16 May 2019

America: Now a Polish Joke!

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Information Liberation:

The Swedish car company Volvo this week shared two similar looking ads on Facebook — one to their main page and one to their Polish page — which had one glaring difference.

In the post on their main page, the ad showed two [Interracial] homosexual men holding hands in front of a little girl driving a Volvo toy truck.

The ad copy reads: “Focus on your career, or your family? From now on you can do both at Volvo Cars, because we offer employees within the EMEA region six months of paid parental leave, regardless of gender. …

In the comments, Volvo posted a message saying they’re deleting all negative comments which violate their “social media house rules.”

The ad on Volvo’s Poland page featured a straight couple with a little boy in the Volvo toy truck.

The comment section was filled with Poles laughing about the difference between the two ads.

———————————–

I saw this originally on the Chateau Heartiste blog last night. A few minutes later, when I came back to that blog to capture the image of the ads, I found this:

If you have a blog on WordPress.com, I strongly recommend that you get yourself a new hosting service, one without political opinions and “Terms of Service.” WordPress.com, just like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, will punish you for WrongSpeak.

16 May 2019

“Floreat Etona!”

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Lady Butler, Floreat Etona!, 1882, private collection. The work depicts Lieutenant Robert Elwes of the Grenadier Guards, who was killed at the Battle of Laing’s Nek on 28 January 1881, during the First Boer War.

In the Spectator, James Delingpole complains that Oxbridge Colleges are these days making a point of discriminating against graduates of famous Public Schools, and that the rot has so far set in that Bolshie dons are giving Eton boys “gratitude lessons” and lectures about Sexism (!).

Across the country, private school parents who have scrimped and saved about £40,000 a year for fees are increasingly finding that their sacrifice is being rewarded by near-automatic Oxbridge rejection for their blameless offspring.

And who is speaking out against this class war-driven injustice? Almost no one. Which is why Anthony Wallersteiner, headmaster of Stowe, took so much flak for telling it like it is. ‘The rise of populists and polemicists has created a micro-industry in bashing private schools,’ he told the Times. ‘There’s a much more concerted effort by [Oxbridge] admissions tutors to drive down the number of places given to independent schools,’ he went on — to a deafening chorus of near silence from his fellow public school heads.

Wallersteiner is dead right but the reason he won’t get much support from his peers is because most of them, deep down, agree on private education: that it’s a bastion of unearned privilege, that it needs shaking up in order to accommodate itself to the modern world and that one really mustn’t grumble if its boys and girls are penalised by the system because, hey, maybe that’s only fair.

How do I know this? Because I’m just coming to the end of more than a decade of putting my kids through private school and what I’ve witnessed is a creeping malaise not dissimilar to the one afflicting the Conservative party: institutions that no longer believe in their own brand, that are desperate to pretend they are something they are not (and never should be) in order to impress the kind of people who are always going to hate them anyway.

Take those ‘gratitude’ lessons at Eton. These have been launched, apparently, ‘after a review of teachers and staff found that they felt gratitude was an important trait which was not promoted by the school’. Classes may teach things like how to ‘write thank-you cards for everyday acts of kindness: “Thank you for taking time to talk to me today.”’ Can the school really not see what a massive own goal this is?

First, it plays into the hands of all those who think that Eton boys are a bunch of pampered, arrogant, entitled, snooty toffs. But the vast majority in my experience are supremely well-mannered, considerate and modest. And also fully conscious of their duty to give something back.

When Boy was there, for example, he gave up an afternoon every week to visit a local comprehensive school to help mentor a boy and a girl through their English Literature GCSEs. It wasn’t compulsory — simply a reflection of the Eton public service ethos that is instilled in the boys from the moment they arrive. Often the formative work is done by their house ‘dame’ — the mother substitute who teaches them everything from how to dress properly to the importance of thank-you letters. These ‘gratitude’ classes are fixing a problem that never existed.

Second, it is deeply off-putting to the kind of parents who should be sending their children to Eton: not ones who want it to be like every other touchy-feely progressive institution but ones who appreciate that its idiosyncrasies and traditions and archaisms are what make it so great. There was terrifying talk at the beginning of the new Head Man’s tenure that the school’s penguin uniform might be abolished. Happily, this got a lot of resistance, not least from the boys. But it’s a measure of just how much madness there is abroad in the private education sector right now that serious consideration was given to destroying, on some trendy whim, arguably Eton’s most distinctive selling point.

