Sunday, July 31, 2011

OK, it's not so hot

My first thought was wow:

But then I remembered there are hotter places:

I can wear shorts and a T-shirt when it gets hot.  I spend my days in air conditioning - FOB Borepatch, the car, the office.  I can head over to the pool for a dip if it gets too oppressive.  I can crack a frosty bottle of hoppy goodness.

Yeah, it's not so hot here after all.

Keep our men and women in uniform in your thoughts and prayers. 

Come home safe, and soon, and victorious.  Some of us appreciate the sacrifice  you - and your families - are making.

Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash

This is often attributed to Winston Churchill, who as First Sea Lord is said to have growled "Don't talk to me of the Navy's 'tradition'.  It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash."  It's not at all clear that he said it, but as with many famous wits (including Mark Twain) he gets credit.

What is a cold stone fact is that rum has not been issued in the Royal Navy since July 31, 1970.  The original 17th Century ration of a gallon of beer a day was replaced with a half pint of rum to save space on board.  Concerns about drunkenness led that ration to first be mixed with water ("Grog" was four parts water to one part rum) and then cut to a quarter pint a day, then an eighth pint.  In the late 19th Century the Officer's ration was eliminated, and Warrant Officers saw theirs ended at the end of World War I.

But ratings continued to get their daily ration up until "Black Tot Day" in 1970, when rum rations were finally ended for all personnel.  It is said that some sailors wore black arm bands, and some Tots (ration flasks) were given a burial at sea.

The lash had been missing from the fleet for only a brief time by then.  The notorious "Cat o' Nine Tails" lash had not been used since 1881, and had been removed from the statute book officially in 1949.  Caning with birch was maintained until 1955 in the general fleet, and until 1967 on training ships.  "Twelve of the best" was a typical punishment nearly until we landed a man on the moon.

Alas, I find no credible reports as to the prevalence of sodomy in the Royal Navy.  Fortunately, however, cannibalism is mostly under control.

King Henry VIII - Two compositions for Recorders

Henry VIII is undoubtedly most famous for the Herman's Hermits song of the 1960s (Second verse, same as the first).  But in addition to founding his own church and chopping off his wives' heads, he was very much a Renaissance Man.


Born the year before Columbus discovered Terra Nova, he was raised and educated to be a Renaissance Gentleman.  That included a wide range of knowledge (thus our current term Renaissance Man) - siege artillery and musical composition.

In fact, his compositions are some of the oldest we still have.  Preserved in the British Royal archives, they are played here by the Krainis Recorder Consort.  The Youtube page has a quite good introduction, which I reproduce here:
Two compositions for recorders by Henry VIII, King of England 1509-1547-- 'If Love Now Reynyd [Reigned]' and an untitled work-- played by the Krainis Recorder Consort on a Kapp long-playing disc, KCL9049, issued in 1960.

As far as his association with music is concerned, Henry the Eighth is probably best known these days for graciously lending his name to a song celebrating serial marriage, made a hit by Herman's Hermits. But, because 2009 marks the 500th Anniversary of Henry's accession to the throne, it seems appropriate to consider a more direct contribution.
In the album liner notes, Bernard Krainis, recorder soloist of the New York Pro Musica, which he co-founded, and director of the Consort performing here, says--

"It is perhaps paradoxical that two such lovely works should come from the pen of a monarch whom history depicts as bloodthirsty, callous and self-indulgent. Henry, however, was a typical Renaissance Humanist, whose wide ranging interests included a passionate devotion to music. At his death, he owned 76 recorders-- just a small part of his princely collection of all the important instruments of his day."

The source for this music is a manuscript at the British Museum. The portrait of Henry, in 1540, is by Hans Holbein the Younger.
Shakespeare would no doubt have heard this, or music very much like it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Film Review: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead

This is a very strange film.  Imdb has plot summaries and all, so I'll be brief in my review.

The story is a surreal comedy, riffing on the whole "a play within a play" thing that has annoyed audiences since Shakespeare's day.  On the downside, the film is a pretty disconnected series of clever moments; while the moments are clever, the film never really comes together as a film.

On the plus side, there are a lot of clever moments.  The film is quite a lot of fun just for them.  Sort of like Pokemon, you can collect them all.  Err, or something.

The acting is better than you'd expect, although it's pretty much all over-the-top campiness.  The script is really just a vehicle for the many clever moments, but it pulls them off (mostly).

Vest viewed when you're in the mood for the surreal, but worth adding to the old Netflix instant queue.

Gunsmithing a Chiappa revolver

Tam and some other folks are talking about Chiappa and their RFID chipped handguns.  People are exercised by the PR FAIL of the response to people's shock that their trust might be violated this way - pretty interesting marketing plan to address that loss of trust, if you ask me.

But I remembered the 2006 Black Hat Briefings (probably the premier computer security conference), where I listened to some folks talk about how you can make malware that spreads from RFID chip to RFID chip via the reader.

"Hmmm," I said to my self, "I wonder what you could do to give the hypothetical Officer Friendly an interesting day when he scans your heater?"  And since this scanning can be done from some distance away as you lawfully carry your piece, the opportunities for fun and games are probably legion.

Note that IANAL, but it's hard to see how you could be prosecuted under existing anti-hacking laws.  After all, the sum total of what you would have done is simply to put data on your own property.  You never accessed any computing device owned by anyone else.  They accessed yours.

Of course, I only use my Powers for Good, but the Black Hat presentation gets interesting around slide 18, and particularly interesting around slide 23.  Given that the RFID reading system and its backend database are administered by incompetents, it's very likely that a RFID payload delivering a SQL Injection attack could wipe out the entire database of scanned guns.

I mean, if I want to set the serial number of my Chiappa handgun to foo'); DROP TABLE Handguns;--, well that's just me practicing my, err, gunsmithing skillz.

Like I said, I only use my Powers for Good.  But it's astonishing how the world is filled with people who think they're smarter than everyone else, and that they understand everything worth knowing about something, and how their Cunning  Plan could never, ever, bite them in the butt.

Note to Chiappa: if you scan guns returned for service (almost a dead certainty), your p*ssed off customers could go this to you.  A little humility is perhaps called for, when your shorts are down around your ankles, security-wise.

Wynonna Judd - No One Else On Earth

Wynonna is perhaps the Cher of Country Music.  A strong woman, an innovator, a pioneer.  You love her or you hate her.  I like her for her attitude.  More on that later.

