Animal’s Daily News

Greatest Pistol Ever Stopped Attackers Cold.  That greatest pistol ever, of course, being the Browning 1911.  Excerpt:

Our own 1911.
Our own 1911.

The history of the M1911 begins in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, when U.S. soldiers and Marines found themselves locked in fierce combat with the Moro, a knife-wielding native insurgency that combined religious zeal and potent drug use.

Much of the fighting was close-quarters battle and the hopped-up Moros took round after round from U.S. .38-caliber pistols while they continued to hack away at Americans.

If anything positive came from the bloody 15-year guerrilla war, it was the realization that the U.S. military needed a better pistol.

A look back at an older weapon pointed the way to a solution. In desperation, the Army had issued Colt Model 1873 .45-caliber revolvers—dating back to the Plains Indian Wars—to soldiers fighting the Moros.

The heavier round began to turn the tide. It often took just one well-placed shot from the .45-caliber pistol to kill a Moro.

Yr. obdt. can only agree with the gist of this article; the Browning 1911 is probably the best martial sidearm ever made.  The safe here contains one, not a Colt but a Rock Island Armory 1911, which is basically a Series 70 Colt in WW2-era 1911A1 style.  It’s a no-frills, very basic military-type sidearm which has the advantages of being BROWNINGpowerful, reasonably accurate and very, very reliable.

But what’s not mentioned in this article is that the 1911 was just one of many near-immortal firearms designs to spring from the fertile mind of John Moses Browning.  Walk into any gun shop anywhere in the United States and you will, without a doubt, encounter several firearms in the racks that are Browning designs.

That’s not a bad record for a man who passed away in 1926.  The DaVinci of firearms’ designs will certainly be in constant use a hundred years after his death.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Here’s another tidbit on a topic that’s near to our Mile High hearts:  Colorado’s Second Amendment Wildfire.  Excerpt:

Last year, in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut, the Obama administration and then-New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg worked to put together a “coalition of the willing” to join them in a war on the Second Amendment and hit upon Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper as a likely recruit.

Mr. Hickenlooper, a low-key liberal who went from successful saloon developer to the Denver mayor’s office, was elected governor as part of a concerted effort by liberal billionaires to take over a Western state. In 2010, they not only made Mr. Hickenlooper governor, but they elected “progressive” majorities to both houses of the state legislature. Democrats around the country celebrated the victories and vowed to use the same strategy to change the politics of neighboring states.

And much good it did them.

Only recently in these pages yr. obdt. pointed out one major miscalculation the gun-grabbers made in Colorado; underestimating the political punch of law-abiding gun owners is another.  And it’s all very popular to present the NRA as an Girls with Gunsextremist group, some kind of political monolith, but the truth is something different.  (Full disclosure:  Mrs. Animal and I are Life Members of that organization.)  What the NRA is, is a grass-roots organization in the truest sense of the word; an organization in which the members get to vote for by-laws, officers and policies.  In other words, the NRA supports what its members want supported, and in Colorado, NRA members adamantly wanted no part of the Bloomberg/Hickenlooper gun-control stupidity.

That’s political speech, folks; the First Amendment in action.  And that’s why John Hickenlooper may well find himself out of a job come January.

Animal’s Daily News

Standing-BearFirst, our thanks as always to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

From the always-worth-reading Dr. Victor Davis Hanson:  Welcome to Fantasy Island.  Excerpt:

Listen to the president and one would think that he was in office during the financial crisis that began on September 15, 2008. For the nth time, Obama reminded the nation on 60 Minutes of the financial meltdown he inherited. That is his usual way of suggesting to the American people that they could hardly hope for normal times after six years of his own governance. In truth, Obama entered office on January 20, 2009 — over four months after the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that precipitated a general financial meltdown.