Boy had a fantastic education at Eton. But almost everything that was good about it, from the arcane terminology to the kit to the remarkable independence the boys enjoy, was the result of the accumulated values of its first 550 years of existence. It was not the result of any measures that modernisers have introduced in the past decade or so.

Here are a couple of things that particularly irked me: one or two bolshie beaks palpably not giving a toss about the massive increase in Oxbridge rejections because, hey, this actually gelled quite nicely with their own lefty prejudices; and the lecture — which an entire year group was forced to attend — by Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project.

Eton attracts some incredibly high–powered speakers from all manner of fields: world leaders, explorers, entrepreneurs, you name it. But all these talks are voluntary, because that’s how Eton rolls: right from the start you are expected to forge your own intellectual destiny.

Apparently, though, it was deemed so important the boys should be lectured by a third-wave feminist on entrenched male privilege, gender injustice, and the inner rapist just waiting to burst out of every young man given half the chance, that this particular lecture was made compulsory. Apart from bespeaking a terrible lack of faith in the boys’ manners and sense of sexual propriety, it represented a de facto endorsement of the kind of culturally divisive, hard-left identity politics which schools like Eton ought to be resisting at all costs, not glibly endorsing.

RTWT

15 May 2019

A Hermaphrodite “Pistolver” From Belgium

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If there were such a word as “pistolver” [пистольвер], then it would completely fit the gun of one Belgian manufacturer presented here. What at first glance resembles a self-loading pistol with an internal trigger actually turns out to be a five-shot revolver.

From the 5/2019 issue of КАЛАШНИКОВ [Kalashnikov], the Russian gun magazine, translated from Der Zwitterwaffe von Louis Pierre Joseph Wertz [The Hermaphrodite Gun of Louis Pierre Wertz] by Dr. Dirk Ziesing in the 4/2018 issue of Deutsches Waffen Journal. Translated by Mikhail Dragunov into Russian, then by Google and me to English.

In the era that came after muzzle-loading weapons, the word “pistol” was used as a general term for all hand weapons — pistols and revolvers. So it is not surprising that a weapon with a rotating block of chambers was first called a “revolving pistol.” Only later did the shorter term “revolver” appear.


The Browning Pistol was the pattern for external form of the Pistolver.

With the advent of multiply-charged and automatic weapons at the end of the 19th century, the differences of terms became more significant. Especially when the designs of John Moses Browning, starting with the FN (Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre — weapons factory in Liege) Model of 1900, swept the market, it became tough for the renowned manufacturers of revolvers. They either included self-loading weapons in their product line, or made improvements in the revolver niche in order to keep their traditional clientele.

Evidence of their decline was the appearance of revolvers at that time, which more or less skillfully deceived the consumer with an external form imitating a pocket semi-automatic pistol. The first step in this direction was the internal trigger, which eliminated the preliminary cocking of the hammer in a revolver. By the elongation of the frame, this approached the contours of a semi-automatic pistol.


On the left side is the chambering, 7.65 Browning caliber, as well as the registered trade name, Le National, and “breveté,” an indication of the existence of a patent for the design.

In the above model, this attempt reached its apogee. Seen from the side, the contour of the model is almost identical to the FN Model 1900 pistol. The cylinder, of course, is not eliminated, but the opportunity for creativity still remained from the cylinder to the muzzle. His first model Browning is equipped with a return spring placed under the barrel, giving the impression that two barrels are placed one below the other. The Belgian designer used this arrangement in order to place successfully line up the cylinder and the case ejector in his “pistolver”.
 
Read the rest of this entry »

11 May 2019

Not The 21st Century I Was Hoping For

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William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Orestes Pursued by the Furies, 1862, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia.

Robert Stacy McCain reports on just how out of control Title IX/”Dear Colleague” witch-hunting at Yale has become.

Is heterosexuality even legal at Yale University anymore?

    An accused student is suing Yale University for concluding that the brief absence of a condom “during an otherwise consensual encounter” was sexual assault.

    “John Doe” alleges that “gender bias was a motivating factor” in the decision against him by Dean of the College Marvin Chun, which resulted in his suspension. . . .

    Doe met “Ann Roe” through the dating app Tinder. Shortly after, the two agreed to meet face-to-face in the early hours of December 9, according to the suit. After a fraternity party, they went back to Doe’s place and had consensual sex.

    In the 90-minute encounter, the condom failed no later than 45 minutes in and “a new one had to be applied,” according to Doe. They had “unprotected sex for a few seconds” before he put on the new condom. . . .

