Archive for August, 2016
27 Aug 2016

World’s Oldest Revolver, 1636 not 1597

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You are thinking “the Colt Patterson of 1836,” aren’t you?

This video and stories all over the Internet attribute this 8-shot very early flintlock revolver on the basis of the maker’s mark to Hans Stopler of Nuremburg, who apparently began working in 1597. They then date the weapon to 1597, despite the plaque listing its owner as Georg von Reichwein dated 1636.

1636 is early enough for me, making the date of the production of the first revolver an even 200 years before Samuel Colt’s Patterson model.

Hat tip to Guns America.

26 Aug 2016

Oh, Well!

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InTrumpWeTrust

Tweet191

26 Aug 2016

C.S. Lewis’s Reading List

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CSLewis

Intellectual Takeout:

Brenton Dickieson has done something kind of cool.

He has taken C.S. Lewis’ book An Experiment in Criticism—in which Lewis attempts to answer the question “what makes a great book?”—and listed in chronological order all of the great books that Lewis references.

The list serves not only as a window into the knowledge-base of one of the great authors of our time, but also as a reading program for those interested in preserving a Western tradition that is in danger of being forgotten.

26 Aug 2016

Top Ten Signs Your Child May Be Alt-Right

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Pepes

If you find any of these signs, take immediate steps.

26 Aug 2016

Possible Crusader-Era Hand Grenade

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CrusaderGrenade
Centuries-old hand grenade found in the sea just off the coast of Northern Israel.

Fox News:

A centuries-old hand grenade that may date back to the time of the crusaders is among a host of treasures retrieved from the sea in Israel.

The metal artifacts, some of which are more than 3,500 years old, were found over a period of years by the late Marcel Mazliah, a worker at the Hadera power plant in northern Israel.

Mazliah’s family recently presented the treasures to the Israel Antiquities Authority. Experts, who were surprised by the haul, think that the objects probably fell overboard from a medieval metal merchant’s ship.

The hand grenade was a common weapon in Israel during the Crusader era, which began in the 11th century and lasted until the 13th century, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. Grenades were also used 12th and 13th century Ayyubid period and the Mamluk era, which ran from the 13th to the 16th century, experts say.

Haaretz reports that early grenades were often used to disperse burning flammable liquid. However, some experts believe that so-called ancient grenades were actually used to contain perfume.

The oldest items found in the sea by Mazliah are a toggle pin and the head of a knife from the Middle Bronze, which date back more than 3,500 years. Ayala Lester, a curator at the Israel Antiquities Authority, explained that other items, such as two mortars, two pestles and candlestick fragments, date to the 11th-century Fatimid period. “The items were apparently manufactured in Syria and were brought to Israel,” she said, in a statement. “The finds are evidence of the metal trade that was conducted during this period.”

26 Aug 2016

The Community of Fashion and the Democrat Party

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ObamaMarthasVinyard
Obama & admirers on Martha’s Vinyard

From Thomas Frank’s Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (March 15, 2016):

I am thinking here of the summertime residents on Martha’s Vinyard –the sorts of people to whom the politicians listen with patience and understanding. No one treats this group as though they have “nowhere else to go”; on the contrary, for them, the political process works wonderfully. It is responsive to their concerns, its representatives are respectful, and the party as a whole treats them with a gratifying deference.

For them, the Democrats deliver in all the conventional ways: generous subsidies for the right kinds of businesses, a favorable regulatory climate, and legal protection for their innovations. Hillary Clinton’s State Department basically declared access to certain Silicon Valley servers to be a human right.

Then there are the psychic deliverables –the flattery, for starters. To members of the liberal class, the Democratic Party offers constant reminders that the technocratic order whose upper ranks they inhabit is rational and fair –that whether they work in software or derivative securities they are a deserving elite; creative, tolerant, enlightened. Though it is less tangible, the moral absolution in which Democrats deal is just as important. It seems to put their favorite constituents on the right side of every question, the right side of progress itself. It allows them to understand the war of our two parties as a kind of cosmic struggle between good and evil— a struggle in which they are on the side of light and justice, of course…. And what is rightest and most inspiring about it is the Democrats’ prime directive: to defeat the Republicans, that unthinkable brutish Other. There are no complexities to make this mission morally difficult; to the liberal class, it is simple. The Democratic Party is all that stands between the Oval Office and whomever the radicalized GOP ultimately chooses to nominate for the presidency. Compared to that sacred duty, all other issues fade into insignificance…. The Democrats posture as the ‘party of the people’ even as they dedicate themselves ever more resolutely to serving and glorifying the professional class. Worse: they combine self-righteousness and class privilege in a way that Americans find stomach-turning. And every two years, they simply assume that being non-Republican is sufficient to rally the voters of the nation to their standard….”