Wynonna needs little introduction here.  Three platinum albums, 20 singles on the charts, plus another 14 number 1 singles with her Mom make her one of the most successful women in Country Music is the last 20 years.

No One Else On Earth (Songwriters: Jill Colluci, Stewart Harris, Sam Lorber)
I've been a rock and I've got my fences
I never let them down
When it comes to love I keep my senses
I don't get kicked around

I shivered once you broke into my soul
The damage is done now
I'm outta control
How did you get to me

No one else on earth
Could ever hurt me
Break my heart the way you do
No one else on earth
Was ever worth it
No one could love me like
No one could love me like you

You can make me want you
Any time you want to
You're burning me alive
I can't deny you
Even when I catch you
Weaving a weak alibi

Cause when the night falls
You make me forget
Your love is killing me
And it ain't over yet
How did you get to me

No one else on earth
Could ever hurt me
Break my heart the way you do
No one else on earth
Was ever worth it
No one could love me like
No one could love me like you

I shivered once you broke into my soul
The damage is done now
I'm outta control
How did you get to me

No one else on earth
Could ever hurt me
Break my heart the way you do
No one else on earth
Was ever worth it
No one could love me like
No one could love me like you

No one else on earth
Could ever hurt me
Break my heart the way you do
No one else on earth
Was ever worth it
No one could love me like
No one could love me like you

No one else on earth
Was ever worth it
No one could love me like
No one like you
No one like you
Me, I like her attitude, which is "Screw you, I am what I am".  For me, nothing captures that like her song, Girls With Guitars.  Lord, have mercy ....

Sort of like Cher.  Love her or hate her, it doesn't bother her.  Us, we love her.

(Image source)

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Truth will set you free

I Want A New Left has two posts that are required reading.  The first is diagnostic, about how the Intellectual Left's self-imposed knowledge bubble makes them ignorant:
After hearing feminist rhetoric on rape for several decades, it’s strange to be in the position of educating them on what is happening to women in Scandinavia, because they are usually the ones who know more about such things than anyone.
Zing!  And don't miss the follow-up, which dissects the New York Times with a thoroughness that would have been admired by Jacques Derrida. Double Zing!

Second, he argues for an antidote to the annual display of America Hatred which is the anniversary of Hiroshima.  This is anti-American guerrilla warfare by the intellectual left, he quite correctly points out, and recommends a bracing dose of Reality® that we can direct towards the Reality-Based Community™:
The point here is to counter the poisonous rhetoric that makes it seem as though America is a uniquely villainous country. This may have made sense forty years ago when our schools fostered patriotism and Americans were in denial about awful (or allegedly awful) things we had done, but today the situation is reversed, it seems, with schools dispensing information on nothing but the villainous things we’ve done while mentioning none of the bad things others have done. So, to restore some balance, here is my proposed lineup:

August 1: Bataan Death March Day

August 2: Rape of Nanking Day

August 3: Manila Massacre Day

August 4: Korean Comfort Women Day

August 5: Experiments on Live Prisoners Day
Simply superb.  I for one intend to do so cheerfully.  I also intend to post about the Left's curious silence about the fire bombings of Tokyo and Dresden, or why it would have been OK to nuke Berlin during the Great Patriotic War.  Not for nothing did Woody Guthrie's guitar say "This machine kills fascists."

R.I.P. Global Warming alarmism

The Press consistently fails to report the uncertainties in the arguments for Global Warming - no big surprise, as they're rooting for the Home Team.  But uncertainties in the science have been discussed among scientists for a long time.  Here's an example, where NCAR's Kevin Trenberth talks about "missing" heat:

The models and the measurements weren't in balance.  There may be quite a good reason for this, namely that the models are seriously flawed:
NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.
The Usual Suspects in the Warmist camp are reacting as you'd expect.  They're not making their case any stronger:
"If you want to do a story then write one pointing to the ridiculousness of people jumping onto every random press release as if well-established science gets dismissed on a dime," [NASA's Gavin] Schmidt said. "Climate sensitivity is not constrained by the last two decades of imperfect satellite data, but rather the paleoclimate record."
Pay no attention to the data there - we're doing science!  Or something.  But the paleoclimate record isn't a strong peg to hang your hat on:
Without trying to prejudice this work, but also because of what I almost think I know to be the case, the results of this study will show that we can probably say a fair bit about <100 year extra-tropical NH [Northern Hemisphere - Borepatch] temperature variability (at least as far as we believe the proxy estimates), but honestly know fuck-all about what the >100 year variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know with certainty that we know fuck-all).
That was paleoclimatologist Ed Cook's email to the University of East Anglia's Keith Briffa, published in the ClimateGate data dump.

we know with certainty that we know fuck-all ...

That's a righteous level of uncertainty, right there.  And this is what the Press won't talk about, because they "know" the answer, and are happy with their narrative.  The problem for them is that the actual data don't agree with the narrative, which is why they're stuck in a slow water torture drip-drip-drip of this sort of story.  The data simply refuse to cooperate:
While the thermometer records indicate a substantial warming trend, many tree rings do not display a corresponding change in their width.[2] A temperature trend extracted from tree rings alone would not show any substantial warming. The temperature graphs calculated in these two ways thus "diverge" from one another since the 1950s, which is the origin of the term.
The East Anglia crowd "solved" this problem by hiding the decline:

I find that I haven't been posting on climate issues very much these days, because I see the entire edifice collapsing.  There's likely going to continue to be political damage - for example, Australia's disastrous Carbon Tax - but the science is simply falling apart.

And this is a very good thing indeed.  Ultimately, we'll see a set of scientists discredited, and those left standing acting with much more transparency.  In the political arena, the public's disappearing appetite for draconian mitigation policies will evaporate in the face of the collapsing welfare state.  If people have to choose between funding Social Security and funding Big Environment schemes, there's no question which way it will go.

And so stick a fork in it, the whole thing is done.

Climate Hysteria,  R.I.P. 1998 - 2011.

UPDATE 29 July 2011 18:06: Coyote has a related and very interesting post about uncertainty in climate science.

I see the problem!

