Doofus Of The Day #974

Today’s award goes to the pilot of a French Canadair CL-415 fire-fighting aircraft, who didn’t pay enough attention to his course while refilling his tanks with water.  This happened on the Rhone river in Nimes, France, a few days ago. That’ll cost a fair amount to repair the wing, and the barge . . . not to mention the laundry bills for the crew’s underwear! Peter

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Of strength training, disability, and coaches

About six weeks ago, Miss D. and I began strength training at the gymnasium owned by Mr. Strength Training himself, Mark Rippetoe.  He put us through a lengthy interview beforehand, checking our health histories, current state of body and mind, and so on, before deciding that yes, we were suitable candidates.  (He’s very choosy about that.  If he doesn’t think he can help you, or if he doesn’t think you’re serious, you won’t be accepted as paying members of his gym.  It’s refreshing to meet a man who puts principle above money.) In the six weeks since then, we’ve made

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Elect politicians to spend money (on you) that you haven’t got, then demand a free ride

That appears to be the situation in Puerto Rico at present. Hundreds of Puerto Ricans took to the streets of the island’s capital on Wednesday to protest austerity measures as anger builds over an unrelenting economic crisis that has hit the working class especially hard. Protesters clutched posters decrying austerity measures including new taxes, increases in utility bills and looming furloughs and cuts to a public pension system facing nearly $50 billion in liabilities. “They’re taking advantage of us poor workers. We did not steal. We are not corrupt,” read one poster held up by 70-year-old Eva Feliciano, a retired

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Hurricane Harvey and the US auto industry

Last month, in two posts, I noted that the US auto industry was in terrible trouble.  In the second post, I quoted the Detroit News from late last year: The industry has 250,000 or 260,000 units of excess inventory “that kind of needs to be weaned from the system,” said Joe Langley, IHS principal analyst for North America light vehicle forecasting. Hurricane Harvey might solve that problem, at least in the short term.  CNBC notes: They seem to be in almost every picture or video of flooded neighborhoods in and around Houston. There are scores of cars and trucks with

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“How a slave made off with a Confederate war ship”

That’s the title of a very interesting article in the New York Post.  I’d never heard of this particular snippet of Civil War history. The unlikely story of this remarkable man is told in Cate Lineberry’s thoroughly researched new history “Be Free or Die: The Amazing Story of Robert Smalls’ Escape from Slavery to Union Hero”. Smalls was the Planter’s wheelman, essentially its pilot, responsible for guiding it through the complicated waterways around the harbor. Although he was its most knowledgeable sailor, he could not operate the ship alone. He convinced his fellow black crew members to go along with

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Bullet testing in flesh and bone

You see a lot of articles about testing bullets in ballistic gelatin, using it as a simulacrum of human tissue.  It’s not an ideal medium from which to extrapolate bullet performance in human flesh, because flesh differs in density (e.g. fat, muscle tissue, internal organs, etc.);  and bones are much harder to penetrate than flesh, but this factor isn’t present in ballistic gelatin.  Nevertheless, gelatin is a worthwhile medium to compare bullet performance against other bullets.  Its uniform consistency, and the ability to place barriers between the firearm and the gelatin, means that we can compare offerings from different manufacturers

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Rebuild after Harvey? Sure – but not on our dime!

I’m getting frustrated (again) at claims by those who’ve been washed out of house and home by Hurricane Harvey that they’re going to rebuild – in the same place.  The same thing was said (and done) after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Hurricane Gustav in 2008, both of which I experienced. Have we learned nothing from such natural disasters? The one thing we should not be encouraging is to allow people to rebuild right smack bang in the middle of the devastated area, where the next hurricane that comes along will do the same thing to them, all over again!

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Lies, damned lies, photographs, and the truth

Just to demonstrate how even “photographic” evidence can be so tampered with as to make it the opposite of what actually happened, consider this image from the Charlottesville riots, which I posted in an article a couple of weeks ago. It was taken from a gallery of images provided here (and linked at the time). This is what it was turned into by a pro-Antifa supporter, using Photoshop or a similar program. Details of how it was altered may be found on this Reddit discussion page. Now, if you hadn’t seen the original, would you have believed a claim that

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