“The teddy bear that went to war”

There’s a moving story in the Telegraph.  Here’s an excerpt. He is barely five inches high, with a stern little mouth and rather worn ears and paws – a scruffy little teddy bear that you would not give a second glance in a charity shop. He doesn’t even have a name. But he has become quite an internet sensation, thanks to his owner, Jean Mellows, writing a letter to The Telegraph. In full, the letter said: “I was interested to read about the teddy bear that accompanied a Battle of Britain pilot as I too have a little bear, with

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Holy cow!

I’ve come across lots of accidents in my time, but never one like this.  It happened on Monday in Louisiana. Here’s video of the falling trucks, taken by a car’s dash camera. I’m glad I wasn’t in a car beneath that elevated railway overpass at the time.  It would have been a sure cure for constipation – whether I was constipated or not! Peter

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Milestone

Yesterday my latest book, ‘Stand Against the Storm‘, received its 100th reader review on Amazon.com. 76 of the reviews have been 5-star and 22 4-star, with only 1 3-star and 1 2-star.  It took 71 days to accumulate 100 reviews, the fastest response to any of my books so far, and containing by far the highest proportion of positive comments.  Thank you very much to all of you who’ve contributed reviews, and who’ve supported Miss D. and myself by buying my books.  There aren’t enough words to tell you how much I appreciate you all. I find the success of

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When SWAT teams meet their (literary) match . . .

I’ve written before about the clash centered around the Hugo Awards between conservative/libertarian/’traditional’ science fiction and fantasy authors and fans, and those of the more liberal/progressive/politically correct faction that have come to be known as ‘Social Justice Warriors’ or SJW’s.  Some of the latter have apparently threatened to ‘swat’ their ‘opponents’, as they see them;  in other words, make false calls to the police alleging that a crime is in progress, in the hope that a SWAT team will descend, fully armed, and arrest those they don’t like.  This is a known phenomenon – and a very dangerous situation for

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It’s all in the mold . . .

My wife and I thoroughly enjoy cheese of many varieties, so this report pleases us no end. Scientists at Aarhus University in Denmark investigated the fact that the French tend to lead long and healthy lives while consuming diets high in saturated fats. Though most explanations of this phenomenon, known as the ‘French Paradox’, focus on wine consumed and lifestyle, this new Danish research points to a simpler answer. . . . Hanne Bertram, a food scientist at Aarhus University in Denmark, compared urine and fecal samples from 15 men whose diets either contained cheese or milk, or ate a

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Baltimore: a perspective

An awful lot has been said and written about the current riots in Baltimore.  Unfortunately, all too often what’s been said comes from a particular perspective, rather than a birds-eye view of the whole very complex situation.  Furthermore, much of it has been inflammatory, with the speaker(s) unable or even unwilling to give credence to any viewpoint except his/her/their own.  I’d like to try to give a more balanced perspective. First, let’s be absolutely clear that I’m not soft on crime – and crime, not protest, is what we’re dealing with here.  If anyone wants to burn vehicles, loot stores,

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A few snippets on the economy

These are worthwhile articles to read for yourself.  Follow the links to read them in full. Captain Capitalism:  “What ‘Six Figures’ Means Today”. As a returning WWII vet, if you made “six figures” [i.e. $100,000] in 1947, you were boss.  It would be like making $743,000 today. If you were a baby boomer, making “six figures” during Ford’s administration, you were pulling down the equivalent of $300,000 today. But sadly, with the effects of inflation, compound/exponential math, today’s young “go getters” and “business leaders,” “six figures” really doesn’t mean anything anymore as it is now an obsolete metric of success,

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A law I wish we had in the USA

Canada’s just passed one of the most sensible laws I can think of. Thankfully, regulatory transparency got a considerable boost Thursday when the Red Tape Reduction Act (C-21) received Royal Assent and became law. Minister Tony Clement, who has championed the bill, can be proud that Canada is now the first country in the world to require that for every new regulation introduced one of equivalent burden must be removed. C-21, has been operating as policy for several years already, which means that the costs of new rules must be quantified and equal or greater costs removed. It essentially caps

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When MMA just won’t do it for you any more . . .

If you’re tired of being used as a punchbag in Mixed Martial Arts, or feel the need for more pain in your life, here’s just the sport for you:  Full Contact Medieval Combat. The eminent historian and BBC broadcaster Tom Holland sums up full contact medieval combat during his visit to the 2014 IMCF World Championships at Castillo Belmonte, Spain, for BBC’s “Making History” show. “The action was a whole dimension away from the staged minuet of battle re-enactments. It was a bit like rugby – only played in full armor. It was a bit like ice hockey – only

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This is kinda scary to watch

Here are some General Motors crash tests from the 1960’s.  Note how the almost complete absence of modern safety features – airbags, seatbelts, etc. – means that the crash test dummies are exposed to the full force of the impact. I’m rather glad things have improved since then! Peter

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