More bullets are valuable, but not necessarily the answer

Continuing the series of posts I’ve been putting up about firearms issues in response to reader comments and questions, I’d like to go a little further into the capacity-versus-capability question. I said on Wednesday: … my preferred concealed carry pistol is chambered in either .45 ACP or 9mm. Parabellum, with the .45 my cartridge of choice.  I know that modern 9mm. ammunition is almost as capable as .45, but the latter still makes a bigger hole and delivers more felt impact on the receiving end.  The old Taylor Knockout Formula is derided these days as unscientific, but I’m an old

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A sea change for independent author-publishers

My latest article for Mad Genius Club has just gone live over there. In it, I discuss the impact of streaming audio and video on consumers, and how this is affecting and will affect independent authors such as myself.  It looks to me like a big wave building, that’s going to roll over the industry over the next year or two, posing big challenges for us. If writing and books interest you, click over there to read it, and contribute to the discussion in Comments. Peter

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The slaughter goes on, all over the world

Syria and North Korea are in the news at the moment, but killings and terrorism are rampant in many other countries – we just don’t hear about them, because they’re less newsworthy. The latest to come to light is South Sudan. On April 4, government militias loyal to the president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, entered the town of Pajok and began killing and raping men, women and children, one observer said. Opposition forces led by the former first vice president, Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, estimate that more than 200 innocent civilians were killed in Pajok. “At the onset of the massacre,

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A great collection of aviation April Fools stunts

On April 1st this year, I mentioned the April Fool spoof of Vintage Wings of Canada. Vintage Wings has had an ongoing April Fool project every year since 2008.  They’ve just published a retrospective article, listing all of them.  It’s great fun.  For example, here’s their 2011 spoof, where Canada was alleged to have bought MiG-21’s from the Soviet Union. There are many more funny spoofs at the link.  Recommended reading for aviation buffs. Peter

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Another look at healthcare costs

Last month I noted that the real issue in healthcare reform was neither Obamacare nor Trumpcare – it was the incessantly increasing costs of healthcare to the US economy and taxpayer.  I’ve since come across an essay by Charles Hugh Smith that provides very informative comparisons. In 1952, it cost $30 to have a baby in an excellent hospital. If we adjust that by official inflation as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s inflation calculator to 2017, the cost would be $275. ($1 in 1952 = $9.16 in 2017). What does it cost to have a baby delivered in

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Why do your shoelaces come untied? Science to the rescue!

Doing some useful research for once, instead of following the latest moonbat craziness down its joint and several rabbit-holes, the University of California at Berkeley has discovered how and why your shoelaces come untied by themselves. The answer, the study suggests, is that a double whammy of stomping and whipping forces acts like an invisible hand, loosening the knot and then tugging on the free ends of your laces until the whole thing unravels. The study is more than an example of science answering a seemingly obvious question. A better understanding of knot mechanics is needed for sharper insight into

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A small .380 ACP pistol may not be a good primary choice for self-defense

I’m getting very worried by the current crop of tiny semi-auto pistols, mostly chambered in .380 ACP (some in even smaller rounds).  I know a lot of people who rely on them as their primary means of self-defense – in other words, they don’t carry any other gun or weapon.  With the greatest respect to them, I fear they haven’t understood the problem. If the object is to simply get rounds into an attacker, without worrying about their effectiveness, then I submit even the lowly .22LR is going to work.  (I wrote an article about the .22’s utility for self-defense;

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Understanding the North Korean problem

StrategyPage has two very interesting articles outlining current problems and potential solutions to the North Korean issue. The first article examines North Korea’s internal problems. In the north the government may be socialist in theory but in practice they follow the money. Thus a growing number of state run factories in North Korea have become market based enterprises. The police, and even the secret police, spend more time collecting taxes, fees and “contributions” from the growing number of donju (entrepreneurs).People are responding by devoting much imagination and energy to evading the demands (which keep growing) from a desperate government that is

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Unpalatable politics?

I had to laugh at the latest political (or should that be gastronomic?) upset in New Zealand. Many think putting pineapple on pizza is disgusting and an affront to Italian cuisine. However, the Prime Minister of New Zealand has faced calls for impeachment over his chosen pizza toppings; pineapple and perhaps more controversially tinned spaghetti. He wrote: “Cooked dinner for the family last night – like if you agree with tinned spaghetti on pizza!” However, he later conceded the pizza was “soggy”, writing: “I drained off some of the liquid but not quite enough since pizza was a bit soggy

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