Tuesday, May 28, 2013

3736 More guns

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Any simple problem can be made insoluble if enough meetings are held to discuss it.
-- Mitchell's Law of Committees --


A little over two weeks ago I wrote about the danger of blowing off fingers with a 3-D printed gun.  How do you test it?

Well, here's how:  http://youtu.be/V8iHAS4iGyg (warning, NSFW because of sound of gunshots).  Their finger-saver cracked me up.  Note that on the first shot, the barrel fell off.  Plus, between shots they had to replace parts, including the screws.  Note that the trigger changes colors.  The guy who made it said in an interview (I believe it was him) that even though the gun had fired ten bullets without exploding, he's still not sure the next bullet wouldn't blow it apart.  Story at http://mashable.com/2013/05/20/3d-printed-liberator-handgun.

This was I think the first video posted of a home-printed gun. There are now several on YouTube.  I guess folks can stop pushing for background checks.  Seems like the horse has left the barn.


It seems like I have a very unusual bird in the back yard.  It's about the size of a robin, solid black with a small yellow bill - typical starling or grackle**, perhaps, except that it had one very long pure white feather down the middle of its tail.  Very pretty.

A little research reveals that blackbirds are turning up here and there with either one white feather down the middle, or two white feathers, one on either side, of the tail.  Most of the reports seem to be coming from New Jersey.  A mutation?

[Actually, it didn't really look like either a starling or a grackle.  Tail was longer than starling, and beak was shorter than grackle.]

3735 What are the odds? Not good, it seems.

May 28, 2013

Money is like sea water. The more you drink the thirstier you become.
-- Roman proverb --


In most of the reporting and stories about the tornado that hit Moore, OK, last week, someone asks why there aren't more tornado shelters.  Most people answer that although the area is called "Tornado Alley", the chance of a tornado actually coming close is so small it's not worth the cost.  It's big country there.  It's sorta like getting hit by lightning.

In all those stories and reporting, no one to my knowledge has mentioned the 1999 tornado that hit Moore.  It was an F5 (the  highest rating), a mile to two miles wide, killed 41 people and injured almost 500, hit 8,132 homes, 1,041 apartments, 260 businesses, 11 public buildings and seven churches, and has the distinction of the fastest winds ever recorded for a tornado, at about 300 mph.

That sounds like the topography around Moore is conducive to funneling funnels right through there, maybe? 

Maybe a few dollars worth of root cellar would be a good investment after all.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

3734 Crap!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

"The right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended."
-- Rowan Atkinson --


I wrote a long opinion piece over the past hour. It involved looking stuff up, and links, and so on. I was being very careful choosing words because I was certain it would offend a lot of people.  And then, just before the end, I accidentally hit "CTRL-A" instead of the intended "SHIFT-A", it wiped out the entire post, Blogger happily autosaved the now-empty post for me, and "UNDO" did nothing to fix it. 

I don't feel like repeating the effort.  I'll just go to Blogger Help and find out exactly what CTRL-A does, and wonder howcome I didn't know about it.  It's a mistake I often make, CTRL or CAPS LOCK instead of SHIFT, but it had never gotten so drastic a result before.

Have a nice weekend.  Me, I've been freezing my tail off.