For boys needing cutting-edge toys

Being African born and bred, I’ve always had a high regard for a machete as a very useful all-round tool.  It can not only clear brush or chop up light wood;  it’s easier to carry than an axe, it’s a very viable weapon if push comes to shove, and it’s cheap enough that if you break one, it’s seldom a problem to replace it. That being said . . . Cold Steel is currently having a sale on many of their machete models.  Some are below $10!  They make good tools, and the prices they’re advertising are the lowest I’ve ever seen

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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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Tab clearing

Several items have crossed my monitor in recent days and weeks that I haven’t had time to develop into full-length blog articles, but I think are nevertheless worth sharing. 1.  With the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks still fresh in our minds, here are two articles that you might want to bookmark for future reference.  They contain material that’s timeless, and will be useful long into the future, particularly when speaking with people who weren’t even alive when the attacks took place. Images of 9/11: A Visual Remembrance The 9/11 Attacks: Understanding Al-Qaeda and the Domestic Fall-Out from America’s Secret

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Combat resupply gets easier – and cheaper

The JPADS GPS-guided cargo parachute system has been in service with the US armed forces for some years.  It’s proven very useful in remote terrain in places like Afghanistan, where resupply over long distances is expensive and dangerous. Now it looks like something better – at least for smaller loads – is on the horizon. Yates Electrospace unveiled at the Defense & Security Equipment International (DSEI) show in London a larger variant of its unmanned cargo glider, the Silent Arrow GD-2000, that can fly with a gross weight of 907kg (2,000lb). The US-based company says it will start full-rate production in October and has

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Hyperbole to the max – but it’s a very impressive knife

I came across the Dalstrong Ravenger 9″ cleaver on Amazon while searching for something else. I was struck by the extraordinarily high user rating of this knife – at the time of writing, an average review of 4.8 stars by 244 respondents.  Intrigued, I read some of the reviews, and they persuaded me to take the plunge and order one.  We don’t often need a big, heavy cleaver-type knife, but when we do, it’s very useful;  and although this one seemed expensive, the reviewers who raved about it made me think it might be worth its price, compared to our bargain-basement part-of-a-cheap-set

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A waffle iron stove???

I was intrigued to read that the humble waffle iron can be used as a makeshift stove, with surprisingly interesting results. We were not waffle traditionalists—just a family without an oven, desperate for new ways to heat food. After that first encounter with gridded cornbread, we grabbed the cheapest waffle maker we could find and began to experiment. We started by replicating the cornbread waffles. After some tinkering, we had the recipe down. Our first homegrown success was chocolate waffle cake. The brilliance of cake as a waffle is that all those dents fill up with frosting. To this day, despite access to

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Karl Denninger’s Presidential platform – there’s some good stuff here

The inimitable Karl Denninger has published what he’d do if he were drafted to be President.  Based on what I see there, I’d draft him tomorrow!  Examples: 100% E-Verify now.  All employers have six months to comply for existing employees, all new hires must have it run.  Liability is personal and cannot be thrown off on a staffing company or other scheme.  All 941s (quarterly withholding filings) must include E-Verify control numbers on them.  Congress will receive a bill on my first day in office to upgrade failure to include same on 941s, hiring or paying people without reporting accurately on same, or any

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A big plane for a highway to carry

Many countries practice operating military aircraft from civilian highways, often strengthening or adapting the latter during construction so that they can be used as emergency air bases in the event of hostilities.  However, most of the aircraft involved (that I’ve heard about, at least) have been standard fighter or strike aircraft;  not the largest or heaviest in a modern air force. Russia recently sent some of its Sukhoi Su-34 strike aircraft to practice operations from an improvised airstrip on a highway in Tatarstan.  The Su-34 is very large and heavy (comparable to the older US F-111), rather bigger than one would expect to operate

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Animals and war – still needed after all these years

I was interested to read that Chinese soldiers in Tibet are using an ancient means of transport to patrol their area of responsibility. Chinese media has, since the 1960s, regularly featured stories of the harsh conditions soldiers face in Tibet and Xinjiang, the two western provinces that border the Himalayan and Pamir Mountains as well as the high-altitude borders with India, Pakistan and Tajikistan. In effect China has the longest high-altitude borders in the world and uses a variety of methods to effectively patrol them and control smugglers and other illegal border crossers (like Islamic terrorists). For most of the border troops

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