Ambivalent Skeptic

March 31, 2011

WikiLeaks helps disprove the Mexican gun myth

Filed under: Current events — Clint1911 @ 8:03 am

H/T Snowflakes in Hell

The most fearsome weapons wielded by Mexico’s drug cartels enter the country from Central America, not the United States, according to U.S. diplomatic cables disseminated by WikiLeaks and published here Tuesday by La Jornada newspaper.

WikiLeaks: We can use for us too!

Daily Wisdom: William Glasser education edition

Filed under: Daily Wisdom — Clint1911 @ 7:55 am

“To counter the avoidance of intellectual challenge and responsibility, we must reduce the domination of certainty in education.”
William Glasser

“Education is the process in which we discover that learning adds quality to our lives. Learning must be experienced.”
William Glasser

“There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.”
William Glasser

“We Learn . . .
10% of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we see and hear
70% of what we discuss
80% of what we experience
95% of what we teach others.”
William Glasser

March 29, 2011

M1911 History, on this day 29 March 1911

Filed under: 1911,History — Clint1911 @ 9:43 am

On 29 March 1911, the Secretary of War approved the Colt Caliber .45 Automatic Pistol. It would become the longest serving handgun in US military history. And one of the most enduring handguns in US history.

The gun, designated M1911 and now often called just “1911” in civilian hands, was adopted after 12 years of the military considering the use of an “automatic” handgun and the inventor, John Moses Browning, had worked on this project for 16 years as he had designs, and maybe prototypes, back in 1895!

In 1911, the right combination of design, capability, and reliability was proven in a 6000 round endurance test.


Amazingly, the prototype still survives. (The photo is from M1911 forum.)
Photo from M1911 forum

Some more history:

And Chris Byrne has a good post (with a nice photo):

March 20, 2011

M1911 History, on this day 20 March 1911

Filed under: 1911,History — Clint1911 @ 10:33 pm

On 20th March 1911 the report on the Army Pistol Test was submitted.

The report read, in part:

“…Of the two pistols, the Board is of the opinion that the Colt’s is superior, because it is more reliable, the more enduring, the more easily disassembled, when there are broken parts to be replaced, and the more accurate…”

“…The Board therefore recommends that the Colt Caliber .45 Automatic Pistol of the design submitted to the Board for test be adopted for use by foot and mounted troop in the Military service in consequence of its marked superiority to the present service revolvers, and to any other known pistol, of its extreme reliability and endurance and of its fulfillment of all essential requirements…”

They Commanding Officer of Springfield Armory (then a federal asset) would concur on 23 March 1911. the chief of Ordinance and the General staff followed.

The next major date in M1911 history with be 29th March 1911, when the Secretary of War approves.

March 18, 2011

Robert A Heinlein quotes for and about government

Filed under: Daily Wisdom,politics — Clint1911 @ 1:01 am

Any government will work if authority and responsibility are equal and coordinate. This does not insure “good” government; it simply insures that it will work. But such governments are rare — most people want to run things but want no part of the blame. This used to be called the “backseat-driver syndrome.”
Robert A Heinlein (emphasis added)

Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. How’s that again? I missed something. — Robert A. Heinlein, Notebooks of Lazarus

An undefined problem has an infinite number of solutions.
Robert A Heinlein

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it’s supposed to do.
Robert A Heinlein

Certainly the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you; if you don’t bet, you can’t win.
Robert A Heinlein

It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion. And usually easier.
Robert A Heinlein

And of course:
TANSTAAFL –There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
Robert A Heinlein

March 15, 2011

M1911 History, on this day 15 March 1911

Filed under: 1911,History — Clint1911 @ 11:01 pm

On this day in 1911 history…

As per the orders of 03 March, on the 15th of March 1911 the Colt and Savage companies sent people to test their products before the Army. This was the trial to determine what the next generation of Military sidearm would be.

Colt had 6 examples of the 1911 pistol completed. A sample (of at least two guns) was present and was shown and the features, and improvements over previous models, explained.

The examination began with disassembling of the guns, both field and detail, followed by velocity, accuracy, and rapid fire tests. The Colt was found superior to the Savage in handling. However, the 45 caliber “Rimless Smokeless” ammo, standardized for both guns was faster in the Savage entry. The speed was 849 fps vs the 828fps for the Colt.

The most famous part of this trial is the endurance test. 6000 rounds though each gun. 100 fired followed by a five minute break to cool down. After each 1000 shots the pistols where lubed and checked.

Results: The Colt had zero malfunctions and no defective parts. The Savage had 39 malf’s total and several broken parts.

Afterward, tests were run with cartridges with thin primers, as well as over and under-loaded rounds.

