- "Man Arrested In “Democratic” Socialist Venezuela For Smuggling …Milk"--Weasel Zippers. Venezuela has provided significant insights into what products become valuable during times of shortages. Add powdered milk to the list of items to include in your food stores for possible trading goods.
- "Ryan Cleckner: How to Estimate and Adjust for Target Distance"--The Truth About Guns. You may think you are done with trigonometry, but it is not done with you. This is an excerpt from Cleckner's book, Long Range Shooting Handbook- A Beginner’s Guide to Precision Rifle Shooting.
- "Photos show what crime looks like before it happens"--The Washington Post. A photographer describes (and illustrates) some of the "anomalies" (i.e., suspicious activities) that trigger "smart cameras"--semi-automated systems used to predict crime. This seems good information for anyone interested in spotting risks around them. The eight anomalies discussed are:
- Standing Still (e.g., someone standing still in an area where everyone else is walking);
- Fast Movements (e.g., running or breaking into a run when everyone else is walking);
- Lonely Objects (e.g., boxes or luggage left sitting by itself);
- Placement On A Corner (e.g., standing at the precise corner of an intersection or building, rather than slightly away from the corner such as you normally would when waiting to use a cross-walk);
- Clusters Breaking Apart (e.g., a group of people suddenly splitting up and heading different directions);
- Synchronized Movements (e.g., a group of people moving together at the same pace);
- Repeatedly Looking Back (self-explanatory, I think); and,
- Deviant Directions (e.g., walking in a direction opposite of everyone else).
Additional articles can be found at The Daily Mail and FotoFirst (a photography 'zine).
- "Al Qaeda seizes more territory in southern Yemen"--The Long War Journal.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has expanded its footprint across southern Yemen by seizing five towns, including a provincial capital, over the past two weeks. Al Qaeda’s official branch in Yemen continues to capitalize on Yemen’s chaotic civil war.
AQAP took “full control” of Houta, the capital of Lahj province, on Jan. 26, according to Al-Araby al-Jadeed. Pro-government militias in the town fled as AQAP fighters were “storming the public institutions” and blew up a police station.
After overruning Houta, AQAP marched on four towns in the provinces of Abyan and Shabwa, traditional strongholds for the jihadist insurgent group. On Feb. 1, AQAP took Azzan in Shabwa without a fight.
Next to fall was Mahfid, a town in Abyan province, on Feb. 4, according to Al-Masdar Online. AQAP raised it’s black banner and set up security checkpoints throughout the town. Mahfid, like Azzan, was taken without opposition from security forces.
Additionally, AQAP recently took over the coastal towns of Shoqra and Ahwar in the Abyan province, according to a Feb. 8 report by AFP.
- "Intelligence officials: IS determined to strike U.S. this year"--Military Times.
Leaders of the Islamic State are determined to strike targets in the United States this year, senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday, telling lawmakers that a small group of violent extremists will attempt to overcome the logistical challenges of mounting such an attack.
In testimony before congressional committees, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and other officials described the Islamic State as the "pre-eminent terrorist threat." The militant group can "direct and inspire attacks against a wide range of targets around the world," Clapper said.
Marine Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said the Islamic State will probably conduct additional attacks in Europe and then attempt the same in the U.S. He said U.S. intelligence agencies believe IS leaders will be "increasingly involved in directing attacks rather than just encouraging lone attackers."
- "Intel Chief: 'We Might Use Smart-Home Devices To Spy On You'"--WND. "The nation’s top intelligence officer [Clapper] admitted Tuesday that the government may use information transmitted to the Internet from your washing machine, your thermostat, your television, your refrigerator or your favorite video game against you."
- "Saudi’s decision to send troops in Syria ‘final’"--Al Arabiya. "Saudi’s decision to send troops to Syria in an attempt to bolster and toughen efforts against militants is 'final' and 'irreversible,' the Saudi military spokesman announced on Thursday." But still waiting for U.S. approval.
- "'Happy Birthday' is public domain, former owner Warner/Chapell to pay $14M"--Ars Technica.
- "Seven held in northern France for attacking migrants"--The Local. "Seven men from northern France were held for beating up Iraqi-Kurds with iron bars who were trying to get onto UK-bound lorrie as attacks on migrants rise." I've seen videos of the refugees "trying to get onto UK-bound lorries" and it is more accurately described as hi-jacking.
- "Dig Into the Nuclear Era's Homegrown Fallout Shelters"--The Smithsonian. Some history of home fall out shelters.