Sunday morning music

Britain is to officially leave the European Union on January 31st, 2020.  It’ll continue to observe EU rules and regulations for the rest of the year while an agreement on future relations with that body is hammered out, and will become fully free of their encumbrance at the end of this year (at least, that’s the current plan). To honor Britain and its people as they regain some of their independence, and in the hope that the island nation may be restored to at least some of its former glory, here’s a quintessentially English anthem.  It’s “Jerusalem”, a poem by William Blake set to

Continue reading

Saturday Snippet: The sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse in 1941

Americans tend to forget that Japan didn’t only attack Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.  She simultaneously attacked across a wide swath of the Pacific Ocean, including the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies and Malaya.  Britain had just sent to Singapore one of its most modern battleships, HMS Prince of Wales (which had recently played a part in the destruction of the German battleship Bismarck), accompanied by a World War I battle-cruiser, HMS Repulse.  Operating together as Force Z, they attempted to attack a Japanese landing fleet near Singapore a few days later, with disastrous results. This description of what happened was written by then-Sub-Lieutenant (equivalent to

Continue reading

Everything you wanted to know about the Internet and sex toys (but were afraid to ask)

Fear not:  your curiosity has been satisfied.  CNET has published an analysis of the state of play (you should pardon the expression) in the “connected” sex toy market.  I’m not going to go into details here (for obvious reasons, on a family-friendly blog), but I must admit to being mind-boggled by some of the things out there.  Note, too, the names of some of the companies and Web sites involved.  Weird, yes, but funny too!  Not so funny is the news that such devices may be spying on you, and reporting back to their manufacturers on how, and how often, you use

Continue reading

Want to win a really nifty long-range rifle?

Fellow blogger and South African expatriate Kim du Toit is trying to get money together for a specialized long-range rifle to take to Boomershoot this year.  He’s come up with a nifty way to raise the funds. 1.  You can only make one $40* donation per household, and only $40.  More than $40, and I’ll send the surplus to Greenpeace.  Believe me on this.  If you send me two checks, one for yourself and one for your “brother”, the checks had better be in two different names and addresses, or the second goes to Greenpeace.  Husband & wife get no exception.  One entry per household. 

Continue reading

Amazing critters

Earlier this month I posted a photograph of octopus eggs that fascinated me.  In response, a reader sent me the link to this video report on the critters, which is even more interesting. I’ve seen many octopii in the wild, during my youth in South Africa, but I never knew all that about them.  I’ll try not to think about it next time I’m eating calamari! Peter

Continue reading

“The big hand is on the 12, and the little hand . . . “

It seems our digital era is causing yet another casualty. It has long been a rite of passage for young children; the moment they first begin to grasp how to tell the time as their parents patiently explain the significance of the “big hand” and the “little hand”. But the ubiquity of mobile phones and tablets, with their digital 24-hour clock, is threatening to make the art of telling the time from a traditional timepiece redundant. So much so that a school in Scotland has found that pupils as old as 13 are unable to tell the time from the ‘analogue’

Continue reading

Men are dipping their WHAT into WHAT???

Now and again one comes across something so egregiously stupid that one can’t quite grasp it for a moment.  One sits, reading the words or watching the video, and thinking, “This absolutely cannot – can’t possibly – be true!”  Sadly, all too often it is.  (Follow the links below at your own risk!) A groundbreaking 2013 study of how mice can taste with their testicles has resurfaced online. And now social media bozos are testing the theory, first published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by dipping their genitals in soy sauce for the latest bizarre TikTok trend. The study was apparently rediscovered

Continue reading

More F-4 Phantoms at work and at play

This year the Japan Air Self-Defense Force will be retiring the last of its F-4 Phantom aircraft.  It’s one of the last Air Forces to operate the veteran type, which was a mainstay of the Vietnam War in the 1960’s.  It’s always had a reputation as a demanding aircraft to fly, but one that repays piloting skill with superb performance. A Japanese videographer has produced a couple of fascinating videos of the JASDF’s Phantoms over the past year or so.  We’ve seen them in these pages.  Here’s his latest offering, filmed in slow motion at very high resolution. It’s amazing to think that the F-4 first flew

Continue reading

“The problem with small self defense guns”

That’s the title of an article in Shooting Illustrated.  (It’s also a topic I’ve addressed in these pages from time to time, as regular readers will know.)  Here’s an excerpt from SI’s article. [Some of] the biggest obstacles to shooting subcompact guns well [include] the grip size, recoil control, sight system and trigger system. Some you can improve upon such as the sights or trigger. Subcompacts are notorious for having poor combat-style sights. As these subcompacts grow in popularity, sight manufacturers continue to adapt to consumer trends and offer upgraded options. The trigger is a bit more challenging. Few subcompacts come with a

Continue reading