Nov 272017
 

Every now and then someone produces a “folding firearm” designed for easier carry or concealment, or outright camouflage by making a folded weapon look like something else…a  flashlight, radio or cell phone, say. Glock produced this mechanism, which, frankly, leaves me befuddled. It’s not meaningfully smaller and it’s still very clearly a pistol, so… what benefit is added? Seems like extra cost, complexity and failure points. Perhaps some slight improvement in the ergonomics of carrying it on a belt, but… meh.

Full Concealed M3 Folding Glock

 Posted by at 3:59 pm
Nov 242017
 

When you think of the sort of pet that people can be truly emotionally attached to, chances are *really* good you’ll think of either “cat” or “dog.” Any species other than those two, at least in the US, will either be far fewer in number or far less likely to be something you really bond with. A goldfish, after all, is more likely to be something more of a decoration than an entity you empathize with.

Me, I’ve had cats, dogs, ferrets. Bonded with all, mourned those who’ve died or left. I also had some Triops, some big brine shrimp sorta prehistoric monster critters; when they died, it was a disappointment, but not mournful. I’ve never had pet bunnies or sheep, but I’ve met such critters. Cute enough, but… meh. No connection. Why not? Because there was “nothing behind the eyes,” one might say. And… because bunnies and sheep are quite different from humans. They do not hunt. They have no “killer instinct.” They are… different from us.

Look at the natural world: the creatures we think of as being “smart” or ‘high up on the evolutionary ladder” tend to be vicious killers. Chimpanzees? Sure, they’re cute (-ish) when they’re young, but as adults they’re 600-pound murder machines who will rip your limbs, face and nads off. Dolphins? Sure, Flipper looks cute, but they will murder other species of dolphins apparently for fun. Orcas? OK, the alternate name of “killer whale” kinds gives it away, but they’re well known to play with their food. And their food tends to cute cute, fluffy-bunny seals.

Of course, “smart” isn’t exclusively the province of predators. Elephants are well known to be quite smart, with complex emotions. But… you tick off an elephant, and they turn into *giant* murder machines. They might not eat you, but they’ll kill you, and not purely for defense. They will attack other creatures simply because they’re ticked off.

So… being killers seems to correlate with making good pets… and with making them understandable. Of course it’s not a 100% match; go head and snuggle up with a shark if you want, won’t get you anywhere.

 Posted by at 7:04 pm
Nov 232017
 

A damned convenient way to get yourself dead during World War I was to pop your head up above a trench. But if you wanted to shoot the enemy, you kinda *had* to pop your head up above the trench in order to aim your rifle. Unless you had a rifle equipped with a periscope.

One such arrangement was the “Cameron Yaggi 1903 Trench Rifle” which added a complex and heavy mechanism to the 1903 Springfield rifle.The mechanism included not only a periscope and a 25-round box magazine, but additional levers to allow you to operate the bolt “remotely.” The end result is kinda spiffy, though cumbersome, and was not adopted by the US.

The modern equivalent would be to put a digital camera on the rifle, live video being directed to a eyepiece via a cable or Bluetooth.

 

 

Of course, many countries tried a similar setup. Here’s a trench Mauser that tries to do the same thing, but without the ability to work the bolt remotely.

 Posted by at 6:31 pm
Nov 192017
 

I’m beginning to become more and more of the opinion that it just might be a good idea to segregate boys from girls in public school, at least up until junior high or high school. That way there’d at least be the potential of teaching kids in ways that are actually appropriate to them, and, much as it’s become popular to believe otherwise, boys and girls *are* inherently different in may important ways.

Take the source (“Prager U”) for what it’s worth, but there re some interesting points raised here:

I’ve long held the view, and expressed it on this blog, that standardized education isn’t for everyone. I don’t believe that society is best off by forcing everyone to stay in the same classes all the way through 12th grade. Some students would simply be better off if they were allowed the leave school some years earlier and be sent into some sort of trade; if nothing else, the *other* students wouldn’t need to be subjected to their bullying, criminality and stupidery. But as the video points out, there are good cases to be made for separating male from female lesson plans. Years ago I wrote about how some of the books I was forced to read in school damn near turned me off reading forever, because they’re just the wrong damned kind of books for me. But I do recall that at the same time I was struggling to give the very slightest of damns about “Sense and Sensibility” and “Little Women” and “I remember Mama” and “Wuthering Heights,” a lot of the girls in the class seemingly couldn’t get enough of it. But did we read Heinlein? Wells? Verne? Sun Tzu? Rand? Lovecraft? Oh, hell no.

Some might argue that it’s important to cram the “classics” into kids in order to “expose them to a wide range of literature blah, blah, blah.” But if the stuff you expose them to is stuff that they’ll *hate,* stuff that they’ll get little to nothing out of, what good are you doing? Chances are good you’re doing *negative* work. Not only are those students getting nothing out of the assignment and thus wasting their time and the teachers, they are also probably so bored that they’re kicking up a fuss that’s ruining the experience for those students who *can* get something out of it. So if there is a simple way to at least get a *crude* semblance of optimization out of the process – like, say, segregating boys from girls and letting boys be aggressive energetic little shits while the girls are, well girls – then huzzah, everybody is better off.

One common refrain is that at some point in the edumacation process, boys become aggressive in class. Not in the beating the tar out of people sense, but in the “Oooh, oooh, call on me, teacher, I know the answer” sense that modern progressives liken to “mansplaining” and “manterrupting,” while girls are less aggressive in that way. Well… fine. Then wouldn’t it be better to separate them? Teach them in the ways that’s best for ’em?

 Posted by at 8:55 pm
Nov 162017
 

There are certain actors, actresses, actrons and acting units who you know aren’t *really* *good,* as such, but they’re just damned entertaining to watch nonetheless. Dwayne Johnson, aka “The Rock,” is one such… largely because you can tell that he’s generally having a blast doing whatever goofy thing he’s doing.

The forthcoming “Jumanji” movie looks like it’ll be one such entertaining flick. But perhaps even more so, the movie “Rampage,” due out in April and based on the old arcade game and directed by the director of Johnson’s disaster extravaganza “San Andreas,” looks like a hoot and a half. The addition of Neegan to the cast sure can’t hurt either.

 

 Posted by at 6:59 pm
Nov 142017
 

I’m a boring man, I admit if. I’d love for someone to (legally) give me a supercar… because I could sell it and pay off my mortgage. The idea of such cars is appealing, but the reality is that you have  *lot* of power packed into a small volume that has relatively low mass, meaning that it accelerates *really* fast. Which sounds cool till you realize that you’re not running on rails and that the world is not set up to allow you to drive unimpeded. So… I prefer simpler, more rational cars. Something with good gas mileage, a good safety rating,  fair amount of cargo space, a ring mount and good grippy tires is really all I need.

Especially after watching this video of supercars (largely Lambos, if i read them correctly) being  driven by fookin morons.

 

 Posted by at 12:10 pm