The Battle of Jutland – 100 years ago today

On 31st May and through the night into 1st June 1916, the Battle of Jutland, the biggest ever clash of steel and steam in a single place in the history of naval warfare, took place in the North Sea, between England and Germany.  (The Battle of Leyte Gulf during World War II involved far more ships, and also hundreds of naval aircraft, but it was actually four separate battles taking place almost simultaneously across a much wider area.) The Battle of Jutland was tactically indecisive (although the Germans claimed victory based on sinking more ships than they lost).  Strategically it

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Old NFO ventures into military science fiction

Jim Curtis, alias Old NFO in the blogosphere, has tried his hand at military science fiction.  His first short story in that genre, ‘Rimworld: Stranded‘, has just been published on Amazon.com.  From the blurb: Senior Sergeant McDougal wasn’t a combat troop, he was a maintainer. He was good at it, proud of his status, and on his first planetary detachment as the lead maintenance troop for an outpost. But, when he got stranded on Regulus Four, a Rimworld and one of the clusters that formed the DMZ between the Patrol and the Dragoons, his status didn’t mean a thing… Improvising,

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Portable, battery-powered microwaves?

It looks like the microwave oven as we’ve always known it is about to become obsolete. The Adventurer is a portable battery-powered microwave the size of a Thermos. Campers, hikers, and anyone else away from the grid can make a hot meal in minutes without a fire. Camp cooking could get a whole lot easier. The three-pound Adventurer is more than a handy piece of kit, though. This is one of the first fruits of a new technology that could not only nuke your lunch on the go, but also make an impact in areas as diverse as crop protection

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Doofus Of The Day #908

Today’s award goes to all the racist idiots who tried to use the tragic incident at Cincinnati Zoo, in which a young toddler was injured and a gorilla shot and killed, to instigate racial tensions.  Breitbart reports that “angry black people in social media forums … have been blaming the incident on entrenched white privilege”. Unfortunately for such idiots, the photographic evidence is clear: The child was black, not white. I suppose this proves, yet again, the wisdom of Abraham Maslow:  “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if

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“Brings The Lightning”: a first week report-back

My latest book and first Western novel, ‘Brings The Lightning‘, was published a week ago today. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, and neither did my publisher, because of three factors: The Western market has been moribund for many years, abandoned by most of the bigger publishers and invaded by romance and erotica books that have little or nothing (besides their setting) to do with authentic Westerns.  It’s difficult to judge the level of interest in a revival of the ‘classic’ Western such as ‘Brings The Lightning’. We weren’t sure whether my readers (who are accustomed to this blog,

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More about Ray Carter

Following Ray Carter’s death yesterday, I’ve heard from a few readers who didn’t know him, and asked for more information. Joe Huffman put up this post on his blog, which provides more background information about Ray.  I hope it’ll help introduce him to those who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him.  Click over there to read more. Peter

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The Coopers Hill Cheese Roll is back!

After having been nobbled by the health and safety types for a couple of years, the Coopers Hill Cheese Roll and Wake is back!  We’ve covered earlier contests in these pages, and it’s great to welcome back the revived tradition. Here’s sample footage of some of the runs this year.  You’ll find more on YouTube. Mad dogs and Englishmen – and, of course, wheels of Double Gloucestershire cheese . . . Peter

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Memorial Day 2016

It’s that difficult time of year again – difficult for me, at any rate.  Every year on Memorial Day the USA remembers and honors those who died while serving in the armed forces.  That’s laudable, and I share in their commemoration . . . but to me, there are so many more who should be part of that commemoration, but are not, because of the arbitrary cut-off of “served in the Armed Forces”.  I know so many who died while doing their best to serve in wars and armed conflicts, but were never formally members of any military organization.  They

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In Memoriam: Ray Carter (a.k.a. Freethinker)

I’ve just been informed that long-term friend, blogging buddy and Blogorado comrade-in-arms, Ray Carter, has died. Ray had been suffering from a recurrence of cancer that he hoped he’d beaten a couple of years ago.  Sadly, this time, the cancer won. Ray was an activist for gun rights.  He worked for the Second Amendment Foundation as its Director of Development, and was also active in the gay community, encouraging its members to defend themselves (lawfully, of course) against attack by those who stigmatized them in any way.  He was also a heck of a good guy in his own way,

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