There's no place to put the 3-digit verification code ...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The utter Fail behind Progressive income redistribution

This is must-read stuff:
But the real money here is obviously in the consumption/investment categories.  You can redistribute consumption from the top 1% and give it to average Americans working in a car factory, or a Walmart.  But it’s an illusion to think you can redistribute investment from the top 1%, so that average Americans can have a higher living standard.  Where do people think the car factory comes from?  Or the Walmart building?  BTW, this has nothing to do with trickle-down economics, a theory I reject.  This is simple accounting.  Money put into investment projects isn’t available to boost living standards for the lower classes, unless you don’t do those investment projects.
Must-read stuff, via Aretae (who knows must-read stuff).

Dumb stuff I think people think

Sonic Charmer brings his patented brand of smart (not, of course, Smart) to the Intellectual Left.  OK, here's mine.
  • Simply parroting an Approved™ set of ideas actually makes you a member of the Ruling Class.
  • People who think they can run their lives for themselves - without the "help" of Harvard Men - are toothless cousin marrying racists.
  • Scientists hiding their data and source code is totally Normal™, and only objected to by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy™.  Since they're all toothless, cousin marrying racists anyway, the very objection to the refusal to release code and data justifies the refusal to release code and data, and all Right Thinking People accept this as a matter of course.
RTWT.  If I were actually smart (not to be confused with Smart), I would have written his post.  Worth your time.

What causes Global Warming?

Yesterday, I published a press release titled Tree ring widths more affected by sheep than temperature in which researchers in Norway published a peer reviewed study stating:
“We found tree ring widths were more affected by sheep than the ambient temperature at the site, although temperatures were still visible in the tree ring records. This shows that the density of herbivores affects the tree ring record, at least in places with slow-growing trees.”
They went on to say that “This study does not mean that using tree rings to infer past climate is flawed as we can still see the effect of temperatures on the rings…”, but according to MM05 [McIntyre & McKittrick 2005 - Borepatch] below, that doesn’t seem to be fully accurate.
Long time readers know my scorn for the Michael Mann "Hockey Stick" graph used - with great fanfare - to justify the late 1990s ZOMG Thermageddon!!!1!!eleventy! schtick.  The statistical method was bogus, producing a hockey stick graph even when fed random data (say, the phone numbers in your local Telephone Directory), and Mann used Bristlecone Pine tree core data, which was known to be inappropriate for measuring temperature.

At the time, we thought it was because it measured drought, not temperature (which is true).  Now, it seems that it also measures sheep, which were introduced into the American southwest in large numbers right when the Hockey Stick bent upwards.

Take lousy data, run it through lousy computer algorithms, and you get a nifty excuse for a multi-trillion dollar government power grab. 

Stupid Deniers, back on my lawn.  Hey you lot: clear off!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An unfortunate display of talent

The baker of this cake clearly has an exceptional ability to create works of edible art.  But I just lost my appetite:

Worst. Baby Shower. Ever.  And the competition for "worst" is pretty stiff at that link.

Skill and talent are necessary, but not sufficient.  You also need a suitable subject:

Harry Potter cakes.  Apologies to Sabra on the subject, though.

Quote of the Day

The Silicon Graybeard brings it:
One of the most persistent falsehoods heard from anti-gunners, I mean besides the penis jokes, is that gun culture folks are all toothless idiots who "jest wanna shewt sumthin".  Of course, when you're familiar with the facts, you know that a large percentage of the folks who carry study all the time: they study tactics, take classes and spend a fair amount of their resources trying to be ready should they be called on to use that gun they carry.
I'll happily discuss Aquinas, Catholic Just War doctrine, the inherent flaws in Plato's Republic, and how all that buttresses a natural right to self defense with lethal weapons with any of them.  If it makes them less nervous, I'll even put my teeth back in.

Oh, and I'll also make sure to let them know that not all cats are black after midnight, either.  Can't let that sort of ignorance flourish uncontested, even with such as the anti-gun crowd.  Knuckle-draggers they may be, but we must all do our part to help edumacate them.


The late, great Nat King Cole:

Compare with Depeche Mode:

Nat is like a Mauser bolt action: smooth as silk and the ultimate in class.  Depeche Mode is more like an FAL, industrial with a hint of menace.  Both represent the best of their day.


Pshaw.  The true connoisseur of summer beach sculpture is looking for something un peu plus 8-bit this season.

Geek Art Gallery is plus formidable!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The crazy Cat Lady

Now on eHarmony:

My unattached Gentlemen Readers will no doubt be rushing off to eHarmony to "ping" her (or whatever you do on eHarmony).  After all, it's not every day that they get an, ahem, opportunity like this.  Just imagine her in 40 years.

Or if you like, you can watch the musical version, courtesy of Songify:

I wonder if she might meet this young man on eHarmony?

UPDATE 26 July 2011 23:11: ZOMG, Wirecutter posts Crazy Bacon Lady FTW!

Zombie spotting

In South Africa:

A 50-year-old South African man woke up inside a mortuary over the weekend and screamed to be let out - scaring away attendants who thought he was a ghost.
His family presumed he was dead when they could not wake him on Saturday night and contacted a private morgue in a rural village in the Eastern Cape.

He spent almost 24 hours inside the morgue, the region's health department spokesman told the Sapa news agency.
Yow.  Seems he's in stable condition now.  I expect he had words with his family, though.

Via El Reg.

Cats cause Global Warming

*Rolls eyes*

Can every Progressive who ever said that they're smarter than the rest of us, and ever so much more scientific, just shut up and sit down in the back of the room?  Grownups are talking here.

Via The Daily Bayonet.

A modest proposal to reduce the deficit

Everything old is new again.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blogroll updates

The Embedded Theologian (one of the top ten all time great blog names) is another libertarianish Linux guru (it sort of seems to be a requirement for the club).  He brings the snark, too:
I came across a form of this question in the comments over at Ann Althouse's blog... "Hey, Mr. Liberal. If you think food stamps are such a great idea, what's wrong with school choice programs and educational vouchers? They're just school stamps, right?"
The Orphan Wilde describes his blog as "A peculiar brand of misanthropy".  Well, his brand of misanthropy is pretty danged good, if you ask me:
Nobody should study martial arts for the purpose of self defense without also studying the use of firearms; in order to be capable of reacting appropriately to firearms, you must not only understand them, you must understand how your opponent will use them, what mistakes your opponent is like to make, and what his weaknesses will be.
No "there is no spoon" nonsense here, just smart analysis of all sorts of things.  When I get around to reorganizing the blogroll, he's going in the "Wicked Smaht Bahstids" category..

