Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Quick Run Around the Web -- February 6, 2016

This has been a terrible week for yours truly: I came down with a flu-type infection and have been bed ridden most of the week other than a couple afternoons where I had to drag myself into work for a project. Thus, the lack of posts this past week. Anyway, on to some news and muse:

  • Today my two youngest successfully passed a belt advancement test at the Taekwondo studio they attend: they are more than half-way to black-belt. This might not seem significant, except that one of them suffers from cerebral palsy. He is not wheel chair bound, nor does he require canes or braces, but it has impacted both his fine and gross motor skills, as well as his speech. He had undergone years of therapy, but seemed to have plateaued, when we enrolled him and his brother in Taekwondo. He took a real interest in it, and he and his brother practice regularly. Consequently, they have advanced at a fairly rapid rate. But I am impressed at how much it has helped my disabled son to build flexibility, balance and coordination that he otherwise would never have developed. 
Although dated, here is an article on martial arts used as a therapy for youth with cerebral palsy
  • Mini-Review of the Otis Rip Cord: Since I was feeling better today, I decided to get around to some gun cleaning I had been putting off. Besides, it gave me an opportunity to try out the Otis Rip Cord I'd purchased a few weeks ago, but hadn't yet tried. I assume that most of you are aware of Otis--a company that makes various products for cleaning and maintaining firearms. Similarly, most of you have probably seen, if you have not used, Hoppe's Boresnake cleaners. The Rip Cord appears to be Otis' response to the Boresnake. 
In case you aren't familiar with the Boresnake, it basically is a flexible bore cleaning tool that replaces a standard cleaning rod, patch and brushes. There is a small brass weight attached to a length of nylon cord, which is attached to a length of course woven ribbon. The ribbon generally has a couple areas with brass brushes embedded in the material. To use the Boresnake, you fish the cord and weight down the barrel and out the muzzle, then pull through the rest of the Boresnake. Because the Boresnake is flexible and stretches out, it can make it easier to clean some of the odd calibers. For instance, my first Boresnake was for .22 caliber after I had broken two sets of .22 rods I had been using to clean my AK74 (5.45 mm). 
The Otis Rip Cord is a built differently from the Boresnake: it has a woven exterior around a core of neoprene that bulges and twists to perform the work of the bore brush incorporated in the Boresnake. The brass ends of the cord are threaded to accept brushes and other attachments made by Otis; so, if you already own an Otis cleaning kit, you can use the brushes with the Rip Cord. One of the advantages to the Rip Cord that I appreciate is that because it is stiffer than the nylon pull cord used for the Boresnake, it is much easier to feed through a barrel., (On the other hand, the Boresnake can be wound up into a tighter package, if that matters to you). Otherwise, it works the same: feed it through the barrel until the end is poking out the muzzle, and then pull through. 
The price point on the Otis Rip Cord is also materially less than the Boresnake: about $10 to $15 versus $20+.  
Although time will tell how the Rip Cord works and holds up versus the Boresnake, I think I would give the nod to the Rip Cord at this point if, for no other reason, how much easier it is to feed through the barrel. This is not to say that I would recommend replacing your Boresnakes, if you already have them, because I would not. Both systems work well. 
  • The War in Europe: Some articles about the continued conflict in Europe....
  • The War In The Middle-East
  • The Invasion of the United States: The business elite see Latin America as a pool of new, cheaper workers; the ideological elite see this as a means to destroy America...
  • Related: "Lone Star Shale Producers Defy OPEC"--American Interest. Some producers still pumping at a profit. Also, should prices increase, other producers are ready to jump in:
And even as some producers find ways to turn a profit with today’s profits, many in the industry that have seen their margins erased are nevertheless still busy pursuing a forward-looking strategy: drilling but not yet fracking wells. This approach essentially lines up projects to bring online the minute prices rise high enough to justify them. This so-called “fracklog” is a widespread phenomenon, and it’s growing. For Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world’s petrostates, that’s a terrifying prospect, because it means what if and when we see the global glut erased and prices start trending back upwards, these new American supplies will flood the market and bring those prices right back down again.

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