Even more windy!

Earlier today I posted a video clip of a tornado in Illinois that went over the top of a man in a pickup truck who sheltered beneath an overpass.  He was lucky to escape injury, if nothing worse. Following that video, an anonymous reader sent me a link to this clip of a light car meeting a hurricane-force wind in Okinawa. Suddenly I see yet another advantage to large, heavy American pickup trucks like the one I drive . . . Peter

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Not appetizing?

I had to laugh at an article in Good online magazine. Middle Earth Organics is known for their organic pasta sauces, each label featuring a famous Italian painting. While this would normally be an NBD, the painting they chose for their Tomato and Porcini Mushroom Sauce has been stirring up controversy online. The woman in the painting above is not staring with intense concentration at a pot of delicious, simmering sugo. The image, as Middle Earth Organics would know if anyone had done ANY research whatsoever, is Judith Beheading Holofernes, a 1598 painting by Caravaggio. Judith, seen above, is not

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Private sellers and the absence of logic

I’ve run into adamant, intractable private sellers on three different occasions in recent weeks, and I’m finding their mental attitude almost incomprehensible.  In each case the seller argued along the lines that he’d paid X for the article in question, and therefore he wanted to recover as much of that price as possible.  The fact that the same article could be bought, brand-new, for a significantly lower price was irrelevant as far as he was concerned. One of the sellers posted in a repeat advertisement (the fourth for the same item, after he’d turned down at least three fair-market-price offers,

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Pollsters trying to cover their backsides?

I note with cynicism the latest Pew poll that indicates support for gun rights has ‘flipped’. For most of the 1990s and the subsequent decade, a substantial majority of Americans believed it was more important to control gun ownership than to protect gun owners’ rights. But in December 2014, the balance of opinion flipped: For the first time, more Americans say that protecting gun rights is more important than controlling gun ownership, 52% to 46%. . . . Over the past 25 years or so, there has been a divergence between American perceptions about crime and actual crime rates. And

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It’s time for some more wingsuit flying

It’s been a while since we saw some good base jumping and wingsuit flying – not to mention proximity flying, where participants try to fly as close as possible to the terrain without actually hitting it.  Here’s a video with all three elements at once.  For once, the music’s not bad, either.  Watch it in full-screen mode for the best perspective. The only time I’ve seen trees go past above my head like that was aboard South African Air Force helicopters in a combat zone.  It was pretty sphincter-tightening then, and I daresay it had the same effect on the

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Mad Mike tells us how it’s done

Friend, fellow author and fellow blogger Michael Z. Williamson has a new book out.  As a former African boy, love that cover! I recommend it, as I do all Mike’s books:  but one of the most interesting aspects of his latest is an article he wrote for Baen Books, his publisher, about the research that went into it.  Here’s an excerpt. While the market for action adventure is bigger than for hard SF, I’ve always been a fan of the science-oriented story. The limitations of reality, combined with speculations within them, is a rewarding challenge. Of course, I didn’t realize

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I’d rather not get bitten by that . . .

A few days ago I showed a video clip of a sperm whale filmed by a remotely operated vehicle almost 2,000 feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico.  Courtesy of a reader who saw it and sent me the link to this video, here’s a six-gill shark filmed off Molokai in the Hawaiian Islands at a depth of well over 3,000 feet. That thing’s a monster!  Good thing they don’t come to the surface, or they might give the Great White shark a run for its money. Peter

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Teaser

Almost finished the beta draft of the sequel to ‘War To The Knife‘.  Look for this one in mid-May. It’s been tricky to make it work, because I’ve had to cover the process of a small resistance group rebuilding their off-planet resources from scratch, developing a fleet presence with warships and the mercenary crews necessary to operate and fight them, and beginning to take the war back to the enemy.  It covers almost eighteen months in time and moves between several planets.  The third volume of the Laredo War trilogy, ‘Knife To The Hilt’, scheduled for publication in November, will

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A bad week for professional hunters in Zimbabwe

The job of a professional hunter (formerly known as a ‘white hunter‘) in Africa is difficult.  He has to shepherd parties of foreign hunters around a landscape that’s usually foreign to them, in the midst of animals who regard humans as lower on the food chain than they are, in pursuit of individual beasts who are often more than capable of expressing their displeasure in physical terms.  If a visitor wounds an animal, it’s the professional hunter’s job to track it down and kill it.  If the wounded animal is a dangerous one, that makes the job even more important,

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The Beatles – wrestling with octopi???

I had to laugh at an article in the Los Angeles Times, recalling what critics said about the Beatles during their first tour of the USA in 1964.  For example: William F. Buckley Jr. – Boston Globe An estimable critic writing for National Review, after seeing Presley writhe his way through one of Ed Sullivan’s shows … suggested that future entertainers would have to wrestle with live octopuses in order to entertain a mass American audience. The Beatles don’t in fact do this, but how one wishes they did! And how this one wishes the octopus would win… The Beatles

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