One would not expect Obama to fault past liberal congressional intervention in the financial sector that in large part forced the issuance of subprime risky mortgages, much less the earlier deregulation of the financial industry under Bill Clinton that helped fueled the rampant speculation. The videos of the sad congressional banter about supposedly insensitive questioning of the duplicitous and corrupt Fannie head Franklin Raines, or the self-important bluster of former Rep. Barney Frank, make a good 10-minute tutorial on the meltdown — namely how Wall Street sharks, hand-in-glove with liberal congressional operatives and Clinton appointees, offered federally “guaranteed” mortgages to those who had no ability to pay them back, fueling a phony real estate boom and overvalued stock market.

Sad-BearBut here’s the real money quote:

Obama has a bad habit of claiming credit for good things that he opposed, and for blaming others for the bad things for which he was responsible.

Once again the esteemed Dr. Hanson nails it.

President Harry Truman was said to have kept a sign on the Presidential desk stating “The Buck Stops Here.”  Were President Obama to have such a sign, it would likely read “What buck?”

By way of an example: Does anyone with any sense really believe the President’s claims not to have known about the rise of ISIL in Mesopotamia?  Does anyone not see through his attempt to blame the nation’s intelligence agencies for the fact that he attended less than half of the briefings those agencies held to apprise of these very facts?

Blaming the previous President and a recalcitrant House, the majority of whose members were sent to the Imperial City precisely Facepalm-bearto oppose the President’s policies, may have gotten the President through his first term.  But today is a different story.  The various bucks the President have passed have landed in the laps of other members of his party, and it’s looking more and more like they will be severely taken to task for that, in just a tad over four more weeks.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

A few tidbits from the world of science this morning:

How Sex Is Like Your Thermostat.   The point being, apparently, is that sex is a self-reinforcing behavioral feedback loop.

Having studied animal behavior (and no, that is not how I came to pick up the nickname that forms my user ID and the title of this blog) I can state with some certainty that almost all behavior consists of self-reinforcing feedback loops, so I guess I fail to see the point here.

Except, of course, sex.

Women’s Farts Smell Worse.  Well, I’m not going to try to convince Mrs. Animal of that.  Especially not if I want to keep a certain behavioral feedback loop in play.

Don’t Mess With The Steamer Duck.  He’ll f**k you up.

And, finally, on a more serious note, it seems DARPA is getting into the fusion energy research game.  Excerpt:

Smiling BearA US government agency has launched a new $30m programme to support alternative approaches to generating energy from nuclear fusion. The initiative has been created by the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), which falls under the auspices of the Department of Energy (DOE). In August, the DOE invited researchers to “develop and demonstrate low-cost tools to aid in the development of fusion power”. Research teams need to outline their proposals by 14 October with three-year grants ranging from $250,000 to $10m up for grabs.

Fusion reactors, should they ever prove feasible, are a major energy game-changer.  But will they ever prove feasible?  We won’t know unless we try, although I suspect (and this is a personal bias in play here) that a breakthrough is more likely from the private sector than from government.

Rule Five Friday

2014_10_03_Rule Five Friday (1)Thanks to The Daley Gator for the pingback on a recent post!

Speaking of gun grabbers, a running theme lately has been advances in technology that make attempts to ban any kind of firearm increasingly nonsensical.  The latest is a small, affordable CNC mill that makes producing functional AR-pattern lower recievers a snap.  Excerpt:

To show exactly how right (California Governor Jerry) Brown was, and to educate any other state legislature that might contemplate following in de Leon’s footsteps, Wilson and his Defense Distributed team 2014_10_03_Rule Five Friday (2)launched a website today called GhostGunner.net.

Through it they are selling a tabletop milling machine which can, quoting from their FAQ, “manufacture any mil-spec 80% AR-15 lower receiver that already has the rear take down well milled out. ….Lowers with non-mil-spec trigger guards that are otherwise mil-spec are also compatible. Defense Distributed recommends using the 7075 Ares Armor Raw 80% Lower AR-15 Billet.”