    Roe provided “undisputed testimony” that she gave Doe consent for the entire period both condoms were on. . . .

    Roe stayed the night at Doe’s place, leaving on a positive note mid-morning. Throughout the rest of the month, the two exchanged an array of online messages that maintained a friendly dynamic, he said.

    Roe changed her tone in January, when she told Doe that she was uncomfortable with the brief absence of protection during their intercourse.

Hold up here. More than a month after the encounter, she “changed her tone.” Like, everything was OK for five weeks, but then for unexplained reasons it wasn’t OK? And then . . .

    Two weeks later, Roe filed a formal complaint of nonconsensual “unprotected sexual intercourse” against Doe with Mark Solomon, chair of Yale’s University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct.

    Doe believes that university employees cajoled Roe into filing a complaint “that she otherwise did not contemplate filing,” and that the UWC adopted the Title IX coordinator’s “mission of increasing reporting” of sexual misconduct, though the suit doesn’t provide evidence.

You can read the rest. Bottom line is, he got suspended just a few weeks before he was scheduled to graduate because this girl decides retroactively that this brief moment when the condom came off during a 90-minute sexual encounter constituted “assault,” and Yale’s administration just goes along with this? If you’ll read the entire 66-page complaint you’ll find a lot of other reasons not to believe the accuser, including the fact that she claims to have been sexually assaulted more than once before she hooked up with John Doe, suggesting perhaps she has a victimhood mentality. But the larger point is, how can any guy at Yale know he won’t be the next “John Doe,” denied due process and expelled on the basis of a flimsy accusation?

The only safe course is NEVER HAVE SEX WITH A YALE GIRL.

Amazing stuff!

Why is Yale charging $72,800 next year? So they can maintain bureaucracies in charge of “Diversity” and responsible for ruining the lives of any young men who are unwise enough as to incur the wrath of women scorned.

11 May 2019

Lithuanian Invents Most Humane Euthanizing Device Since the Guillotine

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The Brooklyn deviants at Hyperallergic will love this.

“A solution to overpopulation.” — Julionas Urbonas is one sick puppy.

11 May 2019

Is Canada About to Ban Guns?

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10 May 2019

Decades-old Footage From Bernie Sanders Public Access Television Released

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HT: Althouse.

10 May 2019

6th Century Grave of Christian Anglo-Saxon Prince

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The Guardian reports on new information on findings from the Essex grave of a 6th Century Anglo-Saxon prince.

Archaeologists on Thursday will reveal the results of years of research into the burial site of a rich, powerful Anglo-Saxon man found at Prittlewell in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

When it was first discovered in 2003, jaws dropped at how intact the chamber was. But it is only now, after years of painstaking investigation by more than 40 specialists, that a fuller picture of the extraordinary nature of the find is emerging.

Sophie Jackson, director of research at Museum of London Archaeology (Mola), said it could be seen as a British equivalent to Tutankhamun’s tomb, although different in a number of ways.

For one thing it is in free-draining soil, meaning everything organic has decayed. “It was essentially a sandpit with stains,” she said. But what a sandpit. “It was one of the most significant archaeological discoveries we’ve made in this country in the last 50 to 60 years.”

The research reveals previously concealed objects, paints a picture of how the chamber was constructed and offers new evidence of how Anglo-Saxon Essex was at the forefront of culture, religion and exchange with other countries across the North Sea.

It also throws up a possible name for the powerful Anglo-Saxon figure for whom the grave was built.

Previously, the favourite suggestion was a king of the East Saxons, Saebert, son of Sledd. But he died about 616 and scientific dating now suggests the burial was in the late-6th century, about 580.

That means it could be Saebert’s younger brother Seaxa although, since the body has dissolved and only tiny fragments of his tooth enamel remain, it is impossible to know for certain.

Gold foil crosses were found in the grave which indicate he was a Christian, a fact which has also surprised historians.

Sue Hirst, Mola’s Anglo-Saxon burial expert, said that date was remarkably early for the adoption of Christianity in England, coming before Augustine’s mission to convert the country from paganism.

But it could be explained because Seaxa’s mother Ricula was sister to king Ethelbert of Kent who was married to a Frankish Christian princess called Bertha. “Ricula would have brought close knowledge of Christianity from her sister-in-law.”

Recreating the design of the burial chamber has been difficult because the original timbers decayed leaving only stains and impressions of the structure in the soil.