Cheaper Than Dirt has a blog, with some pretty cutting edge material.  Back when Top Shot was running, Caleb interviewed most (all?) of the contestants.  Now they're running a reloading clinic.  Pretty cool to get blogrolled there.

Welcome to the blogroll, everyone!  More tomorrow, as I shovel out from my shameful lethargy.  And the usual note: if you have a blog and have me on your blogroll, and if I haven't added you here, it's likely an example of my (lack of) work ethic.  Send me an email or leave a comment, and I'll add you here.

Back when Boston made Machine Guns

The Johnson Machine Gun Company, on State Street.  Different world.

It never replaced the BAR, even though the side-mounted magazine lets you load more rounds.  Melvin Johnson designed a rifle that he thought would replace the M1 Garand.  It didn't, but had some innovations that he carried forward into this light machine gun, particularly the in-line stock that minimized muzzle rise.

Capt. Johnson wasn't successful with his design, and only a small number of his machine gun were built.  In Boston.  It's likely the last time a Boston lawyer designed a gun that was built there.
This is Shatner's greatest moment.

NSFW.  Srlsy.


Yeah, I'm all in.

I'd elaborate, except he did it all.  You know what to do, people.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blogroll updates

Flares into Darkness is a blog I've lined to a number of times, since it's packed with smart and interesting stuff.  Like the difference in toys between when some of us grew up, and now.  And this isn't about all the ZOMG teh ebil guns!!!1!eleventy! - it's about Chemistry Sets:
I've already written a post that i was deprived in my childhood because I didn't have a Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab. Consider some of what it included: a U-239 Geiger radiation counter, an electroscope to measure radioactivity of different substances, a spinthariscope to watch "live" radioactive disintegration, a Wilson Cloud Chamber to see paths of electrons & alpha particles at 10k mps, three very low-level radioactive sources (Alpha, Beta, Gamma) and four samples of Uranium-bearing ores.

However, I did have a chemistry set and it did include chemicals. As you can see in the above picture, incredibly enough not only do modern chemistry sets already not include such dangers as glass test tubes and Bunsen burners, now they've also done away with chemicals.
We all knew why Johnny can't read.  Now we know why he can't understand electron orbitals.

Nothing shows how shamefully delinquent in updating this blogroll then the fact that it's taken two and a half months to add The Tao of Josh, who was at an inpromptu Austin meetup in April.  Apologies, Josh!

Jetaz has showed up here before, when he took his girlfriend to the range for the first time (I'm a sucker for romantics).  Now he's all Monster Hunter Alpha blogging.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  No word (yet) if he's gotten his girlfriend to read it.

Welcome to the blogroll, everyone!  More coming, because I've been a lazy bum.

Oh, dear


Double Oh, dear.

UPDATE 24 July 2011 10:58: Link fixed. All refunds will be cheerfully and promptly made, per our refund policy.  Please apply (in triplicate) at Camp Borepatch main gate.  I'm sorry, it must be in person.  Policy, don't you know.

Alessandro Scarlatti: Sinfonia Il Giardino di Amore, Allegro

I normally like to write some background about what makes these pieces interesting, but after a 14 hour drive from Atlanta to Austin, I'm pretty wiped.  But I'm on a bit of a Baroque kick, and the music is simply sublime.

I'd say something like if it isn't Baroque, don't fix it, but that would be stale and trite.  I'd never do that.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Riddle me this, BigGovernmentMan ...

If the Bush tax cuts (and the Mortgage Interest Deduction, and the AMT) are "lost tax revenue" - money not available for our Government to spend on the needy, etc ...

Then why isn't High Speed Rail, and funding for PBS and the National Endowment of the Arts "lost tax revenue" that isn't available to be spent on the needy?

I mean, people are telling us that we need a spirit of "shared sacrifice", right?  Shouldn't the SWPLs sacrifice, too?

Silence is golden

Just because it's fun.

The kids are all right

Lots of people are worried about the effect of school indoctrination on kids, and deservedly so.  We all know how the Progressive Agenda is alive and well in the public school system.

But there's another side to that coin, and it's that for most kids, the only real injustice they've seen comes from the Progressive Elite.  And they notice.  Offered for your consideration, something pointed out to me by #2 Son:

He's 15, and pointing out how well intentioned (well, err, maybe) laws are screwing things up.  Quite frankly, I don't think he's alone.

One thing we should be thinking about is how to talk to the younger generation on these terms.  They've seen people crushed by The Man, for the "best" reasons.  If we're clever, we can use that to get the kids to think about what that means for liberty, and fairness, and justice in a bigger context.


Loretta Lynn - Where Do Babies Go?

#1 Son and I had a beer together last night.  We both enjoyed it - the beer, of course, but the time together.  It's been a long, long way from the Hoffbrauhaus in 1996, and some of that road wasn't paved.

You want to see your son grow up into honorable manhood.  He's started college, and his attitude towards it is very different than his attitude in High School.  Grown up.

That's a good thing all around, but you still look back on them and remember the days when they were little, and looked at you with eyes that would shine.

The great Loretta Lynn captured this in a song that's Old School country.  But the clever turn of phrase is there, and Country's it's about you, or about someone you know is there, too.

Where Do Babies Go?  (Songwriters: Lorene Allen, Kenny Starr)
My little boy tried shaving for the first time today
My little girl said "Momma, I love Paul."
It's been no time since he was "Daniel Boone"
and she'd wear my high heels to make her tall.

He'd bring to me a trinket from a box of Cracker Jacks,
and she a weed as if it were a rose.
I used to wonder where did babies come from
but now I wonder where do babies go?

Where do babies go without us knowin' that they're gone,
and time pays no mind to how fast children grow?
I used to wonder where did babies come from
and now I wonder where do babies go?

Where do babies go without us knowin' that they're gone,
and time pays no mind to how fast children grow?
I used to wonder where did babies come from
and now I wonder where do babies go?
Photo copyright 2009 Borepatch

Friday, July 22, 2011

The weather forecast ...

... is hot.

With increasing Big Hair ...

United States State and Justice Departments "offended fundamental notions of justice"

So rules the Supreme Court of British Columbia.  While polite and written in legalese, the decision is clear and easy to understand.  The U.S. Government was just (deservedly) bitch-slapped.

It's a little easier to understand how they thought running guns to Narco-terrorists was a good idea: both these departments look like they're nothing but a Clown Car.

That's some righteous "Smart Diplomacy", right there.  But I'm sure that it will be a totally different story when they're running our health care.

