Friday, December 30, 2016

December 30, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

  • TGIF: Another "Weekend Knowledge Dump" from Active Response Training. Lots of good articles, as always, but a couple things that jumped out at me:
  • In some comments to one of the articles ("A Felon On Firearms"), Ellifritz writes:
         ... We primarily talked about his discussion with the contract killer about police officers (and armed citizens) training to take a step or two sideways when drawing the gun.
           The theory is that your movement will force your attacker to take additional time to adjust his aim before he fires. Hopefully, that gives you time to shoot him. It makes sense, and I have trained shooters in this concept myself.
             BUT, as Dave points out here…it only works if your attacker is taking the time to truly aim his weapon at you! Most criminals don’t do that! They just stick the gun up and start spraying bullets. In that case, your movement is just as likely to get you hit as it is to make the attacker miss, ...
        • One of the articles that he links to is "9x19mm Pocket Rockets" by Ken Hackathorn, where Hackathorn cautions that with many pocket 9 mm pistols, the slide velocity can be so high when using +P and +P+ rounds that the slide will cycle faster than the magazine spring can push a new round into place (some of you may remember that I had similar problems with my AR until I installed a heavier buffer). Thus, Hackathorn recommends using standard pressure 9 mm loads for the pocket pistol.
        • "New From Colt: Cobra .38 Revolver"--The Truth About Guns. Colt may be re-entering the double-action revolver market with a new version of the Detective Special. I realize that they are calling the revolver the Cobra, but this is not a reproduction of the original Cobra; the original Cobra had an aluminum frame, while this one purportedly has a steel frame as did the old Detective Special. In any event, I couldn't find any additional information from any other sources, so pricing is unknown. Based on other Colt products, I'm going to guess somewhere north of $700 and I wouldn't be surprise if the MSRP broached the $1,000 mark.
        • "Serbia: The land of guns"--DW. According to the article, outside of the United States, Serbia has the highest per capita gun ownership in the world. 
        • "World War II Civilian Survival Lessons: Rationing, victory gardens and surviving war as a civilian"--Happy Preppers. Some of the lessons are that people bartered for items or services (common "money" substitutes were alcohol, tobacco, and bartering of services); chocolate was a "ration"; cigarettes, coffee and chewing gum were important commodities. Read the whole thing.
        • "The Ignition Point of Combustibles Do Matter In a Survival Situation"--Preparing for SHTF. The key point of the article is that when starting a fire, you want to maximize surface area and air flow so that the key variable is temperature rather than heat to get the initial tinder and kindling lit. 
        • "Serious Survival: How much food should you stockpile?"--Modern Survivalist. FerFal ventures into suggesting quantities of food that should be stored. He suggests 6 months for standard issues of unemployment or other family emergencies, and 1 year worth of food for dealing with food shortages, inflation, and other serious regional or national economic unrest. He figures that if you need more than 1 year of food stored up, you probably are better off leaving and going somewhere else.
        • "The Many Uses for a Bandana"--Modern Survival Online. Too long of a list to summarize. Simply put, there is a reason that cowboys, cavalry, and the Boy Scouts all used bandannas or scarves.
          Broken knife with a skeletonized handle (Source)
        • "A Ranger Designed EDC Knife | The Adjutant by Minuteman"--The Loadout Room. This is another fixed blade knife employing a "full tang" skeletonized handle, which seem all the rage the last few years. It is possible, of course, to put some holes in a piece of steel or other metal without sacrificing strength. However, the skeletonized handles go way beyond this. The problem is that, in the end, you end up with a knife blade that is connected to the handle via two thin pieces of metal, the sum of which often are probably slimmer than a rat tail tang would have been. Not only does this make the use of the term "full tang" inaccurate, but the knife is inherently weak at these points; with how much material is removed, the handle can fairly easily be snapped off if the blade is subject to a torquing force or a force perpendicular to the handle. I've seen it happen with throwing knives using skeletonized handles (SOG brand), and I have placed a photo of a similar failure above with what appears to be a Spyderco fixed blade knife (although the person posting that photograph blamed a lack of strength in the scales, it was a failure of the tang, not what was covering it). If you want a skeletonized handle on a knife to save weight, the cut outs should not start until past the point which you will be applying the most force to the handle (e.g., past the second finger of the hand). I suppose that if you are going to use such a knife in a role similar to a pocket knife it will be adequate; but not as a heavy duty camping, survival or general utility blade.

        Other Stuff:
             On the heels of the hotly contested resolution, which condemned Israel for building homes in its capital, Jerusalem, senior Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden, have been identified as leading the charge to ensure the anti-Israel measure won approval by the U.N. Security Council.

               The administration’s denials of this charge broke down during the past several days as multiple reporters confirmed the Obama administration worked behind-the-scenes to help shape and forward the resolution.
          • "Witchcraft"--Richard Fernandez at PJ Media. Modern technology, for the majority of people, may as well be magic. Fernandez explains:
                 ... Civilization depends on the knowledge of a small fraction of the world's 7.5 billion population. The know-how to make pharmaceuticals, complex devices, aircraft, computers, industrial chemicals from scratch is probably confined to a few million people concentrated in North America, Europe, Russia and North Asia.  The rest of us are end users.

                   If a global catastrophe destroyed all of civilization's works yet spared these few million they could re-create every object in the world again. By contrast if only these few millions perished the remaining billions though untouched could continue only until things broke down. ...
              This is not really a new issue, though. Read Leonard E. Read's 1958 essay, "I, Pencil" detailing the manufacturing steps to making a simple graphite pencil.
              • "Brutal Illustrations Of The Stormtroopers 501st Legion Fighting Against Hordes Of Aliens"--Design You Trust. I've long thought that a good Star Wars universe story would be Storm Troopers doing something other than hunting down rebels, such as saving a colony from some hideous alien infestation, a la, the space marines in the movie Aliens. Someone with skills as an artist has envisioned this with art work depicting Storm Troopers (and Darth Vader) fighting the xenomorphs from the Alien universe.
              • "Trucks as weapons - hard to stop"--DW. Anti-collision technology may have reduced the number of casualties in the Berlin terror attack, but, as this article describes, it is hard to stop a determined driver from running people down.
              • It is not what it seems: "Mormons Petition To Stop Tabernacle Choir From Singing At Trump’s Inauguration"--Huffington Post. You may have seen or read similar stories from other news outlets over the past week or so. This is part of a general strategy of attempting to intimidate performers from participating at Trump's inauguration. While the news stories tend to focus on the wording of the petition--which claims that Trump's positions "do[ ] not align with the principles and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”--they ignore the people behind the petition. The original sponsor of the petition (and the one most generally interviewed) is Randall Thacker, an LGBTQ activist. If anything, it is Thacker who is not compatible with the principles of the LDS Church. In looking through various other articles on this topic, the other persons interviewed appear to be either LGBT activists or refugee/illegal alien activists--i.e., other liberals and others from the left-wing. Thus, the persons behind this petition are not representative of the vast majority of LDS Church members.
              • "Look to the sky for New Year's Eve comet"--USA Today. Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova will be near the moon on New Year's Eve, although you will probably need binoculars or a telescope to see it unless you are in a dark, rural area. According to the article, there will be several comets visible throughout 2017, so it should be a good year for amateur astronomers.
              • A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "Have scientists found the 'fountain of youth'? Removing certain cells may allow elderly people to regrow hair, run faster and live for longer"--Daily Mail. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found in tests on mice that removing senescent cells (cells which are unable to reproduce themselves and prevent tissue growth) helped the rodents live 25% longer.

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