But it has been possible. The Mola team estimates it would have taken 20 to 25 men working five or six days in different groups to build the chamber and would have involved felling 13 oak trees.

“It was a significant communal effort,” said Jackson. “You’ve got to see this burial chamber as a piece of theatre. It is sending out a very strong message to the people who come and look at it and the stories they take away from it. It says ‘we are very important people and we are burying one of our most important people’.”

Objects identified in the grave include a wooden lyre – the ancient world’s most important stringed instrument – which had almost entirely decayed apart from fragments of wood and metal fittings preserved in a soil stain.

Micro-excavation in the lab has revealed it was made from maple, with ash tuning pegs, and had garnets in two of the lyre fittings which are almandines, most likely from the Indian subcontinent or Sri Lanka. It had also been broken in two at some point and put back together.

The burial chamber was discovered only because of a proposal to widen the adjacent road. It was fully excavated and the research has been undertaken by experts in a range of subjects including Anglo-Saxon art, ancient woodworking, soil science and engineering.

The new Mola findings are published on Thursday ahead of a long-awaited new permanent display of Prittlewell princely burial objects at Southend Central Museum. It opens on Saturday and will include objects such as a gold belt buckle, a Byzantine flagon, coloured glass vessels, an ornate drinking horn and a decorative hanging bowl. People will also be able to explore the burial chamber online at www.prittlewellprincelyburial.org.

Essex has sometimes been seen as something of an Anglo-Saxon backwater but the Prittlewell burial chamber suggests otherwise.

“What it really tells us,” said Hirst, “is that the people in Essex, in the kingdom of the East Saxons at this time, are really at the forefront of the political and religious changes that are going on.”

National Geographic article

09 May 2019

Montana Man Found to Possess Oldest DNA Present in the Americas

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Dusty Crawford

Great Falls Tribune:

[Dusty] Crawford had his DNA tested through CRI Genetics, which aims to provide customers with a “biogeographical ancestry,” a description of where their genes fit into the overall story of the species.

For Crawford, the company traced his line back 55 generations with a 99 percent accuracy rate. That’s rare because the ancestry often is clouded that far back, according to the company.

It was, they told him, like finding Bigfoot, it was so unlikely.

The company has never been able to trace anyone’s ancestry in the Americas as far back as Crawford’s DNA, they told him.

Crawford understood from school that his Blackfeet ancestors must have come to the new world on the Bering Land Bridge during the Ice Age. Perhaps that’s true for some Blackfeet.

But Crawford’s DNA story suggests his ancestors came from the Pacific, traveled to the coast of South America and traveled north, according to CRI. That’s a theory anyway.

He’s part of MtDNA Haplogroup B2, which has a low frequency in Alaska and Canada and originated in Arizona about 17,000 years ago.

That group is one of four major Native American groups that spread across the continent. They’re called clans and traced back to four female ancestors, Ai, Ina, Chie and Sachi. Crawford’s DNA says he’s a descendant of Ina.

The DNA group’s closest relatives outside the Americas are in Southeast Asia.

Ina’s name comes from a Polynesian mythological figure, a representative of the “first woman.” She’s riding a shark on a $20 bill in the Cook Islands.

“Its path from the Americas is somewhat of a mystery as there are no frequencies of the haplogroup in either Alaska or Canada. Today this Native American line is found only in the Americas, with a strong frequency peak on the eastern coast of North America,” according to the DNA testing company.

The DNA test focused on mitochondria DNA and Crawford’s line of female ancestors.

Shelly Eli, a Piikani culture instructor at the Blackfeet Community College, said oral stories say “We’ve always been here, since time immemorial.”

“There’s no oral stories that say we crossed a bridge or anything else,” she said.

She cited 2017 research from a mastodon site in California that scientists say puts humans in North America at least 100,000 years earlier than previously believed. Previous estimates suggested humans arrived 15,000 years ago.

Crawford also had an unusually high percent of Native American ancestry in his results, 83 percent. Some of that was a mix of Native threads, but, unusually, 73 percent was from the same heritage.

Besides his Native heritage, Crawford’s DNA was a remarkable global melting pot. His DNA was 9.8 percent European, 5.3 percent East Asian (mostly Japanese and Southern Han Chinese), 2 percent South Asian (Sri Lankan Tamil, Punjabi, Gujarati Indian and Bengali) and .2 percent African (Mende in Sierra Leone and African Caribbean).

