27 Mar 2015

24 Inappropriate, But Real, Children’s Books

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27 Mar 2015

Webley & Scott May Reproduce the Old Mark VI

WebleyVI
The Webley Mark VI .455 revolver, used by British officers from 1915 to 1963.

Back when I was in high school, you used to be able to buy great, big, enormous hand-filling Webley pistols by mail order from Stoeger and other vendors for peanuts. Today, they have become collectible and are getting to be expensive.

I just learned today that Webley & Scott, Gunmakers are offering to build a replica if 1000 enthusiasts will put down a deposit of $100. The rub is that Webley & Scott are not presently telling us what the final price is going to be. Rumors are that it will be roughly $800.

If you absolutely have to have one of these, Captain Carruthers, you can sign up here.

Personally, I think they should reproduce the extremely cool Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver, the same arm that the wicked Mary Astor used to shoot Miles Archer in The Maltese Falcon.

26 Mar 2015

25% of People Have a Fourth Cone (Color Receptor)

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39Colors

Professor Diane Derval told me something today that I had not known.

The color nuances we see depend on the number and distribution of cones (=color receptors) in our eye. You can check [the above] rainbow: how many color nuances do you count?

You see less than 20 color nuances: you are a dichromats, like dogs, which means you have 2 types of cones only. You are likely to wear black, beige, and blue. 25% of the population is dichromat.

You see between 20 and 32 color nuances: you are a trichromat, you have 3 types of cones (in the purple/blue, green and red area). You enjoy different colors as you can appreciate them. 50% of the population is trichromat.

You see between 33 and 39 colors: you are a tetrachromat, like bees, and have 4 types of cones (in the purple/blue, green, red plus yellow area). You are irritated by yellow, so this color will be nowhere to be found in your wardrobe. 25% of the population is tetrachromat.

You see more than 39 color nuances: come on, you are making up things! there are only 39 different colors in the test and probably only 35 are properly translated by your computer screen anyway :)

I originally counted colors on the basis of differentiated rectangles I could see, which gave me too many. When I went back and looked strictly at color gradations, I got 39. And I do hate yellow.

Hat tip to Chico Kidd,

26 Mar 2015

Elephants Save 18-Wheeler Truck

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ElephantsTruck

Business Insider describes an emergency situation in which it turned out that the trucker had exactly the right equipment in the back of his cargo bed.

Sometimes, the only thing standing between you and your 18-wheeler tipping over in the Louisiana mud is a couple of elephants that you’ve fortunately been transporting.

That’s just what happened on Tuesday when a truck became stranded by the side of a Louisiana road.

Sheriff’s deputies in Natchitoches Parish on Tuesday morning received a call about a stuck truck. Upon arriving on the scene, they saw two elephants preventing the vehicle from overturning.

Leaning side-by-side against the outside of the truck, the elephants propped up the trailer that was carrying three of the beasts from Florida to a circus near Dallas, the sheriff’s photos showed.

The truck had pulled over on an interstate shoulder near Powhatan, Louisiana, about an hour south of Shreveport. The ground was soft after recent rain.

26 Mar 2015

How English Sounded

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The Week found YouTube videos demonstrated what earlier versions of English actually sounded like.

Shakesperian English:

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Middle English (not the best version of the Prologue):

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Earlier Middle English (13th Century):

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Old English (terrific performance of the opening of Beowulf):

They concluded with a pretty chick singing a semi-rock ballad in Breton to illustrate the sound of pre-Anglo-Saxon British, but I think that one is beside the point.

26 Mar 2015

Some Useful Observations From Our Armed Forces

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MilitaryHumor

Liberty’s Torch has some classic examples of military humor:

The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in military aviation are:

1. “Did you feel that?”
2. “What’s that noise?”
3. “Oh S…!”

