Your tax dollars at work – NOT!

Yet another example of Government waste.  This article is from September last year, but the aircraft it mentions is apparently still being funded, seven months later! At an airfield in rural Georgia, the U.S. government pays a contractor $6,600 a month for a plane that doesn’t fly. The plane is a 1960s turboprop with an odd array of antennas on its back end and the name of a Cuban national hero painted on its tail. It can fly, but it doesn’t. Government orders. “The contract now is a ‘non-fly’ ” contract, said Steve Christopher of Phoenix Air Group, standing next to

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Around The Blogs 2014-03-30

Lots of links tonight. # # # I recently came across an article from 2011 that’s nevertheless very useful for those who store emergency supplies.  It’s at the Survivalist Blog, titled ‘Strategic Shopping: A Month-by-Month Analysis‘.  It looks at what’s likely to be on sale or better-priced during given months.  Useful information if you’re shopping for larger quantities (or families) on a tight budget. # # # I’m sure that by now, most readers are aware that California State Senator Leland Yee, a virulently anti-gun and anti-Second-Amendment legislator, has been arrested by the FBI for alleged corruption and dealing in

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Import of steel-core 5.45x39mm. ammunition banned?

Those of my readers who shoot firearms chambered in the Russian 5.45x39mm. round should note that further importation of the steel-core military version (7N6) of this round (shown below) is reported to have been banned. Full details are here (see the confirming update at the foot of the report).  As far as I’m aware, most (if not all) milsurp ammo in that caliber is the steel-core version, so if the report is correct, there won’t be any more of it coming in (although civilian-grade ammo with non-steel cores will still be legal – or, at least, I assume it will).

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Criminal ‘flash mobs’ – a growing peril to your safety

I’ve written on several previous occasions about the changing (and growing) security risks in urban environments – in this article in particular.  The warnings I gave there came horribly true in Louisville, Kentucky last weekend. A swarm of two dozen teenagers walked up to a man on the Big Four Bridge around 7 p.m. Saturday and asked him for a cigarette. Then, without provocation, they pummeled him. Within minutes, 10 teenagers on the bridge shoved another man to the ground, beat and kicked him, as his wife and granddaughters watched and wept. The simultaneous attacks in broad daylight early Saturday

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“Secret restaurant menu items”

That’s the title of a photo essay at CNBC.  They list several items that were previously on the menu, or were temporary specials, at various restaurants and takeaway joints.  They’re no longer on the menu, but if you ask for them, apparently the staff will still prepare them for you.  I found this one appetizing: Panera’s Power Breakfast Egg Bowl With Steak And this appears to be a heart attack looking for a place to happen: McDonald’s Monster Mac There are many more at the link. Interesting for fast-foodies (if such a category of gourmet exists). Peter

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The pitfalls of transatlantic marriages

I’ve been laughing at two articles in the Telegraph inspired by the news of American Gwyneth Paltrow’s separation from Briton Chris Martin.  With tongues firmly in cheek, two of that paper’s contributors (both married to partners from across the pond) give their perspectives. On being a British man married to an American woman: Here are some of the pitfalls: Obsessed with Mexican food For some reason, Americans believe that the constant and dirt-cheap availability of Mexican food is a human right. Tell them there is nowhere to get an affordable burrito in, say, Merthyr Tydfil, and they will gape in

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The man who gave up all his stuff

There’s a very interesting Finnish documentary about Petri Luukkainen, a Helsinki documentary maker who literally gave up everything he owned in an attempt to find out what he really couldn’t do without.  For the next year he lived according to four rules: He would conduct the experiment for a full year. Everything he owned went into storage. He allowed himself to take out of storage no more than one item per day. He didn’t allow himself to buy anything except food and consumables. The result is a movie called ‘My Stuff‘.  Initially released in Finnish under the title ‘Tavarataivas‘ in

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Life skills via e-mail

Received by e-mail from at least half a dozen readers yesterday and today, original source unknown: I’m not saying let’s go kill all the stupid people.  I’m just saying let’s remove all the warning labels and let the problem work itself out. I changed my car horn to gun shot sounds.  People move out of the way much faster now. You can tell a lot about a woman’s mood just by her hands.  If they are holding a gun, she’s probably angry. Gone are the days when girls used to cook like their mothers.  Now they drink like their fathers.

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Odd book titles, redux

We’ve mentioned the Diagram Prize before in these pages, looking at its annual winners.  It’s awarded for the oddest book titles of the year.  The latest round has just ended. How to Poo on a Date has won the 36th annual Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year. The book, by Mats & Enzo, published by Prion Press, topped a public vote to find the oddest title, in one of the closest contests in prize history. In the end, How to Poo on a Date: The Lovers’ Guide to Toilet Etiquette, took home the title with 30% of

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The NSA scandal produces more unintended consequences

We’ve already noted how the NSA spying scandal is hitting the bottom lines of US technology companies to the tune of billions of dollars in lost sales.  Earlier this week we noted that the NSA has spied on Huawei and other Chinese technology companies in the same way that the latter were reputed to be doing to US companies – a classic case of ‘the pot calling the kettle black‘. Now MIT’s Technology Review reviews the situation and points out how both sides have been damaged by these revelations. How’s this for a tough sales job? The American sales reps

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