Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Top Science News--April 2, 2018"--Suspicious Observers (5 min.)
I've mentioned a couple of these items, but this video briefly touches on some of the relevant science news from the last couple of weeks that support a connection between solar activity and earthquakes, the global electric circuit, and other items.

            The cognitive process of peripheral target discrimination interacts with peripheral to focused vision in this fashion:  SOMETHING’S MOVING to A MAN IS MOVING to A MAN WITH A GUN IS MOVING to A MAN WITH A GUN WHO IS NOT ONE OF MINE IS MOVING.  To use the fingers:  SOMETHING’S MOVING to FINGERS ARE MOVING to FINGERS WITH AN EXACT COUNT ARE MOVING.
              This exercises mirrors the cognitive process (or strategy) of target discrimination on the peripheral range of vision and is easy to duplicate in a safe context.
      • "Your Tactical Training Scenario- Road Rage"--Active Response Training. Greg Ellifritz dissects a video showing a road rage encounter between two drivers that decided to get physical with one another. He raises and discusses several points, but the most important might be his first point:
       Don’t engage.  I don’t know what happened that prompted the two men to get out of their cars, but it likely wasn’t worth it.  If some guy starts screaming at me on the road, then gets out of his car and walks towards me with a lead pipe, why would I want to get out and fight?  Driving away is the easiest option.
      Clothes don’t make the man. All too often in the Survivalist & Prepper scene a lot of focus gets placed on gear. In fact so much so that a lot of sites devolve into simply reviewing individual pieces, which in turn is basically an overview with nothing else. And don’t get me wrong, I love some good kit and appreciate original or out-of-the-box thinking that goes into really innovative products. But skill, specifically mastery of basic skills, can never be supplanted by a product. And in turn, no product will make you better if the fundamentals ain’t there first. Those fundamentals, with some very basic supporting gear, lay the foundation for you to be effective whether it’s combat weaponcraft, movements in potentially hostile environments, or tactical communications. The basics of anything never, ever change. And you might be surprised at what can be done with just a mastery of what’s simple.
      Read the whole thing.
       Below this 2500 ft/sec, full metal jacket rounds will not reliably fragment.  Basically, any AR with a barrel under approximately 9.5″ will never be able to expel a projectile over fragmentation velocity. A 10.5″ barrel will launch a projectile over this barrier, but air resistance/drag will quickly slow it down to under frag velocity in around 25-50 yards.  Even going with an 11 or 12 inch barrel will still only get you to around 75 yards max. By the time you get a little longer, you effectively lose the advantage an SBR altogether.
      The author also has links to other articles.
      • I told you I was going to be posting links to articles on .300 Blackout: "300 Blackout and Barrel Length"--Sheep Dog Survival
      • "SBR Caliber Showdown: 5.56/.223 vs. 300 BLK"--The Truth About Guns. There is no reason to use .300 Blackout out of a 16-inch or longer barrel: you will get as good or better performance from 5.56. That all changes with a short barrel:
      So, what were my conclusions?  Well, first of all, a 115 grain 300 BLK round has more muzzle energy inch for inch than anything in the 5.56 or .223 range.  No real surprise there.    What’s more interesting is what happens when you cut the barrel down.  The 300 BLK’s muzzle energy out of a nine inch barrel  was within 100 fps of the 62 grain 5.56 coming out of a 16 inch barrel and when compared to the 62 grain 5.56 out of the 10 inch barrel, it was no contest.   The 55 grain .223 bullet isn’t even in the game when compared to the performance of the 300 BLK.
      • Of course: "The Taliban Have Gone High-Tech. That Poses a Dilemma for the U.S."--New York Times. The article states: "Once described as an ill-equipped band of insurgents, the Taliban are increasingly attacking security forces across Afghanistan using night-vision goggles and lasers that United States military officials said were either stolen from Afghan and international troops or bought on the black market." Also:
             The documents show that the American military has begun to send older models of night-vision hardware to regular Afghan Army units. Those headsets cost an estimated $3,000 each, officials said.
                One of the first batches of night-vision equipment for conventional units in southern Afghanistan, part of a months long pilot program, was sent to the embattled 215th Corps in Helmand Province in the spring of 2016.
                  Only 161 of the 210 devices were returned, according to the military documents obtained by The Times, and the equipment was not effectively used, in part because the forces were not properly trained to use it.
                   Afghan troops said the missing devices were reported as “battle losses,” but could not support that claim with any proof or records to explain where or when they were left behind, according to the documents.
              One of the great lessons of the British Empire is not to provide advanced weapons and training to savages. As a famous quote from Hilaire Belloc's The Modern Traveler put it: 
                Whatever happens, we have got
                  The Maxim gun, and they have not.
                  “Despite Australia’s strict gun control regime, criminals are now better armed than at any time since then-Prime Minister John Howard introduced a nationwide firearm buyback scheme in response to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre,” said The Age last year in a special report on the climbing rate of gun crimes in the city of Melbourne, where shootings have become “almost a weekly occurrence.”
                  • Another win for Anonymous Conservative's r/K theory. Vox Popoli quotes from Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by E.O. Wilson:
                  The availability and quality of food can also move groups along behavioral scales. Well-fed honeybee colonies are very tolerant of intruding workers from nearby hives, letting them penetrate the nest and even take supplies. But when the same colonies are allowed to go without food for several days, they attack every intruder at the nest entrance. In general, primates also become increasingly intolerant of strangers and aggressive toward other group members during times of food shortages.
                  That is because in times of shortage, the amygdala, or its equivalent in bees, lights up more easily.
                          Lockheed Martin has quietly obtained a patent associated with its design for a potentially revolutionary compact fusion reactor, or CFR. If this project has been progressing on schedule, the company could debut a prototype system that size of shipping container, but capable of powering a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier or 80,000 homes, sometime in the next year or so. 
                  * * *
                           If the system works, it’s hard to underscore just how dramatically it could change not just the future of warfare, but the basic nature of human existence. Running on approximately 25 pounds of fuel – a mixture of hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium – Lockheed Martin estimated the notional reactor would be able to run for an entire year without stopping. The device would be able to generate a constant 100 megawatts of power during that period.
                               According to the company website on the CFR, the reactor could be powerful enough to run an aircraft carrier, power a plane the size of a C-5 Galaxy airlifter, provide electricity to cities with anywhere from 50 to 100,000 people, and maybe even speed up a trip to Mars. In each case, the compact reactor would take the place of large conventional fuel systems or fission reactors, eliminating weight and bulk. This in turn could create trade space for additional system or carrying capacity in terms of personnel or materiel or potentially allow for a more energy efficient overall shape or design.
                        The article also notes that smaller versions could be used in aircraft, allowing them to remain flying for months or years at a time; and other versions could be used in ships allowing to similarly stay at sea indefinitely. The primary innovation is that it uses a spherical containment vessel and magnetic bottle instead of the toroidal system used in the tokamak reactors on which researchers have concentrated. In 2014, when Lockheed first announced it was going to develop a reactor, it anticipated a first working model in 2019. So, here's keeping my fingers crossed.

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