that further hamper access. The author relates: 
On a damp, chilly morning at The Site in Mount Carroll, Illinois, I watched students struggle to draw from under a hodgepodge of garments. They might sweep their heavy unzipped jacket aside—only to fumble with a sweatshirt they try to lift over their holstered gun. This is way too much of a burden. Whenever possible, wear clothing layers under your gun and a single garment (your coat) over it.
He also gives advise on reholstering the weapon in a way that you won't be muzzling yourself.
        The second issue addressed by the author is possible malfunctions due to your clothing, especially if you have to shoot from a retention position with the gun close to your side. The author advises:
To keep the slide from snagging on their garments, many shooters are taught to cant their pistol outboard slightly. The top of the slide would be in approximately the two o’clock and three o’clock position to give the slide room to cycle. Alternatively, when shooting from retention, you could simply “flag” your thumb. With this technique your thumb is wedged between your gun and your torso to create just enough of a barrier for the slide to do its thing. Indexing your thumb to the same part of your body also promotes consistent orientation for enhanced close-quarter accuracy.
       Finally, there are gloves. Gloves add bulk and stiffness that can reduce your manual dexterity making it more difficult to draw a weapon, and can affect your ability to manipulate the weapon. If your gloves are particularly heavy--or you are wearing mittens--you may not even be able to safely fit your finger into the trigger guard. The obvious solution is to wear as thin of gloves as you are able. My personal experience is that simply wearing a hat can often ensure that you retain enough body heat that your body won't reduce circulation to extremities such as your hands, and they will stay warm. I am then able to wear a thin athletic glove to protect against wind but which allows me to keep most of my dexterity. 
        I would also add that, if you are well and truly bundled up, carrying a revolver or pistol in an outside pocket might be more practical than trying to get to a firearm under a coat or parka. 
  • "Indoor Winter Gardening"--Modern Survival Blog. Besides having the room to do so, there is the issue of sufficient light, which can be solved by either placing the plants where they will get sufficient sunlight, or using grow lights of some sort. 
  • "The Larue MBT: It Just Works"--The New Rifleman. The author reviews a trigger that he found to rival or exceed some of the offerings from Geissele, but at a lower price point. In fact, they are currently on sale from Larue for $87 dollars.
  • "EMERGENCY POWER ON DEMAND: Jump-N-Carry Starters"--SWAT Magazine. Car batteries can suddenly fail without warning. My wife recently came out of a doctor's appointment to find that the car wouldn't start because of a bad battery. The roadside assistance guy showed up and jump started the car with one of these units, which was handy because there were no concerns about getting the two cars close enough to run jumper cables, or worrying about overloading the alternator or battery of the second vehicle. Looking at the different models, they can be good for more than just jump-starting a vehicle: some models offer lights, places to plug in and recharge electronics, and air compressors for filling tires.
  • "Century Arms Now Shipping Heavy Duty VSKA AK Rifle"--Ammo Land. Per the article/press release, "[t]he VSKA rifle features an all-new bolt carrier, front trunnion, and feed ramp machined from S7 tool steel and specially heat treated for maximum durability."
  • Don't use warning shots, don't shoot a fleeing suspect: "CCTV video shows white retired US fireman firing his SHOTGUN at black teen, 14, who only rang his doorbell to ask for directions to school, after his wife 'panicked and thought he was a burglar'"--Daily Mail. It is unfortunate that black crime is so ubiquitous that this man's wife thought it was a burglary when she opened the door. But what got the guy in trouble is that after the black kid had already started running off, he stepped outside his home and fired two times toward the fleeing kid.


            The recent surge in MS-13 violence in Boston and other cities was prompted by MS-13 leaders in El Salvador seeking to strengthen the gang’s U.S. presence, said Peter Levitt, a former assistant U.S. attorney who was the lead prosecutor on the Boston cases.
              Veteran gang members were sent to Boston from El Salvador and elsewhere to organize local factions, ramp up high school recruitment, step up drug dealing and undertake the savage attacks — often with machetes and knives — that have become MS-13′s hallmark, he said.
                On New York’s Long Island, the gang has been blamed for at least 25 killings since 2016, and authorities have conducted similar large sweeps. And in Fresno County, California, MS-13 has been linked to more than 12 deaths in the past two years. More than two dozen gang members and affiliates were rounded up in August.
                  Since the Boston raid, violent crime in the communities where MS-13 is most active has dropped, though police note that less-heralded crackdowns on other violent gangs, including MS-13′s rival 18th Street, have also been a factor.
          More than 5,000 years ago a nomadic group of shepherds rode out of the steppes of eastern Europe to conquer the rest of the continent. The group, today known as the Yamna or Pit Grave culture, brought with them an innovative new technology, wheeled carts, which enabled them to quickly occupy new lands. More than 4,500 years ago, the descendants of these people reached the Iberian peninsula and wiped out the local men, according to new research by a team of international scientists.
                    Potentially, ROS on Windows 10 would make it easier for people to get going with ROS in a familiar environment. It’s not like this is a new idea, and we’ve seen a few different community-driven projects that have attempted to make ROS work on Windows before, but in this case direct involvement and integration from Microsoft seems to be making all the difference: “Microsoft will host the Windows builds for ROS1 and shortly ROS2, as well as provide documentation, development, and deployment solutions for Windows. With ROS for Windows, developers will be able to use the familiar Visual Studio toolset along with rich AI and cloud features.”
                      To get ROS working on Windows 10 right now, you’ll need a 64-bit version of Windows 10 Desktop (or Windows 10 IoT Enterprise), at least 10 GB of space, and Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 (the community edition is free). Then you’ll need to install a package manager, install Git, set up an administrator command line shortcut, and finally install ROS itself. It still seems a lot, but Microsoft has helpful step-by-step instructions here. And from that point, you’re free to begin the basic ROS tutorials, although it’s important to note that there are some fundamental operating system differences between Windows and Linux that you’ll need to be aware of—for example, Linux is case sensitive while Windows is not, and Windows uses “\” where Linux uses “/”, that sort of thing.

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