Another problem with recoil . . .

A couple of weeks ago I did a series of posts about firearms for home defense, finishing up with one dealing with the management of recoil. I’ve since found an illustration of another problem with recoil. I don’t think my readers will have this sort of a problem, though . . . provided they remember to tighten all necessary zips, buttons, fasteners and belts! Peter

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Ancient technology continues to astonish

I was pleased to see an in-depth article in the Daily Mail about the Antikythera Mechanism. The world’s oldest calculator – a box of dials, gears and cogs created by the Ancient Greeks more than 2,000 years ago – could predict eclipses decades in advance, say researchers. The Antikythera Mechanism, recovered from a Roman shipwreck more than a century ago, was also used to record the four-yearly cycle of the original Olympic Games. It was created around 100BC and previous studies have shown that it was used to chart the movement of planets and the passing of days and years.

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Our Senators and Representatives need a swift kick in the ass!

I’m very angry to read a Reuters report that the Senate is deadlocked, and can make no progress with urgent legislation, because of partisan bickering. A partisan election-year battle over high gasoline prices and a Republican push to open more U.S. coastal waters and federal land to oil and gas drilling has brought work in the U.S. Senate to a halt. Lawmakers are preparing to head off for a month-long break before gearing up for the November congressional and presidential elections. It appears the housing rescue bill signed by President George W. Bush on Wednesday might be the last significant

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Justified awards – or a slap in the face?

I’m rather worried at the message being sent by the Minneapolis Police Department in a recent awards ceremony. First, the city apologized. Then it gave awards. Eight Minneapolis officers received medals in City Hall Monday for their valor in a botched raid that the city apologized for last year. That isn’t sitting well with the family shot at multiple times by the officers. “I’m shocked that they’re receiving awards for that night,” said Yee Moua. “My family is a mess right now. My [9-year-old] son, who saw the shooting, still has nightmares and has needed therapy. They’ve ruined a life,

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Has anyone tried “pinhole glasses”?

I’m intrigued by the claims made by the vendors of so-called “pinhole glasses“. I’m aware that many of the more extravagant claims can no longer be made in the USA, because the FDA has ruled that there’s insufficient medical evidence to prove them: but I’ve seen such claims in overseas publications and Web sites. I’m also aware of the dispute over the relative effectiveness of pinhole glasses – but some users of my acquaintance swear that they’ve helped them. Whom to believe? I work at the computer for many hours a day, and use low-power reading glasses coated with an

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Adventurous priest didn’t make it

In April I wrote of Father Adelir Antonio de Carli, who set out suspended beneath a large number of helium-filled balloons to break the record for such a flight. He disappeared out at sea, as you may recall. Sadly, a body found floating in the Atlantic Ocean has been identified as that of Fr. de Carli. Searchers had earlier found some of his balloons. I’m sorry for the good Father . . . but if one insists on doing such stunts right next to the Atlantic Ocean, I’m afraid one daren’t forget that Mother Nature is a real bitch! She

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Banking and the US economy

I hesitate to be a doom-and-gloom merchant. Heaven knows there’s enough of that sort of thing going on already! Nevertheless, the signs that the US economy – indeed, that of most of the world – is heading into deep water, and won’t be out of it for some time to come – probably years – are growing stronger every day. If you haven’t been reading much about it (or even if you have), I’d like to suggest the following articles as mandatory reading to prepare yourself for what’s ahead. 1. Uncomfortable Answers To Questions On The Economy – the state

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Doofus Of The Day #53

Oh, dear. Ares reports: One of the more dangerous phenomena in aviation is an F-16 pilot whose marksmanship is better than his situational awareness. Two soldiers discovered this on the Utah Test and Training Range one night in April 2007. An F-16 pilot lost sight of his target while rolling into a strafing run using night-vision goggles, acquired their rented GMC Suburban instead, and converted it to Swiss cheese. Fortunately the victims were both riding in the front seat and the injuries they sustained were the result of exiting the vehicle, which for some reason they decided to do rather

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New world skydiving record

The Daily Mail has published an article, with some amazing pictures, about a new world sky-diving record. (Click the pictures for a larger view.) For a few precious seconds these 100 skydivers linked up, thousands of feet above Florida. It was all the time they needed to break the world record for the largest number to gather in a single formation. One slip and their huge diamond of pinks and greens would have collapsed, sending them crashing into one another and plummeting from the sky. Roughly the size of a 747 jet, the successful formation broke the previous record of

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