No word on the smell . . .

I was taken aback (sort of) by reading about a new technique for producing bricks . . . using human urine. The world’s first ‘bio-brick’ made from human urine was unveiled by University of Cape Town (UCT) civil engineering masters student Suzanne Lambert on Wednesday. . . . Dr Dyllon Randall, Lambert’s supervisor and senior lecturer in water quality at UCT, explained that the “bio brick” is created through a natural process called microbial carbonate precipitation. “It’s not unlike the way seashells are formed,” Randall said. Parts of the urine are combined with loose sand and a bacteria to produce an enzyme

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Are bureaucrats and their red tape the best anti-war measure ever?

I wasn’t surprised to read this report – I’ve had more than enough experience with military and civilian bureaucracies to last me a lifetime! – but it highlights one of the more serious issues related to military preparedness during peacetime. When NATO expanded eastwards a unique set of logistical problems were encountered. These new problems were not fully appreciated until 2015 when the United States decided to send military units by road (and railroad) to the easternmost new NATO members. . . . While the armed forces available to NATO far outnumber those of Russia, there is a major impediment to assembling

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A vintage Glock, no less!

I’m not a collector of older firearms for the sake of their age or antiquity.  My guns are shooters, plain and simple.  Nevertheless, I was surprised this morning when I dropped into my local gun shop, to inquire about a firearm I’ve got on back-order with them. The owner noticed I was wearing an older model Glock 17 on my hip, and asked to look at it.  When I handed it over, he did a double-take, and pointed out that I had a first-generation Glock.  It was manufactured sometime in the mid-1980’s, and must have been one of the very

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Bombing a forest fire?

I hadn’t heard of aircraft bombing a forest fire to stop it spreading and help put it out, but the tactic was used in Sweden this week, apparently with some success. … on Jul. 25, a Gripen dropped a 500-lb GBU-12 Laser Guided Bomb from 3.000 meters in an attempt to cut fire affecting Älvdalen’s shooting range, a military range where unexploded ammunition and difficult terrain made conventional extinguishing methods not sufficient. The Swedish pilot dropped the GBU-12 so that the bomb would cut the fire at a certain distance from the impact point: a fire requires oxygen, heat and fuel. The explosion

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Zeroing a rifle for Maximum Point-Blank Range (MPBR)

Blue Collar Prepping has an interesting article about how to do this.  It goes into more detail, and greater complexity, than the usual approach to determining MPBR, but it does so in a useful way and is well explained.  Recommended reading for rifle shooters, whether novice or experienced. If you haven’t run into the concept before, here are a few articles explaining it: What is “Maximum Point Blank Range” Hunting? Maximum point-blank range Understanding MPBR For Better Shooting Learn Your Maximum Point-Blank Range Peter

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News and views you can use

There have been so many weird and wonderful news reports and blog articles over the past couple of days that I can’t keep up with them all.  I figured I’d post links to some of them here, and let you explore those that interest you.  In no particular order: Clint Smith, of Thunder Ranch (under whom I’ve trained multiple times), talks about ammunition and gunfights.  Money quote:  “I’ve never heard anyone complain about having too much ammunition in a fight.” I had to laugh at the Conservative Treehouse’s glee over President Trump’s most recent burst of activity.  They seem to be enjoying themselves

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Updating your kitchen?

It wasn’t always so easy. Things have changed for the better, it seems!  When I was five years old, my parents bought a house that had been built at the turn of the 20th century.  It was in dire need of rehabbing, including the kitchen – which still contained a huge hollow at the base of a chimney, that was intended to accommodate a wood-fired or coal-fired stove and oven.  (With the chimney sealed off and sliding doors installed, it became a very useful cupboard.)  Thing is, when we moved in, it wasn’t too dissimilar to the old-style kitchen shown

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A tactical thought about the US Army’s next-generation helicopters

As many readers know, I’m a veteran of military service.  I’ve traveled in military helicopters, including high-speed insertions into “hot” landing zones.  I therefore have a “grunt’s eye view” of the use of helicopters when things get hairy. Consider the size of many helicopter landing zones.  Some of them are open spaces, which offer room for aircraft to maneuver, such as this one: Others, however, can be cramped, and dangerous to the helicopters because of encroaching tree branches, rocks, and other obstacles – and, in urban LZ’s, buildings, electrical wires and other man-made hazards.  Here’s an example of a confined

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A different view of President Trump’s election and the backlash against it

Courtesy of a link at Borepatch’s place, I found four articles analyzing the history of the Trump “insurgent campaign” for the presidency, and why the reaction against it – and him – from the progressive Left has been so overwhelming.  They provide additional details and insight that I haven’t found elsewhere. The author calls the series “The Kek Wars”.  The four parts are: Aristocracy and its Discontents   In the Shadow of the Cathedral   Triumph of the Frog God   What Moves In The Darkness To whet your appetite, here are the final two paragraphs of the last article in the

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Remembering the Vela Incident

Older readers may remember rumors of a nuclear explosion in the South Atlantic Ocean in 1979, which could not be verified at the time.  This became known as the Vela Incident.  A recent news report claims new evidence indicates that it was, indeed, a nuclear bomb. Ever since the flash was observed by a U.S. “Vela” satellite orbiting above Earth in September 1979, there’s been speculation that it was produced from a nuclear weapon test by Israel. . . . The flash was located in the area of Marion and Prince Edward islands, which are in the South Indian Ocean about halfway between

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