09 May 2019

Telling the Bees

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Hans Thoma, Der Bienenfreund (The Bee Friend), 1863-1864, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe.

Amusing Planet:

There was a time when almost every rural British family who kept bees followed a strange tradition. Whenever there was a death in the family, someone had to go out to the hives and tell the bees of the terrible loss that had befallen the family. Failing to do so often resulted in further loss such as the bees leaving the hive, or not producing enough honey or even dying. Traditionally, the bees were kept abreast of not only deaths but all important family matters including births, marriages, and long absence due to journeys. If the bees were not told, all sorts of calamities were thought to happen. This peculiar custom is known as “telling the bees”.

09 May 2019

How to Improve Academia

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08 May 2019

Save Our Freedom to Drive!

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Prices will be going on on pre-emissions Beetles and people will be reprinting the old John Muir Fix-That-VW-Yourself Guide.

Our Corporate Overlords are rapidly developing driverless cars, and advanced thinkers are already talking about banning driving a car yourself altogether.

The New Yorker recently reported that a new group has been created specifically to defend the Freedom to Drive.

Safety has long been a central argument for the adoption of driverless cars. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, ninety-four per cent of serious crashes are due to human error, and some thirty-five thousand Americans die in traffic-related accidents each year. Autonomous-vehicle makers claim that, by seeing more and responding faster than human drivers can, their cars will save thousands of lives. According to this logic, not adopting autonomous-vehicle technology would be irresponsible—even unethical. “People may outlaw driving cars because it’s too dangerous,” Elon Musk said, at a technology conference, in 2015. (“To be clear, Tesla is strongly in favor of people being allowed to drive their cars and always will be,” he elaborated later, on Twitter. “Hopefully, that is obvious. However, when self-driving cars become safer than human-driven cars, the public may outlaw the latter. Hopefully not.”)

Perhaps it was inevitable that a nascent right-to-drive movement would spring up in America, where—as fervent gun-rights advocates and anti-vaccinators have shown—we seem intent on preserving freedom of choice even if it kills us. “People outside the United States look at it with bewilderment,” Toby Walsh, an Australian artificial-intelligence researcher, told me. In his book “Machines That Think: The Future of Artificial Intelligence,” from 2018, Walsh predicts that, by 2050, autonomous vehicles will be so safe that we won’t be allowed to drive our own cars. Unlike Roy, he believes that we will neither notice nor care. In Walsh’s view, a constitutional amendment protecting the right to drive would be as misguided as the Second Amendment. “We will look back on this time in fifty years and think it was the Wild West,” he went on. “The only challenge is, how do we get to zero road deaths? We’re only going to get there by removing the human.”

[Meredith] Broussard [a former software developer who is now a professor of data journalism at New York University, and author of the recent book, “Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World”] has a term for the insistence that computers can do everything better than humans can: technochauvinism. “Most of the autonomous-vehicle manufacturers are technochauvinists,” she said. “The big spike in distracted-driving traffic accidents and fatalities in the past several years has been from people texting and driving. The argument that the cars themselves are the problem is not really looking at the correct issue. We would be substantially safer if we put cell-phone-jamming devices in cars. And we already have that technology.” Like Roy, she strongly disputes both the imminence and the safety of driverless technology. “There comes a point at which you have to divorce fantasy from reality, and the reality is that autonomous vehicles are two-ton killing machines. They do not work as well as advocates would have you believe.”

Rather than create a constitutional amendment, Broussard argues that drivers should resist laws that would take away their existing rights. Although steering wheels are legally mandatory, the SELF DRIVE Act, which passed the House in 2017, would allow autonomous-vehicle companies to request exemptions from tens of thousands of other regulations. (The Act died in the Senate, but driverless-car companies are urging Congress to take it up again this year.) According to Broussard, the best way to protect the right to drive may be simply to defeat laws that would legalize autonomous vehicles. “We can challenge the notion that autonomous vehicles are inevitable,” she said. “They are not even legal right now.”

RTWT

Those driverless cars will all be equipped with Internet connections telling the companies that built them and the government exactly where you are and allowing either to disable your vehicle at will. You will need Big Brother’s permission to go anywhere.

Automobiles are already far too loaded with safety features; stripped of conveniences like spare tires, dip sticks, and vent windows; and calculatingly contrived to deny their owners the ability to make repairs themselves.

Our freedom of choice has been incrementally removed year by year. Next they will taking away our Freedom to Drive altogether.

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