It's not about the science

The Czar of Muscovy muses on how Global Warming Climate Change Climate Disruptivenesscalifragilisticsexpialidocious (Whatever the Approved Trademark is this week) seem to be shooting themselves in the foot:
A young lady named Jennifer might, for example, particularly like Duffies, a new breakfast cereal. But when she hears the doorbell ring, opens the door, and someone punches her square in the face and says ’Eat Duffies, assface!” she progresses to think a different product is in her future. For you see, this is sort of how Climate Change is being sold to us right now. As a punch in the face.
Very smart it is indeed, and you should RTWT.  I was struck by the similarities between the climate debate and the gun control debate.  In both, the "non Progressive" side spends a lot of time discussing the actual data.  In both, the Progressive side spends a lot of time talking about how evil and stupid the other side is.

As Robb Allen likes to say, We have facts and data.  They have penis jokes.

The Czar says the same thing in his post, differently:
The problem, which all climate change proponents have to face sooner or later, is that climate change deniers as you call them do a much better job of getting their message out because of your efforts to humiliate them for not seeing how smart you want to seem. When they excise the obscenity, obscurity, and politics of your latest messages, they find nothing left.
Alas, the disagreement is over first principles, and so no discussion of the data or science is likely to prove fruitful.  There is the same whiff of desperation from both the Kyoto and the Brady groups; a feeling that their day has passed and that they need to get something now or never.  The rhetoric is dialed up to 11 in the climate debate in order to shout down an inconvenient dissent; the Brady crowd has given up on debate entirely which is why we see back door regulatory efforts as the preferred choice of action.

The E.P.A. is moving in the same direction as the ATF.  That's where the action is.

So while the Czar's post is 100% correct as to how an actual political debate should run, that's not what we're going to get.  The Progressive side is convinced, they know that they don't have the votes to win in our representative democracy, and so the war will be continued by other means.  The suspicion is that the rhetoric is used to justify their anti-democratic actions to themselves.

In other words, we have to be evil, or they'll realize that they're the bad guys.

You can't coexist in that environment.

War Department M1 Garand Principles of Operation Film

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blogroll updates

Robert Slaughter isn't just a gunblogger, he's an Atlanta gunblogger, and quite good company for IPAs after a trip to the range.  It's quite late, but he's now here in the exclusive "Bloggers I've met" category.  Plus, he's more evil than I am.  As a guy who's figured out how that thing works, it's maybe not a surprise that he's a little more evil than I ...

I'm a bit gobsmacked that I haven't blogrolled Sean Sorrentino, who has to be one of the "Best New Bloggers" leaders.  He's a one-man answer to the Internet Content shortage, and brings The Smart:
Intellectuals made the claim that venereal transmission of power was wrong on its face and ordinary people should have the right to determine their own destinies. The explicitly took the side of the ordinary person against the ruling class.
Contrast that with what we have now. The intellectuals have decided that they should be the ruling class. Instead of sticking with the winning solution, that the individual has the right to determine his own destiny, they have decided to supplant the hereditary monarchs and their cronies and pretend that they have a plan that will maximize everyone’s happiness, so long as we do what they say. They tell us to shut up and do as we are told. They tell us that we are not fit to question their wisdom no matter how many times that their actions fail to lead to their desired results. They’ve become the exact replica of what they as a class fought against so long ago.
A Father Of Four brings the news that Dare Not Speak Its Name:
Last month, Wits University and RAU scientists released the results of a recent analysis that revealed the presence of female hormones in beer.
Men should take a concerned look at their beer consumption.

The theory is that beer contains female hormones (hops contains Phytoestrogens) and that by drinking enough beer, men turn into women.
The results of the study are pretty interesting, and you should RTWT.  Scary stuff.

Welcome to the blogroll, everyone!  More updates tomorrow, as I try to mend my lazy going-months-without-updating-the-blogroll ways.  And if anyone else has me on their blogroll, send me an email or leave a comment and I'll get you added here.

Things that work beat things that might work

Nobody can.

Show me a successful complex system, and I'll show you something that evolved via trial and error.

The Internet itself is one of these successful complex systems.  Twenty years ago, the protocols that evolved into the Internet (TCP/IP) were not the ones people expected would win out.  People expected that TP4/CLNP from the OSI protocol stack would win out, because (a) they were internationally supported, (b) they were backed by the ITU, and (c) they were proposed by really, really, really Smart people.

Of course, almost nobody has ever heard of TP4 or CLNP.*  Seems that all those Big Idea Guys at the ITU didn't realize that something that works beats something the might work.

TCP/IP grew from systems that worked and evolved.  TP4/CLNP  was mired in formalism ("All n-layer functions shall communicate will all peer n-layer functions via n-1 layer functions."  Blech.) and never survived outside the classroom (or the lab).  TCP/IP went into the Unix kernel, and then into everything else, and won by default.

After evolving like crazy.  I'm old enough to remember how Van Jacobsen electrified the networking community by making TCP run at 6 Mbps over Ethernet, when everyone "knew" that TCP would never give you more than 1 Mbps.  Van figured out that networking belonged in the OS kernel, where golly gosh it lives today.  Van evolved TCP.

Things that work win.  The analogy of the United States - with 50 quasi-independent States able to experiment on their own - compared to France (5 separate Constitutions for a centralized state replacing each other in turn) is left as an exercise for the reader.  Well OK, it's not really, but you know what I mean.  Those Big Idea Guys in Paris (*COUGH* Valerie Giscard D'estang*COUGH*) didn't realize that something that works beats something that might work.

* Actually, I suspect that several of my readers will remember these, but this blog is pretty strange.

The Beretta "Sex Kitten"*

Edwiga Fenech, who while not Italian, stared in some Sergio Leone films.

Today's gun, err, pr0n is brought to you courtesy of Weer'd Beard, who, err, started it.

* Come to think of it, "Hell Cat" would also fit.

When Office Politics turns bad

"Bulletproof" Body Armor clipboard.  Let's be careful out there.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

1944 U.S. Army Combat Firing With Handguns film

Love the .45 ACP tracers.  Interesting to see double-tap with the 1911 back in the 40's, and the pointing "advantages" of the revolver over the 1911.  Not a fan of the tea-cup grip, though.  I guess things have advanced some in the last 70 years.

I'd guess that the only thing the tea-cup grip would be good for in when in the prone position.

I love the tracers.  And shoothouse FTW!

Riddle me this, Economicsman ...