Wilson launched the project in response to de Leon’s bill, to “the rhetoric developed out of California of detectability as the norm, of the observability of everything to the modern state. This guy de Leon defined as a ‘ghost’ something not intelligible to the state and that’s a perfect way of talking about it. So this device will cut aluminum and it’s good at finishing an 80 percent lower receiver for an AR-15 in under an hour.” (Roughly, the ATF declares any lower receiver that is more than 2014_10_03_Rule Five Friday (3)80 percent complete as an actual gun subject to all regulations on actual guns.)

Now there is a distinct tendency towards small, decentralized production of many consumer items, not just firearms, and that’s precisely because of of technology like this.  But it is only when 3D printing and small-scale machining tech is applied to firearms that it gives big-government control-freaks a bad case of the bed-wettings.

Why?  Because OMG Guns!

2014_10_03_Rule Five Friday (4)So what reactions can we expect from the gun-grabbers?  Look for a push to restrict sales of AR-pattern uppers, for a start, probably to be followed by an attempt to restrict sales of any manner of firearm components.

These attempts are probably inevitable; the nature of government is ever to grow, to expand, to become more and more intrusive, and more destructive of individual liberty.  But what makes today’s world interestingly different is the Information Revolution we are currently undergoing; this revolution includes fascinating advances in small-scale, decentralized manufacturing and pattern-sharing that will make any attempts to control guns – or anything else – increasingly stupid.

That’s a good thing, for anyone who is concerned with liberty.

2014_10_03_Rule Five Friday (5)

Animal’s Daily News

Twins
Twins. Not digital.

Within 5 years, it seems, we may have digital twins.  Yes, really.  Excerpt:

“When you and I die, our kids aren’t going to go to our tombstones, they’re going to fire up our digital twins and talk to them,” John Smart tells Business Insider.

As a futurist and founder of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, Smart uses many names for the technology he predicts — digital twin, cyber-self, personal agent — but the concept stays the same: a computer-based version of you.

Using various strategies for gathering and organizing your data, digital twins will mirror peoples’ interests and values. They’ll “input user writings and archived email, realtime wearable smartphones (lifelogs), and verbal feedback to allow increasingly intelligent and productive guidance of the user’s purchases, learning, communication, feedback, and even voting activities,” Smart writes.

Here’s what I want to know – can this digital twin earn a living for me?

Relaxing BearAs a quality systems consultant to the medical device and tissue industries, it seems every year more and more of my work is being done purely electronically, via VPN, Skype, email and cloud tech.  So, if this is the case, can I program my 25+ years of industry experience into this digital twin and have it do the work, while I bum around in the mountains in pursuit of trout, or whatever else enters my mind at the time?

Somehow I suspect that level of sophistication is some years off.

(Will I be able to buy a digital twin of, say, Kate Beckinsale?)

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Thanks once again to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

An interesting piece here from National Review:  The Gelded Age.  Excerpt:

The inequality-based critique of the American economy is a fundamentally dishonest one, for a half a dozen or so reasons at least. Claims that the (wicked, wicked) “1 percent” saw their incomes go up by such and such an amount over the past decade or two ignore the fact that different people compose the 1 percent every year, and that 75 percent of the super-rich households in 1995 were in a lower income group by 2005. “The 3 million highest-paying jobs in America paid a lot more in 2005 than did the 3 million highest-paying jobs in 1995” is a very different and considerably less dramatic claim than “The top 1 percent of earners in 1995 saw their household incomes go up radically by 2005.” But the former claim is true and the latter is not.

A sure sign that you’re dealing with an economic illiterate – or an ideologue, like Paul Krugman – is when they go on and on about “income inequality.”  Why?

Fishing Trip BearBecause income inequality is, in and of itself, an inevitable fact of human existence, and as with most economic matters, the more government interferes, the worse things get.  (See:  Soviet Union.)