– Authors Unknown

————————————
Added in the comments section:

The Five Most Fear-Inspiring Phrases in the United States Army (in no particular order for the first four, but the last one is the most fear-inspiring, for those in the know):

A second lieutenant pompously saying “Based on my military experience…”

An Army captain musingly saying “You know, I was thinking…”

A private enthusiastically saying “I learned this in Basic Training…”

A sergeant mournfully saying “Sir, you really don’t want to know…”

A chief warrant officer, an evil grin on his face, saying “Watch this $#!+…”

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

25 Mar 2015

Not a Lot of Veterans at The Times

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John Podhoretz reacts to an amazing gaffe.

TweetPodhoretz

25 Mar 2015

BBC Fires Clarkson

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Clarkson

Well, it’s happened. The wet ends at the BBC (who obviously think they are administrators at some American college) have declined to renew the contract of Jeremy Clarkson, the principal host of the BBC’s hit automotive program Top Gear.

Deadline.com:

The BBC’s Director General Tony Hall has confirmed Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson’s contract will not be renewed after a physical altercation with a producer. The controversial presenter was suspended on March 10, following a “fracas” with Oisin Tymon — believed to be over catering — in a Yorkshire hotel.

“It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract. It is not a decision I have taken lightly. I have done so only after a very careful consideration of the facts and after personally meeting both Jeremy and Oisin Tymon,” said Hall in a statement.

Clarkson was fired because he got into a fracas with his producer on March 4th while filming in chilly Yorkshire. The Top Gear star became angry at learning that no hot meal was being provided, and socked producer Oisin Tymon in the mouth after calling him “a lazy Irish c*nt.”

——————————

Also Deadline.com:

Following the announcement, Top Gear co-host James May, whose contract is also up at the end of the month, told reporters outside his home, “It’s a tragedy. I’m sorry that what ought to have been a small incident, sorted out easily, turned into something big… I have only known for the past few minutes and if you’ll excuse me, I very desperately have to write the eBay listing for my Ferrari.”

——————————

Other co-host Richard Hammond tweeted:

TweetHammond

——————————

The Stig had no comment.

——————————

The lazy Irish c*nt with the swollen lip and his reptilian lawyer were also heard from (Yahoo News):

“I respect Lord Hall’s detailed findings and I am grateful to the BBC for their thorough and swift investigation into this very regrettable incident, against a background of intense media interest and speculation.

“I’ve worked on Top Gear for almost a decade, a programme I love.

“Over that time Jeremy and I had a positive and successful working relationship, making some landmark projects together. He is a unique talent and I am well aware that many will be sorry his involvement in the show should end in this way.”

    Statement from his lawyer Paul Daniels in full:

    “This last month has been a nightmare for Oisin, his friends and his family. Through absolutely no fault of his own he found himself at the centre of a massive news story, but despite that he has conducted himself with dignity, restraint and balance.

    “He now simply wishes to return to the job he loves at the BBC. He does not intend to make any further media comment and kindly asks that his privacy is respected.

    “More generally, this is an important reminder that UK law protects all staff who face bullying, discrimination or violence at work, and all employers are required to protect their staff from such behaviour.”

——————————

Obviously, British television resembles the American education system more than it does Hollywood. Its top priority is preventing bullying or discrimination against the inactive, the Hibernian, and those incapable of defending themselves. In America, the talent, I expect, tends to get hot meals and lots of sucking up from the help.

Personally, I think justice would be done by having the American Fox Network dash in and sign up all three British hosts for a new, and more luxurious, version of an automotive program, combining fast car testing, humor, and political satire.

And, every couple of months, Jeremy Clarkson should punch out some deserving left-wing commentator while his audience in the millions applauds.

25 Mar 2015

Would an Ivy League School Allow Support For ISIS & Hamas?

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Heck, yes, why! Cornell would even welcome ISIS speakers and let ISIS set up a training camp on campus. Project Veritas interviews Assistant Dean Joseph Scaffido.

25 Mar 2015

Deadliest Gunfighting Pistols of All Time?

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LugerP08
Pistole Parabellum 1908

Jim Dickson, at Gun Digest, picks the three deadliest gunfighting pistols of all time.