Hat tip to Althouse.

25 Aug 2016

Trump Flipflops on Immigration

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TrumpWarning

Personally, I prefer Trump’s position on immigration now that he has flipflopped, but Ann Coulter, poor girl!, is having kittens over it, and just two days after her very own pro-Trump campaign book was released.

InTrumpWeTrust

What do you suppose all the Trumpkins who stay on board are going to say when Trump starts revising his position on Gun Control? and when he announces his new and thoroughly-revised list of potential Supreme Court appointees?

25 Aug 2016

A Periodic Table of Literary Villains

25 Aug 2016

Fisherman’s Good Luck Charm Identified as $100 Million Pearl

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giantpearl

New York Post:

A fisherman in the Philippines is happy as a clam after discovering that a mammoth pearl he stashed away for 10 years under his bed is worth a cool $100 million.

The lucky angler, who has not been identified, discovered the 75-pound pearl — believed to be the biggest ever — in the sea off Palawan Island, the Mirror of the UK reported.

Unaware of the giant pearl’s value, he kept it as a good-luck piece under his bed until a fire in his home forced him to move. The superstitious fishermen then decided to hand it over to the tourism office in remote Puerto Princesa, city officials said.

A stunned tourism officer determined that the pearl, measuring a foot wide and 2.2 feet long, dwarfs the official current record holder — the $35 million, 14-pound Pearl of Allah, which in 1934 was also found off Palawan.

“The fisherman threw the anchor down and it got stuck on a rock during a storm,” tourism officer Aileen Cynthia Amurao explained. “He noticed that it was lodged on a shell and swam down to pull up the anchor, and also brought the shell with him.

“He didn’t know how much it was worth and kept it tucked away at home as a simple good-luck charm,” she added. …

Officials plan to keep the fisherman’s pearl in the Philippines in a bid to increase tourism to the area.

Giant clams, which rarely produce pearls, can grow as large as four feet in length and weigh 500 pounds. They’re typically found in the South Pacific or Indian Ocean.

24 Aug 2016

Somebody Had To Do It

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SmugglerRoad

BBC:

Alexander Laznenko of the Smolensk Region Border Agency tells Tass news agency that the smugglers used heavy earth-moving equipment at night to “widen and raise the gravel track, and put in more turning and passing points” — right under the noses of the local authorities.

Earlier this month, customs officers ambushed a convoy of nine lorries there laden with 175 tonnes of Greek and Polish fruit worth 13m roubles (£154,000; $200,000), but are none the wiser about who upgraded the road through the tiny Russian village of Klimenki.

Local administration chief Sergei Listopadov said villagers have come forward to say they saw crews working on the road earlier this year. He joked to RIA Novosti news agency that he’d like to write their mysterious benefactor a “letter of thanks” for improving a road that only a horse and cart could negotiate before.

But Mr Laznenko doesn’t see the funny side. He says customs officers have put the 4.5km (2.7 mile) track under constant surveillance but, as they do not have the authority to barricade or dig it up, they will have to rely on catching the smugglers out.

Russia announced a ban on food imports from the European Union last year, in retaliation for an EU trade embargo over Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. Since then, the number of lorries crossing legally from Belarus has increased dramatically in the last year to 73,000, all of which Russian customs have to inspect for banned foodstuffs, Mr Laznenko says.

Social media users tend to agree with Mr Listopadov, though. “At least someone is maintaining our roads,” one person writes, a sentiment echoed in many other comments on RIA Novosti’s site. Some even suggest the smugglers should form a party to stand in next month’s parliamentary elections on a “Let our lorry through, and we’ll fix your potholes” platform.

