America’s food chain: interesting – and vulnerable?

The University of Illinois has just produced the first high-resolution map of the food supply chain in the United States.  It’s eye-opening in many ways.  Fast Company reports: Our map is a comprehensive snapshot of all food flows between counties in the U.S.—grains, fruits and vegetables, animal feed, and processed food items. . . . This map shows how food flows … in the U.S. What does this map reveal? 1. WHERE YOUR FOOD COMES FROM Now, residents in each county can see how they are connected to all other counties in the country via food transfers. Overall, there are 9.5

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QCprepper said…

I recently came across an extraordinary voice recording on YouTube that brought back many memories.  Before I embed it, a little background information is necessary. South Africa bought ENTAC anti-tank missiles from France during the 1960’s.  Like many such first-generation weapons, they proved pretty useless in combat, scoring some hits, but many more misses.  During the 1970’s, MILAN anti-tank missiles were added to the inventory, including a version produced under license.  However, this was a short- to medium-range missile, and did not provide the long range or striking power the Army wanted for bush warfare.  Unfortunately, thanks to the 1977 arms embargo against South

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Gun crime and lead poisoning – a link?

No, not the kind of lead poisoning that comes from getting shot.  A Milwaukee report suggests a different kind of linkage. More than half of the people who were perpetrators or victims of gun violence in Milwaukee in recent years had elevated blood lead levels as children, according to a study released Friday by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The study of nearly 90,000 residents, conducted at the University’s Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, suggests a link between early childhood lead exposure and gun violence in later years. . . . Lindsay R. Emer, the study’s lead author … said that while the

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Wound treatment: a little knowledge may be a dangerous thing

Aesop brings us a timely reminder that what may look like a simple medical problem might be a whole lot more complicated than we suspect.  He’s not talking about a minor cut or scrape, but wounds that may conceal something a lot more serious. The problem with [a wound closure kit], like everything else, including the laceration, is multi-fold: Do you know which lacerations to close, and which to leave open? Do you know why? Are you sure that’s a lac, and not the evidence of an open fracture? How would you know that without an X-ray? Did you clean and debride

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Rodentiferous!

Orkin’s annual survey of the “rattiest” US cities was released a few days ago.  It makes interesting reading. Orkin released its Top 50 Rattiest Cities list today, and for the fifth consecutive time, Chicago takes the top spot. New to the Top 10 cities this year are Minneapolis and Atlanta, holding the eighth and tenth spots, respectively. Orkin ranked metro regions by the number of new rodent treatments performed from September 15, 2018 – September 15, 2019. This ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments. 1. Chicago 2. Los Angeles 3. New York 4. Washington, DC (Hagerstown) 5. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose 6.

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A fascinating piece of history

A reader sent me this photograph of the ceremonial axe of Pharaoh Ahmose I (c. 1549–1524 BC) of ancient Egypt.  Click the image for a larger view. According to the Egyptian Museum: This axe was executed to commemorate the liberation of Egypt from the Hyksos. The copper blade together with its cedar wood handle is entirely covered with gold and ornamented with precious stones. The inlaid decoration of the axe is divided on each side into three compartments, all decorated with motifs alluding to the expulsion of the Hyksos and the re-unification of the country by Ahmose. The side shown here is ornamented with

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A very interesting statistic from the Israeli Air Force

The Israeli Air Force is renowned as a ferociously effective defender of its country.  Its pilots are amongst the most professional in the world, and it operates the most up-to-date aircraft it can afford.  Therefore, I was struck by an interview given to Breaking Defense, revealing a very interesting statistic. “Last year 78 percent of the IAF’s operational flight hours were performed by UAS [unmanned aerial systems]. This year the number jumped and is 80 percent,” Lt. Col. S. told me at the Tel-Nof Air Force base, where the largest Israeli drone, the Heron-TP flies from. The Heron, the squadron commander said, is performing a

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Ukraine: ain’t we got fun?

Well, here’s a development I didn’t expect! DOH! Did You Know There’s a Treaty Between the USA & Ukraine Regarding Cooperation For Prosecuting Crimes? My goodness. It was passed when Joe Biden was a member of the U.S. Senate and then signed by then-President Bill Clinton. A comprehensive treaty agreement that allows cooperation between both the United States and Ukraine in the investigation and prosecution of crimes. It appears President Trump was following the law to the letter when it comes to unearthing the long-standing corruption that has swirled in Ukraine and allegedly involves powerful Democrats like Joe Biden and others.

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Remarkable Bronze Age weapons and craftsmanship

While doing research for a future book, I was fortunate to stumble across the Web site of Neil Burridge, who makes authentic replicas of historic Bronze Age swords, spears and other artifacts, mostly based on archaeological discoveries of actual weapons.  His craftsmanship is remarkable.  Here’s an excerpt from his Web site, interspersed with photographs of some of the swords he’s made (reduced in size to fit this blog). My name is Neil Burridge and this site showcases my work as a bronze sword smith. Over the last 12 years I have been fortunate enough to work with some of the leading

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Two questions

I’ve been researching the impeachment allegations against President Trump for a couple of hours, to try to get a handle on why the Democratic Party thinks it can impeach him over his conversation with the President of Ukraine. I have two questions.  The way I see it, if neither can be affirmatively answered, then the President has no case to answer.  Instead, as Kimberley Strassel noted this morning, “This is another internal attempt to take out a president, on the basis of another non-smoking-gun.” 1.  The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998, and subsequent legislation, specifically reference intelligence operations.  Slate – hardly a

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