His choices are the German Luger, the Colt Model 1911, and the Colt Model 1873 Peacemaker.

Personally, I think his list ought to have been longer. But the surprising choice is, of course, the Luger. Americans who played with one will be even more surprised to find the author praising the Luger for its reliability of functioning.

When the troops needed pistols the Fatherland set out to supply them, despite the fact that the Luger pistol cost three times as much to manufacture as the Mauser rifle.

The Luger proved up to the challenge. It took in stride the mud, dust and sand maelstrom that was a WWI artillery barrage and kept on working when the famed Smith & Wesson Triple-Lock Revolvers were jamming. It would continue firing when its barrel was bulged from being clogged with mud. A Browning-style gun with the slide over the barrel is jammed solid until a new barrel can be installed when its barrel is bulged.

This feature saved so many German lives in the First World War that when the P38 was designed, the army specifications demanded a fully exposed barrel on it. All the Luger needs for reliability is a magazine spring that is as strong as you can get in the magazine and proper ammo—standard velocity ammo of the proper overall length. Hot loads cycle the action too fast for the magazine to feed cartridges in position to chamber before the bolt rides them down. This was never a problem with German army issue ammo.

A larger problem was the fact that the average German soldier was not a pistol shooter. The Luger handled that problem better than any pistol before or since. The Luger is the best pointing pistol ever made, bar none. Just point at the target and you hit it. It is as simple as that. It is also the most accurate pistol you will ever find. Most any good Luger will shoot a 10mm group with 9mm ammo at 25 yards.

Armed with the Luger the German troops proved a terror in trench fighting. Every stormtrooper was issued one regardless of rank, and production was geared up to equip every combat soldier by late 1918 or 1919. The Luger was a key factor in the new stormtrooper tactics as well as the new infiltration strategies of General Von Hutier and Colonel Bruchmuller, which had knocked Russia out of the war. The intensity of the trench fighting and the number of kills made by the Luger was staggering.

World War II saw more intense fighting with the Luger often being used against Russian human-wave assaults. Sometimes it was the officer’s only weapon and sometimes it was the last thing he had loaded magazines for. At those close ranges one could hardly miss. Once more the tally went up drastically. Add to these figures the numbers of the other countries’ armies that used the Luger and you get a number far exceeding any other pistol.

Read the whole thing.

25 Mar 2015

Smile

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CrocTeeth

Hat tip to Ratak Monodosico.

24 Mar 2015

Mandatory Voting

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Obama-mandatory-voting

24 Mar 2015

Papieren, Bitte!

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PapersPlease
Your Papers, Please!

Benjamin Preston, at Car & Driver, reports on a little more bad news for Americans, thanks to George W. Bush’s Department of Heimat Sekuritat.

If you live in Arizona, Louisiana, New York, or one of more than a dozen other states, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has bad news for you. Come January 19, your driver’s license will no longer allow you access to certain federal facilities. Unless DHS changes its mind. Again.

In 2005, Congress passed a bill called the Real ID Act, based upon recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission. Whether or not you’ve heard of the law depends largely upon how in tune you are with conspiracy theories. Where you live matters, too, because nearly a decade after the law’s passage, only 19 states actually comply with its standards.

Real ID’s stated intent is to ensure that all jurisdictions issuing driver’s licenses and other identification meet federal stand­ards, “which should inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.” Basically, the government is upping the ante on what it will accept as valid forms of ID at federal facilities, nuclear power plants, and—here’s the biggie—federally regulated airline flights (i.e., most of them).

Opponents fear that Real ID will lead to a national identity card like those issued by “totalitarian” governments and that its requirement that states share data from their department of motor vehicle databases is an invasion of privacy.

24 Mar 2015

Italians Wore the Best Helmets

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MilanBurgonet
A Milanese burgonet, bearing the visage of a dragon. Musée de l’Armée, Paris.

Hat tip to Belacqui.

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