First, the background:
Nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged in June (+18,000), and the unemployment rate was little changed at 9.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
And so, the question: how many companies does it take to downsize that job gain to zero? Start here:
After Wall Street closed today, Cisco said that it was going to cut 6,500 workers to get its costs more in line with its revenue streams
And now look here:
Borders’ roughly 400 remaining stores will close, and nearly 11,000 jobs will be lost, according to the company.
And so the answer is two.

And so, we can ask what is the sound of two hands clapping at an Obama Press Conference?  Actually, that's a trick question; nobody knows, because it doesn't happen:

TheOnesDay® No. 10

It's Wednesday, meaning it's time for the weekly mockery of America's First Stuffed Suit.

Little Johnny's family was hard hit by the economic downturn, so he thought he'd pray to the Lord for $100 to help out.  He prayed and prayed, but nothing happened.  Finally, he wrote the Lord a letter asking please for $100 to help his family.

The post office didn't know how to deliver a letter to Heaven, so they sent it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue instead.  President Obama was deeply touched by Johnny's letter, and told an aide to send him a $5 bill, figuring that would be a lot of money for a 6 year old.

Johnny was thrilled to get a reply, and sat down to write a thank you letter.  Dear God, he began.  Thank you for answering my letter asking for $100.  But it seems that your letter got sent through Washington D.C. and those bums took 95% of it.

Remember, everyone - the Left grew up thinking that The Man was a rich target for mockery.  Now that they've become The Man, show them that it's still true.


Airplane control surfaces are called "elevators", but they didn't always have that name.  Originally there were called "flippers", because they didn't elevate the airplane.

Words contain a great deal of power, and while this example seems silly, it's actually deadly serious:

The flippers primarily control airspeed,4 not elevation.

Of all the oversimplified wishful-thinking ideas, the notion that the yoke is the up/down control is the most deadly. You may think that neither you nor anybody else would be dumb enough to keep pulling back until the stall occurs — but the accident statistics indicate otherwise. The stall/spin accident is the #1 most-common type of fatal accident, year in and year out.
As the ground fast approaches and panic begins to set in, a lot of trained people look to the "elevators" to gain some elevation, when what they actually need is airspeed.

I am watching the Debt Ceiling Talks with an increasing sense of wonder, in how it's entirely divorced from the real problem facing not just the US, but the World economy.  Both of the political parties here, and seemingly everyone in politics in Europe seem to think that moving the "elevators" is what the economies need right now.  I have this sense that they're pulling back as hard as they can on the control yoke.

Europe's glide path looks like it will take them all the way to the scene of the crash:

Here are the facts: The yield on Greek sovereign debt is now at record highs for the euro era. Last week’s state-managed bond auction in Italy almost failed. And, while few seem to have noticed, the overnight repurchase market -- for short-term, secured, corporate debt obligations -- nearly seized up amid what Combs described as “an almost panicky scramble” for less- risky paper.

Indeed, investors’ manic desire for safety last week reached levels not seen since the most acute days of the financial crisis in September and October 2008. Ironically, though, given the pathetic display in Washington and the country’s ongoing fiscal troubles, people turned in droves to the perceived security of the U.S. Treasury market, even though it has never looked shakier.

Greece for certain, and very likely Italy, Spain, and Portugal are too far from the runway to make it.  Money is bailing out of the Eurozone so fast that short term Treasuries now have negative interest:
U.S. Treasury bills shorter than three months in duration traded at negative yields last week. Three-month bills were trading a yield of 1 basis point. Six-month bills traded to yield 4 basis points and one- year U.S. Treasuries were trading to yield 13 basis points.

In short, demand for the perceived security of the debt obligations of the U.S. government was so intense that “it was virtually impossible to find ANY amount of certain maturities of short duration Treasury bills,” Combs informed me.
Bond prices and interest rates are inversely related: as price goes up (in this case, from increased demand), interest paid falls.  It's now negative, which means that European financial markets are paying the US Government for the privilege of holding Treasury notes.

All the PIIGS countries look like they've dropped below the financial Power Curve.  Interest on government bonds from Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain have all risen above the 6.5% rate beyond which maturing (old) bonds that have to be rolled over cause more fiscal pressure (higher new interest rates), requiring more revenue to pay the interest (which isn't available), which causes more borrowing (which leads to higher interest rates).

The question is not if Greece will leave the Euro, it's when.  And the question is when the others will, too.  Those countries desperately need airspeed, and the only way to get it is to devalue their currencies.

Which they don't have.  Yet.

And so, back to Washington, which looks oblivious to this incipient meltdown.  Europe's crash is going to be hard - markets do not handle this sort of large scale default gracefully, and so the European economies will take a hit.  A big hit.  That's going to effect us.

With 9.2% unemployment and maybe 1% GDP growth, we don't have much margin for error.  The political parties keep treating this as a problem of altitude - raise the debt ceiling to avert the crisis.  They don't get that it's an airspeed problem, where we're drifting at just a hair over stall speed.


A veteran pilot knows what to do here - push the yoke forward, hard.  Don't correct, over correct.  You can adjust later, but right now lift is the only thing holding you away from Mother Earth's crushing embrace, and you're just about out of that.

We need economic growth and lower unemployment, now, and yet the Obama administration is pulling back on the control yoke as hard as it can.  The markets are slipping into a panic; the herd is starting to break, and once the stampede begins, anything in its way has just about enough time to prepare to see its maker.  The markets want to see grown ups at the controls.

They don't:

As Kevin Drum points out, "This is not, repeat not, a good time to be screwing around with the possibility of defaulting on U.S. debt".  Yet as Stan Collender notes:
On the one hand, much of Wall Street is insisting that the whole fight is political theater and that Congress and the White house will work something out. On the other hand, congressional Republicans are insisting that Wall Street won't react negatively if a deal doesn't get done.

In other words, financial markets aren't yet reacting because they think a deal is in the offing and the GOP isn't cutting a deal because it doesn't think Wall Street cares.
I'm having a hard time seeing how any of this ends well.
Yeah, me either.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wow, it works

There's an old story about a guy who had a flat tire, and was stuck on the side of the road, cursing the mechanic who over-torqued the lug nuts.  A Preacher Man pulled over to help, and heard the man unleash his final frustration.

Turning around - with the air still crackling blue with his heart-felt epithets - he saw the Preacher.  "Sorry, Reverend," he began, "but the damn mechanic tightened the nuts to where they won't come off."