The Colt frame had four small cracks at trial’s end. One at the front edge of the rails, one above the rear slide lock hole, and two in the grip.

The report was stated on March 20th 1911 selecting the Colt /Browning design.

And that is another post.

March 13, 2011

Quotable me: 13 Mar 2011

Filed under: Daily Wisdom — Clint1911 @ 11:14 pm

When you don’t respect someones stuff, it shows you don’t respect that person.

March 12, 2011

Japan earthquake

Filed under: Current events — Clint1911 @ 10:08 pm

In 2004, I visited Japan. I traveled to three of the four major islands and the farthest north I made it was just beyond Sendai.

At 2:46pm local time on 11 March 2011 a magnitude 9.0 quake hit just off the coast of Sendai. 10,000 people are as of yet uncounted for.

This is the fifth largest quake on record. Number four was in 1952 at Kamchatka Peninsula which is the part of Russia just north of Japan.

Aftershocks of the recent quake are at least 7.0 magnitude. Tokyo, which is about half a nation away felt 5.0 magnitude effects from the first quake.

The epicenter was at sea. So a Tsunami was formed. Waves are reported to have gone 6 miles inland. They were 33 ft high

I visited Matsushima Bay

One of the three most scenic places in Japan . It is a bay of beautiful little islands.

How does a place like that survive 33 foot waves of Tsunami?

How do the people survive?

I visited in fall. I remember a nice little old lady helping me, in English no less, find good places to take photographs. I still remember her voice telling me about the “Beautiful colors” of the trees.

I remember I young woman who worked in Sendai at the tourist center. She bend over backwards to help me not get lost on use the most of my remaining vacation time. I sent her a disk with the Matsushima photos on it.

The Japanese people where always nice. Cheerful to help a foreigner, even a US Marine, see their country as the beautiful place it is.

It was on overcast sky that day. A light rain made everything wet.

I wonder what’s left. I wonder who is left.

I Hope they are ok.

March 11, 2011

Ayn Rand vs Hollywood

Filed under: Perspective — Clint1911 @ 10:19 pm

Ok, so I had a nice conversation about Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Hollywood, Why celebs need attention, why hollyweird hates Ayn Rand and Charlie Sheen.

First, Hollywood doesn’t like Ayn Rand.  It took too long and too much effort for a best-selling book to become a movie.  And people inside Hollywood note that the author of Atlas Shrugged, and her ideas, are none too popular.

And for  good reason, Hollywood works on the idea of Celebrity!  The more attention the big players get the more money they make, the more money, the more attention, etc, etc, etc.  Which makes celebrities a good investment.

Now you might be tempted to think this is the part Mr. Sheen comes in.  NOPE.  In fact don’t even worry about him in this case.  His antics are more…well that’s for latter.

Do think about sex tapes.  How many nobodies become celebrity material after a sex tape went viral?

Short story: they’re all attention whores.  Big surprise.

Why the hatred for Ayn Rand?

Really this has more to do with the book and movie The Fountainhead.  The hero, played by Gary Cooper, when speaking with  the gloating villain, said villain bragged; “I know what you must think of me…”

“I don’t.”

The hero said that not missing a beat, not even a pause for a breath of air.

That is eth world Rand pictures.  I world of Individuals.  And a true individual doesn’t care what other people think.

Nor to they invest in the fake drama of other people’s lives.

Could you imagine a world full of individuals?  The collectivists, the statists would go nuts.  They lose the mod mentality that lets the few rule the many.  No more manufactured crises by exploiting emotions.

And no one will care what celebs think, or do, or sleep with.  In other words, fame becomes LESS important than talent.

That is why Hollywood so dreadfully avoids Ayn Rand.

March 10, 2011

Nature is trying to kill you.

Filed under: Perspective — Clint1911 @ 3:01 pm

Let me get this out before the rest of the world runs with it.

Nature is trying to kill you.

I’ve been saying this for five years now. I would like to do a video series on survival and lesson ONE is:

Nature is trying to kill you.

I’m not the first guy to say this. I won’t be the last. Maybe this will kick off into a meme someday. Maybe we will need to teach grown adults, who should know better, this simply fact everyday for the rest of, well, forever.

It is too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer.
There is only so much to eat.
Most of it will kill you.
The animals are not your furry friends.

If you don’t know what you are doing, you -are going- to die.

No, not in bed all calm and peaceful-like with family around you. More like cold, hungry, thirsty, scared, alone, in pain, going out of your mind and miserable.

And young.

There is a reason we plant crops. There is a reason we use tech. It is NOT to make a few people rich. It IS to keep MANY people alive.

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