The blade of a flat-head screwdriver will pierce flesh with relatively little muscle behind it. It need not be sharpened, but can be honed to a chisel edge in 5-10 minutes on any abrasive surface, from a sharpening stone to a parking lot to the inside of a toilet tank lid. A motivated man with a screwdriver locked in his grip is well armed indeed… and it would seem that those in the self-defense community (particularly those who have advocated for expedient self-defense knives like the fruit knife) are now acknowledging the place of screwdrivers in personal protection. This is especially true for Non-Permissive Environments, or NPEs, where traditional and conventional knives and weapons are prohibited.
- "SKS-31: The 7.62x54mmR Predecessor of SKS Carbine"--The Firearm Blog. This is an abridgment or summary of an article in a Russian gun magazine. As the title indicates, the focus of the article is on some of Simonov's early attempts to design a semi-automatic rifle using Russian full power rifle cartridge. Although those attempts were ultimately unsuccessful, the design was improved and resulted in the SKS carbine firing the 7.62x39 intermediate round. One SKS myth which the author wants to put to rest is that the SKS was NOT used during WWII, but that the myth might be because the similar looking SKS-31 saw limited field testing.
- "Unarmed Self-Defense From WWII"--The Art of Manliness. Excerpts from FM 21-150: Unarmed Defense for the American Soldier, published in 1942.
- "MORE ON CATEGORIES OF PISTOL CARRY"--Gabe Suarez. What he terms standard combat carry (basically, open carry), social compromise carry (generally what we think of when we think concealed carry), and non-permissive environment carry (both concealed and without a holster). In the latter case, he advises:
Holsters are proscribed. That means you carry without a holster or standard carry accessories. The reason is that there are times in a true NPE where you will wish to divorce from the weapon and not have tell-tale items indicating you were armed. Holster-less carry indicates either empty chamber carry for weapons like Glocks and M&P, or the use of DAO or DA/SA weapons like a SIG P239 or a revolver. Deep concealment requires the use of smaller weapons.
- "Circumstances of a murder"--Tactical Professor. The author recounts how if he had been but a few minutes earlier arriving at a train stop in Chicago he may have been caught up in a murder. He also notes how the physical arrangement of the train station made it easy for the victim to be targeted, but difficult for anyone outside the station to come to her assistance. He explains:
As the attack was occurring, a man was running along Garfield Street and saw the crime in progress. He ran to help the woman but because of the layout, he had to run the half mile to get to her. Even for someone who can run fast, that takes several minutes. A lot can happen in several minutes, once an attack begins.
He may have been able to reach them while the attack was occurring. More likely, he arrived when it was over, she had been mortally wounded, and then he became involved in a struggle with the perpetrator. During that struggle, he was stabbed several times. He nearly died as a result. The newspapers reported that only his excellent physical condition prevented him from expiring. A friend commented that she had seen numerous articles about trauma survival rates as a function of cardiovascular condition.
Like most murders in Chicago, the case was never solved.
- Today's cultural enrichment news:
- "Car plows through crowd outside Parliament in London; 1 man in custody as police treat as terrorism"--Chicago Tribune. (See also "Westminster terror suspect WAS known to police but not MI5: Man arrested after 'attack' is 'from the Midlands and used a Ford Fiesta bought two months ago to mow down 15 cyclists'"--Daily Mail). (Update: The driver has been identified as Salih Khater, a refugee from Sudan).
- Afghanistan--a lesson in futility: "Taliban overruns Afghan army base, killing at least 14 soldiers and capturing dozens, as forces struggle to hold back insurgents from expanding their control"--Daily Mail.
- Well, this explains Trump recently describing her as "the beautiful Lisa Page": "Scorned FBI Lover Lisa Page Torched Cheating FBI Partner Peter Strzok; 'Lisa is on a Warpath'"--True Pundit. The article cites anonymous sources as saying that Page "'sold out' the FBI executive [Strzok] and divulged many improprieties he was involved in along with other FBI brass, according to FBI insiders."
- "Four ways we know pre-Columbian America was plagued by megadroughts"--Physics Today. The article reports that "[b]etween roughly 800 and 1500 CE, the American West suffered a succession of decades-long droughts, much longer than anything we’ve endured in modern history." (See also "Unraveling the mysteries of megadrought").
- "Found: more than 500 genes that are linked to intelligence"--New Scientist.
More than 500 genes associated with intelligence have been identified in the largest study of its kind.
Researchers used data from the UK Biobank, comparing DNA variants from more than 240,000 people. Their analysis identified 538 genes linked to intellectual ability, and 187 regions of the human genome that are associated with thinking skills. Some of these genes are also linked to other biological processes, including living longer.
Also: "It is thought that around 50 to 80 per cent of variation in general intelligence between people is down to genetics."
- "Faced with falling birth rates, China urges citizens to have more babies"--CNN. From the article:
China's pool of workers is shrinking, with many young people supporting their parents and two sets of grandparents, in a country where social services for the elderly are still lacking. In 2017, the country's total fertility rate was 1.6 children per woman, well below the 2.1 rate estimated to be necessary to keep the population steady.
Simply reversing the policy has not been effective, as China's urban middle class settle into a low birth rate more in common with western countries, one that has been compounded by economic pressures.
"Especially in cities, the cost of having children is getting higher and higher. From birth to school, economic costs and time costs are rising," said the People's Daily opinion piece. "Many young people living in cities are not willing to have children."
The author of the piece, Zhang Yiqi, said that government action -- like providing educational and medical care -- was needed to encourage more people to have children: "In the face of low fertility, the government should take more targeted measures to solve it and satisfy people's yearning for and pursuit of a better life."
Other nations have tried subsidies to encourage more children, but it has proven to be fruitless in most cases, with any increases only temporary.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "Ford unveils exoskeleton vests to lighten the load for workers"--CBS News.