24 Aug 2016

Building the Essentially-Pointless Ghost Gun

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GhostGun
Not a very pretty lower receiver

Andy Greenburg tried making his own completely-unregistered AR-15 lower receiver (the part that the BATF counts as the gun) in a backroom of WIRED’s San Francisco offices.

He found that making one using a drill press and one of those 80% receiver kits out there was beyond his own slender mechanical abilities.

He also tried the 3-D Printing approach, winding up with another receiver rejected by his gunsmith as needing several more hours of clean-up work.

Defense Distributed‘s software and Ghost Gunner $1500 CNC mill worked much better. And with roughly $700 of added mail-order parts, Greenburg had a working unregistered AR-15.

Naturally, as soon as he assembled it, fired it to prove that it worked, and wrote up his feature, breathing heavily with excitement all the way, he went right over to a San Francisco police station and turned in all three (two duds, one working) lower receivers.

The moral? Unregistered AR-15s are awfully expensive. Greenburg’s three efforts cost: $1334 for the failed drill press kit version, $3604 for the 3-D printed version (including printer), and a mere $2272 for the Ghost Gunner version. You can go out and buy a more powerful, more accurate used bolt action sporter for $400-500. You can buy a Ruger Ranch Rifle semi-auto in the same .223 caliber for $650-750.

So why do you need an unregistered AR-15 anyway? Only goofy metrosexual libtards think that the crucial essence of firearms ownership and usage has to do with the ability of the authorities to identify some particular firearm and to trace its ownership.

In reality, after a crime has been committed, it is frequently perfectly obvious that the firearm that was used is that one there, the one lying on the ground. And the provenance of a particular firearm after it has already been used criminally is generally not all that interesting. Commonly, the perp just bought it legally.

Liberals all seem to be living in some odd old-fashioned Agatha Christie mystery in which the identity of the criminal and his motives are completely bound up with the chain of possession of the weapon he used. If Inspector Poirot can find out exactly which pistol was used to dispatch Colonel Mannering in the library, only thus can it be demonstrated that the butler did it, it being the butler’s gun!

Myself, I was over at my local gunsmith’s shop recently, and on the counter were several piles of AR-15 lower receivers. The prettier ones (much nicer than Greenberg’s) were selling for $49. There were less attractive ones for $39. (They would have been registered at the time of sale, of course.)

I thought of buying one, but reflected that I would then need to buy the better part of a thousand bucks worth of barrel, stock, upper receiver, sight, handguard, and trigger group, and came right back to my senses and concluded that I did not need any $49 paperweight.

24 Aug 2016

Barthes on Photography

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Jerome_bonaparte
Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte, 1784-1860, King Jerome I of Westphalia, 1807-1813, photographed in 1852

BarthesonJerome
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography.

23 Aug 2016

Trumpkin Logic

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TrumpChia

23 Aug 2016

That Third-Grader is Still Running For President

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Tweet190

Rod Dreher shakes his head in frustration over “Trump at his Trumpiest.”

Trump supporters must want to put their heads on the table at this kind of thing. Here is a man who stands a chance of becoming President of the United States, but he cannot stay focused enough on the campaign to do what’s necessary. Instead, the media have gotten inside his head.

Somebody inside the Trump campaign apparently twisted his arm to get him to quit reading his Twitter feed long enough to get down to Louisiana with some relief supplies. He handled himself well while he was here, and even won praise from the Democratic governor, and our former US Senator, also a Democrat. He did well! It ought to have been the occasion for a campaign reset, however small. The fact that Hillary Clinton has been attending fundraisers with the superrich instead of visiting the suffering here is a golden campaign issue that reinforces his themes about the elites being out of touch.

But no. Here he is on Monday morning, being Trump at his Trumpiest, bitching and moaning about the hosts of a low-rated morning television show, and doing so in language that does not demean them, but demeans himself. See, this is a good example of why he’s unfit for office. Can you imagine being on President Trump’s staff and having to get him to put down his smartphone and listen to the daily briefing? Sad!

At just about every turn, Trump steps on his own chances, through his egotism, his lack of self-restraint, and his inability to focus on the long game. Yes, the media are biased, but at some point, he’s got to realize that his greatest obstacle in the task of being elected president is himself.

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