But the real danger behind such discussions is presented later on in this article:

You can make the straightforward case for property seizure, though Democrats generally are not all that comfortable doing so around election time, or you can ritually chant the 1,001 names of the ancient demon Inequality.

Yes, you got that right; property seizure.  Every attempt at government amelioration of “income inequality” involves taking resources, by force of law, away from one group of people to give it to another.  It involves taking property away from people who have earned it to give it to people who have not.  Further, it involves people who produce working a certain amount of their time to have their property seized with the implied force of arms, and to have the property they earned given to people who are less productive.

In what system is this a morally defensible exchange?

Animal’s Daily Rifle Musings

I’ve been watching some firearms auction sites for one of these.

Winchester 100
Winchester 100

This, True Believers, is the Winchester 100, a slick little semi-auto sporting rifle made from 1961 to 1974 and offered in three Winchester calibers; .308 Winchester, .284 Winchester and .243 Winchester.  I’ve been looking for one in .308, and – this is key – one in decent mechanical condition, but the cosmetic condition is unimportant.  Worn bluing and a buggered-up stock are not only unimportant, but might even be desirable.

Why?

The intent is to use my Model 100 for an experiment, once I’ve been thinking about trying for 20 some years now.

Win 100A bullpup rifle, for the uninitiated, is a rifle where the action is located well aft of the trigger guard; the famous Steyr AUG is an example.  But most bullpups come in military livery, and I’m interested in building a bullpup hunting rifle, one in a reasonably powered caliber capable of killing deer and (with proper loads) elk.  Further, I want to equip my bullpup sporter with a decent-looking walnut or wood laminate stock.

The design of the 100’s action will make a few design features necessary.  A bullpup design will mean the buttpad will be right behind the action, so in order to get access to the sorta-flush five-round mag, the stock will have to rise quickly from the toe of the stock to meet the line of the original pattern.

But the real trick will be the trigger.  The stock Model 100 has a pretty fair trigger, but the more linkages and twinks you add to a trigger, the harder it is to get a decent pull.  There may be a number of ways to do it; a cable linkage, a solid steel rod, even an electronic trigger.

Hunt Like a Girl.
Hunt Like a Girl.

So, how to bring, specifically, the Model 100 trigger to well forward of the action and still maintain a decent, clean, crisp trigger pull?  I haven’t worked that part out yet.  Once I find the right rifle, I may talk to an actual professional gunsmith (being just an inspired tinkerer myself) to see if that problem can be worked out.

The appeal of a light, short thumper of a hunting rifle is obvious, yes?  I may even have a target demographic in mind, should I choose to build a few more of these.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

From the “barking nuts” category:  Latest from the Fever Swamps: U.S. Defense Department Responsible for Ebola Outbreak.  Money quote:

An article appearing in a Liberian newspaper by an American professor teaching at a taxpayer-funded university accuses the U.S. Department of Defense of deliberately infecting Africans with the Ebola virus.

Cyril Broderick, a Liberian-born professor teaching at Delaware State ScrewballUniversity, believes that the Ebola outbreak was an international plot that included the injection of the Ebola virus into human test subjects just weeks before the outbreak began in Africa.

Uh huh.

We went through this same sort of nutballery with AIDS.  And the Jackassnutballery didn’t stop with the idea that the U.S. government created AIDS, but took the next kooky leap into claiming the gummint also had a cure for AIDS, but deliberately withheld it.

There are plenty of other looney conspiracy theories, ranging from Holocaust denial to the 911 Troofers.

But the problem with the particular brand of windbaggery put out by this kook Broderick is this:  He may well get some people killed, probably people who are too ignorant of the science behind modern medicine to understand that he is putting forth the purest Boneheadcorral litter.

Behind every silver lining lies a cloud, and the cloud behind the silver lining of free speech is that idiots, kooks, mendicants, con men and nutcases have the right to speak as well.  It’s just too bad that there will always be people who will listen to them.

Deep thoughts, news of the day, totty and the Manly Arts.