"I understand the frustration, son," said the Preacher.  "But could you perhaps try prayer?  It might not help, but it certainly won't imperil your immortal soul."

And so they both knelt.  "Heavenly Father," prayed the Preacher, "grant us in your infinite mercy to lighten our loads, and deliver us from our travails."

And the lug nuts spun and popped off the wheel.  The Preacher Man stared, stunned, and let slip "Well I'll be damned."

The House passed the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" bill.  Well I'll be damned.  The Constitution worked precisely as the founders intended.  Precisely.

You see, the Senate was designed to be insulated from public passions.  They're taking a very "Washington Establishment" approach that protects the bloated departments and raises a lot of taxes now for some promised cuts maybe, some time, perhaps.  The Senate is, well, the soul of the establishment.  By intent.

The House was yoked to the will of the People, and the People are in a decidedly foul mood, wondering what they get for their ever increasing tax dollars and demanding cuts.  Now.  Or else.  The House just bent to that Will.

Like observing the workings of a fine Swiss watch in operation, there is an astonishment that such an action could have been conceived in the mind of man, so very long ago.

Bad sound there, but this is the most famous clock in the world, the one that found the Longitude.  Harrison's H1 Chronometer, now in the Royal Observatory in Greenwich,  UK.

Harvard ethics researcher arrested for hacking MIT

OK, then.

Accused of stealing 5 million "scholarly articles".  If they're anything like climate science research, that should be worth, oh, $17.83.  Hard to see a felony stick.

The irony is pretty delicious, though.

Blogroll updates

Whoo, boy - I haven't done one of these in forever.  Rather than a mondo update-from-hell, I'll do a series of smaller ones over the next few days.

Kodiak at The Kodiak Files is a prepper.  He's also a HAM operator, and so (as you'd expect) he has some interesting thoughts on emergency communications:
I have found that communication in emergencies is with out compare one of the MOST important tasks to cover. Cell phones will save your butt in a pinch, but what happens when the cell network goes down? When you need help bad and the little gadget that you take for granted every day doesn't work, well.... it sucks..

When my home town flooded a few years back there was zero cell service. There was also no Internet or land line phones. I luckily had the fortune of being a HAM operator and was able to call my parents and let them know what was going on.
I have to say that I hadn't thought about this before.

Old NFO needs no introduction to many of you.  You should check out his comment on his thoughts on the fairer sex.  Heh.

Daddy Bear is another gun totin', libertarianish IT guy.  I guess we run in packs or something.  He brings validation to Old NFO's update on the fairer sex, and points out that our military takes a dim view of breakdowns in the chain of command.  Especially that way.  Boy, howdy.

Welcome to the blogroll!  More coming tomorrow, and sorry for the delay.  If anyone has be on their blogroll, I'm happy to add you here.  If I haven't, it's either because I'm lazy (mea culpa) or I haven't noticed (sorry).  Send me an email or leave a comment here and I'll get you into the blogroll.

Prediction is very hard, especially about the future

Let's look at some extrapolations, shall we?

1986: NASA's James Hanson predicts "hottest temperatures in 100,000 years":

This one from 1986 on temperature increase in America:
Hansen said the average U.S. temperature had risen from one to two degrees since 1958 and is predicted to increase an additional 3 or 4 degrees sometime between 2010 and 2020.
The Press-Courier (Milwaukee) June 11 1986
Staying in 1986 for the moment, we have this unequivocal prediction:
“Within 15 years,” said Goddard Space Flight Honcho James Hansen, “global temperatures will rise to a level which hasn’t existed on earth for 100,000 years”.
The News and Courier, June 17th 1986
1972: World population to be 15 Billion:
Citing Population Council data, the Blueprint said:
…the world’s population will stabilise at nearly 15.5 billion…about a century hence… [around 2070]
Almost half a century has passed since then. The radical change that was said to be so necessary was not undertaken (the book proposed everything from a ban on road building to the invention of “a new philosophy of life”).

So how accurate was that population prognostication? Recently the United Nations issued a press release that contains a rather different prediction:
The current world population of close to 7 billion is projected to reach 10.1 billion in the next ninety years… [around 2100]
1990: IPCC claims 0.6° increase by 2010:

About that AGW you’ve been asking us to pay Trillion$ to stop…Fuck you!
(Graph from WUWT. Click to embiggenify)

Gee…All that extra CO2 in the last decade and how much warming? Zip! Zero! Nada!
The biggest weakness of the ZOMG-Thermageddon!!!1!! crowd is that their shelf life has expired.  It worked with the public for a bit during a run of hot summers in the 1990s, but it's been failed prediction after failed prediction ever since.  Numbers get revised, and then revised again, and even with a Press that's happy to sell the Establishment Line, the public isn't buying it.

I think that this is likely another example where an ideological Press led the Left to think that they could get away with more than they actually could.  Kyoto was supposed to be the start, but there simply wasn't public support for it.  The Copenhagen talks collapsed spectacularly last winter, showing that there wasn't public support anywhere in the world.  The Oz.Gov is now on a death watch because they - against the advice of the grown ups in the party - pushed through a massively unpopular Carbon Tax thinking they could talk everyone into supporting it:

You might say that Prime Minister Julia Gillard isn't doing a good job of hiding the decline.

So in the spirit of predicting some things (like the future), let me offer up two of my own:

1. Governments that make like Australia will be updating RESUME.DOC soon after.  You'll notice that the Democratic controlled Congress didn't vote on a Cap And Trade bill in the 2008-2009 session, showing that they are collectively smarter than Julia Gillard and her Oz Labor Party.  Please don't forget to turn off the light when you clear out the PM's office, Julia.  We're trying to be Green and everything.

2. A generation from now, people will look back on this age with a sense of wonder that the science could have become so corrupted.  The reputation of the major establishment scientists - Hansen, Mike Mann (of Hockey Stick fame), and Phil "hide the decline" Jones - will be held up as examples of charlatans.  The science will ultimately correct, since the public won't stand for the Green Agenda that's currently being pushed as "science".  After the dust settles and the budgets reset, there won't be anyone to stick up for the Gang Of Three's reputations.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Range Report: FN Five SeveN

I must say that I'm a little mystified by this pistol.  I'll get to that in a bit, but first let me offer a quick overview of its virtues: it's light weight but solidly built, it has very low recoil, it points nicely in the hand, it has good factory sights, and it has a perfectly adequate trigger (meaning that if you like the Glock-style trigger with lots of takeup and crisp reset, you'll like this; if you like the 1911 style trigger, you might not).

