The most important car in years?

Although I’ve put a question-mark behind the title of this post, I think the just-announced Tata Motors ‘Nano’ car really is the most important car to come along in years. It’s certainly got other major manufacturers thinking hard, with Volkswagen, Ford, Renault and Nissan already announcing plans for their own bare-bones vehicles. The reason it’s so important is simple: the base vehicle costs only the equivalent of $2,500. That’s right – two and a half thousand dollars. Tata is based in India, where there’s an immense pent-up demand for transport but very little in the way of low-cost alternatives to

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The Latest On The First Data / Citi Merchant Services Scandal

Friends, I’ve written about this in an earlier post (scroll down three posts if you don’t want to click on the link). It now appears that the real culprit behind the rejection of credit card transactions for such firearms purchases might be First Data rather than Citi Merchant Services. A report on Merchant Talk states that: “Effective today, First Data has just terminated all of its firearm merchants selling in non face-to-face transactions. For those of you not familiar with credit card processing, First Data is responsible for more than 60% of payment processing in the United States. They have

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Doofus Of The Day #2

Next in our continuing series about Doofi and their entertainment value. Do you plan on stealing knives from a store? You do? Then you might want to be careful where you hide them . . . “A man who hid hunting knives in his pants to try to steal them from a western Michigan store tripped while fleeing and stabbed himself in the abdomen, police say. The suspect was hospitalized after Monday night’s attempted theft from a Meijer Inc. superstore in Grand Rapids and is expected to face a misdemeanor shoplifting charge. “ Isn’t it nice when bad things happen

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Electronics And The Grunt

When I served in the military we didn’t have fancy battery-operated gizmos attached to our weapons or equipment. Those were simpler days. Current soldiers (you should pardon the expression) have electronic weapon sights; electronic night vision systems on their helmets; data links to their team or patrol leader, and from him to higher command echelons; radio control units for small UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles); and a host of other command, control and combat systems. Future soldiers will have even more: ‘In addition to communications and computers, a myriad of applications for the dismounted soldier of the future will require portable

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Citi Merchant Services refuses to process firearms transactions

A press release from the National Shooting Sports Foundation reports that “Citi Merchant Services and First Data Corp. are refusing to process any credit card transactions between federally licensed firearms retailers, distributors and manufacturers — a move which will severely limit available inventory of firearms and ammunition to military, law enforcement and law-abiding Americans.” If you, like me, value your Constitutional rights and freedoms and refuse to allow faceless corporations to dictate to us their likes and/or dislikes of those rights and freedoms, may I suggest that this calls for action? I’ll be contacting Citi (contact details provided in the

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Reality And Truth

It seems to me that we’re living in a society that’s based upon fundamental dishonesty. Heck of a statement, isn’t it? – but I think it’s true. Let me explain. In many areas of our lives we’ve become accustomed to living a lie ourselves and expecting others to live a lie as well. We no longer adhere to the fundamental principle of truth, of reality, as a yardstick against which to measure ourselves and our society. We no longer call ourselves or others to account when that principle is breached. A few examples from the past year: 1. General David

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Of dominoes, falling objects and such

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been fascinated by the incredibly complex structures people build up out of dominoes – only to destroy them within seconds (or minutes, for the really big ones) just for the fun of seeing them fall. Even more fascinating is the extension of this idea to all sorts of other objects. It’s become really big business in the advertising industry. I thought a few illustrations of the genre might be fun for all of us (I’ve certainly enjoyed watching them again while compiling this post!). First, ye olde private effort. This is from

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Not-So-Serious Signals

Military signals have their purposeful side, but also their humor. We’re indebted to Captain Jack Broome of the Royal Navy for his 1955 book “Make A Signal!”, which not only chronicled historical naval battles in terms of the signals exchanged, but included a ‘scrap log’ of the more humorous variety. It was republished under the title “Make Another Signal” in 1973. Both books are long out of print, but can be purchased used – see here and here. Since I tend to look for the funnier side of life, I’d like to quote some of the more (in)famous signals that

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Have you ever seen a wolf fishing?

How cool is this??? These photographs were said to be taken “at Brooks Falls just upsteam from where the Brooks River flows into the Naknek Lake in the Katmai National Park“. I received them from a friend via e-mail, but I don’t know who owns the copyright. Since they’re circulating via e-mail I’m going to post them here, and I invite any copyright holder to notify me so that proper credit can be given. I didn’t know that wolves fished for salmon just as bears did! EDITED TO ADD: An Internet search has produced a couple of videos of wolves

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Monster Hunter International

Please allow me to plug a friend’s new book. Larry Correia is an online friend of many years standing. He’s just published his first book, Monster Hunter International. It’s a modern fantasy complete with monsters, guns, murder and mayhem – and a hefty dose of tongue-in-cheek humor and in-your-face hilarity. I had the privilege of reading early pre-publication versions of the manuscript, and I’ll be buying my own copy now that it’s in paper form. Click on the link in the paragraph above the picture for more information. Larry has his own blog, too – worth viewing. He’s got a

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