Oh, and it's plenty accurate:

This pistol certainly seems to do the job.

But as I said, I just don't get this pistol.  I don't understand what it's for.  It fires these:

These are the FN 5.7 x 28 mm cartridges it's chambered for, with a quarter and a .45 ACP for scale.  Hornets.  Fast hornets: 23 grain bullets will fly downrange at 2800 fps (!).  It's really the opposite of the .45 shown here, which is ten times the weight and less than a third the muzzle velocity.

And for the life of me, I can't imagine what you'd want this for.

Sure, in a rifle, it looks like it'd be a fine varmit cartridge, along the lines of the .22 Hornet.  The velocity would keep it flat shooting out to a couple hundred yards, I'd think.  What value that has in a pistol is beyond me.

The Brady crowd is annoyed by this pistol, and periodically comes out with hyper-ventilating oh noes it's teh armor piercing ammo!!!1!!eleventy!

Only problem with this is that the ATF says it's not armor piercing

And so while I can appreciate that this gives the vapors to the Usual Suspects, I don't understand what this is for.  I don't understand the design goal.  It looks like a rifle cartridge in a pistol form factor, which gives you all the disadvantages of a small caliber with all the disadvantages of a pistol.

Oh yeah, and it's fifty cents a shot, so you're paying ten times what you'd pay for .22 LR.  As an intellectual exercise, it was fascinating, but I don't see one taking up space in my gun safe any time soon.

The standard disclaimer:
I'm not any kind of gun or shooting expert. I like shooting, and shoot a fair number of different guns, but I'm really a dilettante. Your mileage may vary, void where prohibited, do not remove tag under penalty of law.

I don't do scientific, repeatable tests. There's no checklist, although that's not a bad idea. I write about what I like and don't like, but it's pretty much stream of consciousness. Opinion, we got opinion here. Step right up.

I'm not a shooting teacher, although I do like to introduce people to shooting. Maybe some day I'll take the NRA teaching class, but until then, you get a dilettante's view. You'll get opinion here, but if you get serious about shooting, you'll want to get someone who knows what he's doing to give you some pointers. It can help.

And oh yeah, shooting things is fun.

Happy Blogiversary

New Jovian Thunderbolt turned four.  Congratulations!

Not only is T-Bolt your go-to guy for Zombie defense preparedness topics, but he offers some good advice to bloggers (such as your humble host) facing blogger ennui.

Soviet Science

When you hear those two words, you think "Lysenko".

Trofim Lysenko was Stalin's directory of biology.  He became a big, big fan of the theory that environmentally acquired characteristics were inheritable - basically if you cut off the north side of a tree, seeds from that tree will lack branches on the north side (I exaggerate, but not much).

Lysenko is notorious not because he espoused crackpot science, but because he controlled the Soviet scientific community with an iron grip, going so far as to outlaw criticism of his pet ideas.  Some scientists were purged, and some liquidated.  He is commonly viewed as holding Soviet agricultural science back by a generation.

As with Galileo, we see bad things happening when the State intervenes in a scientific discussion.  Good thing that would never happen in the West.  Oh, wait:

The chief of the world's leading physics lab at CERN in Geneva has prohibited scientists from drawing conclusions from a major experiment. The CLOUD ("Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets") experiment examines the role that energetic particles from deep space play in cloud formation. CLOUD uses CERN's proton synchrotron to examine nucleation.

CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Welt Online that the scientists should refrain from drawing conclusions from the latest experiment.

"I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them," reports veteran science editor Nigel Calder on his blog. Why?

Because, Heuer says, "That would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate change debate. One has to make clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters."
If you suspect that scientists are only supposed to enter the "highly political arena of the climate change debate" when they're presenting evidence of Manmade Global Warming, then you're as nasty and suspicious as I am.

As background, I cover the experiment here and the hypothesis driving it here.

At this point, I must confess that I'm an old faht, getting my science education back in the 1970s, from teachers and professors who got theirs in the 1940s.  I was taught that the Scientific Method went something like this:
  1. Observe something happening.
  2. Formulate a testable hypothesis about what might be causing it.  
  3. If your hypothesis isn't falsifiable (i.e. cannot be shown to be wrong), go back to 2.
  4. Formulate a Null Hypothesis (likely alternative) for your hypothesis in 3.
  5. Construct an experiment to test your hypothesis against the null hypothesis.
  6. Perform the experiment, and document the results.
  7. Explain which hypothesis was closer to matching the observed reality in 1, and why.
It seems that the head of CERN - one of the biggest scientific research organizations in the world - doesn't want his people to do that last step.  Everything else is OK (for now, at least), but that last one is right out.

Now, it's unlikely in the extreme that Henrik Svensmark or the CERN researchers will starve to death in a gulag like Nikolai Vavilov.  The Intellectual Totalitarianism on display here is a kinder and gentler type, as fits this latter day Progressive Era.

But "totalitarian" is precisely the right word, as the Establishment will brook no dissent.  Especially scientifically confirmed dissent.  If there is a more powerful example of the depths of degradation that our modern scientific community has fallen into, I must have missed it along the way.

Keep your eyes on the Svensmark Cosmic Ray hypothesis, folks.  The Authorities consider it to be dangerous.  They wouldn't act like this if it weren't.

Lego, turned up to eleven

Why we're winning

Jetaz takes his girlfriend to the range for the first time.  Looks like she'll be back.

Well done.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Found inside the Camp Borepatch secure perimeter

We got a visit today from The Big Guy himself, Uncle Jay.  After the obligatory excursion to the range for some recoil therapy (range report anon), we returned inside the wire for fried green tomatoes from the Camp Borepatch garden and grilled pork chops.

I now regret not planting three times as many tomato plants.  Dang, they were good.  And simple:
Slice green tomatoes 1/4" thick
Sprinkle with home made chili powder (roasted dried chilis ground in the blender)
Dredge in flour
Pan fry (I used too much oil; you only need an inch in your skillet)
sprinkle with salt
They're OK cold, but they're simply outstanding hot.

Oh, and biscuits.  With home made butter (which means home made butter milk).

But conversation with Jay was an excellent time.  I thought I've been to a lot of places, but he's been everywhere, with stories to match.  Just an excellent, excellent time.